dispatches to and from

nathan f. elmore

Creative writing on faith, culture, and things in between

At Virginia Commonwealth University, in November 2012, presenting an interfaith meditation on Jesus among Christian and Muslim students.

In 2012, I joined the staff of Peace Catalyst International where I contribute as a part-time consultant, program coordinator, and writer. PCI is a faith-based nonprofit focused on Christian-Muslim peacemaking.

My educational background includes an M. Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago, and presently, I'm a D. Min. candidate in Global Christianity & Development at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary near Boston.

The working title for my D. Min. Thesis-Project is: Peace Catalyst International: A Strategic Example in Remaking the Narrative between Evangelicals and Muslims through Creative Peacemaking and Christian-Muslim Partnership for the Common Good.

Since 2006, Christian-Muslim relations has become a concentrated area of personal interest and active engagement. In addition to ongoing friendships, I've had wide-ranging experiences with Muslims, including:

  • participating in a year-long Quran study at the mosque of the Islamic Society of Clemson (2007-2008);
  • directing a campus ministry at Virginia Commonwealth University which initiated and hosted dialogues, common meals, and service projects bringing together Christian and Muslim students (2009-2014);
  • adventuring in the Muslim-majority country of Oman through a travel-study program (2012);
  • representing PCI in Washington, DC at a symposium on the Marrakesh Declaration (2016)

Through its peacemaking paradigm, PCI seeks to educate and empower Christians toward a more constructive and comprehensive encounter with Muslims. We act practically to assist Jesus-followers to move beyond the shock-and-awe responses to Islamist extremism as well as the tired tropes of Islamophobia. PCI is strategically involved in cooperative endeavors with Muslims—in particular, by promoting religious freedom and countering violent extremism.

Since 2012, I’ve presented a seminar called New Samaritans: Loving Our Muslim Neighbors in a variety of settings, including Christian congregations, mission organizations, leadership forums, collegiate/young adult ministries, and youth groups. The seminar offers a thorough consideration of a Jesus-shaped approach to the neighbor who is Muslim. As such, it blends biblical and theological exploration; inter-religious learning about Islam and Muslims; and storytelling from my relationships and experiences with Muslims.

  • Part 1: considering the historical and contemporary conditions defining Christian-Muslim relations; re-experiencing the Parable of the Good Samaritan
  • Part 2: surveying the basics of Islamic faith, practice, and theology
  • Part 3: re-experiencing the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well; exploring a multifaceted engagement with Muslims through dialogue, friendship, and partnership

If interested in the seminar presentation, please connect with me at: nathanfelmore@gmail.com.