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Lilias Trotter Global

Two course offerings for Fall 2024
August 12 - December 6
[Fall break, October 7-11; Thanksgiving break, November 25 - 29]


MS602: Shi’ism, Sharia and Sufism











Click on the image above to watch a video introduction to the course!


Three of the most important and misunderstood theological and historical streams shaping the contemporary Muslim world are (1) Shi’ite Islam—the first sectarian division within Islam, which inspires the current rulers in Iran, (2) the Islamic Sharia—the religious law shaping diverse Muslim societies and cultures, and (3) Sufism—the deep yearning for mystical union with the Almighty. A better understanding of these will equip Christians for more fruitful ministry among Muslims.

This 3-credit course will be taught in three consecutive five-week modules by three seasoned ministry scholars: Dr. Fred Farrokh, Dr. Mark Durie, and Dr. Dejan Aždajić.

Module One . Shi'ism . Dr. Fred Farrokh

In this module, students will:

  • Grasp the birth of Shi’ism, which marked its historical separation from Sunni Islam, and identify key early Shi’ite personalities.

  • Articulate the Shi’ite “Karbala Paradigm” which sprung from the birth of the movement and remains the strongest of its thematic distinctives. 

  • Evaluate the contemporary Shi’ite initiative known as Velayat e-Fagih (the Guardianship of Islamic Jurists) which constitutes the rationale for the theocratic Shi’ism manifest in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

  • Compare and contrast the main teachings and personalities of Shi’ite Islam to those of Christianity, particularly how Muhammad, Ali, Husayn and the Twelfth Imam replace and complete what Shi’ites view to be Jesus’s incomplete work.

  • Develop ministry strategies and communication techniques to share the gospel with Shi’ite Muslims, as well as to disciple MBBs from Shi’ite background.

Rev. Dr. Fred Farrokh is an Iranian-American Christian of Muslim background with a PhD from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and is an ordained missionary with Elim Fellowship. He will be teaching Module One live via Zoom on Mondays, 8-11am Eastern Time (New York). 

Module Two . The Islamic Sharia . Dr. Mark Durie

In this module, students will:

  • Define the concept of sharia, relate it to Islam’s understanding of the human condition and the Islamic concept of ‘guidance', and identify the fundamental sources of sharia: the Qur’an and the Sunna.

  • Identify the sharia’s five-fold hierarchy of deeds, define the concept of a fatwa, contrast the application of reasoning (ijtihad) with imitation of legal precedent (taqlid), and discuss implications of evolving disputes over the role of reason and precedence in the contemporary world.

  • Identify different types of sharia punishments and distinguish between major schools of sharia, as well as recognize fundamental problems with the application of sharia laws today, and some ways in which Muslim states address these problems.

  • Understand key aspects of the status of women in Islamic law, and the authorities which have helped determined these conditions. Students will be able to discuss implications for Christian mission of Islam’s treatment of women.

  • Identify key principles affecting the standing of non-Muslims in the sharia, for both ‘People of the Book’ and apostates from Islam, as well as issues related to sharia-observance in the Muslim diaspora, where Muslims live among disbelievers. 

Rev. Dr. Mark Durie is a Senior Research Fellow at the Arthur Jeffery Centre of the Melbourne School of Theology, and Director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness. He will be teaching Module Two on Sharia Law via pre-recorded lectures and a live, one-hour weekly tutorial (day/time TBD) with students via Zoom.

Module Three . Sufism . Dr. Dejan Aždajić

In this module, students will:

  • Understand the importance of anthropology for the understanding of Islam in general and Sufism in specific, and distinguish between theology in theory and the manifestation of theology in practice.   

  • Recognize the significant contemporary influence of Sufism for reviving the faith of millions of Muslims worldwide and articulate the explicit goal that Sufis try to achieve through their intense religious devotion.

  • Distinguish different approaches to how Muslims view God as either profoundly distant or incomprehensibly close and learn about love and intimacy with God through a Sufi lens. 

  • Recognize the enormous importance of the spiritual leader, the Shaikh, in Sufism and gain a deeper understanding of Sufi Orders and how the Shaikh represents the absolute center of both religious practices, identity formation, and communal life.

  • Expand their understanding of the various Sufi Orders and recognize the role of mystical practices for spiritual fulfillment. They will also appreciate the power of ritual acts to provide subjective satisfaction and a sense of communal belonging. Finally, students will begin to develop creative ideas on how to engage with Sufi longings and point them to their ultimate fulfilment in Christ.

