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Note: if you are enrolled in an Encountering Muslims class, a copy of the book is included in your registration.  
The EWI Book

Investigate Islam through this positive and hopeful 640-page textbook. Encountering the World of Islam explores the Muslim world and God's plan for Muslims. Read from a collection of writings about the life of Muhammad, the history of Islamic civilization, Islamic beliefs, Muslims today, and the everyday lives of Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia. Gain insight into diverse Muslim cultures and worldviews as well as Christian outreach toward Muslims, our response to Islam, and prayer for the Muslim world. Writings from more than 80 different practitioners will introduce you to the multi-faceted world of Islam. This book is used as the textbook for the Encountering Muslims course.

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Book Features

Reading Assignments: Each lesson includes an average of 30 pages of reading, plus additional 117 pages of articles online (available after free registration for access).

Highlights: Brief readings focusing on specific topics of interest to the reader are found throughout the book, including:

  • Concepts: Important biblical or cultural concepts the student should know.
  • Outreach: Appropriate ways for reaching out to Muslims.
  • People Groups: Overviews of the major ethnic Muslim affinity blocks, illustrated with descriptions of characteristic people groups from each block.
  • Pray Now: Guides to praying for Muslims within each lesson.
  • Quotes: Quotations from "the experts" illustrating important lesson points.
  • Qur’an: Important verses and concepts from the Qur’an.
  • Stories: Narrative accounts from the lives of Muslims and Muslim-background believers.
  • Women: Specific issues that affect the lives of Muslim women.

Ponder This: Introductory questions help set the mental stage for entering each lesson.



Explore: Recommendations for deeper exploration of lesson topics.

Discussion Questions: Application questions to use in class activities, provide ideas for forum postings, or simply serve as points for individual reflection.

Learn More: Additional activities which may be assigned by your professor or completed just for fun, including reading, watching, praying, visiting, eating, listening, meeting, shopping, and browsing the internet.

Glossary: Unfamiliar terms or concepts are cross-referenced and included in the 40-page glossary. 

Pronunciation Guide: Help with pronouncing non-English words found throughout the text.

Common Word List: Key words that occur frequently throughout the book.

Illustrations: 110 Charts, Maps, Diagrams, and Illustrations

Index: Comprehensive and extensively cross-referenced topical index, as well as separate Bible and Qur'an indices.

Bibliography: Complete, scholarly collection of the authors, readings, and highlights that appear in the book.

Meet the Editor

Keith Swartley, editor

Keith Swartley has had a heart for Muslims since first befriending them in the old town of Mombasa, Kenya, East Africa in 1983. Since then Keith has enjoyed learning from and sharing with Muslims in Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Republic of Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. One day he hopes to retire in the Muslim world, but until then Keith plans to continue motivating Christians to share the love of Christ reverently and gently with Muslims around the corner or across the globe.

Keith and his wife Ethel, a university professor teaching English as a second language, have been married for over thirty years and have two daughters: Margaret and Charis. In addition, their family has often included international students hosted for up to two years at a time.

From 1993 until 2002, Keith was on staff with the U.S. Center for World Mission (now Frontier Ventures) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A focus of Keith’s ministry since 1992 has been the development of the Encountering Muslims course. After September 11, 2001, Encountering Muslims became his main ministry focus. In the summer of 2002, the Swartleys joined Caleb Project in Littleton, Colorado, to further develop the course, which subsequently came under the ministry of Pioneers in 2007.

For over thirty years, Encountering Muslims has trained over 50,000 participants to express the love of Christ and to plant reproducing churches among Muslims. The course has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Russian, Portuguese, and Spanish, empowering Christians to love and effectively share the hope of the gospel with Muslims in 40 countries.

As a part of his ministry, Keith continues to teach in many venues, especially Encountering Muslims and Perspectives on the World Christian Movement courses. You can contact Keith at keith@encounteringmuslims.org.