Westminster Seminary California (WSC) has announced two changes in its faculty line-up for the 2019-2020 academic year. Dr. A. Craig Troxel has accepted the appointment as Professor of Practical Theology, and Dr. J. V. Fesko has resigned from his position as Academic Dean and Vice President.
Because Dr. Troxel has served the Bethel OPC in Wheaton, IL, for more than a decade, the decision to accept the appointment was difficult for him as well as the congregation. But his church, children, and wider family have been supportive and encouraging.
“The number one attraction for me has been the men I will work with,” Dr. Troxel says, “I already know some members of the faculty as men I trust and love. I look forward to working alongside them. They will push me, and that’s exciting. This will be a new challenge, a new rhythm of life. It will mean no longer speaking tenderly to the flock, knowing the truth will wound, but presenting layer upon layer of grace and hope.”
It is this grace-filled preaching he desires to instill in prospective ministers, teaching them “to be zealous to bring Christ to people every Sunday” and (using a sports analogy) “to put serious wood on the ball and drive it hard, not swinging toward the fence.”
Dr. Fesko has accepted a full-time teaching position as Professor of Systematic Theology at the Jackson, MS, campus of Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS). Dr. Fesko will be missed at WSC, having served as Professor of Systemic and Historical Theology in addition to his roles as Dean and Vice President. Board Chairman Mr. Ron Prins expressed appreciation for Dr. Fesko’s work in facilitating the accreditation renewal process, stating in the Seminary’s press release that his “administrative gifts will have lasting value” for WSC into the future.
When asked about the reasons for his move, Dr. Fesko explains, “The simple answer is, the Lord is calling us to RTS. That being said, I’ve valued my labors as an administrator and professor here at WSC, but I’m looking forward to investing all of my efforts in teaching, writing, and being freed from administrative responsibilities.”
The position Dr. Troxel will fill was previously held by Dr. Dennis Johnson, who retired after the 2017-2018 academic year. During the search for a replacement, local pastors have taught courses as adjunct faculty.
In addition to 12 years at Bethel in Wheaton, Dr. Troxel pastored Calvary OPC in Glenside, PA, for 12 years. He received his Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. His teaching experience includes classes at Westminster and Mid-America Reformed Seminary as well as serving as a faculty member for the OPC’s Ministerial Training Institution for the last 16 years.
Dr. Fesko was ordained in the OPC and served as a church planter prior to pastoring the Geneva Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Marietta. GA. He received his Ph.D. from the King’s College at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 13 of the March 29, 2019, issue of Christian Renewal.