Synod Honors Dennis Voskuil as President, Professor, Pastor

Date Posted: 
Thursday, June 12, 2014

In gratitude for his more than 40 years of ministry and service to the Reformed Church in America and Western Theological Seminary, synod has declared the Rev. Dr. Dennis Voskuil professor emeritus of the General Synod.

Voskuil will retire June 30 from Western Seminary, where he has served since 1994, including as president (1994-2008) and as the Marvin and Jerene DeWitt professor of church history (1994-2014).

Western Seminary's report to synod notes that during his tenure at Western, Dennis enhanced community life for seminary faculty, staff, and students.

Synod has honored Voskuil for his presidency, a time of dynamic growth and spiritual vitality and renewal. During his leadership, the master of divinity program tripled in size, the faculty grew by one-third, the endowment almost quadrupled in size, student scholarships tripled, and new buildings were built.

In addition, during his presidency innovative new programs were established, including a revised and missionally focused M.Div. curriculum, a distance learning M.Div. program, a new center for the church's learning, a dual-track master of divinity/master of social work program, and a certificate in urban pastoral ministry program.

A synod resolution honoring Voskuil says, "He has nurtured a deep sense of community, mutual care, compassion, and love…he is a devoted and passionate teacher, a relentless encourager of others, a selfless supporter of the gifts of others."

Voskuil also taught history at Hope College and pastored two RCA congregations: Trinity Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan (1974-77) and Third Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan (1990-92).

He and his wife, Betty, will continue to devote themselves to their three children and children-in-law and nine grandchildren, and to the work of the church. Voskuil will teach as an adjunct professor at Western Theological Seminary and serve as a senior research fellow at the Hope College A. C. Van Raalte Institute.

Voskuil served as General Synod professor since 2003.

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