Yeshiva University Opens Master’s Program for Christians

For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, The word of Hashem from Yerushalayim.




(the israel bible)

August 11, 2023

2 min read

Yeshiva University, a private Orthodox university, will, for the first time, be offering a two-year Master’s program this fall specifically for Christian students.  Held in the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, the program will include courses on Jewish history, biblical Hebrew, post-biblical literature, and more.

The new program is a joint initiative of Y.U. and the Philos Project. The Philos Project seeks to promote positive Christian engagement in the Near East by creating leaders, building community, and taking action in the spirit of the Hebraic Tradition. Philos is a non-sectarian organization whose board, staff, and members belong to various Christian churches and hold to various schools of theological interpretation within the realm of Nicene orthodoxy.

Ahead of the program’s launch, the university’s rabbinic leadership even issued a ruling that the program was permissible according to Jewish law.

“The Hebraic Studies Program for Christian Students fits perfectly into the mission of the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and the broader mission of Yeshiva University – which is focused on a commitment to using the tools of the academy to enhance understanding of Jewish religious and cultural heritage,” said Revel Dean Daniel Rynhold.’

“Christian students will hopefully gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Hebraic roots of Christianity, which would be helpful to emerging religious and cultural leaders as well as encourage further understanding and cooperation between faiths,” he continued. “It will also break down barriers and promote dialogue between Jews and Christians, as we witness people from different faiths sitting with each other, learning about each other’s faiths, and recognizing their common humanity.”

This year’s “pilot class” of eight Christian graduate students, who come from a mix of evangelical, Pentecostal, and Baptist backgrounds, began with Hebrew Bible courses this summer. Five students are studying remotely, and three plan to be on campus in New York beginning in the fall semester. The students are from California, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, and even Mozambique. Two-thirds of the $35,000 cost is being subsidized jointly by YU and Philos.

“This is, in a lot of ways, an experiment,” said Robert Nicholson, president and founder of the Philos Project. “Can Christians and Orthodox Jews study together? Does it even work?”

He added, “Just the mere fact of forging a partnership with an Orthodox institution, to me, is a way of moving the ball down the field in Jewish-Christian relations.”

Yeshiva University is a private Orthodox Jewish university with four campuses in New York City. YU offers a dual curriculum combining academic education with the study of the Torah. It is an independent institution chartered by New York State and is accredited by several professional agencies. 

In March, Yeshiva University launched a Hebraic studies program specifically designed for Christians in cooperation with Philos Project. 

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