Islamic Chaplaincy Program
The Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary is a
72-credit program that combines academic study and practical training.
The Islamic Chaplaincy Program consists of two components:
1. The 48-credit Master of Arts degree with a concentration
in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations.
2. The 24-credit Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy consisting of 18 credits in Islamic “arts of ministry” and related courses
and 6 credits of field education/ practical application and training.
Integral to the rationale for developing and offering the
Islamic Chaplaincy Program are the strengths already in existence at Hartford
Seminary which include
- the strong academic curriculum available through the
current Master of Arts degree program with an area of focused study in Islamic
Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations;
- the interfaith orientation, work and scholarship of the
Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim
- the expertise of the Hartford Institute for Religion
Research in working with active faith communities.
In consultation with the Director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program, each student’s program will be customized to meet his or her particular educational needs and professional/vocational objectives within the formal guidelines and criteria established for the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary. Depending on the applicant’s previous education and experience and the applicant’s future goals and work setting, the applicant may be required to complete both components of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program or just the Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy. For further information, contact the Islamic Chaplaincy Program.
and Admission for the Graduate Certificate Program in Islamic Chaplaincy
(For application and admission information pertinent to the
Master of Arts degree with an area of focused study in Islamic Studies and
Christian-Muslim Relations, please see the Master of Arts Degree Program –
Application and Admission.
Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy
requires a bachelor’s degree, or its educational equivalent from an accredited
institution, and extensive knowledge of Islam, which may have been acquired in
various ways. Ideally, students
applying to the Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy will have completed a
Master’s degree (or its educational equivalent).
Preference will be given to students who are working or will be working as chaplains in the U.S. or with a U.S. agency, organization or institution. International students who require visas will, in rare cases, be considered for admission; however, all documents necessary for the I-20 (financial statement and sponsorship, etc.) and a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 (written version), 213 (computer version) or 80 (internet version) or higher is required.
United States Armed Forces expects students who want to be military chaplains to
earn both the Master of Arts in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations
degree and the Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy.
Additional Admissions Stipulations:
Admission to a Graduate Certificate program of study does not
constitute or guarantee admission to the Master of Arts degree program.
Course work that was taken for credit as a special student at
Hartford Seminary prior to admission may be applied toward the 24 credits
required for the graduate certificate; however, at least 6 of the 18 course
credits (field education credits are excluded from this requirement) must be
taken after official notification of admission to the graduate certificate
No transfer credit from other institutions will be allowed to count
toward the graduate certificate.
Advanced standing credit may be granted by the Academic Affairs
Committee only toward three of the six field education/relevant life experience
credits as stipulated above.
Students wishing to be admitted prior to the start of a given semester must make sure their files are complete by the following deadlines:
- April 15 for Summer Session or to be included in the first round of financial aid decisions for the next academic year. (To be considered for financial aid, a separate Application for Financial Assistance must be completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Committee by June 1st.)
- July 15 for the Fall Semester
- December 1 for January Intersession and the Winter/Spring Semester
An applicant’s file is complete when the following items have been received by the Admissions Office:
- The application form and application fee of $50.
- A personal statement of three to four pages identifying the applicant’s personal goals for the Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy, his/her perceived strengths, and his/her potential areas for development.
- Complete official transcripts sent directly from all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions.
- Two letters of recommendation: One letter of recommendation from a professor or instructor who can speak to the applicant’s academic abilities and potential or a professional colleague who can speak to her or his capabilities and potential. A second letter of recommendation from the leader of a Muslim religious or community organization that speaks to the abilities and potential of the applicant to work cooperatively in community activities, exercise religious leadership and achieve a deeper understanding of his or her faith, linguistically and intellectually.
One can apply through either a paper-based or an online format. You may access both our online application and the downloadable paper-based application by going to our website at www.hartsem.edu, and clicking on the Admissions tab on the left-hand side toolbar. Detailed instructions for completing the application are also provided at this link. You may also request a paper application by calling our Admissions Office at 860-509-9512.
