Larry Lichtenwalter, PhD, Faculty Dean

The Faculty of Philosophy and Theology consists of two departments: the Department of Religion, which offers two undergraduate degrees; and the Department of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies, which offers one graduate MEU degree in Islamic Studies, a BA concentration in Islamic Studies, and one graduate Andrews University degree in Mediterranean Studies, Arabic language instruction, and creative research/symposia via its Adventist Institute for Islamic and Arabic Studies.

The Faculty’s vision is to be known for advancing the life-transforming worldview of Revelation’s Three Angels’ Messages (Rev 14:6-12) for personal life and compassionate service, and for its contribution to Adventist understanding of the Arab and Islamic world.

The mission of the Faculty is to equip converted Adventist gospel workers and leaders to think theologically, engage globally, and live biblically by:

  • Developing in students a vision for God’s redemptive work throughout the world and to formulate the strategies that will lead to effective church planting, pastoral care, leadership, teaching, research and writing, tentmaking, missions, evangelism, or discipleship.
  • Nurturing spiritually mature gospel workers whose experiential knowledge of God in Christ is evidenced in their character, outlook, conduct, relationships, leadership, ministry, and mission.
  • Preparing gospel workers who can positively interact with and biblically impact people of Arab and Muslim heritage both inside and outside the Arab world.
  • Providing relevant resource for the MENA Union and the global Adventist Church.
  • Offering a missionary relevant, academically solid, and culturally rich location for learning and praxis.

The Faculty supports and helps nuance MEU’s spiritual, ethical, and service values and ethos. Faculty members bring rich experience of pastoral care and nurture as well as spiritual leadership and biblical insight in their personal interaction with both students and other MEU faculty and staff.


The Department of Religion offers undergraduate degrees to prepare Bible teachers and gospel ministers to serve the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the wider community. Degree students are provided in-depth instruction in biblical, theological, historical, ethical, and pastoral courses so as to be better equipped for a wide and relevant proclamation of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. The department also provides basic religion courses to meet the religion course requirement needs of general education courses.

The mission of the department is to involve both degree majors and general education courses students in an experiential understanding of Jesus Christ and His Word; to encourage the study of God’s word, sharing of spiritual and ethical ideas, connecting with people, serving humanity, and changing one’s world; to contribute to the development of family, community, and the Church in anticipation of the soon return of Jesus Christ.

The department offers the following degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Religion (BA)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Theology (BA)


The Mediterranean world encompasses three continents: Western AsiaNorth Africa, and Southern Europe. The history of the Mediterranean region is the history of the interaction of the cultures and people of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea—the central superhighway throughout history of transport, trade, and cultural exchange between diverse peoples. Its history is important to understanding the origin and development of the Mesopotamian, Egyptian,Canaanite, Phoenician, Hebrew, Greek, Roman,Byzantine, Persian, Ottoman,Christian, and Islamic cultures, not to mention the history and culture of the Arabs. Its history and culture is important to understanding the Bible both in its context and for modern times.  

The Mediterranean world is the cultural stage for civilization with both the clash and cross-fertilization of cultures. It continues as one of the world’s most strategic regions and the church’s greatest missional challenge.  It is the birthplace of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths. Studying with the department introduces one to the rich heritage of the Middle East and Mediterranean world including Islamic sources (religion, history, culture, society, ethics, politics), and to current culture and media of the Arab world. It provides insight into these places and peoples that continue to play a major role on the world stage.  It does so from a biblical, theological, and missional perspective and with the purpose of deepening the understanding of Scripture, the Great Controversy metanarrative, and the critical issues/turning points of salvation history.

The department offers one graduate degree program, one BA level concentration/minor, Arabic language instruction, and cutting-edge research/symposia via its Adventist Institute for Islamic and Arabic Studies. Additionally, and in cooperation with Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, the department will host a yearly spring cohort MAR in Mediterranean Studies—beginning Spring 2016-2017 academic year.

MEU’s Faculty of Philosophy and Theology is emerging as the knowledge center for the global Adventist community on Islamic, Arabic, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern culture and society. The expertise of an international faculty, relevant library holdings, culturally rich learning context, and pleasant instructional facilities provide an enriching post-graduate learning experience.


The Arabic Language Institute offers non-credit and credit university courses in the Arabic language at various levels for students whose mother tongue is not Arabic and who have never received formal studies in the Arabic language.

The institute aims to meet the increasing demand to learn the Arabic language. Students will learn to speak and write Arabic, as well as improve their understanding of the Arabic-speaking culture.

Classes are offered at the basic, intermediate, and advanced levels. Students may begin in the basic level. Upon completing the basic level, they will be promoted to the intermediate level, and subsequently to the advanced level. Students must achieve an aggregate of not less than a “C” grade in order to be promoted from one level to the other. Upon a successful completion of all three levels, the student will receive a formal letter of completion.