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The Master’s Seminary has appointed Dr. Philip Zhakevich as Assistant Professor of Old Testament. Starting this fall, Dr. Zhakevich will teach courses in Hebrew grammar and exegesis, along with Th.M. level classes in the Old Testament.  

Dr. Zhakevich comes to The Master’s Seminary from Princeton University, where he was a full-time faculty member for the past six years, teaching Modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew. He has also taught Hebrew at Columbia University and UCLA, his alma mater.  

After graduating from UCLA in 2006, Dr. Zhakevich studied Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From there, he pursued his Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and comparative Semitic languages at the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation examined the tools an Israelite scribe used to faithfully transcribe the text of Scripture. 

Dr. Zhakevich was raised at Grace Community Church, alongside his brothers Mark and Joseph, who are both full-time faculty members at The Master’s Seminary. In the 8th grade, Phillip became convicted of his sin and his need for a Savior. He repented, submitted his life to Christ, and began to use his love for music and his newfound desire to study the Bible in service of the church. 

As Dr. Zhakevich transitions from undergraduate teaching at Princeton to graduate level instruction at The Master’s Seminary, he is eager to teach students who will use what they learn in the classroom to preach in churches throughout the U.S. and the world. At TMS, he sees a place that emphasizes the highest quality of scholarship and each student’s spiritual development. That combination makes every class an experience that has eternal value.  

This appointment is also a homecoming for Dr. Zhakevich, as it brings him close to his family in Southern California—and allows him to attend Grace Community Church, which his family joined in 1990 as then recent immigrants from the former USSR. Having attended Grace Community Church since childhood, it was there that he first learned to love the Hebrew language and the Old Testament.  

Dr. Philip Zhakevich is a proven expert in both Biblical Hebrew and other Ancient Near Eastern languages” said Dr. Busenitz, Executive Vice President and Dean of Faculty at The Master’s Seminary. “His teaching experience at Columbia and Princeton illustrates his commitment to academic excellence at the highest level. More importantly, his desire to invest in future pastors at TMS evidences his love for the Lord, the Scriptures, and the church. We are thrilled to have him join our faculty, and eager to see how God will continue to use him in the years to come.” 

As Dr. Zhakevich joins the Old Testament faculty, Dr. Bryan Murphy will transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament department at The Master’s Seminary. Also this fall, Dr. Paul Twiss, currently part of the Bible Exposition department, will join Dr. Murphy as a full-time faculty member in the New Testament department. Below is a complete list of current TMS faculty, organized by department.