The field of psychology has long been criticized for being a science rooted in a (secular) worldview that not many people espouse. This has raised questions about its relevance, especially for people of faith, indigenous peoples, those in non-Western cultures, and more. This has given rise to movements such as the decolonization of psychology, multicultural and cross-cultural psychology, and religious and spiritual psychologies. Such movements seek to provide frameworks of psychology that are rooted in the various worldviews in which they are positioned.
It is within this broader climate, the contemporary push for diversity and inclusion, as well as the vast Islamic tradition that one can locate Islamic psychology today. Although defined and conceptualized in a variety of ways and in an attempt to not “other” it, one could argue that Islamic psychology (IP) is simply psychology – but rooted in the philosophical, metaphysical, cosmological, theological, ontological, and epistemological worldview of the Islamic tradition.
The purpose of this program is to introduce attendees to these foundational “roots” of the field as well as some of its emerging branches – areas of application in which IP is already benefiting society and improving lives.
Having begun in 2021, this is the first and only Islamic psychology program in the United States. It is a graduate level program designed for a broad audience including students, professionals, or scholars from related fields or backgrounds. Its pedagogical approach is rooted in an Islamic view that education is holistic: informing the intellect and transforming the soul. As such, the program is comprised of theory-based lectures with class discussion, an experiential, practice-based Islamic meditation/muraqaba component lead by an expert in Islamic spirituality, an original final project that the student will do that will contribute to advancing the field of Islamic psychology, and a volunteer component that contributes to the student’s personal development. The following is a brief overview of the program and other relevant information.
This module provides necessary intellectual infrastructure for the program as a whole. It begins with a general overview of the emerging field of Islamic psychology including how it is defined and conceptualized, examples of current scholarship and the landscape today. How religion, spirituality, and other issues of diversity are dealt with in psychology will also be examined.
This course introduces students to Islam by exploring the structure and landscape of Islamic sciences and schools of thought, Muslim contributions to philosophy of science and to the field we today call psychology including topics like human ontology, theories of personality, and more.
This module examines Islam’s version of psychology, namely Islamic spirituality, also known by other names such as the science of Ihsan, the science of the self and more. Specific topics to be explored include various approaches or schools of thought to this science, virtue and character development and spiritual diseases of the heart.
This module explores Islamic psychology and mental health, various approaches to Islamically integrated psychotherapy, relevant clinical topics such as suicide, addiction, codependency, family systems, trauma, LGBTQ, and more.
The field of Islamic healing is vast and includes prophetic medicine (al-Tibb al-Nabawi), Sufism (tasawwuf), spiritual modalities such as dhikr, duaa, ruqya, concepts and practices such as muraqaba and muhasaba, and what is today called mind-body or complementary and alternative medicine. This module explores this area of Islamic healing and wellness as well as ways to bring Islamic philosophy, frameworks, and practices into clinical encounters, regardless of the patient’s faith background.
This module will cover select IP topics including parenting and attachment, peace psychology through art and poetry, the development of psychometrics, and more.
In this module students will present their original research topics as final presentations and papers and will have an opportunity for feedback on potential publication.
REGISTRATION OPENS AUGUST 21ST 2023. Please do not submit prior to that date.
How is the program administered? The program is live and completely online. It begins September 26th, 2023 and finishes mid-June, 2024. Lectures are on Tuesday from 11am – 1pm EST and the experiential component is the 3rd Saturday of each month. A full list of class dates and timings will be provided in the syllabus to registered students.
THIS PROGRAM IS LEAD BY RENOWNED EXPERTS IN THE FIELD. BY ENROLLING IN THE PROGRAM YOU WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FROM THEM AND TO ALSO GET INDIVIDUALIZED ATTENTION AND GUIDANCE ON YOUR FINAL RESEARCH PROJECT.
How do I register for the program? This is a graduate-level program with a pre-requisite of a bachelors degree. To register for the class, send an email with “register” in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. The content of the email should include your full name, location, a list of degrees completed (BA required) as well as one sentence about your background and current status (are you a student? If so, where and in which subject? Are you a scholar or professional? If so, in which field etc.). Your email to us will generate an invoice that will be emailed back to you. PLEASE ALLOW 3-4 DAYS FOR PROCESSING TIME. Once you receive the invoice and pay the tuition, you will be enrolled in the program. The syllabus will be provided on the first day of class. Access to our online classroom on Moodle will also be provided.
Who is this course designed for? This is a graduate level course designed for anyone wanting to know more about the field of Islamic psychology including students, clinicians, scholars, professionals, and more. This is not a course that focuses on the mental health needs of Muslims, as important of a topic as that may be. Rather, the program focuses on the development of frameworks of psychology that are rooted in the Islamic theological and philosophical traditions and positioned within a modern psychology context.
Is this course accredited? There is currently no regulatory body that accredits Islamic psychology courses. This is a public course and attendees will receive a certificate of completion issued by the Alkaram Institute at the end. This course does not prepare or train attendees for clinical practice. However, for attendees who are already licensed clinicians, it will inform your practice by giving you frameworks in which you can Islamically ground your work. For attendees who are currently enrolled in a graduate program elsewhere and are interested in doing their MA thesis or doctoral dissertation on an IP topic, consider applying to our Islamic Psychology Research Fellowship program. For more information, see our website.
How many credit hours is the program and how much does the tuition cost? For 2023 year: Our program is comprised of nearly 100 hours of participation between in-class lectures, experiential exercises, and our volunteer component. Tuition for the 2023-2024 academic year is $1600 USD
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