MEC serves to certify that candidates have been through an interview and assessment process and they have been found to be well developed in Islamic and professional competencies, they are able to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Muslim Chaplain, and that there is no legal, moral or ethical reason not to be endorsed.
A Muslim Chaplain is a person who serves in public and private settings such as the community, corrections, education, healthcare, and the military to facilitate the provision of Islamic worship and other services such as:
- Providing spiritual and religious guidance
- Facilitating individual and communal prayer
- Coordinating religious rites
- Developing effective working relationships with Muslims and people of other faiths.
- Responding to the emotional and spiritual crises of Muslims and people of other faiths.
- Catering to the religious needs of Muslim congregations
- Assisting in shaping religiously inclusive institutional policy
- Protecting the religious rights of Muslims and people of other faiths.
Endorsement is an official declaration by MEC that a man or woman meets the Council’s standards to serve in a specialized setting of Islamic chaplaincy. In general, endorsement is a process whereby a faith tradition certifies that a person has the attitudes, competencies, formal learning, skills and faith community’s support to facilitate the delivery of services to members of that faith tradition and people of other faiths in public and private institutions in the name of that faith tradition.
MECC assess candidates in five competency areas:
I. Qur’anic Literacy
Candidates must demonstrate a working knowledge of the Qur’an. Demonstration of said competency may include but is not limited to:
- Reading the Qur’an in Arabic
- Familiarity with scholarly interpretations of Qur’an
- Ability to apply the Qur’an to everyday situations in the US and in the context of chaplaincy engagement
II. Prophetic Theory and Praxis
Candidates must demonstrate familiarity with the entire biography of Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), and the applicability of his life example. Demonstration of said competency may include but is not limited to:
- Ability to recall and discuss major events in the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
- Basic knowledge of hadith and their impact on the Muslim practice of Islam.
- Ability to apply the Prophetic example to current everyday situations in the United States
- Sound knowledge of the basic Fiqh of Islamic worship including the five pillars of Islamic practice i.e Shahadah, Salat, Sawm, Zakat, Hajj
III. Cross-Cultural Capability
Candidates must demonstrate the necessary interpersonal skills for working effectively with Muslims and people of other faiths from various cultural backgrounds, as well as with both males and females. Demonstration of said competency may include but is not limited to:
- Basic working knowledge of the major cultural groups that the chaplain is likely to encounter in his or her chosen field of chaplaincy
- Effective conflict resolution skills
- Self-awareness and insight when it comes to dealing with one’s own biases
IV. Facilitation Skills
Candidates should be able to demonstrate the consistent ability to counsel and “connect” with people in a sensitive, open, respectful way. Demonstration of said competency may include but is not limited to:
- Providing effective support that contributes to the well-being of persons who request their help
- Providing support to and/or referrals for persons experiencing loss and grief
- Developing, coordinating and facilitating public worship/spiritual practices as appropriate
V. Professional Theory and Practice
Candidates should be able to promote and integrate chaplaincy as a professional discipline into the life of the institution where they function. Demonstration of said competency may include but is not limited to:
- Establishing and maintaining professional and interdisciplinary relationships inside and outside of institutions in which they function
- Articulating an understanding of institutional culture and systems especially when it comes to ethical decision-making
- Demonstrating an ability to effectively document interactions within the institutions where they work