Associate Professor of Christian-Muslim Studies; Director of A Center for Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice
B.A. University of Toledo
M.Div. Trinity Lutheran Seminary
Th.M. Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Ph.D. University of Birmingham, England
Arabic language study at the American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
Areas of Expertise
Topics that Dr. Shelley is available to address at adult forums and other congregational events
Middle Eastern Christianity
A pastor of the ELCA, Michael Shelley and his wife, Joanne, served as missionaries in Cairo, Egypt. There his principal work was in congregational ministry and theological education.
He served as the pastor of the Heliopolis Community Church and St. Andrew’s United Church of Cairo, and as director of graduate studies and professor of church history at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo. He has taught courses nationally and internationally in the fields of Christian-Muslim relations, Islam, Christian mission, and the history of Middle Eastern Christianity.
With a Ph.D. in Islam and Christian-Muslim relations, and having lived for many years in Egypt, he has a deep passion for fostering and promoting understanding and constructive relations between Christians and Muslims, a task to which he has devoted nearly 35 years of his career. He and Joanne live in the Hyde Park neighborhood.
Michael Shelley serves as director of the Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Ordained in 1979, he is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
From 1979-2003, he and his wife, Joanne, served as ELCA missionaries in Cairo, Egypt. There Shelley’s principal work was in congregational ministry and theological education. He served as the pastor of the Heliopolis Community Church (1979-1982) and St. Andrew’s United Church of Cairo (1988-1998), and as director of graduate studies and professor of church history at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (1998-2003), which is the official seminary of the Evangelical Synod of the Nile, the Presbyterian Church of Egypt. Shelley taught courses in the fields of Christian-Muslim relations and the history of Middle Eastern Christianity. For twelve years (1991-2003), he was also on the teaching staff of the Dar Comboni Center for Arabic and Islamic Studies, an institute established by the Comboni Order to train Catholic religious for work in the Muslim world. Shelley has also taught at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, England, and Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Toward Understanding Islam
Keeping the Faith: Being Christian in the Islamic Middle East
In addition to a number of essays in church publications in Egypt and book reviews for academic journals, Michael Shelley has published the following articles:
“Caring for God’s Beautiful Creation: A Tribute to David Rhoads”
Currents in Theology and Mission Vol 37 No 2 (April, 2010) 84-85
Review of The Gift of Responsibility: The Promise of Dialogue among Christians, Jews, and Muslims by Lewis S. Mudge in Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, Vol. 63, #4 (October, 2009) p. 438
Review of Conflict and Cooperation: Christian-Muslim Relations in Contemporary Egypt by Peter E. Makari. Trinity Seminary Review 30 , no. 1 (Winter/Spring 2009): 63-64.
"Al-Ghazali's Benign Influence on Temple Gairdner." In A Faithful Presence: essays for Kenneth Cragg, ed. David Thomas and Claire Amos. London: Melisende, 2003, 201-218.
"Temple Gairdner of Cairo Revisited." Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 10 (October 1999): 261-278.
His doctoral dissertation, "The Life and Thought of W. H. T. Gairdner, 1873-1928: A Critical Evaluation of a Scholar-Missionary to Islam" (University of Birmingham, England, 1988), is available through the British Library.