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Bayan Islamic Graduate School's Doctor of Ministry program in Islamic Leadership is now accepting applications for students who will start their studies in Fall 2025. The program is offered in partnership with Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS), where Bayan currently offers accredited MA and MDiv degrees.

Bayan’s innovative Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Islamic Leadership program provides an unprecedented opportunity for experienced Muslim leaders and scholars who are serving communities to further their engagement with the Islamic intellectual tradition in a rigorous academic setting, develop capacities for skillfully addressing significant public issues by drawing from the theological, spiritual, and ethical traditions of Islam, and explore insights from the teachings and experiences of leaders in other faith traditions in some shared courses.

The DMin degree is a 3-year, 10-course, 30-credit advanced program focusing on public ministry and leadership. Required and elective courses will be taught by Bayan and CTS’ world-class faculty, and Bayan will offer its courses in its unique hybrid model of instruction, featuring intensive in-person classes on campus at the Chicago Theological Seminary, and online sessions throughout each academic term. Following two years of coursework, doctoral candidates will complete a DMin Directed Study Project that addresses a compelling issue or need within their respective faith communities. This entails undertaking project-based research in an approved area of advanced religious leadership, writing of a thesis of 75-100 pages based on the project, and an oral defense of the thesis.

While maintaining enduring fidelity to the classical Islamic tradition and sacred knowledge, Bayan uniquely emphasizes the indigenization and continuity of Islam in America. Drawing from a diverse tapestry of Islamic thought and heritage yet centering the distinct legacies of native pioneers like Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Warith Deen Muhammad (رَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِم), Bayan aspires to contribute to a reawakening that harmonizes traditional Islamic principles with contemporary contexts, fostering a renewed sense of identity and purpose among American Muslim communities.

Within this framing, Bayan’s Doctor of Ministry program is designed to enhance the needs of Muslim religious organizational leaders while accommodating their demanding schedules. The program blends intensive on-campus immersion weeks with live online learning, providing both the rigor and the flexibility needed to pursue a doctorate without compromising current pastoral responsibilities.

The program is offered in partnership with Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS), where Bayan currently offers accredited MA and MDiv degrees. Bayan provides a dynamic learning environment that reflects the diversity and richness of the Muslim community. We are committed to nurturing spiritual growth and fostering a sense of community among our students. With smaller cohort sizes, a seminar-styled hybrid learning environment, and dedicated mentors, our program provides a supportive and enriching experience for leaders from various backgrounds. By engaging with esteemed faculty, focusing on innovative projects, and dedicating ourselves to loving community and service, Bayan's doctoral program empowers leaders to make meaningful contributions to the ongoing development and enrichment of Islamic religious leadership in the Americas.

Required and elective courses will be taught by Bayan and CTS’ world-class faculty, and Bayan will offer its courses in its unique hybrid model of instruction, featuring intensive in-person classes on campus at the Chicago Theological Seminary, and online sessions throughout each academic term.

Following two years of coursework, doctoral candidates will complete a Doctoral Directed Study Project that addresses a compelling issue or need within their respective faith communities. This entails undertaking project-based research in an approved area of advanced religious leadership, writing a thesis of 75-100 pages based on the project, and an oral defense of the thesis.

The hybrid residency format requires students to come physically to the Chicago Theological Seminary campus approximately six times over the first two academic years for week-long face-to-face seminars. These two years are subsequently followed up by one year of thesis writing.

The in-person intensives typically take place midway through the semester, i.e.,

  • October (Fall)
  • March (Spring)
  • July (Summer)

In sum, the Doctoral program is comprised of 10 courses, totaling 30 credits. Admitted students begin in cohorts each year in the fall semester.

Bayan’s Doctoral program is designed for religious leaders already serving in various capacities of Islamic organizational leadership. It caters to matriculating graduates of seminaries and traditional Islamic studies tracks with demonstrated proficiencies in Arabic and leadership experience.

The program focuses on public ministry, providing a comprehensive curriculum tailored to equip leaders for impactful engagement with significant public issues.

Throughout the Doctoral program, students work closely with a dedicated faculty advisor to customize their learning experience. This includes identifying advanced courses and research questions that align with the unique emphasis of the program of study, fostering a deep understanding of Islamic religious leadership in numerous contexts.

