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FAQ

What is a seminary?

By definition, a seminary is an institution of higher learning that educates and trains religious leaders of a particular faith tradition. TISA is a seminary in the sense that it is based in the Islamic faith and it serves the American Muslim community by preparing Muslim leaders, including imams, chaplains, scholars, youth directors, Muslim relief workers, etc.

Who runs TISA?

TISA has a Board, which is composed of a diverse group of American Muslim leaders—all committed to the vision of establishing the preeminent Islamic Seminary in America. TISA does not function under any organization whether in America or overseas. TISA is completely independent. The Board of TISA operates under the legal name of the Islamic Seminary Foundation, which was founded in 2011 for the sole purpose of establishing an Islamic seminary.

Where does TISA’s money come from?

TISA raises money from the American Muslim community. Of course, it will also earn income from tuition but the reality is that no seminary can function on the basis of tuition alone. Seminaries are supported to a great extent by people of their own faith tradition who recognize the great value of an institution educating and preparing leaders of their faith.

Where is TISA located?

TISA is located at Serene Plaza 811 S. Central Expressway, Suite 200, Richardson, TX 75080. After considering many different locations, this site was carefully chosen because it has a large, prosperous, growing Muslim community. It is also a major transportation hub due to American Airlines.

Do I have to move to Dallas to take classes?

You will not have to move to Dallas. Most TISA courses will be in the foreseeable future either intensive courses, which meet over one week or several weekends; or they will be hybrid courses which means that the course will begin and end with an intensive weekend and the rest of the classes will be online. After one or two years, we hope to offer a residential program for students to live in Dallas and take courses on a full-time basis.

What degrees and certificates does TISA offer?

Master of Arts—Islamic Studies:
Concentration: Islamic Sciences
Concentration: Islamic Leadership

Master of Divinity (M.Div.):
Concentration: Islamic Chaplaincy
Concentration: Religious Leadership

Master of Arts—Nonprofit Management

Graduate certificates include: Islamic Studies and Nonprofit Management

How much do courses cost?

Regular Student- Taking courses for credit:
$1,500 for a 3 hour course
($500 a credit hour)

Auditor- Not taking courses for credit:
$500 per course

Digital Attendee- Taking courses just to listen:
$150 per course

TISA has a policy to never turn down a regular student for financial reasons. If you feel you need financial aid please answer the question at the end of the application indicating that you desire financial aid.

A separate financial aid application will be sent to you. Expect a response to a completed financial aid application within 3 weeks.

What are the qualifications for applying to TISA?

Students can apply for non-traditional student status, which does not have any qualifications, or students can apply for a degree-seeking status, which requires a BA.

What is the deadline for applications?

TISA uses rolling admissions where completed applications are processed as we receive them. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Expect about 3-4 weeks to hear back.

Aren’t there other Islamic seminaries? Why is TISA needed?

Unlike most other Islamic seminaries, TISA has been developed, governed, and managed by a group of people who:

  1. Take seriously the idea of “text and context” by emphasizing that one must have a sophisticated, deep, nuanced working knowledge of our sacred texts before applying the local context.
  2. Believe that a certain level of Arabic proficiency must be required for our upcoming spiritual leadership as a key to maintaining our deep spiritual roots in this country.
  3. Are more reflective of the broad cultural and religious diversity of the Muslim American community.
  4. Represent decades of experience in developing, governing and running inclusive Islamic centers and non-profits with the emphasis on professional development and clinical skills acquisition as needed.
  5. Have decades of experience in higher education as faculty and administration with a focus on quality and accessibility in curriculum development.

Is TISA accredited?

Accreditation is a process that typically takes several years – no Seminary or College is able to attain accreditation from its inception. Hence, because The Islamic Seminary of America is newly launching, it is not accredited. However, the Islamic Seminary Foundation board, the governing body of TISA, has made this a top priority and appointed a compliance committee with the primary task of overseeing the accreditation process. We will keep our students abreast of these developments, and, God-willing, be accredited soon. 

Is TISA tax exempt?

Yes, TISA is an Islamic Seminary Foundation (ISF) Institution and ISF is a 501 (c)(3) Tax Exempt Organization.