April 2, 2022

Nazarene Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the election of Rev. Dr. Sarah Derck as its new Dean of the Faculty. She will succeed Dr. Josh Sweeden, who announced in November his intent to step down at the end of the academic year.

Following the vote of the NTS Board of Trustees, board chair Dr. David Downs said, “Our board of trustees has unanimously and enthusiastically elected Dr. Sarah Derck as Dean of the NTS faculty. This election has been endorsed by the Board of General Superintendents. Dr. Derck brings with her an outstanding academic record and acclaimed teaching and leadership skills. She will be warmly received by the Nazarene Theological Seminary community.”

Dr. Derck is currently Associate Professor of Old Testament at Houghton College in Houghton, NY where she has served since 2012. Since 2018 she has also served as Chair of the Biblical Studies, Theology, and Philosophy department at the College. In 2019, she was awarded Houghton’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Indiana Wesleyan University, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Nazarene Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Old Testament Studies from University of Manchester/Nazarene Theological College.

NTS President, Dr. Jeren Rowell, said of Dr. Derck’s election, “We are thankful to God for leading us to Dr. Derck to serve in this critical role at NTS. Throughout the process, I was increasingly impressed with Dr. Derck’s mature character, spiritual wisdom, and leadership skill. We are confident that Dr. Derck will help us advance the mission of the seminary from the outstanding work that Dr. Josh Sweeden has done across the past five years.”

Dr. Derck is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene and has served in a variety of ministry roles including Chaplain of Nazarene Theological College from 2009-2011, and Associate Pastor of Didsbury Community Church of the Nazarene in Didsbury, UK, from 2008-2010. She is currently active in ministry on the Upstate New York District.

Dr. Carla Sunberg, NTS’s Jurisdictional General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, spoke of both Dr. Derck’s ministry and academic credentials: “Rev. Dr. Sarah Derck will be a great addition to Nazarene Theological Seminary. Derck has contributed to the New Beacon Bible Commentary published by the Foundry, as well as an Old Testament perspective on women in ministry in the new publication, ‘Faithful to the Call.’ She has been a proponent of both men and women in ministry, helping to shape the landscape for new ministers. We welcome her to NTS and look forward to the ways that she will contribute to future of the institution, and the church.”

Dr. Derck expressed her own excitement at her election by saying: “For many years, I have cherished the people and work of Nazarene Theological Seminary, so when joining NTS became a real possibility, I felt a bit like my biblical namesake, incredulous with gratitude.  It is grace upon grace to be invited to live out my calling in a place that has been so formative for me, and for generations of ministers.  I am joining a vibrant team of people passionate about theological education for the sake of the global Church, and I look forward to linking arms with them in the work God is doing at NTS.”

Dr. Derck will officially begin her duties at NTS on July 1, 2022. We hope you will join us in offering Dr. Derck our congratulations, and our prayers, as she steps into this new role.

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