The Rise of Islamic Senimaries in the US

By: Munir Shaikh  

While a number of pre-collegiate madrasas have operated in the U.S. for some decades, only within the last decade have post-graduate institutions been established to develop local Muslim leaders and clergy who are grounded in their historical scriptural, legal and theological discourses, which previously required study abroad in Muslim-majority settings. Several seminaries, institutes and graduate programs now offer courses in Islamic Studies, with additional courses addressing spiritual care, counseling, biomedical ethics, community leadership, and interreligious and civic engagement. This paper traces the socio-cultural impetus for Islamic higher education, the differing models of curricula and pedagogy emphasized in several institutions, and the implications for Muslim American life within the context of favorable and unfavorable views of Islam in light of the current U.S. political climate. Will higher Islamic studies oriented towards community service and development be received as another form of “sharia-creep” or will it help integrate Muslims within the American landscape among like-minded faith and civic communities due to emerging efforts of Muslim leaders to cooperate in addressing social, economic and environmental issues?

Islam Muslims US
Religious Community and Socialization
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Munir Shaikh

Director of Academic Affairs and Planning, Bayan Claremont - Islamic Studies, Claremont School of Theology, United States
United States