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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.

When will TISA open?

TISA will offer its first courses in August, 2019. We are now accepting applications!

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 in Dallas, TX. After considering many different locations, Dallas was carefully chosen because it has a large, prosperous, growing Muslim community; it is 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.

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:
$750 for a 3 hour course
($250 a credit hour)

Attendee- Taking courses just to listen:
$150 for a 3 hour course
($50 a credit hour)

TISA has a policy to never turn down a 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 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: Nonprofit Management and Islamic Studies

What are the qualifications for applying to TISA?

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

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.