INTRODUCTION TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ISLAMIC AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
The Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences (GSISS) is one of the first
privately held, independent institutions in the United States dedicated in its
entirety to teaching and research in Islamic Studies. It focuses on the American
experience of Islam and Islamic studies in the United States and the West. The
School provides students with the tools needed to begin to meet the challenges
of the modern world while taking students through an in-depth exploration of
Islamic studies, focused upon the pivotal position of the Quran and Sunnah.
The curriculum develops an "ijtihad orientation" that is
capable of overcoming the drawbacks of the classical Islamic legacy, while benefiting
from the depth and richness of its contributions. Ijtihad is a creative
but disciplined intellectual effort to derive legal rulings from the Islamic
sources while taking into consideration the variables imposed by the changing
circumstances of the Muslim society. GSISS offers a 36-credit hour Master of
Arts in Social Studies: Islamic Studies program, which may be completed in an
intensive ten-month intensive learning experience.
The School's work is guided by these fundamental values:
- Excellence: We value and reward excellence in teaching,
research and community service.
- Academic Integrity and Freedom: We recognize the need
for critical inquiry. The School encourages free expression of thoughts and
ideas and respects different perspectives in an environment that fosters intellectual
endeavors with mutual respect and collegiality.
- Linking Knowledge and Values: The curriculum emphasizes
the restoration of links between values and the various branches of knowledge
by explaining the relationships between God, man, and nature, representing
knowledge as a means of faith rather than atheism; and reviving the ethics
of knowledge and the character of the learned.
The School is the one of the first Muslim-governed, campus-based institution
of Islamic graduate studies in the United States. Graduates have become imams,
academics, non-profit directors, and military, hospital, and prison chaplains.