MRel Core Modules

The MRel in MENA Studies is organized into modules rather than courses, allowing for more effective multidisciplinary enquiry and learning. Each module focuses on providing a strong theoretical understanding of the region and the issues that it faces, combined with an emphasis on developing applied skills needed to work in the region and among MENA communities worldwide. It is based upon a strong theological and Biblical framework in that each module will weave scripture and theology into its theory and practice. No module is a prerequisite for another and you may enter the program at any time, bearing in mind that each module is offered every 2 years.

The four core instructional modules include:

MENA Islam (12 credits)

MENA Islam seeks to develop within students a coherent knowledge of the rise of Islam and its development up to the present time, the ability to read Islamic texts with greater sympathy and critical awareness, an appreciation for the wide diversity among Muslims, and a comprehension of the various Muslim responses to modernity and western penetration of the Muslim world. This course also explores the diversity of responses by Christians to Muslims and Islam and the ways Christian thinkers have articulated their understanding of Christian witness.

Practical Training:

    • Frameworks to understand Christian-Muslim dialogue
    • Strategies for Christian-Muslim dialogue
    • Peace-building and conflict transformation strategies

Theological Focus: Exploring Christian theologies of Islam and Christ-centered witness

Faculty:

    • Colin Chapman, Lead Faculty
    • Martin Accad, Support Faculty
    • Arthur Brown, Holistic Formation Faculty

MENA History, Politics and Economics (12 credits)

MENA History, Politics and Economics seeks to develop an inter‐disciplinary understanding of the historical, political and economic dynamics that have shaped the contemporary Middle East and North Africa. This course looks at the formative historical developments of the modern era, major macroeconomic issues at present, and the complexities of regional poverty. It seeks also to explore the manner by which such realities intersect with the idea of the Kingdom of God, as a lens through which to understand and engage with the contemporary MENA.

Practical Training:

    • Contextual analysis
    • Needs assessment and problem analysis
    • Project design (developing the logic for change)
    • Peace-building frameworks and strategies

Theological Focus: Working towards God’s Kingdom in the MENA context

Faculty:

    • Rupen Das, Lead Faculty
    • Jesse Wheeler, Support Instructor
    • Elias Ghazal, Holistic Formation Instructor

MENA Cultures (12 credits)

MENA Cultures seeks to develop an understanding of and appreciation for the important elements and diversity of MENA cultures, the ability to draw critically upon the literature and practices of the social sciences and theology in thinking about culture and religion, (including trends analysis, cultural hermeneutics, and anthropological research and reporting), as well as to reflect critically upon the cultural implications of Christian ministry and work within the MENA context.

Practical Training:

    • Cultural exegesis
    • Ethnographic fieldwork skills
    • Culturally appropriate theological frameworks for ministry
    • Personal intercultural skills through observing and experiencing Middle Eastern culture

Theological Focus: Thinking missiologically about culture, identity and faith in a pluralistic region

Faculty:

    • Richard McCallum, Lead Faculty
    • Kathryn Kraft, Support Faculty
    • Robert Hamd, Holistic Formation Faculty

MENA Christianity (12 credits)

MENA Christianity seeks to develop within students a deep appreciation for and command of the thinking and practice of the Christian East, its traditions, history, and creeds, as well as its unity and division, and a passionate desire to engage and interact positively, creatively, and in mutual trust, with the Christians of the MENA region – to the point that they are able to communicate together a common passion for Jesus that leads to cooperative witness in the MENA region.

Practical Training:

    • The ability to articulate Christian doctrine using a contextually-appropriate contemporary idiom within the broad lines of historical orthodoxy
    • Approaches and skills for Christian-Christian relations
    • The ability to develop strategies for inter-church cooperation
    • Peace-building and conflict transformation strategies

Theological Focus: Thinking historically about Christian doctrine and practice in and beyond the Middle East

Faculty:

    • Martin Accad, Lead Faculty
    • Mike Kuhn, Support Faculty
    • Fr. Elia Khalifeh, Holistic Formation Faculty

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