The Caspari Center, JerusalemBy Rev. Torkild Masvie, CEO, Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies, Jerusalem
From 2005, Caspari Center is a new agency member of LCJE. Torkild Masvie presents its work in this article.
The Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies Ė Jerusalem is a leading educational ministry, established in Israel in 1982 to provide quality theological education and publications for the Messianic movement in Israel as well as for the church at large.
Today Caspari Centerís main branch continues to be located in downtown Jerusalem, where the focus is on programs for Israeli believers. In 2002, a US branch was established near Chicago with the goal of developing programs for churches in North America. A third, as yet unofficial, branch is the research team in Oslo, Norway, with its state sponsored PhD program involved in pioneering research on the history of Jewish believers in Jesus (in cooperation with the Lutheran School of Theology in Oslo).
The Caspari Center serves the Israeli Messianic community with programs designed to help the next generation in the Messianic congregations. Currently the programs include educational conferences for Sabbath school teachers (130 participants at each of 2 conferences in 2004) and leadership training programs (26 part time students in 2004-2005), as well as educational multi-lingual materials written especially for the Israeli Messianic community. The scholarly library in Jerusalem serves both the local community of believers and scholars, and includes several unique collections such as a collection of Israeli Messianic publications.
Some of the materials developed by Caspari Center have received international recognition. Educational books by Dr. Oskar Skarsaune have been published by IVP under the name In the Shadow of the Temple, which is today being used in credit programs around the world as well as being recommended by Israeli academics. The 1000-page first volume of The History of Jewish Believers in Jesus (covering Antiquity) will be published in late 2005 by Hendrickson Publishers.
The Caspari Center also publishes Mishkan, the only international academic journal on Jewish evangelism and related issues. Approximately twice a month the center produces a media review covering what the Israeli media says about Messianic Jews, mission and the church. The review is sent out free of charge by email; you can subscribe at the Media Review section of our web site, www.caspari.com
Caspari Centerís international executive board is elected by the different Jewish mission organizations that help fund the center. An Israeli board in charge of local programs is elected by Israeli Messianic partner organizations. The center works under the auspices of the Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel, the founder of the first Caspari Center in Jerusalem and the organization that still provides the legal covering for our work in Israel. The center in Jerusalem is led by Lisa Loden and the US branch by Kathi Graham. The current CEO is stepping down at the end of 2005, and will be succeeded by Steve Engstrom.