In 2009, Zaytuna College was founded in Berkeley, CA, with a mission that called for grounding students in the Islamic scholarly tradition as well as in the cultural currents and critical ideas shaping modern society. Today, we welcome students from across the world to both our BA and MA programs.
Our BA program is in liberal arts and Islamic studies, providing students with a foundation in the intellectual heritage of two major world civilizations: the Islamic and the Western. For our MA program we offer two tracks in Islamic texts: Islamic theology and philosophy or Islamic law and legal theory. This program aims to provide students with higher-level access to the Islamic tradition through a guided course of study in Islam’s primary sources.
At Zaytuna College, we have set out to do our best at restoring the broad-based, holistic tradition of what in the West was called the liberal arts and in the Muslim civilization was known as comprehensive studies. These civilizations share common aims: to think deeply and systematically about the world (creation), to ponder its ultimate source and purpose (Creator), and to live ethically in the course of our individual and collective lives (spirituality and politics). Ultimately, the purpose of education from an Islamic perspective—and for Zaytuna College—is to aid students in their own pursuit and discovery of the truth, inculcating the love of beauty, truth, and goodness in a human being.
The Zaytuna College Campus
In summer 2015, Zaytuna completed its move to the neighborhood of Holy Hill, a multi-faith academic community in Berkeley, California, where the College owns three buildings, collectively known as the lower campus.
Zaytuna’s lower campus is adjacent to one of the premier research universities in the world, the University of California, Berkeley. Holy Hill is also home to the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the largest consortium of seminaries and academic centers for the study of religion in the nation.
This community gives Zaytuna’s students and faculty an unparalleled opportunity to engage inside and outside the classroom with educational communities from different faith traditions.
The lower campus comprises three buildings:
- 2401 Le Conte Avenue (the MA program and offices of Development and Accounting)
- 2479 Le Conte Avenue (a dormitory)
- 1712 Euclid Avenue (also a dormitory and home to Renovatio, the journal of Zaytuna College)
Zaytuna’s second location, the upper campus, is a nine-acre property in the Berkeley Hills at 2770 Marin Avenue, consisting of eight buildings (including a women’s dormitory, classrooms, and administrative and faculty offices) and a stunningly beautiful natural environment conducive to serious study.