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Profiles in Chaplaincy

INTERVIEW WITH AL-HAJJAH KHALILAH KARIM-RUSHDANrushdan

Former Chaplain to the Muslim Community – Smith College

Saima Malik (staff at the ICP): Would you please share some background information about yourself and the work that you are involved in?

I have worked in community service in some form or another for many years, from being a criminal investigator in Mississippi to my current position as a Psychotherapist and Chaplain at Smith College, Northampton, MA. I’m blessed to be able to do the two things I love most, dawah and psychotherapy. I began my work as the Muslim Chaplain in 2000 as adjunct faculty to the Office of Chaplains. After the events of September 2001 my role as Muslim Chaplain was expanded.

My educational background includes a B.A. in Social Welfare/ Sociology from the University of New Haven in West Haven. CT. I earned my Master of Social Work degree from Smith College Social for Social Work.

Read more of this interview

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH MUMINA KOWALSKImkowalski

Muslim Chaplain at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy, PA

Saima Malik (staff at the ICP): Would you please share some background information about yourself and the work that you are involved in?

Since 1999, I have been the Muslim Chaplain at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy, the first woman to work in this capacity in the Pennsylvania state system. Located in the north central sector of the state, this prison is the largest facility for women in Pennsylvania, with approximately 900 females incarcerated at five levels of security, including capital cases.  Read more of this interview

 

INTERVIEW WITH JIBRIL BILAL RASHADrashadic

Associate Chaplain at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA

Saima Malik (staff at the ICP): Would you please share some background information about your qualifications and the work that you do?

I am an Associate Chaplain at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA. To be a chaplain at any clinical setting one must possess a Masters degree in religion or theology. Also, one must take units of CPE or clinical pastoral education, which are closely orchestrated counseling sessions at a hospital accredited to teach in this function. I am close to finishing my degree at Hartford and I have had CPE at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Fl. This has all been very rewarding indeed. I have been working at the Children’s Hospital for about three years now and loving every minute of it despite its ups and downs. Read more of this interview

 

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.

View the NYU Muslim student film about the need for Muslim college chaplains

To learn more about becoming a chaplain see our Frequently Asked Questions section.

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