Dr. Warren Larson, the director of the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies at CIU's Seminary & School of Missions, is the recipient of the "Distinguished Alumni of the year Award" at his alma mater Peace River Bible Institute (PRBI) in Sexsmith, Alberta, Canada.
Larson graduated from PRBI in 1965. During his final year at the school, Larson 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 Larson 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 joined the faculty of CIU Seminary & School of Missions in 1996, where he teaches courses related to ministry among Islamic peoples. 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 worldwide religion in all its varied aspects and its deep needs.
To view Larson’s videotaped address to the students of Peace River Bible Institute, go the the CIU YouTube channel: