Eastward Travels & Gratitude for God’s Provision

Since I joined Scholar Leaders in 2022, the story of the visit of the magi has resonated afresh with me. When imagining wise Gentiles from distant lands traveling to Jerusalem to share the good news of the Messiah’s coming (Matthew 2:12), how could I not see the faces of our scholars?

Alongside other members of SL’s staff, I have traveled eastward many times this year and met more of the leaders that the Spirit has raised up to advance the Kingdom of Jesus.

  • March took me to Ukraine to visit our partners’ sacrificial refugee work and to support their research on trauma and reconciliation.
  • May brought me to Istanbul, where we laid the foundation for a network of 14 global think-tanks dedicated to advancing peaceful Christian-Muslim relations.
  • July included travel to Kenya to meet with the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa, whose staff SL is training to apply the Vital Sustainability Initiative in African seminaries.

More exciting work lies ahead for 2024. We will support the nine new PhD scholarship recipients whom we welcomed in September 2023. Those of you who read our Fall Newsletter will have heard about the new curriculum on Islam. Created by half a dozen premier Christian scholars, it will now train pastors across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Next year, we’re redoubling our support for women by partnering with Duke Divinity School to launch our first-ever ThM for global women scholars. The four members of this cohort are arriving this month to undertake an intense one-year degree, which will poise them for doctoral studies at the world’s best universities.


Thank you for helping make this powerful Kingdom work possible. Your partnership is an investment in the ministries of the 54 PhD scholars in our fellowship and in our work responding to the war in Ukraine and engaging Muslims in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. As you consider your end-of-year giving, would you help us start 2024 strong by making a Christmas contribution to Scholar Leaders? To do so, you can visit https://www.scholarleaders.org/give/ or mail a check to Scholar Leaders; 2065 Half Day Road, T-2992; Deerfield, IL 60015.

Sharing in service to the one born King of the Jews and of all humankind,

Christopher M. Hays

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