Students who plan careers as imams, chaplains, teachers, and interfaith entrepreneurs or to work in public policy, law, foreign service, business, and journalism are encouraged to elect the Professional Track of the MAIS program. The Professional Track provides students with the requisite education in the tradition and the organizational, administrative, and counseling skills to engage with diverse communities constructively. Therefore, students in the Professional Track are required to include the following courses in their study:
* MAIS 629 Arabic I: Foundations of Qur’anic Arabic
* MAIS 625 Islamic Law and Legal Theories
* MAIS 628 Skills for Islamic Ministry
* MAIS 637 Recitation and Memorization of the Qur’an
Students in the Professional Track are required to take one unit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) from any accredited institution that provides it. One unit of CPE corresponds to 3.0 credits.
The course in the Recitation and Memorization of the Qur’an has a significant role in the MAIS curriculum and the context of higher education in North America. The Qur’an, the central religious text of Islam, literally means “the Recitation” and Muslims believe that the Qur’an has been passed down from generation to generation primarily through its recitation. Among the classical sciences of Islam, the one that concerns with the recitation of the Qur’an is called Qira’ah. North American institutions of higher education normally do not include this science. RGS addresses this need by incorporating Qira’ah into its curricula.
RGS has a high-tech Qur’an Recitation Classroom that adds a new dimension to classical educational methodologies of Qira’ah. Through this classroom and new educational methodology, the students will record their recitation and then listen to their own performances. In this way, they will be able to hear their strengths and identify areas needing improvement with the aid of their instructor.
Besides the core courses, in order to complete 36 hours requirement of the program, students will need to take enough electives and/or independent studies in consultation with their advisor.
Students can be exempt from the courses of Arabic I: Foundations of Qur’anic Arabic and Recitation and Memorization of the Qur’an if they pass the competency exam. The procedure of the competency exams may be found in the Student Handbook.
The Professional Track also allows students the option of completing a Master’s thesis, which is equivalent to a 6.0 credit hour course.