Our Vision

The Jenkins Center exists to establish a scholarly Christian understanding of the many strands of Islam, and to equip students, pastors, and missionaries with an awareness of the Muslim World in its diversity, in order to boldly and respectfully proclaim the Gospel to our Muslim neighbors to the ends of the earth.


“Islam was not included within the curriculum of Southern Seminary in 1859. Now, more than a century and a half after the seminary’s founding, it is impossible to imagine how a minister of the gospel can be trained and prepared for faithful service without a knowledge of Islam and the challenge it represents. For this reason, the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam represents a central dimension of Southern Seminary’s future.”

—R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Ayman Ibrahim


Dr. Ayman S. Ibrahim is the Bill and Connie Jenkins Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and the Senior Fellow for the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam. Dr. Ibrahim was born and raised in Egypt. He has experience teaching and preaching all over the world. He is a member of the Center for the Study of Inter-Religious Encounters at Ben Gurion University of the Negev; the Society of Biblical Literature; the International Quranic Studies Association; and the Department of Middle Eastern History at Haifa University, Mount Carmel, Israel. Dr. Ibrahim and his wife, Emily, have been married since 2012 and have served together among Arabs in the United States and the Middle East. Contact him via his email: aibrahim@sbts.edu and view his Twitter account: @al2ostaz.




Dr. John Klaassen is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Global Studies Program at Boyce College and the Co-Director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam. Dr. Klaassen was born in Colombia, South America, but grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Klaassen and his wife, Shari, moved cross culturally to live first in Spain and then in North Africa from 1992 to 2010. Dr. Klaassen helped direct a relief and development agency working in the areas of primary education, clean water and health education. Since moving back to the US, Dr. and Mrs. Klaassen have been working primarily with Iraqi refugees in the Louisville area. Contact him via his email: jmklaassen@sbts.edu and view his Twitter account: @peopleteams.

Connect with Southern

More Images