In the third year of study, candidates engage in the Doctoral Directed Study Project I (1.5 credits) and Doctoral Directed Study Project II (1.5 credits) addressing critical issues within their faith communities through project-based research.

This provides students with the opportunity to conduct and finalize their approved research projects, which culminate into a thesis and oral defense, showcasing their mastery of advanced religious leadership concepts and methodologies.

While an instructor is assigned, students also collaborate closely with faculty members, particularly their advisor, throughout the process. Through mentorship and collaborative projects, students forge meaningful connections and develop the skills necessary to lead and enact positive change in their communities.



Taught by distinguished faculty from both Bayan and CTS, the curriculum focuses on advanced religious leadership and public engagement skills.

Topics taught by Bayan faculty are connected to various aspects of the following traditional designations:

  • Islām (Islamic law, i.e., the outward submission to the will of Allah),
  • Īmān (faith and belief),
  • Iḥsān (spiritual excellence),
  • al-Sīra al-Nabawiyya (Prophetic biography)

Electives are tied to learning outcomes in formats that utilize contemporary texts and methods while paying homage to their classical antecedents in the Islamic tradition. Candidates take 3 required classes with CTS faculty, and 6 of the following elective classes taught by Bayan faculty, offered on a reoccurring basis:

Prophetic Leadership

Course Description:

Leadership has traditionally been categorized into the realms of politics, military, and religion. In modernity, the discipline evolved to meet industry’s demands for maximizing organizational performance and profits. Appealing to the human psyche, experts taught leadership as content, processes, and structures. No clear consensus has emerged on how to create leaders, yet academics remain wary of ‘Great Man’ models in their perpetual search for ethical templates. In this class, students juxtapose various models against prophetic leadership, which enjoys certitude about the locus of its ethical template as the paragon of immutable values. Students are tasked with adapting, synthesizing, and developing applied models relevant to their praxis.

Islamic Constitutionalism, Comparative Legal Paradigms, and American Law


Course Description:

This class is designed to give students an appreciation of constitutional concepts relevant to Muslims, past and present. It is divided into two sections. The first section covers the concepts and categories invoked by sharīʿah as the basis of a rule of law system, and what that meant for the allocation of power and authority in historical Muslim societies. Comparisons to contemporary Western constitutional systems and the modern nation-state will elucidate the structural impacts of colonialism and the transformed role of sharia in modern Muslim nation-states today. The second section of the course will address the legal realities of Muslims living in secular nation-states today, including most prominently the United States. After a survey of U.S. constitutional law relevant to religious minorities, students address specific legal challenges experienced by American Muslims, such as divorce litigation, estate planning, Islamic investments, zakat practice, and the legal manifestations of Islamophobia. Finally, using earlier lessons from Islamic constitutional theory and history, students explore the obligations of Muslim citizens of a secular state - where state law is not based on sharīʿah.

Legal Arbitration and the U.S Muslim Community

Course Description:

Law is central to living a good Muslim life. Yet, as minorities, Muslims lack access to political power, which is often understood to be a prerequisite for the existence of a legal system. In Islamic law, a number of conditions and requirements are necessary to settle legal disputes that are not explicit in secular U.S. civic courts. Moreover, the vast body of Islamic juridical positions (fiqh) are governed by rules and procedures that most Western attorneys are unfamiliar with. This has led to many gross injustices within the North American Muslim community that have yet to be structurally resolved. Arbitration, however, permits private parties to establish their own, “private” system of justice that, provided certain conditions are met, can be recognized and enforced by the public system of justice in the United States. This course will begin by exploring the rules governing arbitration in the context of Islamic law. Next, it will turn to the place of arbitration in American law. It will conclude by exploring how American Muslims can lawfully use arbitration to give greater effect to Muslim commitments to live justly under Islamic law.

