Dr. Jerry Rankin has been named the new director of The Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies at Columbia International University effective May 6. Rankin recently retired after 40 years of service with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB), the last 17 years as president. Prior to becoming president of the IMB, Dr. Rankin and his wife Bobbye served for 23 years in Asia, initially as missionaries in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world.
The Zwemer Center offers a curriculum on Muslim Studies, including a master’s degree, and sponsors research, seminars, dialogues and training conferences.
While continuing to live at his home in Mississippi, Rankin will give direction to planning, administration and implementation of the growing Muslim Studies program at CIU under the auspices of the Zwemer Center.
Dr. Mike Barnett, the associate dean of the College of Intercultural Studies at CIU says Rankin brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the area of Muslim Studies.
“Dr. Rankin’s decades of service with the IMB are invaluable as we look to the future at the Zwemer Center and consider new venues for Muslim studies both inside CIU’s College of Intercultural Studies, and assisting the church outside the university,” Barnett said.
Rankin replaces Dr. Warren Larson who will retire in 2012. Larson will continue to serve The Zwemer Center and CIU through his teaching, writing, and blogging.