About Us

In September 2007 the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center moved into its new space at 2093 Grand Ave. on the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul campus.  The Center is dedicated to fostering mutual understanding and cooperation between Muslims and Christians through academic and community dialogue grounded in the Qur'anic and Christian traditions.

During the fall 2007 semester the Center hosted two speakers: Dr. Omid Safi, associate professor of Islamic Studies, University of North Carolina on October 15, and Dr. Aref Abu-Rabia, Visiting Fulbright Scholar, on November 13. 

The Center hosted an open house in October 2007.

During the spring 2008 semester the Center hosted three speakers, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Professor Emeritus at St. Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on February 20; Dr. Anouar Majid, professor and founding chair of the Department of English at the University of New England in Maine, on February 26; and Dr. Liyakat Takim, native of Zanzibar, Tanzania, and author of sixty scholarly works, on April 23.

In the fall 2008 semester the Center hosted two speakers, Dr. Abdullah al-Ahsan, Professor, Department of History and Civilizaton at the International Islamic University, Malaysia, on October 23, and Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, on November 5.

Spring of 2009 brought us our first panel discussion, "Muslim-Christian Dialogue: Journeying Together" on May 5, with MCDC co-directors and UST theology professors, Dr. Terence Nichols and Dr. Adil Ozdemir; Sheikh Odeh Muhawesh, MCDC Associate and Board member; Dr. Pamela Nice, documentary film maker of films concerning cross-cultural understanding between Americans and Arabs; and Mr. Owais Bayunus, MCDC board member and president of the Islamic Center of Minnesota.

In 2009 fall MCDC hosted speaker Dr. Yahya Michot, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary, on November 5.

In spring 2010 the second MCDC panel discussion on "A Common Word: Love in Christianity and Islam" was held on April 15.  The panelists were: Dr. Jamal Badawi, Prefessor Emeritus at St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Zafar Siddiqui, MCDC board member and co-founder and President of the Islamic Resource Group; Dr. Terence Nichols, Co-director of the MCDC and professor in the theology department at St. Thomas; and Gail Anderson, MCDC board member and Director of Uniity and Relationships for the Minnesota Council of Churches.

In Fall 2010 we offered the third MCDC panel discussion on "Women in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam" on October 7  The panelists were:  Rabbi Amy Eilberg of the Interfaith Conversations Project at the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning; Gail Anderson, MCDC Board member and Director of Unitiy and Relationships, Minnesota Council of Churches; Dr. Elaine MacMillan, adjunct professor in the University of St. Thomas theology department; Dr. Fatma Reda, a consulting physician and third level Mureedah (female seeker) in the Naqshabandi Sufi order; Honaida Al-Mottahar, an active member of the Minnesota faith communities and completing her post-graduate studies in education.

In spring 2011, our fourth panel discussion on March 8, "Doing Virtuous Business: An Interreligious Dialogue on Faith and Work," was a cooperative effort between the MCDC; Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning; John A Ryan Institute, and SAIP Institute at eh Opus College of Business. On April 6, speaker Dr. Muqtedar Khan, University of Delaware, and respondent Dr. Gerald Schlabach, University of St. Thomas talked about "Muslims and America: Beyond Fear of the Other."  On April 8, speakers Congressman Keith Ellison and Major General Richard Nash, spoke on "The Role of Relilgion in U.S. Foreign Policy."  On April 13, as a part of the Interfaith art pARTners festival, Dr. Adil Ozdemir and Dr. Terry Nichols, Co-directors of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center, discussed "Art in Islam and Christianity."

In fall 2011, the MCDC hosted three speakers and a panel discussion: on October 11 Professor Abdulwahid Qalinle, director of the Islamic Law and Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Minnesota Law School, spoke on "Islamic Sharia: Threat to Democracy?"' On November 8, our fifth panel discussion hosted Rabbi Norman Cohen, senior rabbi of Bet Shalom Congregation; Susan Stabile, J.D., Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law, University of St. Thomas; and Sheikh Odeh Muhawesh MCDC Board member and adjunct professor at the University of St.Thomas, in a disussion on "Pilgrimage: What might Jews, Christians, and Muslims learn from and with each other?" On November 21, Namik Ilksoy, professional tour guide in Turkey, leader of Dr. Adil Ozdemir's J-term class, "Islam in Turkey," and many church groups each year, discussed "The Role of Anatolia in the History of Christianity."

Visit our Previous Events page to view streaming videos of the lectures from 2007-2013