Global Islamic Ideologies

Course Description:

The course aims to provide students with relatable skills that enable them, as Muslim Westerners, to develop a broader understanding of how religion, politics, and culture have engaged in Muslim communities in late modernity and post-modernity. The course covers the history and challenges of different Muslim religious movements and groups from across a wide variety of ideological underpinnings: political Islamist groups, Ṣūfī traditionalists, scholarly revivalists, and more. The course aims to provide students with an intradisciplinary approach to the study of religion, religious communities, intellectuals, and reformists, in the context of Muslim religiously-inspired movements with impacts beyond limited localities in the 20th and 21st centuries. The aim is to equip leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the complex tapestry of cultural, ideological, and theological factors influencing Muslim communities worldwide to aid leaders in fostering cohesion and understanding within local communities while addressing the nuances and dynamics of global Islamic thought.

Islamic Psychology and Pastoral Care

Course Description:

This course provides students with practical and theoretical perspectives at the intersection of Islamic legal theory and psychology. It aims to better equip leaders with the knowledge to promote holistic well-being and ethical decision-making, enhancing their effectiveness in guiding their communities. The content delves into the historical roots of mental health care in the Islamic intellectual heritage and examines topics like human motivation, religious socialization, spirituality, and faith formation. The curriculum explores the development of psychological thought in Islam, aiming to deepen understanding of human behavior dynamics, spiritual essence, and Islamic legal foundations through the lens of the Qur'ān. Through lectures and practical examples, students learn contemporary applications of these principles to better understand and address mental health issues within communities.

Islamic Metaphysics for Social Action

Course Description:

This course offers an exploration of Islamic metaphysics and its application to contemporary issues in American Muslim communities. Through a critical examination of Islamic metaphysics, theology, and philosophy, participants explore how their principles inform and challenge modern debates on identity, social justice, and similar pressing community dynamics. The curriculum emphasizes the nature of self and society, the metaphysical underpinnings of social norms and ethics, and the role of Islamically informed perspectives in addressing Western challenges around policy, multiculturalism, equity, inclusion, and race. The course aims to enhance the spiritual insight, ethical grounding, and visionary capacity of leaders in their development of nuanced understandings of how Islamic metaphysics can contribute to responding to the zeitgeist in appropriate and effective ways in a pluralistic American context.

Islam and Wealth

Course Description:

This course is designed for Muslim religious leaders to gain a deeper understanding of best practices for maintaining ethical and spiritual integrity in Islamic wealth management. Within the context of the integral roles religious leaders play in the financial stewardship of organizations, students delve into the metaphysical, legalistic, and contemporary dimensions of wealth and its management. They examine the challenges of applying Islamic principles in the contemporary financialized, interest-based, fiat monetary system that governs global affairs. From various lenses, it highlights the enduring relevance of Islamic concepts like zakāt and the waqf system and critically examines case studies of best practices today.

Managing Conflict and Building Shūrā

Course Description:

This course offers a deep dive into conflict resolution through mediation, negotiation, and the Islamic principle of shūrā. Participants learn communication skills, active listening, and problem-solving techniques while exploring Islamic perspectives on justice and empathy. Through case studies and practical exercises, students cultivate leadership qualities to foster harmony and unity within communities. By integrating theory with real-world applications, this course equips leaders with the tools to navigate conflicts effectively and promote consensus-driven decision-making in diverse settings.

The following 3 required courses are taught by CTS faculty:

  • Public Ministry: Orientations
  • Applied Research Methods
  • Leadership in the Public Square

In line with the goals of the CTS program, the required and elective courses lead to the following four learning outcomes:

I. Integrating Theory, Theology, and Leadership:

Demonstrate advanced critical thinking within a student’s life stance or tradition, and the ability to integrate that knowledge with theories of religious leadership that can transform individual and communal practices to advance justice and mercy in the world.

II. Contextual Understanding: Design and implement a focused research project that demonstrates a deep understanding of a particular cultural context and the ecology of public ministry in that context.

III. Leadership in Public Ministry with ethical and spiritual integrity: Demonstrate advanced understanding of and increased personal capacity in the practical skills, cultural competencies, and professional characteristics necessary for leadership in the work of public ministry.

IV. Persuasive Communication: Write a coherent and persuasive thesis and demonstrate the ability to communicate insights gained from D.Min. research and their relevance to peers in ministry and to the wider public to promote effective strategies for change.

Bayan Islamic Graduate School's Doctor of Ministry program in Islamic Leadership is now accepting applications for students who will start their studies in Fall 2025.

We are available to answer any additional questions you might have. Please contact us at or (714) 862-2926.

