What is a Chaplain?
A chaplain is a professional who offers spiritual advice and care in a specific institutional context, such as a military unit or a college campus, hospital or prison. Although chaplains often provide religious services for members of their own faith communities, the main role of a chaplain is to facilitate or accommodate the religious needs of all individuals in the institution in which he or she is working. Chaplains often serve as experts on ethics to their colleagues and employers, providing insight to such diverse issues as organ transplantation, just-warfare, and public policy. Professional chaplains do not displace local religious leaders, but fill the special requirements involved in intense institutional environments. Thus, a Muslim chaplain is not necessarily an “Imam,” although an Imam may work as a chaplain. There is a need for both male and female Muslim chaplains. For example, female Muslim students on college campuses or hospitalized Muslim women may feel more comfortable with a Muslim woman chaplain.
Why is Hartford Seminary a good place to train in Islamic Chaplaincy?
The Islamic Chaplaincy Program complements the strengths already in existence at Hartford Seminary:
a) the strong academic curriculum available through the Master of Arts degree program with a concentration in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations;
b) the interfaith orientation, work and scholarship of the Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations; and
c) the expertise of the Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research in working with active faith communities
The Macdonald Center is the country’s oldest center for the study of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations. It embodies the Seminary’s long-term commitment – begun in 1893 – to the study of Islam and Christianity and the complex relationship between the two religions throughout history and in the modern world.
Hartford Seminary and the Macdonald Center believe deeply that mutual respect and cooperation among faith groups can and must develop. The Islamic Chaplaincy Program is a natural result of that belief.
What is the course schedule?
During the academic year the course schedule is designed to accommodate persons whose work schedules prohibit daytime courses. Most classes meet late afternoons and evenings. Courses are generally offered on a two-year cycle. Hartford Seminary also offers excellent opportunities to take courses on an intensive schedule in January and June. For January Intersession a limited number of five day intensive courses are offered during a designated week in January. These courses require students to complete reading and writing assignments throughout the winter/spring semester and to submit final course assignments by the end of the semester. The Summer Session offers a number of intensive courses in the month of June. Most summer courses are full-day sessions one week in length. These courses require students to complete reading and writing assignments over the summer and to submit final course assignments prior to the fall semester. Please consult the course catalogue for a full listing of courses.
Are online courses available?
Online courses may be taken for credit or audited just like the on-site courses at the Seminary.
Can credits be transferred?
Students who have taken graduate level courses in religion from an accredited institution that have not been applied toward a previous degree may ask for these courses to be applied toward their Master of Arts degree. Students may receive up to 18 credits of transfer credit. Students who have completed at least one semester as a matriculated student may apply to receive up to six credits toward their degree for relevant life experiences. Application for advanced standing credit are reviewed by the Academic Affairs Committee and granted where appropriate. The total credit awarded for advanced standing and transfer credit combined may not exceed 18 credits.
Is financial aid available?
Limited financial aid is available to matriculated students enrolled in Hartford Seminary degree programs. Eligible students may receive tuition aid up to one half of annual course tuition. However, please note that the amount of financial aid available for distribution varies each year. Financial aid applications are available at the time of application to the program. Students are required to reapply for financial aid each year.