Skip to content

Muslim UST MAFC Grad Bridges Faith Communities

By Anna Roark, University of St. Thomas
4/22/2013 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Muslim UST MAFC Grad Bridges Faith Communities

In what may seem paradoxical to some, a Muslim community leader-an imam-will receive a graduate degree in faith and culture from Houston's Catholic university. At the University of St. Thomas Commencement Ceremony on May 18 honoring 350 undergraduates and 793 graduate students, Turkish-born-and-raised Ali Civelek will be awarded a master's in Faith and Culture.

His intention is to use what he has learned to build strong bridges between diverse communities. 

Civelek came to America with his family in 2002 and now works for Houston's Turkish-American community, which has its own cultural center and a small mosque. Father to five children, ages 2 to 17, Civelek had a personal interest in the University's graduate program.

"I'm raising my children here, and I had a great urge to learn about all the aspects of this culture," Civelek said. "After taking the courses, I have a desire to share beyond my children."

The former industrial engineer turned businessman turned imam says the University's Faith and Culture Program changed his life, and he plans to use what he has learned to increase understanding and communication between cultures and faiths.

"Always in my heart, I have been driven to read and learn and understand what's going on around me," Civelek said. "Through this program, I learned about the different shades of American culture, how individualism came to be so valued here, and I ended up learning Catholicism-Christianity-more deeply. It changed me so much."

According to Civelek, the more he learned about American faith and culture, the more he had in common with it.

"Our core values are almost the same-forgiveness, charity, justice, poverty and respect for God," Civelek said. "We can come together and work on common issues like poverty and justice."

The UST Center for Faith and Culture provides a Master of Arts in Faith and Culture and a Certificate of Faith and Culture as core programs. This work is supported through the core mission to seek to understand and affect the relationship between the Gospel and the American way of life.

As part of the MAFC program, Ali completed a service learning and leadership practicum at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The practicum allows students to work in various settings to communicate with and teach others how to integrate faith development with civic and social responsibility.

At Catholic Charities, Civelek learned about a remarkably efficient social ministry. He is helping to create a map of all outreach organizations in the downtown area.

Dr. Adam Martinez, program director, said Ali has been an outstanding student.

"As a leader and a living witness to the integration of faith and culture, he has been learning as much as he could about the Catholic faith and way of life so he can be a stronger bridge with his own faith community," Martinez said.

"Our communities can share and learn from one another," Civelek said. "The University's Faith and Culture program called to me and made me believe this is possible."

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments



More College

Finding the right College

There's no magic formula for choosing a college, but there are steps you can take to find a good fit. Use this tool to start your journey.

Latest College News

Loras College announces new business school

Image of The College is now accepting students for the fall 2018 semester.

Already known for its legacy of successful, community-driven leaders, Loras College, Iowa's first college and the second oldest Catholic ... continue reading


Georgetown apologizes for mass slave auctions to pay off Catholic University debts Watch

Image of Georgetown apologized to ancestors of slaves sold to Louisiana to pay off Georgetown University debts.

One hundred and seventy-nine years ago, two Jesuit priests sold 272 persons at a slave auction. Their families were torn apart: many of ... continue reading


Pope Francis to university students: keep hope alive

Image of

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday visited one of Rome's major institutions of higher education today: the  Università degli ... continue reading


BREAKING: UCLA on lockdown after shooting on campus Watch

Image of UCLA is on lockdown.

The UCLA campus has been put on lockdown after reports of a shooter in the university's Boelter Hall were released via social media. ... continue reading


Christian students in U.S. not allowed to speak to other students without permits Watch

Image of Christian liberties denied at North Carolina State University (Wikipedia).

In a move reminiscent of the early 1900s, North Carolina State University segregated a student Christian group from the rest of the student ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.