Dr. Bob Brenneman has taught the course in world religions at the University of Northwestern several times over the last few years. He has been teaching full time at North Central University in Minneapolis since 1996 when he was the missionary in residence for two years. From 1999 until the present he has been a professor in the Intercultural Studies Department.
Previous to his academic career, from 1981 until 1996, Dr. Brenneman was a missionary in the Middle East in a number of locations. From 1974 until going to the Middle East, Bob worked at Chicago Teen Challenge in drug rehabilitation and in street ministry, and then pioneered a church in inner city Chicago until it was self-supporting.
Beginning in 1981, Bob began to study Islam and forming relationships with Muslims. In one location, the Brenneman’s closest missionary colleagues of any denomination were 600 miles away. In another location, they lived in a war zone, and spent two years living without electricity and ministered to countless refugees. In both locations there were no Muslim background believers when they started, but now there are growing networks of people coming to faith in Christ.
Since 1996, after moving back to the States for the education of their children, Bob has taught students at NCU full time, and has done adjunct teaching at Bethel University and Luther Seminary in addition to UNW. He has done seminars at many local churches of many denominations, and has taught Christians about ministering to Muslims in many counties, including India, Bulgaria, Romania, and Belgium. He has taken students on missions trips to numerous countries, including India four times, Turkey six times, Lebanon and Bulgaria two times, China and Germany once. He continues to go to the Middle East every year whether with students or not, especially focusing on ministering to refugees fleeing from Iraq and Syria.
Bob and his wife Sherry have three grown children and six grandchildren. He and Sherry have been married for 43 years.
- As Strong as the Mountains: A Kurdish Cultural Journey (2nd Edition) Waveland Press (2017) (Includes an update about the Kurdish situation, especially in their war against ISIS)
- As Strong as the Mountains: A Kurdish Cultural Journey (Waveland Press 2007) (An ethnography based on the author’s many years living among the Kurds in Iraq and other locations).
- Java and Justice NCU Press, co-edited with Nan Muhovich and William Brookman
- Wrote chapters in Silk Road Stories and Urban Anthropology
Bob has presented papers at anthropology and missiology conferences, Christian-Muslim dialogues, and has done seminars in many churches of many denominations, including Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, Baptist, Evangelical Free, Evangelical Covenant, Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, and non-denominational churches.
Personal Mission Statement
To know Christ and to make him known has been my life’s passion since coming to faith in Christ in 1971. Having spent many years in locations where the church is underground and Christianity is known only as the religion of the enemies of Islam or the faith of “immoral westerners,” I have had to in a sense win people to myself before winning them to Christ. Therefore, I believe that ministry is not so much what we do but who we are, as we live out our lives among the lost and demonstrate the Gospel in truth, power, and most of all in love.