Doctoral Admission Requirements:

  • All of the prerequisites for the M.A. & M.Div. programs
  • A master’s degree in divinity, chaplaincy, or Islamic Studies, (or its foreign equivalent in a related field),
  • 3.0 (B) grade-point average during master’s studies,
  • Six credit hours of Arabic, (or one year of equivalent traditional studies),
  • Three years of full-time experience in Islamic religious leadership (or pastoral care or chaplaincy) after completing the master’s (or the equivalent)

DMin Program Structure

Theory & Theology for Public Ministry, Islamic Leadership and Public Ministry, and several electives-3

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the DMin program admissions requirements?
  • Master's degree from an accredited university or other accredited institution of higher education. Applicants with a Master of Divinity degree, or equivalent in theology or religious studies, from an accredited university, seminary or professional school are especially suited for the program, but individuals with a Master's in any field and significant community leadership experience are eligible as well. Superior academic record in previous undergraduate and graduate education is expected.
  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions attended. 
  • Superior academic record in previous undergraduate and graduate education. 
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae, including description of recent work experience, participation in volunteer and community service, involvement in Islamic or other religious organizations. 
  • Applicants should ideally possess a minimum of three years of professional ministry or equivalent experience.
  • Written materials: Doctor of Ministry Essay (up to 6 pages) and Sample Ministry Paper (up to 15 pages). 
  • Four letters of reference and recommendation from relevant referees, i.e, faculty, clinical supervisor, ministry professional, imam or religious leader. All references must be specific in recommending the applicant for the Doctor of Ministry degree program at Bayan. No general letters of reference will be accepted. 
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are required of applicants for whom English is a not first language.  The exam must be completed no more than two years prior to application.  The TOEFL may only be waived if the applicant has completed another degree in English in the United States. 
  • $ 50.00 application fee

When is the DMin application deadline?

We are now accepting applications for Fall 2025. The deadline to apply for Fall 2025 is March 1, 2025.

What should the DMin admissions essay consist of?

You should submit an essay of up to six pages in length addressing the following:

1. How do you understand public ministry or da’wah work and what has been your experience in such spaces?

2. Why are you applying to this DMin program in Islamic Leadership at Bayan Islamic Graduate School and Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS), and how will it assist you in your ministerial identity and vocation?

3. Your academic and/or professional objectives and what skills you hope to learn in this program.

4. A detailed description of your research interests, including previous work in this area and the directions you might pursue.

5. How Bayan/CTS commitments and areas of study appeal to your research and interests.

6. The particular resources, academic scholarship, and faculty at Bayan and CTS that you plan to use and that have led you to make this application for admission.

What should the DMin Ministry admissions paper consist of?

You should submit an appropriate sample ministry paper (series of sermons, khutbah, study guide, reflection, educational resources) less than 15 pages that is representative of your work and related to the area of interest.

Who are the faculty members in this program?

Bayan is recruiting a number of world-class faculty comprised of academics, religious scholars, and community leaders who have the requisite credentials and real-world experiences to engage the DMin participants at a high level of intellectual rigor and reflective of best practices in the relevant fields. CTS faculty will provide some coursework and address topics in public ministry, and support the research components of the program. The program will provide a theoretical foundation, but is ultimately focused on application of leadership principles and Islamic ethics in the American socio-cultural landscape, drawing from the insights and efforts of the faculty and the cohort members. Additional details will be forthcoming.

What is the cost of this program?

The current tuition rate for DMin coursework is $3,804 per course. Each course is 3 credits/units, and the program involves 10 courses or 30 units. Thus, the total tuition for the accredited doctoral degree issued by CTS and Bayan is initially $38,040.

Participants can also expect to incur occasional nominal fees, such as the application fee, matriculation fee, and graduation fee. Courses may also have required books that may need to be purchased. Additionally, participants will need to plan on traveling to Chicago for brief periods of time during most academic terms during the program, which may involve expenditures for transportation, lodging, and meals.

Are scholarships available for the DMin program?

There are no full-tuition scholarships offered for this program. Modest tuition discounts may be provided to eligible students. We encourage applicants to seek financial support for tuition expenses through their mosques or other sponsoring organizations and employers. Students may also explore federal financial aid through CTS upon admission.

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