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Discipleship Today: Following Jesus in the Middle East and North Africa (Middle East Consultation 2014) – UPDATE


The Institute of Middle East Studies is pleased to announce the following contributors to this year’s Middle East Consultation (MEC 2014), taking place 16 – 20 June at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Beirut. These individuals will assist consultation participants to reflect upon and process the critical themes which emerge from the narratives being shared by local and regional voices, as well as provide a global perspective on key theological and missiological issues related to the practice of discipleship.

Dr. J. Dudley Woodberry, Dean Emeritus of the School of Intercultural Studies and Senior Professor of Islamic Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary.

Dr. Rosalee Velloso Ewell, Executive Director of the Theological Commission for the World Evangelical Alliance.

Dr. John A. Azumah, Associate Professor of World Christianity and Islam, Columbia Theological Seminary.

Dr. J. Andrew Kirk, Senior Research Fellow, International Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dean Emeritus of the School of Mission and World Christianity, Selly Oaks Colleges, Birmingham.

Dr. Louisa Cox, Consultant on Intercultural Relations.

At various points during the week, each will also be asked to present on a specific topic related to Christ-centered discipleship, including biblical and theological definitions of discipleship, identity formation, socio-cultural implications of discipleship, as well as past, present and future approaches to discipleship in the MENA context.

The core of MEC 2014 will consist of listening to narratives and stories emerging from within the MENA region in an effort to best identify the challenges and opportunities facing the regional church. MEC 2014 will provide an opportunity to reflect upon and analyze the diverse social and religious dynamics at hand, asking how the church might best assist individuals and communities to live as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

Throughout MEC 2014 we will hear first-hand from those who have practiced and been influenced by various approaches to discipleship, with varying degrees of fruitfulness within the region. We will also hold daily ‘round-table discussions’, involving all MEC participants, regional presenters and global missiologists, in order to allow for personal engagement with the emerging themes of the consultation.

In keeping with the IMES ethos and MEC tradition, we will be inviting Muslim voices to contribute to this important conversation, during specific sessions. This provides us with the opportunity to listen to and interact with alternative perspectives that may challenge our current perceptions.

MEC 2014 promises to be a unique and fascinating consultation!

During the consultation, IMES will also be hosting a special event featuring Dr. Robert Woodberry, who will be giving a keynote lecture based on his research, and recently published article, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy.” Details of this unique opportunity will become available over the coming weeks and months.

The purpose of the Middle East Consultation [MEC] is to equip participants to respond in prophetic and Christ-like ways to the many challenges facing Christians and Muslims in and beyond the Middle East. MEC 2014 was developed to help practitioners, scholars, pastors, teachers, missionaries, and faith-based NGO workers explore what God has been doing throughout the Middle East & North Africa [MENA].

The Mandate of IMES is to bring about positive transformation in thinking and practice between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East and beyond, through education, advocacy, and peace-building initiatives. IMES is responding to the increasingly urgent need to dispel mutually false perceptions between peoples of different religions and cultures, which eventually result in inadequate practice in social, religious, political, and personal spheres. As such, IMES seeks to increase general awareness about MENA realities and to resource Evangelicals to serve specific needs in the Arab context and among Arab communities worldwide.

If you are interested in attending MEC 2014, please contact

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