Warren F. Larson

Warren Larson
(803) 807-5325
Professor Emeritus

Diploma, Peace River Bible Institute; B.Th., Vancouver Bible College; M.Miss., Canadian Theological Seminary; M.Div., Trinity Western University; Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary

Warren Larson is the director of the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies at CIU's Seminary & School of Missions. He also teaches courses related to ministry among Islamic peoples. He joined the CIU-SSM faculty in 1996. Due to his understanding of radical Islam, he has been quoted widely in both Christian and secular publications.

He travels extensively, addressing diverse audiences around the world on communicating to Muslims with love and understanding. He welcomes opportunities to speak on Islam as a world-wide religion in all its varied aspects and its deep needs. Larson attended the Peace River Bible Institute in Sexsmith, Alberta, Canada from 1963 to 1965. During his final year he felt called by God to the mission field and arrived in Pakistan in 1968. After studying Urdu for two years, he began missionary work among Muslims in Dera Ghazi Khan, South Central Punjab. He worked with a local church and operated a reading room in the bazaar.

After completing his bachelor of theology degree at Vancouver Bible College during a furlough in 1974, Larson returned to Dera Ghazi Khan. In 1975 he and his wife, Carol, launched Newspaper Evangelism, putting ads in national newspapers and sending literature to those who responded. In 1976 he started the Good News Center, a Bible correspondence school that is still functioning under Pakistani leadership. He supervised the work of 15 expatriates in the Pakistan Department of International Missions from 1978 to 1988. During this time he also piloted Theological Education by Extension in South Central Pakistan. During a furlough in 1988, he earned a Master of Missiology degree at the Canadian Theological Seminary in Regina, Saskatchewan. Two years after returning to Dera Ghazi Khan, he was charged with spying on the nuclear facilities of Pakistan, keeping illegal maps in his vehicle, and preaching Christianity in the marketplace. A full and fair investigation was never made, though he fought long and hard in order to clear his name. In August 1991, along with his family, he was forced to leave.

Larson earned a Master of Divinity degree at Trinity Western University in Vancouver in 1993. He went on to earn a Ph.D. at Fuller Seminary in 1996. He served as Dr. J. Dudley Woodberry's teaching assistant for several courses in Islam while at Fuller. His dissertation, "Islamic Ideology and Fundamentalism in Pakistan: Climate for Conversion to Christianity?" was published in 1998 by University Press of America. That same year it was chosen as one of the fifteen most significant books in North America on missions.

Diploma, Peace River Bible Institute; B.Th., Vancouver Bible College; M.Miss., Canadian Theological Seminary; M.Div., Trinity Western University; Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary; church planter, Christar (formerly International Missions, Inc.), Pakistan, 1968-91 (director, reading room for Muslims, 1968-76; administrator, Bible Correspondence School, 1976-91; newspaper evangelism, 1976-91; department superintendent, 1978-88); teacher's assistant, research assistant, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1993-96; faculty, Columbia Biblical Seminary and School of Missions, 1996-present; director, Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies, 2003-present.

  • One area of particular interest is the degree to which Christians should contextualize the Gospel in working with Muslims. Considerable controversy exists about the "Insider Movement" and some of it focuses on the technical difference between C4 and C5.
  • Other areas of interest include the spiritual world of Islam, Qur'anic studies and crossing cultural barriers to reach them for Christ.