The Zwemer Center at Columbia International University exists to offer comprehensive courses on Islam, facilitate research, foster dialogues, offer seminars, conduct training and provide resources for effective witness and ministry among Muslims.
Founded in 1979 at the U.S. Center for World Mission, the Zwemer Institute became a major resource and training center for Christians seeking to engage Muslims with the gospel. This need was highlighted with the emergence of the Lausanne Movement and grew out of a consultation led by Dr. Don McCurry, the first Zwemer Director.
Multitudes of missionaries, missionaries-in-training, students and scholars have contributed research, studied in seminars and earned graduate degrees in Islamics over the years, facilitated by the renown faculty and adjunct staff. Hundreds of churches have been equipped to understand and relate to Muslim neighbors in seminars conducted throughout North America… Read More
President Emeritus, IMB
Dr. Jerry Rankin is the president emeritus of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB). He served with the IMB for 40 years, 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. He has authored several books and is also Adjunct Faculty at Columbia International University.
He and his wife Carol served for 23 years in Pakistan with Christar. He is a faculty member of the Seminary and School of Ministry at Columbia International University. Due to his understanding of radical Islam, he has been quoted widely in both Christian and secular publications. His book on religious extremism in Pakistan and its effect on Christian ministry was chosen as one of 15 most significant writings on mission in 1998. Dr. Larson is the former Director of the Zwemer Center.
Trevor, Katie and their three children live in Columbia, South Carolina where he serves as the Managing Director of the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies. He is also a professor of Muslim Studies and Missions studies at Columbia International University (CIU). He and his wife served as missionaries with Youth with a Mission for seven years. During their missionary service, they worked in South Asia among a 100% Muslim population. After returning from the field, Trevor completed a Master’s Degree from Columbia International University in Muslim Studies. He is a PhD candidate at the Melbourne School of Theology.
Howard served with Youth With A Mission for eight years. Through those years Howard traveled extensively, spending the majority of his time overseas in SE Asia. He also served as Training Director, mobilizing young people to work in the 10/40 window. After YWAM, Howard earned a Master’s Degree at Columbia International University in Ministry Leadership. He is currently the Pastor of One Light Community, a multicultural student ministry of the Augusta Korean Methodist Church.
Ed Smither serves as professor and dean of intercultural studies at CIU. Ed spent 14 years serving in intercultural ministry in North Africa, France, and the USA. He earned a PhD in Historical Theology from the University of Wales-Trinity St. David and a PhD in Intercultural Studies from the University of Pretoria (South Africa). Ed’s areas of interest are early Christian studies, the history of mission, non-western mission movements, and theology of mission. His most recent books include Brazilian Evangelical Missions in the Arab World, Rethinking Constantine, and Mission in the Early Church. Ed is married to Shawn and they have three children.
Dr. Cashin is professor of intercultural studies at Columbia International University (CIU). Dr. Cashin obtained his bachelor of arts degree in history from Gordon College and his master of arts and doctor of philosophy in indology from Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden. While in Sweden, Dr. Cashin served as pastor of two churches. He wrote and taught courses and seminars in Islamic history, theology and Muslim-Christian relations. For nine years Dr. Cashin served in Bangladesh as missionary, church planter, educator and development worker with SIM International.
Bob Blincoe is President of US Frontiers. He and his family lived in northern Iraq in the 1990s. He studied for the PhD with Ralph D. Winter on the subject of “A New Social Contract Relating Mission Societies to Church Structures.”
Cash and Ann are true pioneer missionaries, living for 30 years in the Sahara Desert working with the Tuareg people. They grew up in Columbia, attended Columbia International University, and married in 1958. Leaving for the mission field in 1960, they raised 3 children in severe and primitive conditions. Their love for the Tuareg was obvious in their adaptation to their ways, dress, food, and customs. Their continuing work is a strong testimony to the missionary call, conducting workshops on the mission field and the US teaching believers how to witness to the Muslim people. Cash and Ann have been used mightily to stir the hearts of churches and young people for the cause of missions. Each of their three married children attended CIU and has spent time on the African mission field.