Dr. Dejan Aždajić is currently a lecturer in the department of Practical Theology at Giessen School of Theology in Germany. His doctoral research was a long-term ethnographic study of various Sufi communities in the Balkans. He will be teaching Module Three on Sufism live via Zoom on Mondays, 8-11am Eastern Time (New York). 

MS640: Discipling BMBs and Planting Churches in Muslim Communities

Live via Zoom Tuesdays, 8-11am Eastern Time (New York)


The course has two major inter-related topics: discipling believers of Muslim background (BMBs) and planting churches among Muslims. We will reflect biblically, theologically & historically on spiritual transformation and discipleship, and then explore practical challenges encountered in discipling BMBs in the churches that we plant. We will then reflect biblically, theologically, and historically on church planting and we will explore the critical issues involved in planting healthy churches and helping guide the development of CPMs.  

Our journey of discovery together will explore historical realities and approaches, biblical and theological perspectives, missiological, cultural and religious challenges and practical approaches to both discipleship and church planting that will enable us to be more faithful and fruitful in our ministries in the 21st century. We will tackle the core issues and challenges that church planters encounter as we endeavor to see God birth healthy, flourishing and multiplying disciples and churches among Muslims.


This 3-credit course is taught by Don Little, Pioneers’ Missiologist, and co-founder of the Lilias Trotter Center. A Canadian from British Columbia, Don served as a church planter in North Africa (1985-1998) and as a mission leader in Canada (1998-2006) before beginning as missiologist-at-large in 2007, and then moving to Houghton, NY, in 2009 in order to teach part-time at Houghton College. In addition to his ongoing work as Pioneer’s Missiologist-at-Large, Don leads and teaches in-person courses in Africa with the LTC and teaches online courses part-time as an adjunct professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary (in partnership with the LTC).

Click on the image above for a video introduction to the course! 



All LTC courses are offered in partnership with Wesley Biblical Seminary

for a significant discount of $1000 for three graduate credits.
You can audit a course for just $250.
Students from the Majority World can audit each course for just $100.

(Requirements for auditors are determined by the course instructor.)

Questions? Email us!

To audit a course, start by choosing the “audit” button in the registration process. Our courses are not listed individually. Simply choose "I'm not sure" from the drop-down menu and follow the rest of the prompts to fill in your personal details. You will be contacted by WBS and given further instructions after that. 

To take a course for seminary credit, click on the "Graduate Certificate" option, then choose "Ministry to Muslims" as the intended degree and fill out the rest of the prompts.

[If you do not have a US-based phone number and are unable to proceed with registration without one, please email us at the address above.]

You will be contacted by an admissions counselor with WBS shortly after you submit your details. Be sure to let them know you are applying as an LTC student and indicate which course(s) you're interested in.

To begin the registration process, CLICK HERE


We offer our courses in partnership with 
Wesley Biblical Seminary
for a Graduate Certificate in Ministry to Muslims

This 24-credit certificate program will give you a solid foundation in understanding the history and development of both Christianity and Islam. You will investigate deeply the core of Christian and Muslim worldviews. You will gain practical skills in evangelism, discipleship and church planting in Muslim contexts. Click here to find out more!


Courses in this certificate program include:

1. Islamic Foundations: A Christian Investigation of Muhammad and the Qur'an


Provides in-depth study of the Qur’an and the biography of Muhammad.

2. History of Islam

Surveys the development of Islam from 632 AD to present.

3. Christian Engagement with Muslims


Investigates historical and contemporary Christian approaches to Muslims.

4. Discipling and Planting Churches among Muslims


Studies principles for fruitful discipling and church planting among Muslims.

5. The Gospels

Develops an effective and comprehensive method of studying Scripture for life and ministry.

6. Philosophy of Christian Religion

Explores the philosophical presuppositions undergirding Christian theology.

7. History of Christian Thought

Traces the history of Christianity and the development of Christian doctrine.

8. Discipleship and Spiritual Formation


Examines the means of grace necessary for a dynamic Christian life and methods for discipleship in the local church.

NOTE: All credits earned in the Certificate can be applied towards a
Master of Arts or Master of Divinity degree at WBS.

Registratio informatio

“The world in which we live today is confronted with catastrophic changes unparalleled in human history and the Church is going to be tasked with discovering how to live side by side, step by step in harmony and yet with distinction, beside or alongside, a very aggressive and uniquely monotheistic faith. For these reasons and more I envision The Lilias Trotter Center helping the Church … as we seek to share Him with those who do not yet know and love Him.”

- David E. Dick,
VP at Large (and former International Director), One Mission Society


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