Twenty-one Muslim faith leaders have successfully completed a year-long program learning about how to serve as interfaith pastoral care providers in our communities. On Sunday, Children’s Minnesota hosted a graduation and celebration for the Muslim Chaplain pre-Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program. The achievement of the men and women will increase the number of Muslim faith leaders involved in spiritual care in hospitals, law enforcement and other large institutions.
The training was created by Open Path Resources, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that serves East African immigrant families. It taught the graduates about hospital chaplaincy and explained potential career paths within hospital systems. The training was designed to prepare Muslim faith leaders to go through CPE, the professional degree in the chaplaincy field. Open Path Resources co-founder, Imam Sharif A. Mohamed, is the only Muslim in Minnesota to have completed CPE certification. The degree is typically required to serve as a hospital chaplain.
Most chaplaincy programs in the United States have taken place in Christian seminaries or through the formal certification program. However, this training was not always possible for Muslim and diverse spiritual leaders. The Muslim Chaplain Pre-CPE program is one of only a few projects being tested across the country for those who are not ordained ministers or priests. Along with the training, the project aims to create internships and career paths in Twin Cities health care settings where students can get on-the-job experience.
Children’s Minnesota is proud of its partnership with Open Path Resources and other hospital systems in Minnesota on the project. It was funded by a grant from the Bush Foundation and additional support from the Minneapolis Foundation. The groundbreaking work has offered Muslim faith leaders the opportunity to learn about a career path in providing spiritual care and support to members of their communities.