The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is diversely populated by different ethnicities and religious denominations. Several thousand Muslims live in DFW, and a good percentage is civically engaged and inter-religiously involved with the larger public. This fall, the Texas Christian University is offering to the public courses on topics related to Islam at its Extended Education department as an effort to celebrate Fort Worth's diversity and religious pluralism.
I will be teaching two courses for this program: "Women in Islam: Status, History, Realities and Liberation" and "Islam: The Other Faith in Our Neighborhood." The course on women starts this Tuesday, September 2nd at 6:00 pm and runs through four weeks. The second course starts on October 7th and runs through four Tuesdays. To read course descriptions and register, visit Lifelong.tcu.edu or call TCU Extended Education office at 817-257-7132.
Founded in 1873, TCU is a private university that officially relocated from Waco to Fort Worth in 1911. TCU is not exclusively a Christian-oriented institution as it accepts and invites students from all religious traditions to enroll. A few Muslim students have been attending TCU over the years and TCU is looking to promote to grow this trend. "You don't have to be Christian to attend TCU," said Kay Higgins, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Student Development. Higgins said that the goal of the institution is to invite more Muslim students to their campus to increase its diversity and enrich it. Although TCU doesn't have an Islamic Studies major yet, it offers a few courses for its undergraduate students in Islam and world religions.
Adding Islamic courses to the list of public courses at the Extended Education department is a good start to encourage religious diversity at TCU and to introduce the Muslim tradition and culture to its family and neighborhood. A higher education institution's goal and mission is always to educate and encourage free thinking and judgment. TCU is applauded to have expanded its sphere of liberal education by reaching out to the larger American multi-faith community and engaging with it in a meaningful conversation.