Sohaib Sultan is the Imam & Muslim Life Program Coordinator at Princeton University. We spoke to him briefly about his experience in the Islamic Chaplaincy Master’s program at Hartford Seminary.
How did you hear about Hartford Seminary?
I first heard about the Hartford Seminary through the seminary’s former director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program — Dr. Ingrid Mattson.
What made you decide to attend?
I loved the seminary’s focus on practical skills in religious leadership and applying theology at the grassroots level. When I browsed through the seminary’s rich selection of classes and profile of excellent scholars, I was sold.
What sets the Hartford Seminary environment apart?
Hartford Seminary is a truly unique and special place. You meet people of so many different faiths and walks of life at the seminary. We become friends and in the process we learn how to ask each other the difficult questions. The seminary is a place that helps you grow, challenges you, and really allows you to think anew with the perfect combination of theory and practice. There’s just no place on earth like it.
In what setting do you plan on, or are currently, using your Islamic Chaplaincy degree (i.e. hospital, military, education, corrections)? Please expand on your current roles and responsibilities as a Chaplain in your particular setting.
I’ve used my training at the Hartford Seminary to work on college campuses as a university chaplain. For the last seven years I’ve been at Princeton University. My responsibilities as the university Muslim chaplain are manifold. Every day is a new day with its own set of joys and challenges. My work is divided into six converging categories: organizing Muslim worship and devotion on campus; counseling and advising students on the myriad of questions and challenges they face from religion to relationships; advocating for the religious needs of Muslim students on campus and representing the Islamic faith when necessary at official university functions; teaching non-academic personal enrichment classes on the Islamic tradition; and, lastly, working closely with other faith chaplains to foster inter-religious dialogue and cooperation.
What should prospective students know about Hartford Seminary and the Islamic Chaplaincy program?
The Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary is a really unique and outstanding program. If you want to learn how to be a religious leader who can apply theology and ethics in the real lives of real people, then the seminary is for you.