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Esther Knott Transition
Esther R. Knott, part time NAD Ministerial associate and associate pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Adventist Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan has accepted the invitation to serve full time as NAD Ministerial associate director and the new InMinistry Center director, and will focus on continuing education through graduate studies and training, and professional growth for pastors.
Dan Jackson, NAD President, said the division Administrative Committee voted on May 8 to ask Esther R. Knott, associate pastor of Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University, to join the Ministerial department full time. According to Ivan Williams, NAD Ministerial Director,  Knott is already a well-known part of the Ministerial department team, having served part-time as associate director since 2009. Her focus has been on initiating division-wide special projects and providing support and professional development to more than 100 Adventist women clergy employed in various capacities across the Division.
Williams said that in the new full-time position, Knott will transition into different responsibilities. She will direct the division’s efforts to support local conferences in building a comprehensive, sustainable continuing education system for pastors, with similar standing and expectations that are required of professionals in other fields.
Williams said Knott will also direct the  Division’s InMinistry Center, a joint program with the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews that provides field-based master’s level programs to practicing pastors. In this latter position, she replaces Walton Williams, who has held this position since 2001 and is retiring this summer. As an employee of the Division, Knott, like her predecessor, will be based at the Seminary and serve as the Division liaison with the Seminary in developing and running these programs.
“Esther Knott is a connector,” Ivan Williams said. “She is a change agent. She has proven that she has a special administrative talent as a pastor to bring people together to develop new ideas and new ways of doing things. She also has a passion for continuing training and education. All of these skills are exactly what we need for the portfolio of responsibility we have for this position in NAD Ministerial. Her talents will be an especially important part of our team as we look forward to the first ever division-wide ministerial convention that will be held in Austin, Texas in 2015.”
Williams said that Knott has been developing a broad perspective of the needs of pastoral development for many years. Among other responsibilities beyond her congregation, she has been a very active member of the Michigan Conference Executive for 15 years. She serves on the re-organized NAD Board of Ministerial and Theological Education and is a member of the General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee.
Knott has been a pastor for more than 28 years. She has served as campus chaplain at Broadview Academy and Andrews University. From 1987 to 1990 she was the director of the NAD Education department’s Harvest 90 Education Project, where she developed a curriculum for teachers to use in educating Adventist K-12 students about early Adventist leaders and the history of Adventism.  From 1990 to 1997 she was associate pastor at Sligo Church in Takoma Park, Md.
In 1997 Knott joined the staff at Pioneer Memorial Church at Andrews University, where for the last 16 years she has focused on congregational nurture, discipleship, small groups, personal evangelism and community engagement. This year, she and Dwight Nelson, senior pastor, along with the staff,  launched a major initiative to move Pioneer into a strong small group model for intentional discipleship. In the first semester of the program, more than 800 members were involved weekly in small groups. “We as a university congregation have been especially blessed with Esther’s creative leadership,” Nelson said. “Her passion for ministry and soul-winning and her devotion to God have kept her on the cutting edge of pastoring, and I know she will significantly impact the new team she is joining. We will miss her!” Working with a team from Pioneer and AdventSource,  Knott was a lead developer of Contagious Adventist, a new seminar that helps Adventists learn to recognize and create contagious Adventist moments where they can naturally introduce specific Adventist teachings to other Christians. Knott has also been very active in developing strong relationships with various organizations and agencies and leaders in the surrounding community through her involvement with Rotary, Big Brothers/Sisters, and Christian Worlds Services’ CROP Hunger Walk.
Knott holds a BA in religion and a MA in religious education from Andrews University. She is married to Ronald Alan Knott, who is director of Andrews University Press, the Adventist Church’s only regularly established academic publishing house, and the publisher of the Andrews Study Bible. The Knotts have one daughter, Olivia, a junior religion and communication major at Andrews University.
Knott will begin her new responsibilities with the North American Division on July 21.