Middle East

Peter & Patty Ford

  • Education and leadership development

A cool, salty sea breeze wafts through the crowded city streets and across the countryside of Lebanon, bringing relief from the warm climate. Yet, the climate between Middle Eastern Christians and their Muslim neighbors can be less balmy. As a minority population, Christians often face varying levels of discrimination, which can affect how they show respect and compassion to their Muslim neighbors.

Within the tension stands the Near East School of Theology (NEST), one of only a handful of accredited Protestant theological seminaries in the Arab world. Here, Peter serves as Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, teaching courses in Islam and Christian-Muslim relations to help Christian students better understand Islam and develop positive relations and a respectful witness with Muslims. Patty volunteers her time in various teaching and administrative activities at NEST and at All Saints International Church in Beirut.

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NEST class visit to Omari mosque, Beirut, 3-17

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