Andrew Saperstein

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Andrew Saperstein serves as Associate Director of the Reconciliation Program.

"He was born in Los Angeles and raised in the Chicago area and northeastern Ohio. Brought up by a secular Jewish father and a nominally Christian mother, he became a serious follower of Jesus in 1979, weeks before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In part inspired by the plight of the Afghan people at that time, he was drawn to work in the Muslim world. Toward that end, he began his undergraduate education at The Ohio State University and at Wheaton College, and went on to receive his B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 1988. He went on to study Linguistics at The Ohio State University, receiving his M.A. in 1991 and his Ph.D. in 1996. He has won several teaching awards at The Ohio State University, where he taught Linguistics for several years.

"From 1991-1994, Andrew conducted linguistic research under a Fulbright fellowship among Afghan refugees in Peshawar and Quetta, Pakistan. Returning to Pakistan in 1997, Andrew served as a language and literacy consultant to NGOs working among Afghan refugees there. Finding it necessary to relocate due to geopolitical developments, Andrew and his family moved to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, where for nearly eight years he headed an educational development program that included a translation and publication program involving local languages; a public library program; a school library resource program; and the development of teacher education and health education materials in local languages. Between 1991 and 2006, he traveled extensively in Afghanistan, and served as a consultant to several humanitarian agencies working there. He also has taught Sociolinguistics at the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages, and has significant ability in several Central Asian languages.

"In June 2006, Andrew accepted the position as Associate Director of the Reconciliation Program, located in Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture. In his present position, Andrew helps to organize and facilitate programs that promote reconciliation between Muslims and Christians, and Muslim nations and the West, drawing on the resources of the Abrahamic faiths and the teachings and person of Jesus. Initiatives of the program involve Muslim communities around the world, and significant engagement with both Christian and Jewish communities, as well.

"Andrew has held leadership positions in a number of churches and Christian organizations, and has for nearly twenty-five years been a member of Vineyard Church of Columbus, at present the largest church in the Association of Vineyard Churches. He currently attends a Vineyard church in the New Haven area. He enjoys reading literature and philosophy, hiking, biking and spending time with friends and family, and is passionately committed to the role of the local church in being an agent of God’s mercy to the world in all spheres. He is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs and enjoys playing the harmonica. Andrew’s wife since 1982, Kathy, has been a partner in his work, and has helped to raise their four children — Claire (born in 1988), Emma (born in 1990), Margaret (born in 1995), and Joseph (born in 1998)." [1]

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  1. Andrew Saperstein, Yale Center for Faith & Culture, accessed December 22, 2008.