Educating Servant Leaders for Ministry
St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva
An Association of St. Petersburg Theological Seminary and Netzer David International Yeshiva


Cantorial Arts Program

The Cantorial Arts program provides the opportunity for aspiring cantors to be trained, or for any singer already in service to increase his or her skills to become a professionally certified cantor.

A student in the program will:

  • Study as part of an online class environment with a highly experienced, professionally certified cantor
    and teacher.
  • Master the chanting of Torah, Haftarah, Megilot and Brit Chadasha (the Newer Testament).
  • Expand their knowledge of prayers sung for Shabbat, holidays and festivals.
  • Become a skilled officiant at life cycle events.
  • Deepen their knowledge and experience with Jewish musical traditions, liturgy and history.

Graduates will be equipped to incorporate Jewish tradition with the Renewed Covenant, in a way that will exalt Yeshua the Messiah within the service.

PREREQUISITES: The following are the prerequisites for students who wish to enter the program:

  1. 1.An above average singing voice, along with the ability to learn melody lines of written music, whether by sight singing or playing an instrument.
  2. 2.Ability to read basic Hebrew with vowel markings.

Applicants will be asked to submit a digital recording of their singing for approval, prior to being accepted into the program.


  1. 1.Prospective students for the Cantorial Arts program will follow the regular enrollment procedures of the Seminary and Yeshiva and download required forms from the Prospective Students page on the website (
  2. 2.Since the instructor lives in Israel, the program will be taught via WebEx, on a schedule to be determined by the instructor in consultation with students.
  3. 3.The program will be taught in six 8-week sessions with two courses in each session, over two academic years. The starting date is during the fall term of 2016.
  4. 4.The program may be taken for a Certificate in Cantorial Arts of 28 credit hours, at the Certificate tuition rate. (See the Course Registration Form, downloadable from the Seminary and Yeshiva website.)
  5. 5.The program may also be taken as a major area of concentration in the Master of Arts in Judaic Studies degree program, as the elective hours for that degree, at the graduate tuition rate. (See the Catalog under Academics on the website.)
  6. 6.In addition to the specific Cantorial Arts courses (24 credits), the certificate program requires students to take:
    1. 1.CJS 3/5313 Tanakh: The Beginnings of the Jewish People (2 credits), and
    2. 2.CJS 3/5323 The Apostolic Writings: The Early Messianic Jewish Community (2 credits).

These are available by either audio or video. The Tanakh course should be started during the first 8-week session of the Cantorial Arts program, followed later by the second course, Apostolic Writings.


NOTE 1: Students who do not wish to pursue a Certificate may enroll to take specific courses from among those listed below, especially the various scripture chanting courses and the ones that do not require singing (as opposed to repertoire and life cycle courses). These courses do not require an “above average singing voice,” only a musical ear.


NOTE 2: Students who do not wish to pursue a Certificate may also request to enroll as auditors with permission from the instructor. They would have to do the work assignments but would not receive academic credit for degree programs.


      Students will:

  • Be able to discern how to incorporate musical ideas into their own work.
  • Experience teaching the congregation during a service and include new melodies in the musical variety of the services.
  • Incorporate chanting Torah, Haftarah, Megilot and Brit Chadasha in public and sing the various musical components of the Shabbat service in a manner befitting a professional cantor.
  • Officiate at Jewish life cycle events.


The following courses will be taught two at a time, in the order in which they are listed, in six 8-week sessions, covering two academic years. Each course will meet for 2 hours per week, for a total of 16 hours per course over the 8 weeks.

  • In the first 8-week session courses 1 & 2 will be taught from mid-October through mid-December of the fall semester of year one of the program.
  • Session 2 (courses 3 & 4) and session 3 (courses 5 & 6) will be taught during the spring semester of year one.
  • Session 4 (courses 7 & 8) will be taught in the fall semester of year two of the program.
  • Session 5 (courses 9 & 10) and session 6 (courses 11 & 12) will be taught during the spring semester of year two.
  • The two courses, CJS 3/5313 Tanakh: The Beginnings of the Jewish People, and CJS 3/5323 The Apostolic Writings: The Early Messianic Jewish Community, will be taken as distance courses at the beginning of and during the student’s participation in the Cantorial program.


