Ibrahim to lead Southern Seminary’s Jenkins Center

Communications Staff — July 7, 2015

Ayman S. Ibrahim, assistant professor of Islamic studies
Ayman S. Ibrahim, assistant professor of Islamic studies

An evangelical scholar of Islam with more than two decades of experience ministering in the Muslim world will lead the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ayman S. Ibrahim began his role July 1 as senior fellow for the Jenkins Center and assistant professor of Islamic studies in the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry.

“We are thrilled with the addition of Ayman Ibrahim to our faculty,” said Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. “He will be an incredible asset to our students, faculty, and the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam. His experience and scholarly credentials are without peer in the evangelical world. He is a man of great kindness and deep Christian conviction. At this crucial time with Islam in the headlines virtually every day and with the Great Commission on our hearts, Dr. Ibrahim is a most important and timely addition to this faculty of Christian scholars.”

A native of Cairo, Egypt, Ibrahim worked as an engineer for 10 years and had been preaching for 15 years before moving to the United States to pursue formal theological education. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy with an emphasis on Islamic studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he is currently pursuing a second doctorate from University of Haifa in Israel. Prior to his appointment at Southern, Ibrahim taught courses at Fuller, Southwestern, and Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut.

“I feel I am at home here,” Ibrahim said. “I believe in the uniqueness of our Christian faith and the supremacy of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Southern is serious about the gospel.”

“When I received a phone call from [Dean Adam W. Greenway], I felt it would be a real honor to be immersed in a theologically sound community that believes in the supremacy of Jesus and is willing to bring the good news to everyone near and far.”

Randy L. Stinson, provost and senior vice president for academic administration, said in a statement: “I could not be more excited to have Dr. Ibrahim join the already stellar faculty at Southern Seminary. He is not only a recognized expert on Islam but his pastoral and intellectual gifts make him a perfect fit for the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam, which will help us to continue to equip the next generation of pastors for gospel ministry.”

Ibrahim and his wife, Emily, married in 2012 and have since ministered to Arabs in the Middle East and the United States. Raised in a Coptic Orthodox tradition, Ibrahim professed faith at the age of 9 during an evangelical worship service. He began his itinerant ministry at the age of 18, and preached to gatherings throughout the Muslim world before moving to the United States.

“My experience in coming to Southern Seminary was terrific and I can’t wait for the days to come to be part of this family and serve,” said Ibrahim, who teaches in Arabic and English. “This is what I long for the most — impacting students by reflecting the image of Jesus and empowering and sending them to do the work that Jesus asked us to do in the Great Commission.”

In his post-doctoral studies, Ibrahim is exploring conversion to Islam in early Muslim history. He has published articles on Islam in a variety of outlets including First Things and the Zwemer Center, and he is a member of the Center for the Study of Inter-Religious Encounters at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Society of Biblical Literature, and the International Quranic Studies Association.

“The addition of Ayman Ibrahim to our Billy Graham School faculty further enhances what I believe to be the strongest team of Great Commission scholar-practitioners at any seminary,” said Adam W. Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School. “Dr. Ibrahim has already published significant contributions regarding the Christian understanding of Islam and I am excited to have him with us at Southern Seminary helping train the next generation of pastors and missionaries on this critical matter. Students will love his enthusiasm and energy both in and out of the classroom. I rejoice in the Lord’s provision in bringing Dr. Ibrahim and his wife Emily to us.”

Southern Seminary’s Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam, named for donors Bill and Connie Jenkins, launched in February 2014. More information about the Jenkins Center is available online at jenkins.sbts.edu.

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