General Secretary of Arab Group for Christian-Muslim Dialogue
The Rev. Dr. Riad Jarjour since 1995 has served as general secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches. Born in Aleppo, Syria, he grew up in the industrial city of Homs. While in high school, he spent one year in Green Bay, Wis., as an exchange student. He completed his B.A. degree at Hagazian College and M.Div. at the Middle East School of Theology, both in Beirut, Lebanon, and in 1978 was ordained a minister in the Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. Further studies include the STM degree in Islamic studies from the Middle East School of Theology, and the D.Min. degree at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Ill. A chaplain in South Lebanon for several years, he joined the Middle East Council of Churches in 1978 as director of the Youth Program and in 1983 became co-director, with his wife, Roseangela, of the Ayia Napa Conference Center in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. In 1985 he was named associate general secretary of the MECC and director of its Unit on Education and Renewal. The MECC has become increasingly involved in Christian-Muslim dialogue under the Rev. Jarjour's leadership.