Graduate Theological Union


Munir Jiwa, Director

Ph.D., Columbia University
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
B.A., Simon Fraser University

Munir Jiwa is the Founding Director of the Center for Islamic Studies and Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, and a visiting scholar at the Center on Institutions and Governance at UC Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University and a Masters in World Religions from Harvard Divinity School. His research interests include Islam and Muslims in the West, media, aesthetics, secularism, and religious formation. Since 1995 he has worked with Religions for Peace on interfaith programs in Bosnia, Japan, the Middle East, and West Africa. He also worked with the Ford funded “Muslims in NYC Project” at Columbia University from 1998-2004. Currently he is serving on the Islamic Studies Advisory Group for Public Education at Stanford University, and on the Steering Committee for the Contemporary Islam group at the AAR. He has a manuscript under review, titled: Exhibiting Muslims: Art, Politics and Identity in New York City.

Dr. Jiwa was also the GTU commencement faculty speaker on May 10, 2012. His address was titled, Marking and Making Time.


Marianne Farina

Ph.D., Boston College
M.A., Santa Clara University
B.F.A., Parsons School of Design/New School for Social Research University

She is a religious sister in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, IN; Associate Professor of Catholic Theology and Philosophical Ethics at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT); and member of the GTU Core Doctoral Faculty.  Sister Marianne teaches courses and has written on topics related to Moral Theology, Philosophical Ethics, Ethics in Islam, Human Rights, Interreligious Dialogue, and Faith Formation. Over the last three years, she has traveled to Africa and Asia as a delegate and teacher covering topics such as "Religion and Democracy," "Methods for Cross-Cultural Understanding," and "Christian-Muslim Understanding".



Som Pourfarzaneh

Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley CA, 2013
M.A.S.C., Starr King School for the Ministry, 2007
B.A., University of California Berkeley, 2003

Som Pourfarzaneh is the Associate Director of Public Programs & Lecturer at the Center for Islamic Studies, Graduate Theological Union (GTU).  He holds a Ph.D. in from the GTU in Berkeley, CA, and his research interests include cultural production, video games and online media, social networks, Islamophobia, and Islam in the West.