Teaching Islam in British Theological Colleges: an overview and analysis

Dr. Richard McCallum
Associate Researcher, Centre for Muslim-Christian

In the context of world events the need to prepare Christian ministers and clergy in Britain to confidently engage with Muslims is taking on ever greater importance. This seminar provides a brief history of theological education in Britain as it relates to the teaching of other faiths and explores different historical and theological approaches. It then presents a contemporary overview of the teaching of Islam in British (mainly) Protestant theological institutions based on a recent empirical survey and demonstrates that the majority of colleges are indeed taking such provision seriously, offering specialist modules on Islam or at least including it in general modules on world religions.

However, demands that would require all Christian theological students to receive at least some basic teaching about Islam and proposals for an interdisciplinary approach are not yet realities. The paper closes by exploring the challenges faced in integrating Islam into already overcrowded curricula and looks at possible creative solutions to the problems.

This seminar is part of the Integrating Islam project