Doug Magnuson, Director
Ph.D. Anthropology, Brown University
M.A. Anthropology, Brown University
B.A. Anthropology, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Patti Magnuson, Program Administrator
B.A. Political Science, Westmont College
Doug and Patti Magnuson have lived in the Middle East for 30 years, growing as disciples of Jesus while living at the crossroads of faith and culture, and they love introducing students to the region that has been their home for most of their married life.
Doug and Patti began their overseas sojourn in Tunisia. While Doug did his anthropological fieldwork, they both began learning Arabic, making friends, adapting to Tunisian culture, and integrating into local life -- going home with friends for meals or weekend stays, eating any local food put in front of them, and learning as many of the customs and lifeways as possible. They went on to live in Tunisia for 12 years, and three of their four children were born there. While their oldest was a toddler, they lived in a Tunisian village, with only letters to connect them to the U.S. Since then, they have lived and worked in Egypt, Jordan and Israel-Palestine. They have co-led ministry teams, mentored countless expatriates in understanding and adapting to Middle Eastern culture, and raised and homeschooled their four children.
Dr. Doug, as he is known on MESP, has taught in five different countries and loves to lead his students on adventures where they learn about culture, politics and religion in living rooms, coffee shops and markets. He regularly cries out, “This is an experience I REFUSE to be denied!,” challenging students to step out of their comfort zones and deeply experience the fullness of life in the Middle East. Doug coordinates all of the MESP courses, delivers lectures, and leads processing sessions on the topics addressed by our amazing array of guest speakers. He also interweaves a strong emphasis on cultural understanding throughout the entire program and trains students in cultural adaptation using the Intercultural Development Inventory.
Though Doug and Patti have done all of their traveling together,Patti has seen a completely different side of life in the region. In a culture where men and women are often kept separate, Patti has had the privilege of experiencing life with Middle Eastern women for more than 30 years. She has truly seen and done it all: she moved overseas with just her backpack and spent her first two months living, with Doug, in a no-star hotel. Together, they wandered the streets looking for opportunities to learn Arabic and make friends. She has attended wedding ceremonies, stayed up all night helping local women butcher a cow to feed the guests at a circumcision ceremony, learned how to make couscous from scratch, and made weekly visits with village women to the public bath.
Patti serves MESP and its students out of this wealth of experience. Using her amazing gifts of encouragement and the Middle Eastern hospitality she has picked up over the years, Patti mentors MESP women and helps both female and male students learn to live in Middle Eastern culture. Patti also helps with MESP’s administrative needs, manages the food stipends, accompanies students on trips, accommodates medical needs, and more.
Campbell McKinney, Program Assistant
B.A. History, Wheaton College
Campbell is a Fall 2013 MESP alum who can’t wait to be your Program Assistant this year. After spending the previous year living in Zarqa, a city about an hour outside of Amman, Campbell has come to love the lifestyle and culture of living in Jordan. He’ll be there to help you in your cultural growth, encourage you to get out of your comfort zone, and support you as someone who has experienced many of the challenges you may face as you grow academically and spiritually.
Campbell grew up in the Philippines and has found that he loves living alongside other people from a variety of different cultures. He loves sports, sight-seeing, learning about historical places and events, reading, and tabletop board games. His time on MESP was his first encounter with the Middle East region, but since then he has known he wants to live here and serve as a bridge between the West and the Middle East, and between Christians and Muslims, in whatever small or large ways he can. He is excited to be able to grow and share life in Jordan alongside you in MESP.