Southeastern University, an Assemblies of God institute based in Florida, is set to officially open a branch for ministerial studies in the capital later this month.
The five-story, 13,250-sq.-ft. structure is to be dedicated as the Jerusalem Studies Center on On March 24, 2009. Southeastern is reportedly paying $360,000 a year to lease the building, located near the Old City of Jerusalem. Starting in Spring 2009, ministerial students from Southeastern's BA program will be housed at the Center for one semester while they continue their studies, course work and research.
The Jerusalem Studies Center Program, under the auspices of Southeastern's College of Christian Ministries and Religion, offers "courses that cover ministerial studies, history, archeology, and current events," according to university promotional material. The College itself boasts of Southeastern's "seventy-year heritage of training pastors, missionaries and other church workers." In an online review of American colleges by CityTownInfo.com, Southeastern University's most common majors are listed as "theology and religious vocations, youth ministry, bible studies, missionary studies, pre-ministerial studies, pastoral counseling, religious music."
The lease for the facility was publicly presented by an apostate from Judaism who adopted Christianity, Attorney Calev Myers, at Southeastern University's 2008 commencement ceremony. In his commencement speech, according to Florida's The Ledger newspaper, Myers "focused more on the need he sees for further action to spread knowledge of Jesus. Southeastern graduates can help Israeli believers in Jesus by educating their congregations, praying for Israel and aligning themselves with Messianic Jewish congregations. ...He urged Jewish believers from around the world to relocate to Israel, as his family did when he was 18."
According to The Ledger report, Southeastern University students at the Jerusalem Studies Center will be invited to volunteer with Myers' Jerusalem Institute of Justice, which is billed as a legal aid organization for matters relating to religious minorities and immigration in Israel.
Israeli law bans missionary activities.