RCH mourns for Professor Ferenc Szűcs

Ferenc Szűcs, reformed pastor, retired professor of Systematic Theology, former Rector of the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary passed away at the age of 79 years. He returned to his Creator in the early morning on 23 November.

Szűcs Ferenc

Ferenc Szucs was born in 1942 in Őrszentmiklós (in village near Budapest, today called Őrbottyán). He graduated from high school in Vác and studied at the Reformed Theological Academy in Budapest between 1960 and 1965. He passed his ordination exams in 1966 with excellent results.

He served as an assistant pastor in Fót, as an associate pastor in Érdliget and Pomáz. In 1974 he was the elected as pastor of the Pomáz-Csobánkai Reformed congregation where he served over a decade. He started his teaching career at the Theological Academy in Budapest (today the Theological Faculty of the Károli Gáspár University of RCH) as a lecturer in 1980. He than was appointed as head of the Department of Systematic Theology in 1986. He also served as a Dean from 1986 to 1988. He was elected Vice-Rector in 2004, later Rector of the University in 2008.

He earned his PHD degree in Systematic Theology in 1985 with a theses on the “Interpretation of the ‘Imago Dei’ in the theology of Karl Barth and his successors”. He was appointed to university professor in 1999. Professor Szűcs in Edinburgh, at the Princeton Theological Seminary, and worked as a research fellow at the University of Bern. He was a visiting professor at several international Universities, he thought generations of pastors Systematic Theology.

Using the method of a good teacher, he did not want to examine his students, but to orient and direct them to theological works and considerations, and introducing them the realm of contemporary theological thinking and habitus.

- praised him Bishop István Bogárdi Szabó, his former student.

Professor Szűcs served his Chuch in various capacities. He was the theological consultant of the Danubian Reformed Church District for twelve years, he served first as general secretary, later as president of the College of Doctors. Between 1992 and 1996, and 2003 and 2009 he was chair of the Theological Committee of the General Synod. He supported the establishment of the Reformed University Chaplaincy in the years after the political changes. He served for long years as the head of the Doctoral School of the University.

He published a series of books and articles and played an important role in the international theological arena. Among others he was founding member of the International Reformed Theological Institute (IRTI).

His work was recognized with the Károli Gáspár Prize in 2001. He received the Honorary doctorate from the Protestant Theological Institute of Cluj-Napoca in 2003.