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First Houston Muslim&Christian Summer School

 Summer 2024

Speakers and facilitators include: Dr. Ida Glaser, Dr. David Coffey, Dr. Motaz al-Thaher, Dr. Blake Evermon, Dr. Haris Dundar, Dr Jaclyn Williams, Anar Amin, Dr Sam Ross, Dr Ghulam Zarquani, Dr Collin Cornell

The Muslim & Christian Summer School at Houston is a one-week intensive program that brings the next generation of Muslim and Christian religious, social, and educational leaders together to learn about each other's faith from fellow students and from participating scholars.

Venue:  Fuller Texas, 10200 Richmond Ave, Houston 77042

Dates:   24th - 30th July 2024

Cost: $300 per attendee (Includes all the workshops, field trips, lessons, and food)

*Half-scholarships are available for those facing financial difficulties.

The course breaks down barriers, enhances the student’s own studies, and equips them for their future careers. Students attend lectures, workshops, and tutorials led by Christian and Muslim academics exploring sacred texts, shared history, contemporary issues, and difficult questions.  They also share meals and recreational times, and together visit mosques and churches.  After the course, students will have the opportunity to continue to meet and work together in small groups and to report back at sessions.  Submission of a full written report can lead to 3 credit hours of CMCS Houston credit.

The focus is on shared study and understanding of both the similarities and differences between Christians and Muslims of diverse traditions. Participants discuss difficult topics, disagreements, and social problems in a spirit of respect and empathy—not just towards people of other faiths but towards those from other traditions within their own faith community with whom they might have theological differences.

If you want to be inspired and equipped for teaching, working, and leading in study and service in or near Houston, THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU! 

Course Convenors

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Dr. Motaz Al-Thaher


Motaz coordinates the CMCS Houston online courses from his home in Amman, Jordan.  He brings to the summer school his expertise in Islamic Studies (his Ph.D. is in the principles of Islamic law), his 4 years of participation in CMCS courses, his passion for justice, and his experience in setting up environmental projects.   

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Dr. Blake Evermon


For over two decades, Blake has dedicated himself to nurturing positive Muslim-Christian relationships and promoting meaningful interactions between these two faith groups. He holds a Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield and brings 12 years of professional experience in Project Management and Program Evaluation

Through rigorous textual studies and scriptural reasoning, participants will embark on a shared journey of discovery, unraveling the profound wisdom embedded in the sacred scriptures.

By nurturing an atmosphere of respect and collaboration, our summer school program envisions empowering a generation of leaders and peacemakers who can contribute to a harmonious coexistence in our global society.

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Photographs of CMCS Oxford by John Cairns

  Summer School Ethos

• Learning about each other together

• Not avoiding or denying differences and difficult topics

• Addressing issues with gentleness and respect

• Thinking with academic rigour

• Seeking to understand before seeking to be understood

• Speaking positively of our own faith rather than speaking critically of the other

• So equipping us to live together well.

Provisional Program of Studies

Textual Studies

  1. Monotheism

  2. Scripture/revelation

  3. Reflection on scriptural interpretation

  4. Prophets/salvation

  5. Inheritance

  6. Modesty

Lectures

  1. Introduction to Christianity

  2. Introduction to Islam

  3. Muslim-Christian dialogue in the Qur'an and the early discussions

  4. The impact of the Crusades

  5. 20th century developments

  6. Post 9/11 in the USA

Practical Workshops

  1. Refugees and immigrants

  2. Technology

  3. Education

  4. Environment

  5. Family dynamics

  6. Chaplaincy work

Visits

Small groups will attend selected mosques for Friday noon prayers and selected churches for Sunday mornings services.  Note that you can observe the prayers/services rather if you do not believe it right to participate.

We will also arrange a visit to a major theological library. 

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