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Crescent Project’s most immersive training experience 

Held every summer, Sahara Challenge provides in-depth teaching and application by high-level instructors, followed by an optional short-term trip to a Muslim culture.


About Sahara Challenge

Sahara Challenge is an intensive classroom training and preparatory course focused on bridging the Gospel to the Muslim heart and mind. Participants include missionaries, pastors, lay workers, and college students, who receive practical tools and an encouraging message designed to spur a lifetime of service. 

Coursework Overview

Sahara Challenge coursework includes a mixture of classroom instruction and practical application. Courses are taught by former Muslims and experts in Islam and Muslim culture. Participants are required to read a set of preparatory books and view some online training videos.

Areas of study include: 



  • History, Growth and Influence

  • Beliefs and Rituals

  • Folk vs. Orthodox Islam

  • Position of Men vs. Women

Ministry Skills

  • Your Attitude and Approach

  • Bridging the Gospel

  • Assimilating the Culture

  • Communicating Cross-culturally

Spiritual Formation

  • Understanding and Using Your Spiritual Gifts

  • The Power of Fasting and Prayer in Muslim Ministry

  • Your Role in Bringing Muslims to Christ

Leadership and Teamwork

  • Servant Leadership

  • Leadership Styles

  • Ministering as a Team


 Short-Term Trips

Sahara Challenge participants and alumni have the opportunity to participate in short-term trips to interact with Muslim communities in Europe and the Middle East!


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Why is it called "Sahara Challenge"?
The Sahara is a metaphor of the spiritual state of the Muslim world. Islam is a complex religious/political system that ultimately does not offer salvation or peace to its followers. The Muslim world is in a vast state of spiritual dryness, like a desert. Our challenge as the community of Christ followers is to bring the teachings of Christ to the 1.6 billion spiritually thirsty Muslims.

Who is Sahara Challenge designed for?
Sahara Challenge is designed for anyone 18 years and older who wants to learn how to effectively reach Muslims with the gospel. Most students fall into two groups: 1) College students and professionals investigating a deeper involvement in Muslim ministry. 2) Candidates or field staff from sending agencies who want to increase their effectiveness.

Can I go on a trip without taking the week of training?
No. Because summer trips focus heavily on outreach, all participants must complete Sahara Challenge. However, all Sahara Challenge Alumni are welcome to participate in any Crescent Project trips. 

When is the application deadline?
The application deadline for Sahara Challenge is May 24. See the Short Term Trips page for trip deadlines.

When are the payment deadlines?
For overseas short-term trip participants, half of the balance is due by April 15. The remaining balance for both short-term trip participants and Sahara Challenge participants is due by May 24th. Account balance questions must be sent in writing to

How do I pay my remaining balance for Sahara Challenge or trip?
To pay your remaining balance for Sahara Challenge or trip, do the following:

  1. Go to

  2. In the "I'd like to give to" field, select "Other"

  3. In the Fund field, select "Sahara Challenge Registration"

  4. In the Amount field, enter the amount you wish to pay

  5. In the Comments field, enter your name

  6. In the Recurring field, select "One Time"

  7. Enter your bank account or credit card information to complete the payment and click Submit

Contributions given by you and others for the Sahara Challenge training and trips are not tax-deductible. To find out about options for tax-deductible giving, please contact the accounting office at


Housing and Meals
Housing and meals are included for the week. If you have special dietary restrictions, please indicate them on your application. If you have a spouse or friend that you would like to room with, please notify us ahead of time. Spouses will be housed together, but it's not guaranteed that friends will be in every case. Housing facilities are located on campus within the residence halls and are furnished with two twin beds, dressers, and desks.

Dress Code
The Sahara Challenge dress code is casual. Jeans, shorts, and t-shirts are acceptable provided dress remains modest. 

When can I arrive and leave?
You will be able to register, pick up your conference materials, and check in to your room beginning at 3:00 p.m. on June 10. Registration will remain open until 7: 00 p.m. Sahara Challenge will conclude with a final session after dinner on June 14. Rooms are available until Saturday morning.

How do I get to Trevecca University?
Trevecca is located at 333 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37210. If you are flying to Nashville, ground transportation options can be found at:

Do you offer childcare?
We are not able to provide childcare for Sahara Challenge.

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