• About

    In 2009, Zaytuna College was founded in Berkeley, California, 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.

  • Academics

    As a Muslim liberal arts college in the West, Zaytuna offers a curriculum that provides its students with a foundation in the intellectual heritage of two major world civilizations: the Islamic and the Western.

  • Admissions & Aid

    Our mission is to educate students to become morally, intellectually, and spiritually accomplished individuals ready to contribute to our contemporary world in ways that are proportionate to their gifts and to the needs of human society.

  • Campus Life

    Zaytuna’s campus is on Holy Hill and students enter the College as part of a cohort, a community of learners that travel together through the curriculum.

Permaculture Design Course

Summer 2024

Permaculture Design Certificate Course

What is the Permaculture Design Certificate Course?

Zaytuna College's 72-credit-hour Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course features two days of field visits and spans a total of 14 days. Successful completion of this course earns participants an internationally recognized certificate.

The curriculum offers a comprehensive introduction to permaculture design, based on the principles pioneered by Bill Mollison, the acclaimed Australian biologist and author known as the “father” of permaculture. Hosted at Zaytuna College's upper campus and led by permaculture consultant and instructor, Rhamis Kent, this year's PDC course includes optional hands-on experience in the College's permaculture garden. The summer session is set to take place from May 25th to June 10th, 2024. The regular tuition fee for the course is $1,500 for the two-week duration. In addition to that, accommodation is available for $1,000.

What is the course about?

The PDC course encompasses sustainable living systems tailored to diverse landscapes and climates. It delves into applying permaculture principles to various facets such as food production, home design, construction, energy conservation and generation, while also delving into alternative economic structures and legal strategies that support permaculture solutions. The course primarily involves classroom instruction, supplemented by outdoor activities like compost making, turning over piles, field visits, and volunteering in the permaculture garden under the supervision of permaculture garden staff.

What is Zaytuna College?

The PDC course will take place at Zaytuna College, which is an accredited Muslim liberal arts college that offers a BA in Liberal Arts and Islamic Studies and an MA in Islamic Texts. The PDC course is open to all, and its participants attending the program are asked to abide by the College’s policies on general conduct and expectations. Please read our policies here.

Key Program Dates

Application deadline: April 28th, 2024

Interview dates for applicants: May 1st - May 2nd, 2024 

Selected candidates will be informed about scholarship and tuition fee totals: May 5th, 2024

Last day for paying tuition fees: May 10th, 2024 11:59 PM PDT

Course Schedule
About the Instructor

Mr. Rhamis Kent is a consultant with formal training in mechanical engineering (University of Delaware, B.S.M.E. ’95) and permaculture-based regenerative whole systems design serving as a registered certified Permaculture Design instructor with PRI Australia. He is a former co-director of the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI), a member of United Designers International (UDI), and on the Supervisory Board of The Netherlands-registered non-profit Ecosystem Restoration Camps Foundation.

Rhamis serves as a Zaytuna College scholar-in-residence overseeing its permaculture garden under Zaytuna's ZCELL (Zaytuna College Center for Ethical Living and Learning) initiative.

Rhamis currently serves as a Trustee and an Implementation Team member at Plant for Peace Foundation (UK) and was a key contributor to the India-based Shivansh Farming initiative of the Hans Foundation.

Rhamis has taught Permaculture Design (formal certification and short intensive courses) in Palestine/Occupied West Bank, Egypt, Greece, Ethiopia, Yemen, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, Spain, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Australia, and the United States (Michigan, California, and Vermont).  He has also performed additional consultancy work on projects in Spain, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Oman, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Somaliland, and Western Sahara.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will I be staying?

We understand that it can be challenging for those traveling from outside the Bay Area to find affordable accommodation during their stay. Thus, we are offering an optional residential component for those seeking accommodation during the course. Accommodation for 15 days will cost $1,000 per person. Candidates may be required to share accommodation with another candidate of the same gender, with access to shared bathroom and kitchen facilities.

Will meals be provided?
  • Students will be provided with lunch only.

  • All meals will be prepared according to Islamic dietary laws. Ingredients will be organic and locally sourced when possible. Vegetarian options are available upon request; please mention this request at the time of registration.

Will there be parking?

Yes, course participants will have free access to ample parking space on campus for the duration of the course.

Do I have to be Muslim to attend?

No, all are welcome.

Whom should I contact to learn more about the program?

Please email permaculture@zaytuna.edu for any further questions about the program.

Is there an age limit for attending the program?

Participants must be 18 or older. Given the rigorous nature of the course, in order to promote a positive learning environment for all, we encourage you to attend only if you are interested in the subject matter and fully committed to the program. If anyone less than 18 and above 14 is interested in applying, they should provide parental consent. 

What kind of residential amenities are provided for the residential candidates?

Each unit will be shared between two candidates of the same gender and will include a bathroom and kitchen. These furnished units come with basic furniture.

Additionally, during class hours, there will be provision for halal/vegetarian options for lunch, as well as coffee and snacks available throughout the day.

Who can take this course?

This course does not have any prerequisites. Anyone over the age of 18 may attend.

Who is an ideal candidate for Permaculture Design Candidate?

Anyone interested in building sustainable ecological systems, fostering sustainable intentional communities, and living as a conscientious steward is an ideal candidate for this course. There are no specific prerequisites for enrollment other than possessing the ability to engage with college-level reading, writing, and comprehension.

How can I get around in the area?
  • The upper campus, where the course instruction will take place, is located at the top of Berkley Hills. Given the high elevation of the location, walking anywhere is typically not convenient. However, there is a bus stop near the campus, which will take you to the UC Berkeley Campus, Downtown Berkeley, and the Zaytuna lower campus.

  • All information can be accessed directly at the SF Bay Transit website. The bus you will need to take is the AC Transit bus #65. The schedule is subject to change, but the tentative times and schedule updates can be found at the aforementioned website under Euclid Ave/Grizzly Peak.

  • You can find information on transit fares here.

  • Information on Clipper Cards can be found here.

What is the refund policy?

No candidate will be eligible for a refund once the program begins. However, if a candidate withdraws one week prior to the course, they will receive a partial refund of 50 percent if they have paid in full.

If the candidate has received a scholarship, they will not be eligible for any refund.

If a candidate withdraws from the course more than a week before its commencement and has paid the full tuition fees, they will receive a full refund.

From where candidates interested in the course can apply?

We accept applications from around the world; however, we do not help with obtaining travel visas. It is the responsibility of each candidate, particularly foreign nationals, to secure their own travel visas. Since the medium of instruction is English, proficiency in the language is essential.

How much hands-on exposure does this course give to a candidate?

While the majority of instruction takes place in a classroom setting, each course instructs candidates in the Berkeley method of composting. Additionally, this year, candidates will engage in hands-on experiments and participate in two days of field visits to Permaculture Design Projects in the Bay Area. Candidates also have an option to sign up for the volunteer roster, providing them with hands-on experience working in the College’s permaculture garden under the supervision of the permaculture garden staff.


Contact Us

For additional questions and information, please email permaculture@zaytuna.edu.

The course will be located at Zaytuna College's upper campus located at 2770 Marin Ave., Berkeley, California, 94708.

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