As a program sponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, the Middle East Studies Program is academically grounded in a Christian liberal arts context. Efforts are made to fully integrate the Christian faith with the curriculum and community life. In light of this, the objectives of the Middle East Studies Program are as follows:
• To create in students an awareness of the variety of peoples and cultures in Middle Eastern countries and to acquaint them with the historical interweaving of religion, culture, politics and economics in this region of the world;
• To educate students concerning the global dimensions of the Islamic faith and to acquaint them with the challenges faced by Muslims as they seek to relate to contemporary political, economic, religious and social structures;
• To help students understand the complex issues surrounding current regional conflicts and ongoing efforts toward achieving a lasting peace in the Middle East;
• To educate students concerning the history of Christian, Muslim and Jewish relations in the Middle East and to facilitate an evaluation of the intellectual and theological presuppositions and rhetoric of the activist proponents of these religions;
• To help students with the basic process of learning from people of another culture by involving them in the study of a foreign language and by exposing them to Middle Eastern social contexts in ways that go beyond textbook and classroom learning; and
• To engage students in social interaction and field service opportunities with Middle Eastern peoples.