News & Events

Partner Spotlight: MCSCI

Blog — 8th November 2022

Sunrise over Glodwick, Oldham, Lancashire.

The Partner Spotlight is an on-going series in which we highlight our partners and centres that are vital for NTC’s academic flourishing. If you or your organisation are interested in becoming a partner, you can find more information at this link.

In this feature, we’re focusing on the Manchester Centre for the Study of Christianity and Islam, or, colloquially, MCSCI. For key information on research, training, and the work they are carrying out, you can visit the MCSCI website here.

We interviewed Colin (Ted) Bearup about his work with MCSCI. Ted is the author of Calling on the Prophets (William Carey, 2021), Inviting Muslims to Church (Grove, 2020), Clues to Africa, Islam, and the Gospel: Insights for New Workers (William Carey, 2020), and Keys: Unlocking the Gospel for Muslims (2009).

What is the vision of MCSCI?

The centre seeks to work through teaching, learning, resourcing, equipping, and facilitating encounter and reflection in multiple ways:

  • at the grassroots, to engage people and churches and raise awareness of the need for Christians to encounter Muslim people and develop an understanding of the Islamic faith, traditions and practices;
  • by developing specific classes and programmes that explore ways Christians can encounter and engage with Islam in local and global settings;
  • partnering with others to train people engaged in mission;
  • developing research-led practice in relation to Islam and Christianity; with academic excellence, resourcing the global church with specialists.

In short, MCSCI is all about equipping Christians to engage with Muslims fruitfully and with integrity. That may mean witnessing to the truth of the gospel, participating in formal dialogue, or simply befriending neighbours and colleagues.

MCSCI is all about equipping Christians to engage with Muslims fruitfully and with integrity

Why should Christians learn about Islam?

Here in the UK, Muslims increasingly make up a significant part of our community. We will rub shoulders with them in many settings.  While most Christians have some idea of how to speak with secular people, Muslims generally have a different mind set. Many love to talk about faith, worship, and pleasing God – but they are coming from a different place. They often have well rehearsed narratives about Christianity which take us by surprise and tends to lead Christians to become defensive. We need to be well informed so that we can engage gently, firmly, and confidently.

What kind of modules do MCSCI run? How can NTC students get involved?

We run modules with the BA and MA programme, but they can be also be taken as stand alone courses for those wishing to simply take one of our classes rather than an entire degree programme. At BA level, we run the Religions in Contemporary Britain and Islam in Britain courses. At MA level, we offer Towards Christian Engagement with Islam and Studies in Christian-Muslim Apologetics.

We are also currently developing a module on church-based ministry to Muslims.

What events are coming up for MCSCI?

In January, we are also holding a public conference about making the churches more intercultural.

As part of NTC’s commitment to MCSCI, we offer a MA in Theology pathway, Christian Engagement with Islam, which is available either for local study or, through NTC’s system of intensive residential learning, to a wider international learning community.

If you’re interested in this MA in Theology pathway, click the button below more for information.

Read More about the Christianity and Islam pathway for the MA in Theology

The Centre offers support for local Churches who seek to engage with their Muslim neighbours, for thoughtful Christians who are seeking to ‘find a voice’ in a multi-faith society, and for scholars who wish to develop research projects in this pivotal area.

To get in touch with MCSCI, you can email them at admin@mcsci.org.uk. In person, you can drop by the office on NTC’s campus.

Follow MCSCI on Twitter for all the latest news and events at https://www.twitter.com/mcrsci.