 (1) PSM 3/5112     The Art of Chanting Torah                                                       2 credits

 (2) PSM 3/5122     Jewish Literacy                                                                        2 credits

 (3) PSM 3/5212     The Art of Chanting the Haftarah                                            2 credits

 (4) PSM 3/5222     What is Jewish Liturgical Music?                                             2 credits

 (5) PSM 3/5312     Shabbat Evening Repertoire                                                    2 credits

 (6) PSM 3/5322     Liturgy – Understanding the Siddur and Synagogue Worship 2 credits

 (7) PSM 4/6112     Shabbat Repertoire                                                                 2 credits

 (8) PSM 4/6122     The Art of Chanting Brit Chadasha                                          2 credits

 (9) PSM 4/6212     The Art of Chanting Megillot                                                    2 credits

 (10) PSM 4/6222   High Holiday Repertoire                                                          2 credits

 (11) PSM 4/6312   Life Cycle Rituals and Music                                                    2 credits

 (12) PSM 4/6933   Directed Research: Applies Skills Project                              2 credits


Cantor Rivka Isachar-Benjamin, who currently lives in Israel, spent over 30 years in the US, studying, teaching, singing leading roles, recitals and concerts with major opera companies and orchestras, and serving as a cantor.

She received her Bachelor of Music Cum Laude from Northern Illinois University and Master of Music with highest distinction at The New England Conservatory of Music. Rivka received Certification as a Cantor from Hebrew Union College/School of Sacred Music in NYC.

She served as cantor at a number of synagogues in the northeast and in Virginia, and at Tikvat Israel Messianic synagogue in Richmond Virginia. She currently serves as Cantor of Adonai Shamah Messianic Congregation in Israel, performs in concerts, and teaches various subjects.



Every institution of learning recognizes that the most significant asset it has is that group of men and women who make up the faculty.  St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva is fortunate in having men and women of outstanding spiritual depth and professional ability to lead the students in their search for truth. Both full time and adjunct instructors designate open office hours to be available to students in order to mentor effectively in the fields to which they have been called.

Full Time Faculty

John Fischer, PhD, ThD, Professor of Judaic Studies, Vice President of Academics and Director of the Netzer David International Yeshiva, Area Head of Judaic Studies. BJS (Judaic Studies), Spertus College of Judaica, BS (Bible, Christian Education), Philadelphia College of the Bible, MA (New Testament), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, MS (Communications), Temple U, PhD (Religion/Education), U of South Florida, ThD (Judaic Studies), California Graduate School of Theology.  AOS: Judaic Studies, New Testament, Apologetics, Hermeneutics.

Patrice Fischer, DMin, Professor of Hebrew Scripture and Area Head of Biblical and Theological Studies.   BS (Radio/TV/Film), Northwestern U, MA (Missions, Evangelism), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, MA (Linguistics), U of South Florida,  DMin (Judiac Studies), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary ,  PhD Candidate, U of South Florida.  AOS: Hebrew, Old Testament, Biblical Historical Geography.

John Guedes, PhD, Professor of Bible, Professor of New Testament Greek, President  and Director of Undergraduate Studies, BA (NT Greek), Westmont College, BD (=MDiv) (Pastoral Ministry), Columbia Theological Seminary, MA (Christian Education), Presbyterian School of Christian Education, PhD (Humanities), Florida State U.  AOS: New Testament Greek, Old Testament Bible.

Amy Mormino Katsouris, PhD, Associate Professor of Missions, Registrar and Director of Student Services, Dean of the Virtual Campus (Distance Learning).  BA (History), New College, The Honors College of State of Florida, MDiv (Pastoral Ministry), Princeton Theological Seminary, PhD (World Christianity), New College at the U of Edinburgh.  AOS: Missions, American Church History, Homiletics.

George Pierce, PhD Professor of Missions, Evangelism and Student Ministry, Chancellor.  BA (History), Carlton College, MDiv (Theology), Virginia Theological Seminary, ThM, PhD (Intercultural Studies), Fuller Theological Seminary.  AOS: Missions, Evangelism, Leadership Development, New Testament Bible.

Thomas Tribelhorn, PhD, Professor of Judaic Studies, Professor of Education, Academic Dean, and Area Head of Professional Studies - Education.  BA (English Bible), Northeastern Bible College, MEd (Education), William Patterson U, MA (Judeo-Christian Studies), Institute of Holy Land Studies, (Israel), DMin (Judeo-Christian Studies), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, PhD (Judaic Studies), The Netzer David International Yeshiva (St. Petersburg Theological Seminary).  AOS: Judaic Studies, Old Testament, New Testament, Education.

Gloria Willcox, PhD, Professor of Counseling and Area Head of Professional Studies - Counseling.  BA (Religion), Stetson U of Religious Education, MA (Psychology), Tennessee Technological U, PhD (Psychology, Counseling), International College of Psychology. AOS: Counseling, Family Therapy.

Adjunct Faculty

Kimberly Ambrose, PhD, Associate Professor in Bible.  BRE (Biblical Studies) , MDiv (Pastoral)., St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, ThD (New Testament), California Christian U, PhD New Testament), U of Wales.  AOS: New Testament Bible.

Patrick Baskwell, ThD, Associate Professor in Theology.  BA (Religion), Washington Bible College, Honours  BTh (Theology), MTh (Theology), U of So. Africa, MA (Distance Education.), U of London, ThD (Theology), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.  AOS: Theology.

