Newbold Alumni Join College's Theology Teaching Staff
7th June 2019
While most of Newbold's students have left for the summer, the campus is still bustling. International English language groups are visiting and staff are well into preparations for the new academic year – including a reshuffle of leadership positions in the Department of Theological Studies (DTS), and the introduction of two new staff to the teaching team.
Dr Laszlo Gallusz joins DTS as a Senior Lecturer. Laszlo completed a postgraduate degree at Newbold in 2001 and a PhD at Karoli Gaspar University of the Reformed Church in Hungary in 2011 with a dissertation which focused on The Throne Motif in the Book of Revelation, and which was published by T&T Clark, London. In addition to being an ordained minister since 2004, Laszlo has 17 years' experience lecturing in Adventist higher education, primarily at the Hungarian and Serbian theological seminaries. He also served as academic dean at the Belgrade Theological Seminary for six years, and as Adventist Mission Department director for the South-East European Union in Serbia for ten years.
Laszlo has a particular interest in New Testament exegesis and theology and has authored four books. His latest, The Seven Prayers of Jesus, was published in 2017, and his current research project focuses on the theology of Revelation.
"As a Newbold graduate, I am looking forward to serving at the institution which significantly contributed to preparing me for pastoral ministry and my academic career," he said. "I am honoured to work at Newbold ‒ a place I see as an academic centre of excellence, and the heart of Adventist education in Europe. I believe in the critical importance of quality Adventist education, particularly theological education, which forms future ministers on whom the future leadership of the Church depends. I hope to see generations graduating from Newbold who are competent to serve people in 21st-century Europe and the UK, and who are making a difference by extending the Kingdom of God."
Laszlo has joined the Newbold community with his wife of over 20 years, Helena, and their son Benjamin, seven.
Julian Thompson, who has joined DTS as a Lecturer, also holds a postgraduate degree from Newbold (2012) and has served as a pastor in the South England Conference since graduating. Julian describes his time in ministry as having provided many wonderful experiences, and as having brought him into contact with churches, leaders, and members that have "shaped my ministry and made me the pastor that I am today." Julian has served in several churches in the south west of England, London, and most recently as pastor of the Brighton & Hove, and Worthing churches.
In 2014 Julian was awarded a scholarship to undertake a doctorate at the University of Oxford, which he has progressed over the last five years in addition to working full-time in ministry. Through an examination of the interpretive significance of orality in Judges 5, Julian's thesis promises to shed new light on the role and function of twice-used songs in the Hebrew Bible.
"As a pastor and a theologian, I have spent a lot of time reconciling the high theology of academia with the everyday pastoral reality of what it means to pursue a life centred in Jesus," said Julian. "I have a passion for communicating theology in a way that is accessible, current, and life-affirming; these are values that I hold dear and will take with me as I join the teaching staff at Newbold. The work of resourcing our pastors, laity, and leadership to take the gospel to every nation, language, and people is a humbling call and a great responsibility. I feel truly honoured to have been invited to serve the Church in this new capacity."
Julian will join his wife, Ana, on the Newbold staff. Ana is a teacher in Newbold's English Language Centre and is overseeing the 2019 Summer School in English.
Julian and Laszlo joined the DTS teaching team on 3 June. Their addition coincides with several other changes in department leadership. Dr Ivan Milanov, Senior Lecturer in Old Testament Studies, will take up the mantle of Head of Department in July, following the announcement that Dr Bjørn Ottesen has accepted a call to serve as the Danish Union's Ministerial director.
Bjørn served for seven years at Newbold, most recently as Head of DTS. "Bjørn always showed the utmost care and concern for his students and his colleagues," said Dr John Baildam, Newbold's Principal. "The Newbold community will miss his genial and collegial presence on campus as he returns to Denmark, though we look forward to his teaching the occasional future module for us."
Dr Tom de Bruin, who has been with DTS since 2016, will take over as Postgraduate Programme leader following the retirement of Dr Jean-Claude Verrecchia. Undergraduate programme leadership is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.
[Kirsty Watkins, Publications and Communications Coordinator, Newbold College of Higher Education]