MISSION AND VISION
The IOK Seminary is committed to preserving the Islamic tradition in The West by training Muslim men and women in classical Islam and contemporary scholarship, to serve the greater public. In this pursuit we work to equip highly motivated and dedicated individuals with Islamic knowledge without them having to travel abroad, to pursue God’s work and devote their lives to public service.
Established in 2010, the IOK Seminary seeks to educate and train the next generation of Muslim-American leaders – Imams, Chaplains, Teachers, and Scholars – committed to Public Service by attending to the religious and spiritual needs of their communities.
The diversity of the IOK faculty remains unmatched, with scholars from various walks of life who are trained in traditional Islamic Sciences from institutions of higher learning throughout the world, including Madinah University, Al-Azhar, Dar Al-Ulum, and Umm Al-Qura. This diversity cultivates a rich academic environment, exposing students to various approaches, perspectives, and understandings of the Islamic tradition, right here at home.
The full-time seminary enables students to achieve the best of both worlds through our mornings-only class schedule. This leaves students with the second half of their day to attend to their professional education, careers and households. The part-time seminary serves as our continuing education extension giving adult learners, and full-time professionals to attend weekend and weekday evening programming for audit or credit purposes.
THE SEMINARY’S HISTORY AND TODAY’S CONTEXT
Institute of Knowledge (IOK) is a 501(c)3 non-profit religious organization founded by Shaykh Nomaan Baig to provide educational services and spiritual support for the Muslim youth. IOK started in 1998 as an afterschool Quran and academic tutoring program with approximately ten students. Upon incorporation in 2001, IOK began collaborating with various homeschool and independent study programs for students who were serious about memorizing the Quran full-time.
In 2005, IOK began to offer a more structured program in Quran Memorization, Arabic Language, and Islamic Studies Curriculum known as the IOK Islamic Sciences Program (ISP). The IOK-ISP eventually evolved into the IOK Seminary. This program was also open to students enrolled in the independent study programs (CHEP Independent Study programs for grades KG-8th and Pacific Coast High School for grades 9 and 10). After 10th grade, students were given the opportunity to take the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE), continue their studies at local community colleges, and then transfer to regional UC and Cal State universities.
In 2010, we formally became the IOK Seminary and began offering certificates to Muslims who wanted access to higher education in Islamic Studies but were only finding those opportunities overseas. In 2015 the IOK Seminary was granted a religious exemption certificate from the Bureau of Postsecondary and Private Education allowing for us to grant degrees from the state of California. We graduated our first cohorts with AA and BA degrees that same year. In 2018, we began to offer an MA, the Ijazah, and the Chaplaincy certificate.
Today, our program hosts the following unique offerings:
1) Certificates and AA & BA Degrees in Arabic & Islamic Studies (est. 2005)
2) Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy (est. 2018)
3) MA Degree in Islamic Law & Tradition (est. 2018)
4) Ijazah (Authorization) in Teaching and Transmitting the Prophetic Tradition (est. 2018)