Joel Soza

Joel SozaEducation

  • D.Th. (2005) in Old Testament through the University of South Africa (with resident studies in Durham, England in 1994-1995).
  • M.A. with Honors in New Testament, Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio (1989-1994). 
  • M.A. with Honors in Old Testament, Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio (1989-1993).
  • 13 completed courses for ordination in the Ohio District Council of the Assemblies of God through Berean Bible College (A/G) (1985-1994).
  • B.S., Business Administration, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio (1979-1984).


Joel Soza is Professor of Biblical Studies and has been teaching full-time at Malone since 1998. He also pastors the Church of New Hope in Stow.

He was a chaplain with the United States Navy Reserve, where he earned his commission in 1991. He held assignments with the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard. He was honorably discharged from the Chaplain Corps in 2004 after earning National Defense Ribbons for both Operation Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom.

He graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a B.S.B.A. in 1984 while simultaneously earning an honorable discharge from the enlisted ranks (combat arms) of the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He earned two Master of Arts degrees (both Cum Laude) from Ashland Theological Seminary: the first in Old Testament in 1993, and the second in New Testament in 1994. He also studied at the University of Durham in England in 1994-1995 in the field of Old Testament theology, and ultimately earned his Doctor of Theology in Old Testament from the University of South Africa in 2005.

Dr. Soza was ordained to the ministry through the Ohio District Council of the Assemblies of God in 1994 and still maintains his credentials. He has served the Church as a senior pastor, associate/assistant pastor, youth pastor, Christian education pastor, preacher, and evangelist. He also is a musician and has written, performed, recorded, and produced 14 original worship songs, as well as released a single entitled, "Your Perfect Rest."

Recent Scholarly Work

Dr. Soza has published four academic articles for Inter-Varsity Press (IVP) reference works. A first article entitled "Jeremiah," and a second entitled "Lamentations" were written for the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology and were published in 2000. Two other articles were written for IVP's Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (TDOT) series. The first of these, published in 2003, was entitled "Repentance," and went to market in the TDOT: Pentateuch volume. The second of these, "Jeroboam," went to press in the TDOT: Historical Books volume in the fall of 2005. He contributed the devotional commentary notes on the Books of Jeremiah and Lamentations for the Abingdon's Press Wesley Study Bible released in January of 2009. He also published through Wipf and Stock a trade book entitled Food and God: A Theological Approach to Eating, Diet, and Weight Control in May of 2009. He has since published numerous book reviews for Church Health Reader magazine on topics related to food and theology. He has also published an article entitled 'Linking the Woman at Strength of Proverbs and Ruth in the Leningrad Codex' for the 2013 edition of the Ashland Theological Journal, as well as an article entitled 'Lilith' for the Lexham Bible Dictionary in 2015. His most recently published book is  Lucifer, Leviathan, Lilith and other Mysterious Creatures of the Bible.

Dr. Soza is an active member in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Evangelical Theological Society, and the Society of Pentecostal Studies..

Teaching Assignments

  • Bible
  • The Spirituality and Ethics of Food and Eating
  • Hebrew
  • The Historical Books of the Old Testament
  • Pentateuch
  • Prophets
  • Jeremiah
  • Pastoral Ministries
  • Theology of the Old Testament


Joel Soza's personal interests include physical fitness, outdoor/recreational activities, gardening, music, and general reading in a broad array of subjects. He and his wife Migdalia have been married since 1989, and are the parents of Joseph and Shari. They live in Louisville.