Near East School of Theology Announces Eleventh President

Near East School of Theology Announces Eleventh President

Dr. Martin Accad Elected as Eleventh President of the Near East School of Theology

Beirut, Lebanon – May 29, 2024 – The Near East School of Theology (NEST) is pleased to announce the election of Dr. Martin Accad as its eleventh president, effective September 1, 2024. Dr. Accad brings a wealth of experience in theological education, interfaith dialogue, and leadership within the academic and socioreligious communities.

Dr. Accad succeeds Dr. George Sabra, who has led the institution with distinction for over a decade. The NEST community expresses its deepest gratitude for his dedicated service and faithful leadership.

Dr. Martin Accad is a distinguished scholar with a deep commitment to theological education and interfaith understanding. He received his Ph.D. in Islam and the History of Christian-Muslim Relations from the University of Oxford in 2001. He served as Chief Academic Officer at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon from 2001 to 2020, where he also founded and directed the Institute of Middle East Studies. In 2020, he launched a public theology initiative by establishing the independent research center, Action Research Associates (ARA). ARA focuses on dealing with the past through the facilitation of social and political change and the multiple narrative study of Lebanon’s civil war history for the purpose of reconciliation through the project “Truth and Reconciliation Lebanon”. He serves on the faculties of the ABTS, Fuller Theological Seminary (USA), and NEST. He has authored over 20 academic journal articles, edited several volumes in his field, and is the author of Sacred Misinterpretation: Reaching across the Christian-Muslim Divide (Eerdmans, 2019). Dr. Accad is a regular blogger on Islam, Christian-Muslim dialogue, and current affairs. He is married to Nadia Khouri and they have two children, Mia and Alexandre.

Dr. Accad’s appointment marks a new chapter in NEST’s distinguished history. His vision for the future includes strengthening the institution’s academic excellence, expanding its reach and impact in the region, and fostering deeper interfaith and intercultural dialogue. Under his leadership, NEST aims to build on its legacy as a premier institution for theological education in the Near East.

In accepting the presidency of NEST, Dr. Accad stated: “I am very excited about the vast possibilities afforded by this new role. The NEST is an outstanding institution of higher learning, reaching back over 92 years of history since its founding in 1932 in Lebanon, and deeply rooted in the socio-political fabric of the country through a vibrant presence at the heart of Beirut’s Hamra district. I look forward to a renewed Christian witness, collaborating with God’s people here and everywhere, with the diverse communities of Lebanon, with the brilliant universities in our neighborhood, and with the change-makers of civil society that make Lebanon into what it is: a chaotic force for change in the face of impossible odds, a unique gem waiting to be reborn.”

The Near East School of Theology is an interdenominational Protestant theological seminary located in Beirut, Lebanon. It serves churches and communities in the Middle East by providing high-quality theological education and training for ministry. NEST is committed to fostering a spirit of pastoral and theological formation, Christian education, ecumenism, dialogue, and faithful engagement with the pressing issues of the region.