Though chaplaincy has roots in the Christian tradition, Muslims in North America have embraced the model as a means of providing faith-based guidance in institutional contexts.
In different universities and campuses, Muslim chaplains often serve both Muslims and non-Muslims, offering spiritual support and guidance.
In recent years, chaplains have acted as intra-institutional leaders who work towards greater interfaith understanding and community engagement.
Today, Muslim chaplaincy in the West has moved away from da’wah towards a focus on support and pastoral care, according to the Association of Muslim Chaplains, a professional organization begun in 2011.
In reaction to a growing need for Muslim students, the Muslim Chaplaincy has opened recently at the University of Windsor, Blackburn News reported.
The new Muslim Chaplaincy will offer students faith-based counseling and educational services.
The facility comes after three years of campaigning by the Muslim Students Association.
“Seeing the huge demand for Muslim students, in particular, we really wanted to offer some sort of counseling service where people can come meet with the chaplain who understands their values, their cultural lens who can provide mental support, emotional support, and intellectual support,” said coordinator Shaymaa Zantout.
“For many students sometimes the Chaplain is the first point of contact for mental health resources.”
Starting this month, Imam Yousef will be the first chaplain, offering weekly office hours, counseling, and pastoral care.