Every year the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies offers graduate-level courses through Columbia International University in Columbia, SC. Most classes are one-week intensives offered on campus in January and throughout July, some are available online year-round, and a few are offered on-campus during the regular semester. All intensive courses may be taken as a seminar (non-credit) for only $250.
Students can pursue the degree without moving to Columbia, South Carolina. This program can be completed fully online. Click here to learn more.
We have two programs:
Program I [60 semester hours]- for college or university graduates with no previous studies in Bible or theology. Program I students can complete the M.A. (Muslim Studies) program in 40 months. Students would need to complete 15 one-week intensives to meet residence requirements. We offer six intensives a year two in January and four in July.
Program II [30 semester hours]- "fast-track" for those who have at least 30 semester hours of college credit in Bible, theology or church history. Program II students can complete the M.A. (Muslim Studies) in as little as one year. Students would need to complete 5 one-week intensives to meet residence requirements. We offer six intensives a year two in January and four in July.
This degree prepares students for roles such as field missionary, international development worker, campus ministry among Muslim students, or international business in Muslim contexts. For those interested in working in the market place, since 9/11 the government, as well as NGO’s, are looking for experts in this area. Go to an online job search and type in “Muslim Studies”or “Islam” and watch the results.
"The Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies is a beautiful and strategic combination of crucial research and actual teaching. Would that more institutes like this studded the world of missions. They are a must."
- Ralph D.Winter
General Director, Frontier Mission Fellowship
"I spent eight years in a country in which resides a large population Muslims. I have had plenty of exposure to Islam through various documentaries, lectures, books and interaction with Muslims. However, it was not until I came to the Zwemer Center that I realized how little I know about Islam. The professors have a wealth of knowledge about Islam because of their experiences among Muslims and their obvious depth of academic study about Islam. I am impressed with this CIU program."
Named after Samuel Zwemer, "Apostle to Islam," the center was launched in 1979 and over the years has offered in-depth courses in Islam, produced papers, fostered dialogues and facilitated research on pertinent topics, earning an esteemed position in Christian mission circles. This is the place where Christian scholars, field missionaries and missionaries-in-training can access the most comprehensive information on Islam and Muslim-Christian relations available.
The uniqueness of the M.A. (Muslim Studies) is the experienced and diverse faculty. We have over ten contributing faculty in this program. Each of the faculty is academically and experientially qualified experts in their fields of study. Visiting faculty from around the world include: Dr. Phil Parshall, Dr. Nabeel Jabbour, Dr. Patrick Lai, Dr. Don McCurry, Dr. Peter Riddell, Dr. Gordon Nickel and Dr. Cynthia Strong. Resident faculty include Dr. Warren Larson (Director of the Zwemer Center) and Dr. David Cashin.
The program is designed to provide graduates with the skills necessary for successful work among Muslims. This program provides you with a focused knowledge of the tools and techniques needed to analyze the theology, traditions, and worldview of Islam. Courses are in depth analysis of Islamic History/Culture, Islamic Theology/Philosophy, Mission Strategy and business matters for the Muslim World. Although courses analyze Theology and Philosophy of Islam, the emphasis is on Muslim peoples.
Many of our students will be working in Muslim contexts and often ask if having a degree in Muslim Studies will hinder their entry into creative access countries. Nowhere on your degree will the term “Muslim Studies” appear. Your transcript is the only document that will reflect the concentration in Muslim Studies.