The Near East School of Theology (NEST) is an interdenominational Protestant theological seminary serving Protestant churches of the Middle East and Africa. NEST was formed in 1932 by the merger of the School for Religious Workers in Beirut and the School of Religion in Athens, Greece. It was built on a history of protestant theological education going back to 1835. In 1971, the School was moved to its new home two blocks south of the American University in Ras Beirut. NEST is a member of the Association of Theological Institutes in the Middle East and cooperates closely with the Fellowship of the Middle East Evangelical Churches and the Middle East Council of Churches.
NEST is an undergraduate and graduate theological seminary of 40 to 50 students, four full-time faculty, and seven part-time/visiting faculty members. The Seminary offers the following programs: Bachelor of Theology, Bachelor of Theology in Christian Education, Master of Divinity, Master of Christian Education, and Master of Sacred Theology. The primary purpose of the School is to train pastors and church workers for ministry in the churches and other evangelical organizations in the Middle East. It is also concerned with continuing education for pastors and church workers in active service and with theological education of the laity. NEST also engages in a Christian-Muslim Thought Forum designed to further the engagement of Christians and Muslims around current issues from theological perspectives.
The Seminary is housed in a single building with classrooms, offices, faculty and student lounges, dining facilities, sanctuary and chapel, coffee shop, dormitory rooms for 50 students, six faculty apartments, a gymnasium, a theater, and a 42,000 volume library. The School is working to complete the eighth floor which will hold additional student housing for both NEST students and students from nearby institutions.
Gifts for NEST help provide scholarship funds for students, purchase new library materials, support faculty and staff, and assist with the continued construction.