HomeNewsVan Neste named Union’s vice president for university ministries

Van Neste named Union’s vice president for university ministries

Staff reports

Union University has named Ray Van Neste, dean of its School of Theology and Missions, as vice president for university ministries.

Van Neste will continue to serve as dean in addition to his new role, where he will oversee Union’s chapel program, church relations and pastoral care responsibilities for the university community.

“Ray Van Neste has a combination of theological depth, personal integrity, commitment to Union’s mission and leadership capacity that make him ideal for this role,” Union President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver said. “His dedication to and service at Union over 25 years have demonstrated this and have helped prepare him for this important leadership position.”

Danny Sinquefield, Harvest Field 1 team leader for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board and longtime pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tennessee, said Van Neste’s appointment is a positive move for Union and for churches in the area.

“I have known Ray for a long time, and his love for the local church and preparing young men for pastoral care is legendary,” Sinquefield said. “The growing need for pastors and ministry leaders in our local churches is critical, and I believe Dr. Van Neste will be a tremendous asset to help meet this challenge.”

Van Neste has served on the Union faculty since 2001 and became dean of the School of Theology and Missions in 2018. A native of Millington, Tennessee, Van Neste graduated from Union in 1992 with a major in religion/Greek. He finished his Master of Arts degree in New Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and his Doctor of Philosophy in New Testament from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. 

Van Neste is a prolific writer who has written dozens of articles, chapters and books. He wrote the commentary on 1-3 John in the ESV Expository Commentary series and edited, along with Justin Wainscott, a new edition of Theodore Cuyler’s “How to Be a Pastor.” He also contributed study notes on the pastoral epistles for the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible, among numerous other projects.

He has also served as a pastor and is a member of First Baptist Church in Jackson. 

“Our mission is to provide Christ-centered education that promotes excellence and character development in service to Church and society,” Oliver said. “Ray lives that out. The way he personally and through others has engaged churches across Tennessee and the Mid-South has helped Union to fulfill that mission.”

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