Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths
The Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths (CSIOF) is a specialist Centre within MST, the only one of its kind in Australia. The Centre offers community courses, undergraduate study and supervision to postgraduate research students by world class scholars of Islam and other faiths.
The CSIOF is led by new Director, Dr Richard Shumack, who is ably supported by MST’s own Missiologist, Dr Bernie Power, Vice-Principal (Academic), Prof Peter Riddell, and Administrator and Research Fellow, Dr Ruth Nicholls.
The Centre has devoted its time to offering a range of teaching programs at undergraduate through to postgraduate levels, providing supervision for research projects, running community short courses, and being available for comment to the media on matters to do with inter-religious relations.
Over the years, Australia has welcomed immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from many different countries with their own religious and cultural traditions. While the official government policy is one of multiculturalism, the church here in Australia needs to be equipped to minister effectively to this diverse group of people.
The study of Islam and other faiths is, of course, not only relevant to those wishing to seek formal qualifications, but also offers key opportunities for those in the churches and the broader community. To meet this need, the CSIOF offers a range of exciting activities: a set of four community courses, the annual Leonard Buck Lecture in Missiology, an annual Spring Symposium addressing topics of current interest, an Annual Dinner, as well as various ad-hoc speaking and writing inputs to the churches and wider community.
The CSIOF also offers 8-12 week seminars on topics related to Islam and other faiths. These interactive seminars are designed to better equip the local church for Christian-Muslim dialogue and engaging with those of other faiths, be it overseas or in their own backyard.
Undergraduate & Graduate Courses
Students of any of the Undergraduate or Graduate courses can choose electives in Islamic studies taught by CSIOF Faculty. The Bachelor of Ministry and the Master of Arts (Christian Studies) offer the greatest scope for specialising in the study of Islam and other faiths.
Specialist subjects in Islam and other faiths, most delivered via intensives, are offered by the CSIOF to those undertaking the Master of Arts (Ministry or Theology) and Doctor of Ministry programs. Given the large suite of subjects offered at this level, students may complete a Master of Arts (Ministry) specialising in the study of Islam.
Research supervision is a key component of the CSIOF’s activities and its faculty currently supervise a number of students at Masters and Doctoral levels, in the areas of Islam and other faiths.