Welcome from the President
It is a true privilege and honor to serve Jerusalem University College as its 11th president. I remain grateful and humbled at the daily opportunity to help students engage the contexts of Scripture in the Middle East. For over 65 years, this institution has been committed to the mission of training Christians from seminaries, colleges, and universities alike to engage the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and experiences of the land of the Bible so that the Scriptures are rightly understood. Through in-depth study of the geography, languages, history, and cultures of this land, students studying at JUC have ample chance to sharpen their knowledge of God and His Word, and this brings me great joy.
I believe that our programs and resources are among the very best in teaching students to engage the land well. Apart from our unparalleled location, what makes JUC truly distinct is our faculty. Our professors possess keen knowledge in their respective fields, and they relay their expertise with passion, clarity, and care for their students. They teach from their extensive experience living and working in the Middle East, which has granted them a natural fluency in cultural and linguistic realities inherent to the region.
In addition to our talented faculty, JUC has a remarkable reputation on the southwestern corner of Mount Zion. One local reporter has described our school as a secret of Jerusalem that is quite literally hanging onto the edge of the slope. This image reminds me of the deer in the wilderness that walks on the heights and scales the cliffsides without stumbling or falling. In many ways, this resembles JUC and the remarkable students who have studied at this school. We are resilient, strong, and capable of walking on the heights because God continues to offer us His strength.
As we move into the future together, I invite you to join JUC’s efforts to learn more about God’s Word through the study of its geographical, historical, linguistic, and cultural contexts. To help us fulfill this effort, I invite you to pray for JUC, specifically that we – the alumni, the students, the instructors, the leadership – all have feet for the path ahead. Finally, I encourage you to continue exploring our website to learn more about the great long-term (in-residence and online) and short-term programs JUC offers so you can plan your next engagement with the Holy Land.
Oliver Hersey, PhD
Jerusalem University College
Dr. Oliver Hersey began serving as the eleventh president of Jerusalem University College on August 1, 2021 (view announcement here). Having been shaped by his own experiences in the Holy Land, Dr. Hersey desires to help students better understand the Bible by providing them with opportunities to study in Israel the geographical, cultural, and historical contexts of God’s Word. He is a pastor in the Reformed Church of America, previously serving as the Director of Discipleship and Teaching at Calvary Church in Orland Park, IL. With over 20 years of combined experience in fields related to education, research, pastoring, coaching and management, Dr. Hersey is driven to help grow both people and organizations for service in God’s kingdom.
Dr. Hersey earned his B.A. in Secondary Education: Mathematics and Spanish from Calvin College; his M.A. in Biblical Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Languages (Summa Cum Laude) from Trinity International University; and his Ph.D. in Theological Studies: Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Languages from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Throughout the course of his education, he received multiple awards for his leadership and academic research.
Dr. Hersey is married to Andra Hersey, who is an LCSW with over 15 years of experience serving in schools and private practice. They are the proud parents of two children. As a family, the Herseys enjoy playing sports, dancing, hiking, and exploring new places.