SMC is embarking a higher education Chaplaincy position in Southern California to serve the growing and various educational and spiritual needs of Shia Muslim university students, faculty members, and staff.
To date, none of the Southern California region’s dozens of institutions of higher education have a formal position to cater to the educational and spiritual needs of the Shia Muslim students pursuing their university degrees, as well as the faculty and staff who work at these institutions.
This is in sharp contrast to the existence of many university chaplains representing other religious traditions (the various Christian and Jewish denominations, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) and other schools of thought in Islam. SMC seeks to address this critical need by establishing a full-time and permanent Shia Muslim University Chaplaincy position in Southern California. Experiences at other campuses across the nation have shown that the existence of an experienced chaplain who caters to the needs of Shia Muslim students and staff members has an overall positive impact on the spiritual, psychological, and communal development of their identities.
The University Chaplain’s envisioned role would be to cater to the intellectual and spiritual needs of students, staff, and faculty members by:
⁃ Providing representation of the school and teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt and a safe and inclusive space especially for students to comfortably explore and strengthen their religious, spiritual, and educational needs without feeling excluded or isolated.
⁃ Leading weekly educational sessions to enhance students’ knowledge of their faith tradition according to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad and His Immaculate Progeny.
⁃ Leading daily and weekly religious events such as Du’a Kumayl and other special events during the months of Ramadan and Muharram.
⁃ Holding regular office hours to cater to the intellectual and spiritual counseling needs of students, staff, and faculty.
⁃ Strengthening the bonds of unity with other Muslim students, faculty members, staff, and groups in coordination with other Muslim chaplains.
⁃ Participating in inter-faith events to raise awareness of the teachings of Islam and the school of Ahl al-Bayt, and the importance of collective religious and social harmony.
The University Chaplaincy is intended to be a full-time position at UCLA and USC. Based on extensive research, we have determined that such a position would cost $120,000 per year. This sum would cover the cost of the Chaplain’s annual salary, benefits, and programming fees, and takes into consideration the unique living costs of Southern California.
We are humbly asking for your generous support to make this initiative a reality and to assist in providing a critical service to our community’s university students, staff, and faculty members.
May God bless and reward you for your generosity.
Read more about Community for Young Shiite Muslims created by Chaplain here