With academic and religious resources to offer a distinctively inter-religious and interdisciplinary approach, the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) founded the Center for Islamic Studies (CIS) in 2007. The center is building an academic platform to help scholars and students of many faiths learn about the richness of Islam and the diversity of Muslims, and emphasizes study and dialogue among contemporary Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities.
In cooperation with several GTU member schools, the Center offers introductory and advanced courses in Islamic history, theology, philosophy, culture, arts, and religious practice, and it is affiliated with departments at the University of California, Berkeley, that intersect with the study of Islam. CIS now offers an M.A. in Islamic Studies and Certificate in Islamic Studies, focusing on theological, historical, and cultural contexts.
CIS sponsors conferences, symposia, workshops, and research projects to build bridges of understanding across religions and cultures and to foster scholarly exchange.
CIS also serves as a liaison with local Muslim communities and study centers, sharing resources in interfaith education and dialogue, and religious leadership.