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Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College appoints new vice president

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Following a nationwide search, Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College is pleased to appoint Dr. Benjamin Espinoza as its new vice president. Espinoza, who currently
serves as Roberts Wesleyan’s associate vice president of online education and executive director of seminary administration will assume his new role on July 1, 2022, following the administrative retirement of Dr. Douglas Cullum who has served as vice president and dean of Northeastern Seminary since 2010.

As vice president of Northeastern Seminary, Espinoza will provide primary operational oversight for all matters related to the seminary, including spiritual, institutional, and administrative leadership. In this role, he will also execute the responsibilities of chief academic officer for the seminary, overseeing the provision of theological, missional and ecclesial vision to lead the seminary in realizing its full potential.

Espinoza will be the first Mexican American to serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet and will play a key role in fostering a sense of belonging and engagement in the college and seminary’s diverse and vibrant community of alumni, donors and friends. In this capacity, he will also join the presidential administrative team, guiding and directing the implementation of changes envisioned in the rollout of the institution’s new strategic plan.

"I am so excited to welcome Dr. Ben Espinoza in this new role as vice president of Northeastern Seminary and I am confident he will continue to guide us forward in its mission,” Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary President Deana L. Porterfield said. “More than ever, our world, communities, and churches need gracious Christians, faithful teachers, missional pastors, and transformational leaders who serve with humility, grace and excellence. Dr. Espinoza will model, communicate and inspire this important work."

Prior to this appointment, Espinoza served in several leadership roles at the college and seminary, including his recent positions as associate vice president for online education and interim executive director of seminary administration. Since joining the college in January of 2020, he has also taken on several advisory positions focused on diversity and belonging, serving as co-chair of the Roberts Wesleyan Resource Group for Race and Ethnicity, editorial committee member for the Association for Hispanic Theological Education and co-special advisor to the president for diversity and belonging.

As an ordained minister and associate director of curriculum planning (Spanish Ministry Education and Formation Department) for the Wesleyan Church, Espinoza has several years of experience as a youth pastor, community life pastor, college pastor and lead pastor. He is also an editor and author of published articles and reviews in several publications on the topics of religious education, children’s and youth ministries, theology and culture. His book, titled “Theology and the Star Wars Universe,” which explores the popular sci-fi and fantasy franchise from a theological lens, will be published in June.

Espinoza holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education with a graduate certificate in Chicano/Latino studies from Michigan State University. He received a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Asbury Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Cedarville University.

Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College is where the unchanging essentials of biblical and historic Christianity are combined with a responsive attitude toward contemporary culture. Christ-centered people of different ages, ethnicities, and denominations attend graduate classes towards an advanced certificate, master's, or doctor of ministry degree and gain the theological understanding, spiritual formation, and proven skills necessary for effective ministry to the church and the world.