Interview: After a student’s file is complete, the student will be contacted by the Admissions Office to set up an interview. While in most cases the interview will happen on the Hartford Seminary campus, a phone interview may be conducted where distance prohibits a visit to campus. Applications will only be sent on to the admissions committee for review once the interview has been conducted.
Readmission – see Academic Policies for Graduate Programs
of Arts Degree
The Master of Arts degree requires the successful
completion of 48 credits and includes a minimum of 18 credits in Islamic Studies
and Christian-Muslim Relations. The Master of Arts degree with a focus in
Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations is designed to provide students
with foundational knowledge in the major disciplines of Islamic religious
thought and practice, historical and contemporary perspectives on Islamic
societies, and theological and social interaction between Islam and
Christianity. Students choosing
this area of focused study are strongly encouraged to take Arabic.
the Master of Arts Degree Program section for
complete information on the Master of Arts degree.
Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy
The Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy is designed
to provide Muslim religious leaders and chaplains with basic skills in pastoral
care, arts of ministry, theology and ethics, dialogue and interfaith relations
needed to serve as chaplains in a variety of settings.
The areas of knowledge and skill acquisition provided by the 24-credit
graduate certificate are:
the responsibilities of Muslim chaplains/religious leaders
surrounding life events such as birth, death, marriage, and loss
the rituals surroundings these same life events
examination of Islamic law, which undergirds all Islamic rituals and
includes ethics and morality
the application of Islamic law to daily life
exposure to and understanding of chaplaincy skills in multi-faith
understanding of faith traditions other than one’s own
- Introduction to Islamic Law (ET-640)
- Courses in Arts of Ministry, Theology and Ethics, Islamic
Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations
- Field Education/Relevant Life Experience (GC-580/GC-581)
All courses need to be approved in advance and in
consultation with the Program Director.
Students completing the certificate will also be expected
to have acquired basic skills in Qur’anic recitation.
Islamic Chaplaincy Retreat
Each Fall, all students on the Islamic Chaplaincy program are required to attend an overnight retreat. This is an essential part of your formation as a Muslim leader who can then serve effectively in a Chaplaincy setting. It is an opportunity to reflect more deeply on the demands of an integrated and disciplined prayer life grounded in the Islamic tradition with the challenges of service in the modern world. An additional retreat fee of $225 (single supplement extra) is charged for this component of the program.
Field Education and Relevant Life Experience
(6 credits GC-580/GC-581)
At least three of the required six field education credits must be
earned through Hartford Seminary. Of the six field education credits, a student
may choose to take one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), for which he
or she will receive three credits or three credits may be granted through
Advanced Standing for previous relevant religious leadership experiences (if,
for example, a student has served as the Imam of an active mosque for several
years, or has worked in a chaplaincy context).
Petitions for advanced standing need to be made in accordance with the
Advanced Standing Guidelines of Hartford Seminary and acted on by the Academic
Affairs Committee in consultation with the Director of the Islamic Chaplaincy
The content and setting of field education will vary
according to the needs of the students. Normally, students will be expected to
work 8 hours a week for 30 weeks for a total of 240 hours in an Islamic
institution or organization. Such institutions or organizations include, but are
not limited to, mosques, Islamic schools or Islamic social service
All field education placements must have an on-site field
education supervisor and a Hartford Seminary supervisor (in most cases this will
be the Director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program). Supervisors and students
will be required to sign an agreement that specifies their mutual rights and
duties. The field education supervisor, the student, and the Hartford Seminary
field education supervisor (Director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program or
designee) will meet a minimum of once each semester during the field education
experience. In addition,
students completing their field education component will be required to attend a
designated number of field education graduate seminars.
In rare instances, students may be permitted to fulfill the
field education requirement outside the New England area with the consent of the
Director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program and with the assurance of appropriate
means for assessing the nature and quality of the supervision.
See Master of Arts Program - Tuition Costs and Fees
Financial aid may be available for students enrolled in the Graduate
Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy. The
financial aid policies and application form may be obtained by contacting the
Admissions Office or from the online Student Forms Center on this web site.
More information about
this program can be found at the Islamic
Chaplaincy web site or on the Macdonald Center web site.