Muslim Chaplain Joins Campus Community

The College has announced that Sohaib Nazeer Sultan, a 24-year-old student in Hartford Seminary’s Islamic Chaplaincy program, will be spending approximately 10 hours a week working at Trinity as a spiritual guide and worship leader for Muslim students. Sultan will also serve as an educational resource for those interested in learning about Islamic beliefs and customs. His appointment is made possible through the generosity of former Trustee Worth Loomis, who is director of development at Hartford Seminary and a member of the Friends of the Chapel advisory board, as well as funds from a restricted Chapel grant for education.

“Trinity College is one of only a handful of institutions of higher education in the United States to hire an Islamic chaplain,” explains Sultan. “It is indicative of the College’s vision of creating an environment of cultural and religious diversity for all its students. I look forward to serving as a support system and resource person on Islam for both Muslim and non-Muslim students alike.”

Sultan studied classical Islamic theology and law for several years while living in the Middle East and the United States. As an undergraduate at Indiana University, he was a leader in the diverse religious community of Bloomington and served as public relations chair, vice president, president, and student adviser for the Muslim Students Union. He also organized and participated in numerous interfaith dialogues throughout Indiana, including the forum, “Healing Our Community‚” in the wake of the tragic events of 9/11.

After completing his undergraduate education, Sultan was a freelance journalist in Chicago before serving as an Islamic affairs analyst for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio in a series of dialogues on Muslim-Christian relations in the United States. He is the author of The Koran for Dummies, published by Wiley in 2004.

Trinity Chaplain Daniel Heischman notes that Sultan’s appointment comes at a time when there is increased interest in the study and awareness of Islam on the global scene. “We’ve also become increasingly aware of the need to provide enhanced support and a spiritual framework for our Muslim population.” He adds that Sultan’s presence on campus will benefit the entire Trinity community. “Muslim college chaplains around the country report that they spend as much time working with non-Muslim students as with Muslim students, helping the total campus community to have a clearer understanding of and appreciation for Islam.”

Sultan is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Islamic Studies, Christian-Muslim Relations, and Islamic Chaplaincy at the Hartford Seminary.

 

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