Ayman Ibrahim was born and raised in Egypt. He completed two PhDs in Islamic Studies (Fuller 2014, Haifa University 2018). Since 1991, he has taught in various countries in the Muslim world and in the West at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary in the United States, and at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon. Some of the courses he taught include: Introduction to Islam; History and Theology of Islam; Islamic Texts; Islamic Thought; Contemporary Islam; Christian-Muslim Apologetics; and Modern Standard Arabic. He is a member of the Center for the Study of Inter-Religious Encounters at Ben Gurion University of the Negev; the International Quranic Studies Association; the Evangelical Theological Society. He authored Conversion to Islam (Oxford University Press, 2021); Basics of Arabic (Zondervan 2021); A Concise Guide to the Quran (Baker Academic, 2020); The Stated Motivations for the Early Islamic Expansion (Peter Lang, 2018); and co-edited Muslim Conversions to Christ: A Critique of Insider Movements in Islamic Contexts (Peter Lang, 2018). His articles on Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations appeared in the Washington Post, Religion News Services, Colorado Springs Gazette, Louisville Courier-Journal, First Things, among others. He has been married since 2012 and together with his wife, they serve among Arabs in the United States and the Middle East. Contact him via his email: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @al2ostaz.
Jackie Kang was born and raised in Diamond Bar, California and belongs to Hunsinger Lane Baptist Church. Captivated by God’s glory and his grace for all people, she aspires to go to the mission field and share the gospel with those who have never heard of Jesus. She moved to Louisville in 2022 to pursue the M.Div. in Great Commission Studies at Southern Seminary. God gave her a burden for Muslims when she visited Indonesia in the summer of 2022. She joined the Jenkins Center team to learn more about how to evangelize Muslims and to partner with students on campus through prayer, preparation, and going out to the mission field.
Grace Kim was born in South Korea and came to the United States when she was 10 years old. She grew up in a strong Christian home, and during her freshman year in college she received a heart to become a missionary in an unreached nation. After college, she went to Turkey for two years and then spent about eight years doing mission mobilization work around the world in 25 countries. She is now a student at Southern, where she graduated with an MA in Missiology. Grace is passionate about mobilizing the global church for missions in the Muslim World and is excited to see greater Christian understanding of Islam through the work of the Jenkins Center.
Amos Luka was born and raised in Kafanchan, Kaduna State of Nigeria. He studied at Jos ECWA Theological Seminary and served as a pastor in Zaria. Amos moved to Louisville, Kentucky to attend Southern for further theological training. He is currently a Ph.D. student in World Religions under the supervision of Dr. Ibrahim. Amos is the Finance Associate for the Jenkins Center. His encounters with Muslims in a predominantly Muslim context kindled Amos’ passion for ministering to Muslims. He desires to train pastors, church leaders, and missionaries so churches in Africa have a Christian understanding of Islam and engage Muslims effectively with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Natalie Lynde was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After spending some time at a community college, she came to Boyce College for a Bachelor’s degree in Teacher Education Program, hoping to start a career as a teacher. Then the Jenkins Center became a bigger part of Natalie’s life than she ever expected. She came for the tea and stayed for the team. By attending the daily intercessory Muslim prayer meetings throughout the month of Ramadan, God gave her a heart for reaching Muslims. After graduation, Natalie would like to share the light of Christ with Muslim women overseas.
Ali Mati was born and raised in Dan-marabu, Katsina State, Nigeria, in a Muslim community. He Studied at Jos ECWA Theological Seminary, Jos Nigeria, and Westminster Theological Seminary, Glenside Pennsylvania. He served as a pastor and teacher in Jos. Ali moved to Louisville, Kentucky in 2020 to study at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is now a Ph.D. student in Systematic Theology. Ali is a research volunteer for the Jenkin Center. His encounter with Muslims from birth through family and community spurs his desire to minister to Muslims. He desires to continue to train pastors, teachers, missionaries, and church leaders so churches in Africa have a Christian understanding of Islam and engage Muslims effectively in love with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Patrick McElhannon was born in Englewood, New Jersey and raised in Lyles, Tennessee, and Panhandle, Texas. During his time at Amarillo College, he took a World Religions class that introduced him to the Muslim faith. After graduation, Patrick transferred to Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota—one of the most culturally diverse areas in the United States. During commutes to class using Uber, Patrick was given the opportunity to engage Muslim drivers about Islam and Muslim culture, often providing the opportunity to share his faith with them. Upon finishing his bachelor’s degree, he found the Islamic Studies program at Southern, and is presently working on his MA in Islamic Studies. As an intern at the Jenkins Center, he continues to develop a heart for missions and evangelism to the Muslim community. Patrick looks forward to what God has in store for him when he completes his education in the fall of 2023. He wants to live out the instruction of Peter the Apostle in 1 Peter 3: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Ben Rankin was born in Columbus, Indiana. Ben studied at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, and started doing international missions with CRU ministries. While studying there, God gave Ben a desire to reach the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of his former professor and pastor, Ben was encouraged to pursue his Master of Divinity at Southern Seminary. Ben is currently studying at Southern for his M.Div. and is a member of Third Avenue Baptist Church.
Maylee Spann was born in Texas and raised in Kalispell, Montana. Growing up in a Christian family, she received Christ at a young age. However, it was not until high school that she developed a passion for missions, particularly among Muslims. That passion brought her from Montana to Boyce College, where she is working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Maylee feels honored to volunteer at the Jenkins Center as she grows in understanding Islam and sharing the gospel with Muslims. She hopes to help others, especially Boyce and Southern students, to understand God’s heart for the Muslim world.
Jason Wasti was born in Pakistan to a Christian family. At the age of 15, he moved to Ontario, Canada where he was discipled by an IMB missionary. Through this discipleship, God put a burden on Jason’s heart to reach Muslims with the Gospel. Jason received a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Boyce College, and is currently working towards his M.Div. at Southern Seminary. Jason hopes to use his education from Southern and the experience gained by serving at the Jenkins Center to reach Muslims overseas.
To learn more about how to become an intern at the Jenkins Center, you can find more information here.