Cody Clark, EdD, Associate Professor of Sacred Music.  BA, Lagrange College, MA, U of South Florida, EdD, U of South Florida. AOS: Sacred Music, Drama.

Bobbie Cromartie, PhD, Professor of Education, BA (French), Florida A. & M. U, MA (French), Atlanta U, PhD (Curriculum and Supervision), U of Pittsburg.  AOS: Education.

Marion Dougherty, PhD, Director of Chaplaincy Program and Registrar Emeritus.  BS (Behavioral Psychology), William and Mary College, MA(Biblical Literature), Wheaton College, MA (Biblical Studies), Orlinda Childs Memorial School of Theology, MRE (Judaic Studies), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, PhD (Judaic Studies), California Graduate School of Theology, DMin (Pastoral Counseling), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary.   AOS: Chaplaincy Training.

David Friedman, PhD, Visiting Professor in Judaic Studies, BA (Theology), Valparaiso U, BS (English Education), MA (Arabic and Hebrew), U of Minnesota, PhD, California Graduate School of Theology.  AOS Hebrew, Judaic Studies, Bible.

Anabella Hoppe, DMin, Assistant Professor in Education.  BS (Finance, Mrketing), Utah State U, Master of Bilingual Education (Education), Southern Methodist U, MTh, (Theology) New Covenant U, Lake Worth, FL, DMin (Educational Leadership),  St. Petersburg Theological Seminary.  AOS: Education.

Carl Kinbar, Assistant Professor in Judaic Studies.  BA (Philosophy, English Literature), Queens College, MS (Jewish Studies), Spertus College, D. Litt. et Phil. U of South Africa.  AOS: Judaic Studies.

Paul King, PhD, Associate Professor of Mission and Evangelism.  BS (Missiology), Nyack College, MA (East Asian Studies), Cornell U, MPS (Theology), Alliance Theological Seminary, PhD (General Linguistics), Cornell U.  AOS: Missions, World Religions.

Linda Leckey, DMin, Assistant Professor in Judaic Studies. B.A., Florida State U, M.A. Instituto Technologico (Mexico); MRE., DMin., St. Petersburg Theological Seminary.  AOS: Judiaic Studies

Barbara Mazzei, M.A., Instructor in Judaic Studies, BRE (Biblical Studies), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, BA (Judaic Studies - Yeshiva), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, MA (Judaic Studies - Yeshiva), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary.  AOS: Judaic Studies, Women’s Studies.

Myron Miller, PhD, Professor of Theology and President Emeritus.  Diploma (Biblical Studies), Moody Bible Institute, BA, MA (Philosophy, Theology), Wheaton College, PhD (Philosophy), New York U, Graduate work in Philosophy at Cornell U, Postgraduate work in the History and Philosophy of Science at St. Johns U (The Queens) and the American U, Postgraduate work in Philosophy at Brown U.  AOS: Philosophical Theology, Apologetics, Christian Ethics.

Kevin Pittle, PhD, Visiting Professor in Judaic Studies.  BA, Florida State U,  MS, Florida State U, PhD, Florida State U.  AOS: Anthropology, Judaic Studies.

Michael Schiffman, DMin, Visiting Professor in Judaic Studies.  BA, Arizona State U, MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, DMin, Ashland Theological Seminary.  AOS: Judaic Studies, Old Testament.

Thomas Schultz, MA, Assistant Professor of Theology and Student Ministries.  BA( Philosophy), U of South Florida, MA (Historical Theology), Covenant Theological Seminary, MA (Philosophy), St. Louis U, DMin Candidate, St. Petersburg Theological Seminary.  AOS: Church History, Theology, Student Ministry.

Bruce Stokes,PhD, Assistant Professor in Judaic Studies.  BA, California State U at Dominguez Hills, MA, U of California at Riverside, PhD, U of California at Riverside.

Manuel Sykes, PhD Associate Professor of Religion. BA, Luther Rice Seminary, MDiv (Pastoral Ministry), Drew U Theological School, MA (Sociology of Religion), Drew U Graduate School, PhD (Sociology of Religion), Casperson School of Graduate Studies of Drew U, DMin, St. Petersburg Theological Seminary.  AOS: Pastoral Studies, Practical Theology.

Jenny Thielemann, DMin, Adjunct Instructor in Judaic Studies.  BS (Elementary Education), U of South Florida, MA (Judaic Studies), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, DMin (Judiac Studies), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary.  AOS: Judiac Studies.

George M. Williams, DMin, Adjunct Instructor in Counseling.  BE (Education), Eastern New Mexico U, MA (Counseling), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, DMin (Counseling), St. Petersburg Theological Seminary. AOS: Counseling.

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