Studies in the Middle East
An Ecumenical & Inter-Religious Study Year in Beirut
The Near East School of Theology (NEST) is an inter-confessional Protestant Seminary serving the evangelical churches of the Middle East. The primary purpose of the School is to train pastors and church workers for ministry in the churches and other evangelical organizations in the Middle East. It is also concerned with continuing theological education of the laity. The NEST welcomes candidates from other Middle Eastern churches, as well as any person seeking to learn about Protestant theology and faith, irrespective of his or her religious affiliation. Students from beyond the Middle East, who have a special interest in Biblical Studies against the cultural background of the Middle East, Islamics or Oriental and Orthodox churches, are also welcome. The NEST is a member of the Association of Theological Institutes in the Middle East (ATIME) and cooperates closely with the Fellowship of the Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC) and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC). It is also a member of the Encounter of Christian and Islamic Religious Colleges and Institutions in Lebanon.
NEST is located in the western part of Beirut, near major educational and cultural institutions, in a section of the city that has a long history of Christian-Muslim coexistence. It houses a library of 42000 volumes in English, Arabic, Armenian, French, and German.
The NEST offers a special program of studies for expatriate students who would like to become acquainted with and/or deepen their knowledge of the churches of the Middle East, Islam and Christian-Muslim relations.
STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY YEAR
First Semester (October - February)
Contemporary Eastern Churches: a survey and introduction to the various liturgical, doctrinal and spiritual Christian traditions, including field visits, excursions and interviews.
Islamic Studies: Courses that introduce Islam historically and doctrinally, as well as advanced courses in Islamics and Christian-Muslim dialogue and relations.
Optional courses offered by NEST or neighbouring universities (American University of Beirut, Jesuit University, Lebanese American University, Haigazian University). NEST can also facilitate access to Arabic language courses at neighbouring institutions.
Second Semester (February - June)
Ecumenical Movement in the Middle East: An historical survey, with special attention given to joint ecumenical work; including field visits and conversation with ecumenical figures.
Students decide to specialize in any of the above areas. They are required to do research, under supervision, in a specific field and produce a paper (25-30 pages). Courses may be attended at NEST or elsewhere for that purpose.
- Adequate knowledge of English, the language of instruction at NEST.
- Some previous study of Theology
For inquiry about the cost of the Studies in the Middle East Program, please contact Dean@theonest.edu.lb
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