Decatur, GA. The Board of Trustees of Columbia Theological Seminary has approved the appointment of John Alembillah Azumah as Associate Professor of World Christianity, with tenure. Currently director for the Centre of Islamic Studies and lecturer at the London School of Theology, he will join the Columbia faculty in the summer of 2011.
Born in Bawku, Ghana, Dr. Azumah is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. After serving as an evangelist in northern Ghana, he completed his theological studies at Trinity Theological Seminary in Accra. One of two ministers who pioneered the work of the Northern Outreach Programme of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, he established 18 churches in three years in what is known as the Asante Presbytery.
After completing the M.A. and Ph.D. in Islamics and Christian-Muslim relations at the University of Birmingham, UK, Dr. Azumah served as a senior research fellow at the Henry Martyn Institute and a lecturer at the Union Biblical Seminary, both in India, as a CMS-Australia missionary. He later served as a research fellow with the Akrofi-Christaller Institute in Ghana and as the founding director of the Interfaith Research and Resource Centre of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.
Dr. Azumah has taught in a number of seminaries in Ghana and South Africa and served on the Interfaith Advisory Board of the World Council of Churches. He is also a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury Building-Bridges study group and Lausanne Theology Working Group.
In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he is the author of two books: The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Islam: A Quest for inter-Religious Dialogue (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2001) and My Neighbour’s Faith: Islam Explained for Christians (Nairobi: Hippo Books/Zondervan, 2008).
Announcing the appointment, Columbia’s president, Steve Hayner, said, “John Azumah is a remarkable person, a gifted and disciplined scholar, who has made it his life’s work to build bridges of understanding between Christians and Muslims. He has a brilliant mind, a powerful faith, and a loving heart. His energetic, winsome personality, and warm teaching style have already won the hearts of the Columbia community. We are eager to have him, his wife, Grace, and their family join us.”
Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, GA, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA).