We believe that leaders cannot lead others without first being able and qualified to lead and monitor themselves. Thus, the Seminary gives unique attention to the daily behavior and performance of our students, for their spiritual growth and self-comprehensive development. Part of this is done through a comprehensive education and mentoring outside of regular classes. We like to think of these as in-classroom and outside-the-classroom education tracks, though they are not separate; they complement and build upon each other for the spiritual and educational growth of students.
Personal Spiritual Programs
Students will start their day before dawn with their personal spiritual programs, which will be assigned weekly by BIS faculty. The program may include Qur’an recitation, journaling, or a reflection period.
Daily Traditional Circle
This personal spiritual period will be followed by a class in the form of a traditional circle (halaqa) facilitated by a member of the BIS faculty. This period is an opportunity for open discussion, learning from one another, reading, and asking questions about the Islamic topic of the day.
For instance, every Monday may be a topic related to Aqida, every Tuesday may be Tafseer, and so forth. The topics will be identified prior to each semester. This gives students the opportunity to also learn Islam in the tradition ways.
Though participation is not required, it is highly recommended, and participating students will receive extra credit.
Students will end their day after Isha prayer with daily collective reflections on what was learned that day, how it can be shared with the community and dua.
In addition to the daily spiritual and academic activities, students will have the opportunity to organize and participate in conferences, where they can present their research, share their ideas and meet and collaborate with graduate students studying at other institutions.
BIS leadership, faculty and administration are committed to supporting our students’ efforts during their academic journey and ensure that their time at the Seminary is productive, enriching, and a source of tremendous spiritual and personal growth.
Graduate students will complete two summer internships as part of their degree program. Each internship, which must consist of at least 150 hours, qualifies for six credits, and may be completed at an institution that aligns with the academic and professional interests of the student. Internship placements must be approved by each student’s Academic Advisor and must be supervised by a trained, on-site supervisor at the host institution. The student must also complete written work, a project and a final presentation in order to complete the internship requirement. Internships should be in two of the following areas: chaplaincy, mosque leadership, youth monteship, counseling and outreach.
The program will include at least two travel seminars that will provide students opportunities to visit other cities in the US and abroad to learn about work happening in a variety of Islamic institutions. These travel seminars will be part of the normal curriculum and will help students establish relationships and networks with others that will support their work as leaders in the future.