Samir Selmanovic

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Samir Selmanovic (1965-) grew up in the former Yugoslavia. While his father was Muslim and mother Christian, he was essentially brought up an atheist. He completed compulsory service in the army, becoming a Christian at age 18. He completed a bachelor of science degree in structural engineering at the University of Zagreb 1985-90. He moved to the United States in 1990, where he earned three graduate degrees from Andrews University in Michigan: M.A. Developmental Psychology 1992-95, M.Div. Religion 1991-95, Ph.D. Education: Study in human development, design of a curriculum on worldview change over a human lifespan 1994-97. He then served as a pastor and community organizer in Manhattan for six years.

When the pastor of Church of the Advent Hope in New York City, he was honored by the group Muslims Against Terrorism for his assistance following the September 11, 2001 attacks, which included holding a Christian-Muslim discussion at the peak of tensions. After 2002 he transferred to Southern California.  where he co-founded Crosswalk Church. He returned to New York in 2007, to start the non-profit organization called Faith House Manhattan, an inter-religious “community of communities” and a co-laboratory of interdependence. He also leads a Christian community named "Citylights", and serves on the Interfaith Relations Commission of the United StatesNational Council of Churches.

Samir completed Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Program 2014-15 (Georgetown University is Jesuit affilated).

He is a Seventh-day Adventist, yet believes no organized religion is perfect, and seeks to affirm aspects of other faiths.  He is is known particularly for his work in interfaith dialogue.

He was a member of the Coordinating Group at Emergent Village and a leader in Re-church Network.


  • Contributor, Emergent Manifesto of Hope, ed. Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt
  • It's Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian, (2009)



Faith House Manhattan

- Experience Your Neighbor's Faith, Deepen Your Own.

Faith House was started in 2007 as a project of Adventist Metro Ministries, an organization under the North American Division (SDA) that was generously their fiscal sponsor untill about 2010 and provided initial legal and operational support of the project.  Faith House Project is a friend of the Emergent Village network which also has supported the project.

Some early endorsements:

  • Samir Selmanovic is just what we have needed to bring the spirit of Christ to bear in a fractured society. His attempts to create dialogue between peoples of different religious traditions is essential in a pluralistic society and is desperately needed in a world in which religion has become an instrument of war instead of actualizing its intended goal of being an instrument of peace. Here is a young man with vision and with the kind of drive and commitment that will enable his dreams to be actualized. He is bright and articulate and I am sure that he will be used of God in this project, living out the biblically-prescribed ministry of reconciliation. ~ Tony Campolo
  • Many of us feel that unless we can see vibrant new faith communities engaging with the urban culture of New York City, we are not ready to grapple with tomorrow's realities. The old line from the song - "If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere" - rings true in ministry. The problem is that relatively few people have the skills and ethos to survive, much less thrive and effectively minister, in the Big Apple. And even fewer have the desire! My friend Samir has all of the above. If I weren't otherwise occupied, I'd strongly consider moving to the City and working alongside him. He's a powerful communicator, a strong leader, cross-culturally fluent, amazingly bright, widely experienced, theologically alive, and gifted to develop faith communities that bring together diverse people in the pursuit of mutual understanding, peace, and the making of a better world. I hope that many people will join me in trying to encourage and support him in a new and innovative venture in this important city at this critical time. ~ Brian McLaren
  • Brave" and "bold" aptly describe Samir's vision of inter-religious understanding and reconciliation. The mission to bring together the monotheistic religions while candidly maintaining one's own faith commitment is a challenging task. To combat obvious strife and rampant misunderstanding is sure to draw questioners and detractors. None of us knows where this will lead, but we know the goal is right. The title that seems most appropriate to me is "peacemaker." Jesus blessed such people and said they should be called "the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). What Jesus blesses, I would like also to bless, and to encourage all to pray for. ~ Jon Dybdahl
  • I am Pleased to endorse Samir's proposed endeavor to establish a Kingdom outpost in New York City.  This bold and heaven-inspired initiative merits Your prayerful support. ~ Raj Attiken, President of the Ohio Conference of SDA.
  • Samir is the most faithfully prophetic pastor in the Adventist Church today.  His vision and courage have inspired me now for over 6 years and his friendship has nourished my life and ministry.  The mission that he and his Family are about to embark on is the kind of faithful courage the Church needs right now. ... I am proud to support this Project.  It is urgently needed and it will be an example for other Christian ministries. ... ~ Ryan Bell
  • ... I am happy to endorse the urban ministry Project that Samir Selmanovic is undertaking. ~ Jon Paulien, Dean of Faculty of Religion at Loma Linda University
  • + Monte Sahlin, Samuel Leonor, Nathan Brown and others.

Samir Selmanovic - Learning to love well

  • His book It's Really All About God: has been endorsed by many religious leaders including Brian McLaren, Karen Armstrong, Marcus Borg and others.
  • Selmanovic in an Emergent Manifesto of Hope, p. 192-193: The emerging church movement has come to believe that the ultimate context of the spiritual aspirations of a follower of Jesus Christ is not Christianity but rather the Kingsom of God. ... to believe that Gos is limited to it [Christianity] would be an attempt to manage God.  If one holds that Christ is confined to Christianity, one has chosen a god that is not sovereign.  Soren Kierkegaard argued that the moment one decides to become a Christian, one is liable to idolatry.

  • Selmanovic on his website: [His interfaith vision will] seek to bring progressive Jews, Christians, Muslims, and spiritual seekers of no faith to become an interfaith community for the good of the world.  We have one world and one God.

  • Selmanovic in an Emergent Manifesto of Hope, p. 194: Is our religion [Christianity] the only one that undertands the true meaning of life?  Or does God place his truth in others too?  Well, God decides, and not us.  The gospel of the kingdom of God, and what belongs to the kingdom of God cannot be hijacked by Christianity.

  • Selmanovic in an Emergent Manifesto of Hope, p. 196: Moreover, if non-Christians can know our God, then we want to benefit from their contribution to our faith. ... without an attitude of learning from them is simply lazy, a sin born of pride.

  • Selmanovic in an Emergent Manifesto of Hope, p. 198: We are to be ... those who put nothing before the kingdom of God, even if it is our beloved religion.

  • from :

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