- As Christian mission among Muslims grow rapidly in the twenty-first century, it will be important to promote coexistence between Christianity and Islam through cultural understanding, cooperation, and mutual trust. World churches are active in studying the Islamic world. The Vatican has established the Pontifical Institute for the Study of Arabic and Islam, while the World Council of Churches promotes dialogue between Christianity and other religions. The World Economic Forum and Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization also hold conferences on Christian-Muslim matters, including mission. Korea has had diplomatic relations with the Islamic world since 1970 for economic and political reasons. Korean churches support overseas mission through various mission societies. The approach to missions in the Islamic world should be neither unilateral nor threatening. Rather it should be through invitation and acceptance in order for missions to be achieved. Attention should be devoted to gaining an understanding of historic, religious and cultural factors. There is a great need to remove the wall of conflict and exclusiveness between Christianity and Islam. The Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) was established to play such a role. On September 25, 1992, the IIS in Korea held its first public lecture and on February 26, 2007, it joined with Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology (TTGST) to become Torch Trinity Center for Islamic Studies (TTCIS).
In the spring and fall, open lectures on Islam are held by TTCIS for anyone who is interested in going or supporting missions in Islamic countries, as missionaries, church leaders, and students or as professional lay persons. Our guest lecturers and speakers—all experts in the field of Islam mission and culture—bring valuable understanding of Islam theology and culture. Main topics for the lectures include topics such as understanding Islam, the theology of Islam, Muslim women and society, revival movements of Islam, Islamic Da'wah and how to evangelize Muslims. From May 2 to June 27, open lectures are available every Monday night (eight in total) during the spring semester.
The starting point for understanding culture and religion is language. Studies in Arabic are provided to complement the study of Islamic religion and culture. Arabic lectures begin in the spring and last for ten weeks. TTCIS will continue to open new phases of the class.
On March 14, 2011, a special lecture was held On "Understanding Arab Muslim for Christian Mission" by Ki-Hak Kim (Associated Director of Interserve Korea) to help people understand the religious and political situation of Muslims living in Arab countries. TTCIS plans to hold special lectures four times a year.
On February 14, 2011, the first researcher colloquium was held on "Changing of the Arab Muslim Identity" by Jae-Hoon Hong (Chief Researcher of TTCIS). The purpose of the colloquium is to develop Korean Islamic studies to participate and influence Christian Mission to Muslims. TTCIS plans to hold second researcher colloquium on April 25. A second colloquium will be held on "Islamic Da'wah and Jihad" by Jee-Yun Kwon (Ph.D. candidate in Intercultural Studies at TTGST). TTCIS plans to hold researcher colloquiums six times a year.
Newsletter, "Ishmael, Our Brother" Publication
TTCIS publishes a newsletter, Ishmael, Our Brother, which contains research papers, missionary essays, book reviews and critiques. Over one hundred issues have been published.
TTCIS publishes a research journal, Muslim-Christian Encounter, which deals with controversial and serious issues on Islam to help people to understand Islam accurately with a healthy perspective. Each journal has a theme. The following lists thematic topics for the first four journals as examples. 1 – Peace, Justice, and Muslim-Christian Relations 2 – Muslim in Non-Muslim World 3 – Islamic Da'wah and Christian Mission 4 – Folk Islam Then next publication is slated for November 2011.
- Dr. Jae-Ok Jun : Emeritus Director
- Dr. Ah-Young Kim : Director
- Jee-Yun Kwon : General Manager
- Jung -Nyun Kim: Senior Researcher
- Kyun-Ja Cho: Assistant