August 23, 2020
As-salaamu ‘alaykum and welcome, new and returning students!
May the year ahead be filled with hard work, fruitful endeavors, much personal growth, and many joyful awakenings.
The 2020/2021 academic year brings powerful and positive winds of change to AIC. As we begin to spread our wings, diversify our programs, and take steps toward realizing the decades-long dream of becoming a full-fledged, accredited university that serves as a cornerstone for the American Muslim community and the nation as a whole, we welcome you as active partners in this historic unfolding. With our formal candidacy for accreditation (or pre-accreditation) now achieved, we are well on our way, al-hamdulillah, but without you – our students – we would not be able to write this new and exciting chapter of Islamic history. So welcome! Let’s make history together, by God’s grace and with Divine help and blessings.
There are many unique features to the way we approach education at AIC, but the most important of these is our shared emphasis upon relational, transformative education. In other words, this is not just a place to gather information and get a degree; it is a place to change, to grow, to evolve, and to experience the gradual refinement and ennoblement that traditionally has been associated with a person of learning within Islam and other faith traditions. Reviving this traditional ideal in the contemporary world requires that students be more than a number or a name. It demands that students be known and engaged in a holistic way by their professors, fellow students, and staff, all of whom share this vision just as they share a commitment to excellence. So here we do not, at the undergraduate level, offer vocational training for a particular career (although the professional possibilities are endless with an AIC degree); rather, our Liberal Arts-based BA education prepares you for life—a life of thoughtful, critical engagement, passionate commitment, creative adaptation, benevolent and socially-responsible vision, and positive impact. Standing upon this foundation, our graduate programs (Master of Arts and Master of Divinity in Islamic Studies) open the doors to professional employment as chaplains, spiritual care-givers, religious leaders, and community organizers as well as the doors of doctoral study, scholarship, and teaching.
I am so delighted that you have decided to join us and I look forward to meeting you, getting to know you, engaging you, challenging you, and being challenged by you, in sha’ allah. May God bless your academic year, and may your light be refined and shine brightly at AIC.
With prayers for God’s blessings and peace,
Timothy J Gianotti