An Historic Precedence

By Raymond L. Gannon, Ph.D
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An Historic Precedence: Jewish Studies at The King’s University Yields First Doctors of Ministry in Messianic Jewish Leadership

The MJBI has the great pleasure to oversee and endorse the Messianic Jewish Studies Program at The King’s University for all who want an accredited degree. Dr. Ray Gannon, who directs this program while also serving as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the MJBI, contributed to this report.

On June 9th, Chancellor Jack Hayford beamed as he opened the 16th Commencement exercises at The King’s University main campus in Van Nuys, California. Among the nearly 100 graduates were five graduating with their earned doctorates in Messianic Jewish Leadership: Jack Cairns (New Jersey), Shawn Moir (California), Steve Galiley (New York), Greg Stone (Minnesota), and Lon Wiksell (Missouri). While several bachelors and masters degrees have been awarded, this was the first time in history that Jewish ministry leaders could claim the doctoral degree in Messianic Jewish Leadership since the inception of the program in 2007.

This dramatic event was not lost on those of the Messianic community in attendance that evening, nor on Dr. Jack Hayford. Accolades of “a job well done” were interspersed during the graduation festivities with abundant praise and thanksgiving to God for such a gracious blessing for Messianic Judaism. He made it clear that TKU was deeply committed to the continued development of the MJSP as an integral part of the corporate vision. In fact, Dr. Hayford cited the opening the MJSP as one of three crowning achievements in TKU’s history that has helped it become such a rapidly expanding national university.

Rabbi Dr. Bruce Tucker, academic supervisor to the doctoral candidates, declared, “This cohort, brought together by Dr. Ray Gannon, has a repository of Messianic Jewish knowledge and understanding and experience that has not existed in history until today. This is historic!” Dr. Tucker went on to state that he believed these five doctoral graduates are going to help cast the vision of where and how the Messianic Movement needs to move into the future through their writings and ministry impact.

Located in Van Nuys since its inception, The King’s University has had multiplied branches throughout the West and South. But beginning this fall (2013), the TKU main campus will be near Dallas, Texas, hosted by Gateway Church in Southlake. Dr. Steve Riggle of Houston and Dr. Robert Morris of Southlake will be the President and Chairman of the Board respectively. .

Under Pastor Morris, the campus is undergoing massive renovations and making state of the art educational advances to guarantee the finest of theological and Messianic educational opportunities anywhere. Use of The Tree of Life Bible in The King’s University classrooms will be consistent with Chief Academic Officer John Spurling’s strong conviction that the Hebraic dimension of solid biblical teaching must permeate the entire university program.

Dr. Ray Gannon, dean of the Messianic Jewish Studies programs, expresses his constant gratitude to Rabbi Jonathan Bernis of Jewish Voice Ministries International and to Dr. Wayne Wilks of Messianic Jewish Bible Institute for taking many giant steps of faith in the launching of the MJSP. Jewish Voice has offered generous scholarships to assist Jewish and non-Jewish students alike at all levels of the program. With Messianic faculty like Dr. Jeffrey Seif, Dr. Dan Juster, Dr. Michael L. Brown, and an impressive string of others, students in the MJSP will immediately benefit as will the Kingdom of God long term.

Information and/or applications for the fully accredited bachelor or masters programs in Messianic Jewish Studies (on campus or online) or the doctoral degree in Messianic Jewish Leadership can now be downloaded at

By Dr. Ray Gannon, Dean of the Messianic Jewish Studies Programs