The Master’s Seminary has appointed Dr. Michael Riccardi (Ph.D., The Master’s Seminary) as Assistant Professor of Theology. Dr. Riccardi will join the Theology Department as a full-time faculty member after serving as adjunct faculty for the past ten years. He will teach Theology III, which focuses on the doctrines of man, sin, and salvation; Theology II, which covers Christology and Pneumatology; and Apologetics and Evangelism, which he has taught for the last decade while serving as the outreach pastor at Grace Community Church. In addition, he will teach electives primarily in the field of soteriology.
Born and raised in Central New Jersey, Mike professed faith in Christ at a young age but did not live a life in obedience to Him. At age 15, on an extended family vacation, Mike was confronted with God’s goodness, beauty, and blessings in a fresh way that made him reflect on how his life was not a fitting response to God’s kindness. On that trip, God’s kindness led him to repentance (Romans 2:4) and he returned from that trip with an earnest desire to read the Scriptures and commit to his local church.
At church, Mike met his wife, Janna, when they were both 13 years old, and they became friends during high school. They began pursuing one another during college and married in 2008, shortly after graduation. Both Mike and Janna attended Rutgers University, where he earned a B.A. in Italian and a Master of Education in Foreign Language. He went on to teach Italian at the Middle School level in Central New Jersey, and soon after Mike and Janna moved to Los Angeles so that Mike could attend The Master’s Seminary.
Through the latter stages of his undergraduate days, Mike was increasingly gripped by a constraining desire to preach the Word and shepherd the flock. The elders of his church affirmed his desire, character, and gifting, and agreed that he should pursue seminary training. As a beneficiary of the ministry of John MacArthur, Mike considered TMS from the beginning. He desired to handle the Word of God with the same care and precision as Dr. MacArthur. Dr. MacArthur’s example of a ministry founded completely on the exposition of Scripture led the Riccardis to TMS in August of 2009.
After completing his Master of Divinity degree in the summer of 2012, Mike continued his TMS education with a Th.M. in 2015 and a Ph.D. in 2021. For his dissertation, Dr. Riccardi offered a critical evaluation the multiple intentions view of the atonement, arguing that a recent proposal to chart a middle way between universal and particular redemption did not do justice to the biblical testimony concerning the extent of the atonement in Christ. Dr. Riccardi argued that classic particularism, as captured by John Owen in his famous work The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, best accounts for what the Bible teaches about the nature, purpose, and extent of the atonement.
To date, Dr. Riccardi has published two small books: Sanctification: The Christian’s Pursuit of God-Given Holiness and The Forest and the Trees: The Story of Scripture and Biblical Interpretation. He also contributed significantly to Biblical Doctrine and has published articles with The Master’s Seminary Journal, Credo Magazine, and the Banner of Truth, among others.
“I am deeply grateful for Dr. Riccardi on both a personal and professional level,” said Dr. Nathan Busenitz, Executive Vice President at TMS. “Personally, I have known Mike for many years, and greatly benefited from his friendship. Professionally, Mike possesses a level of theological precision and academic aptitude that will greatly serve our school.”
Dr. Riccardi and his wife have three children. For the past nine years, he and Phil Johnson have co-pastored the Grace Life fellowship group at Grace Community Church.