Frequently asked questions

Fulani Lady

1. What is Encountering Muslims?
2. Why is this subject so important?
3. What topics does Encountering Muslims cover?
4. Who teaches this course?
5. When and where this course offered?
6. How much does the course cost?
7. What’s the difference between certificate and credit?
8. How much of my time will this course take?
9. What is the Encountering the World of Islam book like?
10. Can I take Encountering Muslims online?
11. Does Encountering Muslims represent the official Pioneers approach?

1. What is Encountering Muslims?
Encountering Muslims is a 12-lesson course developed by a team of people led by editor Keith Swartley. The vision of the team is to present the body of Christ with a fresh perspective on Muslims. The course is designed to help believers connect relationally with the Muslim community and to respectfully explain our hope in Jesus Christ, while not repeating prideful errors of the past.

Encountering Muslims guides you on a journey into the lives of Muslims around the world and in your neighborhood. Through this course and book, you will learn about Muhammad and the history of Islam, gain insight into today’s world conflicts, and dispel fears and myths about Muslims. You will also discover the frustrations and desires of Muslims and learn how to pray for and befriend them. Encountering Muslims provides a positive and biblical perspective on God’s heart for Muslims and equips you to reach out to them in Christ’s love.

  • Highlights in each lesson provide insight into Muslim culture, the Qur’an, and Muslim women.
  • Discussion questions and other assignments will deepen your understanding of Muslim interests and concerns.
  • Charts, maps, and illustrations illuminate the text and provide additional context.
  • An extensive, easy-to-use glossary clarifies Muslim terminology.
  • Additional activities, articles, and resources are found in a free classroom on this website.

Participants leave the class with a working knowledge of the Islamic faith, how to get involved in reaching out to Muslims, and how to explain their beliefs to Muslims.

2. Why is this subject so important?
Islam was founded more than 600 years after the resurrection of Christ. It is considered, by some, to be the greatest test of Christian relevance in the world today. Sadly, Christians rarely reach out to Muslims. Many Christians hold mistaken stereotypes that make Muslims seem unattractive. Some Christians find it difficult to relate to Muslims. Others simply don’t know how to interact with their Muslim neighbors. Encountering Muslims can help break down these barriers.

3. What topics does Encountering Muslims cover?
History: What was the historical setting for the birth and expansion of Islam? What factors allowed for its growth throughout the world?

Theology: What does the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an, say about people’s relationship with God and with each other? What about sin, death, Jesus, the Trinity, community, and conversion?

Culture: What are culture and worldview? How do Muslims see the world? What about the role of women, the veil, and jihad? What is the everyday life of Muslims really like?

Strategy: How can Christians relate the gospel in a culturally sensitive way to Muslims near them and throughout the world? How can we begin reaching out to the Muslim world regardless of whether or not our current circumstances ever change?

4. Who teaches this course?
This course has 10 lectures taught by:

  • Articulate Muslims
  • Christians working with Muslims
  • Christians who come from a Muslim background

5. When and where is this course offered?
We would love to offer the course everywhere, but we depend on God to raise up local churches or facilitators. Interested in hosting? Click here. To see what is currently being offered. For information about currently offered classes, go here.

6. How much does the course cost?
Like anything that has value, the course does require an investment of time, effort, and resources. Depending on the format, the cost will vary with the different benefits involved (think in-person, live instruction, host facility, mentored vs. autonomous, flexible, in your home). It will range from $60 to $250.

8. What’s the difference between certificate and credit?
Certificate: To earn a certificate, you will need to attend course lectures and read the Textbook Readings (about 30 pages per lesson). You will make weekly postings and replies in a class discussion forum, take four online quizzes, report on and discuss meeting twice with a Muslim, visit a mosque, and present an oral report. If you have to miss classes, audio files and lecture notes are available in the online classroom to keep you up to date in the class.

Credit: We cannot award you credit - but many have earned credit for taking Encountering Muslims. The best option for earning academic credit is to arrange an independent study at the school where you are already enrolled. Talk to your academic adviser about your school’s requirements (online distance learning students may obtain a sample academic syllabus by contacting our office; students attending a local Encountering Muslims course will need to contact their class coordinator). At a minimum, you will need to attend the course lectures and read the Textbook and Online Readings (55 pages each week). Additional readings may also be assigned depending on whether you are seeking undergraduate or graduate credit. You will participate in weekly discussion forum postings, take four quizzes, and present an final report, which may include a written paper.

9. How much of my time will the course take?

  • In general, plan for three to four hours per lesson, although you may want to spend more time exploring areas of particular interest to you.

  • Each lesson's lecture is about 90 minutes, with 30-40 pages of textbook reading.

  • Discussion is a key part, whether this takes place in person or online. You will also take four quizzes.

  • Perhaps the most important assignments are the experiential ones: visiting a mosque and meeting with a Muslim twice during the course. You complete these assignments when you share about them in discussion forums.

10. What is the Encountering the World of Islam book like?

For information about the book, click here.

11. Can I take Encountering Muslims online?
Yes! The online class covers the same topics as the in-person classes and requires textbook readings, viewing (streaming video) or listening (downloadable audio files) to lectures, online discussions with other class members and a course mentor, meeting a Muslim and visiting an Islamic center in your local area, and taking four quizzes and one exam online. In order to preserve the course's interactive nature, a self-paced version is not offered. Rather, each course will begin and end on specific dates, with weekly due dates for assignments, quizzes, and exams. If you sign up for our online class, you will want to check your calendar before registering. They are offered in 12-week sessions in fall, winter/spring, and summer. A certificate of completion will be issued to all online students who complete course requirements.

To learn more, go to online classes.

12. Does Encountering Muslims represent the official Pioneers approach?

The views and opinions expressed on this website, in the related course, textbook, and other publications, are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Encountering Muslims, Pioneers USA, or its affiliates, members, donors, groups hosting the course, and/or the employers of the instructors, or any contributor to this site, course, and textbook. This material may have been previously disseminated in print, internet, or another medium. In particular, views expressed are intended to spur discussion and not to advocate for a particular point of view.