Union College is excited to welcome Pierre Steenberg as an assistant professor of religion. Steenberg joins us from the Central California Conference where he has served as ministerial and evangelism director.
With Steenberg, Union gets two doctorates in one package: a D.Min. in pastoral psychology and family therapy and a Ph.D. in New Testament studies. “I love to study and to teach about the mindset of the people in the New Testament,” he said. “How they thought, how their culture and society worked, how they understood scripture, and how we can make sense of Jesus’ stories.”
Though born in Michigan while his father attended Andrews University, Steenberg’s Afrikaans accent betrays his South African upbringing. “Between the ages of 10 and 12, I felt a strong calling to become a pastor, and after high school I attended Helderberg College,” he said. “I graduated with a bachelors in theology, then worked in the chaplain’s office at the South African Air Force headquarters for my compulsory service year. I also did aerial photography for the Air Force, so I flew quite a bit. Thereafter I started pastoring. I pastored for just shy of ten years in South Africa before moving to California.”
After a series of signs indicating God’s leading, Steenberg came to California where he pastored the Hollister Seventh-day Adventist Church for 11 years. He then served as vice president of personnel and human resources for the Central California Conference before becoming ministerial and evangelism director.
Family life is one of the many topics Steenberg is passionate about, with three of the six books he’s published over the last decade dedicated to marriage and parenting. His enthusiasm for the subject springs from his own personal life. “I have the most awesome wife on the face of the earth,” said Steenberg. “Karlien is my life. We have two boys: one is a high school teacher at Armona Union Academy and the other is a senior at Andrews University.”
In his spare time, Steenberg loves photography, particularly landscape and wildlife, and he has co-taught workshops to share his craft. “I’m photography crazy,” he said. “I’m one of those people who will stand in the bitter snow waiting for two hours for the light to change, and when it doesn’t, I’ll come back tomorrow and try again. I travel all over to take photographs.”
by Annika Cambigue