Endorsement by M.E.C.

An endorsement by MEC is a declaration and affirmation of a Chaplain’s good standing with the American Muslim community and vouches for the disposition, character and competencies of the man or woman serving in the role of a Muslim Chaplain.

The General Benefit of MEC's Endorsement are that

Its competency standards are both professionally and religiously acceptable
There is a diversity of perspectives in evaluating those standards
It ensures an independent assessment of individual chaplains and authoritative declaration and affirmation of the chaplain’s proficiencies


MEC’s endorsement is beneficially to a Muslim man or woman who is serving as a Muslim chaplain because
1. It ensures the credibility and acceptability of the Muslim chaplain within the American Muslim community as having been vetted as suitable representatives and leaders of the community
2. It is consistent with best practices of professional chaplaincy endorsement
3. It brings the requirements and process of Muslim chaplaincy endorsement to parity with other faith traditions
4. It helps to establish a closer, ongoing acquaintance with endorsed chaplains over a period
5. It provides endorsees with an individualized and continuous professional and personal support
6. It is a job requirement in certain instances that assures the employer of the chaplain’s ecclesiastical qualification


MEC’s endorsement is beneficially to each person because it ensures that the chaplain is competent to
1. Provide you with professional pastoral care and counseling to address and meet your spiritual needs as and when needed
2. Provide you and others with sound guidance and appropriate referrals as and when needed


MEC’s endorsement is beneficially to the Muslim community because Muslim Chaplains:
1. Educate the public, about Islam
2. Act as professional representative for Muslims
3. Generate impactful programming for all peoples in general and Muslims in particular – whether they are in the community, hospital, military, prison etc.
4. Advocate for Muslims. For example, a Muslim chaplain in such an institution would, in addition to pastoral care, advocate for prayer space and times for salat, halal food etc.

Our vision is to maintain, reinforce and improve quality standards of spiritual care for people in public and private institutions.


An applicant for MEC endorsement is required to meet 5 areas of religious and professional competency as follows:
1. Qur’anic Literacy – Applicants must demonstrate a working knowledge of the Qur’an.
2. Prophetic Theory and Praxis – Applicants must demonstrate familiarity with the entire biography of Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), and the applicability of his life example.
3. Cross Cultural Capability- Applicants must demonstrate the necessary interpersonal skills for working effectively with Muslims and people of other faiths from various cultural backgrounds, as well as with both males and females.
4. Facilitation Skills – Applicants should be able to demonstrate the consistent ability to counsel and “connect” with people in a sensitive, open, respectful way.
5. Professional Theory and Practice – Applicants should be able to promote and integrate chaplaincy as a professional discipline into the life of the institution where they function.



In some cases, a candidate may be approved for endorsement based on a minimum of 10 years of longevity in the field of chaplaincy. In these situations, chaplains are often qualified for endorsement due to their careers in the field. In these cases, chaplains may request in writing to be endorsed based on work experience. The rationale for the waiver of each of the five competencies listed below must be explicitly stated. Such persons must submit all other documentation as required in this manual.

Provisional Endorsement

MEC also offers provisional endorsement for potential seminary graduates and chaplain candidates.  A provisional endorsement is understood as a positive recognition of the student’s religious and academic scholarship, service to the community and potential for service as a Muslim chaplain based demonstrated spiritual, moral, and intellectual acumen.  A provisional endorsement is valid for a period of time as determined by the MEC board and includes stipulations for seminary graduation, additional training, volunteer work or other requirements to maintain the provisional endorsement beyond that date or to change the provisional endorsement to full endorsement.

When to Apply for Endorsement

WE ENCOURAGE CHAPLAINS TO APPLY FOR ENDORSEMENT EARLIER IN THEIR VOCATION AND NOT WHEN ABOUT TO APPLY FOR A JOB. Applying for endorsement earlier rather than later will help to establish a relationship with MEC over some time. It is a benchmark requirement for an endorsing body to be well-acquainted with the chaplain before endorsement.  Further, it will enable the chaplain’s personal and professional growth and development by recommending roadmaps and milestones and providing feedback.

Endorsement Details

The applicant is required to complete an online application for endorsement and submit the items below. An Endorsement Manual is also available for download.

  1. An updated professional resume.
  2. An autobiographical statement highlighting the following:
    • Family and religious life story including significant life-changing events
    • Significant events shaping the applicant’s interest and ability to provide services and represent Islam in public
    • Religious leadership experiences, Islamic community involvement and personal philosophy of religious leadership
    • Personal code of ethics for religious leadership
    • Personal applications of Islam to daily life
    • Life experience that has prepared the applicant to serve as a chaplain
  3. Proof of graduation from an institution of higher education in the areas of Islamic Studies, Islamic Chaplaincy, and/or a related field. MEC will evaluate each Applicant’s program of study on a case by case basis. Certificates, transcripts, and copies of diplomas can be submitted as proof of one’s formal education. Applicants without a formal course of study in the field of Islamic studies must apply for an equivalency waiver
  4. Proof of at least one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education training as provided by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) or the College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy (CPSP); or demonstration of equivalent training; or supervised clinical experience in counseling and pastoral care. In all cases, appropriate documentation must be provided to MEC. Applicants without Clinical Pastoral Education training must apply for an equivalency waiver
  5. Statement of any voluntary chaplaincy work experience (if applicable) including a signed Volunteer Reference and Certification Form by the applicant’s supervisor. The signed Volunteer Reference and Certification Form should be sent directly to MEC from the supervisor by email or snail mail. (online form for download)
  6. Notarized letter of accountability for ethical conduct (online form for download). The letter requires an attached statement form, sworn before a notary public, specifying that:
    • No religious body, employer, or professional organization has filed a civil or criminal complaint against the Applicant for unethical conduct, nor is such a complaint pending, nor has one been previously settled.
    • The applicant has never resigned or been terminated from a position, nor negotiated a settlement with an employer, for reasons related to unethical conduct.
      • If the above cannot be certified:
        • The applicant should provide an account of the complaint(s) including the forum, charges, and outcome. He or she must provide contact information for people involved in the process and written authorization for these persons to give a full accounting to MEC representatives. Each situation will be evaluated on its own merits by MEC. Prior complaints are not an automatic bar to endorsement. Information obtained will not be shared outside of MEC. MEC has the right to accept or deny an applicant according to the judgment of the review panel and the MEC Board.
  1. Background Check Authorization/ Release of Liability form (online form for download)
  2. Two letters of recommendation – one has to be from a local imam, religious leader, or MEC-endorsed chaplain confirming that the applicant was either born Muslim or has taken Shahadah and is now practicing Islam. The letter should also state any community service that the candidate has provided to the local community.   The other should be from a Muslim professional peer or Muslim peer working in Islamic chaplaincy. Both letters should confirm that the Applicant displays good moral conduct as exemplified by the Qur’an and Sunnah. Please note that MEC may contact the recommenders for any additional required information.
  3. Please note that MEC may contact the persons who wrote the recommendation letters for further information as required.
  4. A copy of birth records and proof of citizenship, permanent residency, or work authorization forms.
  5. Non-refundable application and processing fee of $150

The application for endorsement process will take the following steps:

  1. The applicant submits an online application form with all the required items listed under Application Requirements for one chaplaincy area. Once endorsed, Chaplains may request for endorsement in additional chaplaincy areas by submitting credentials that demonstrate their qualification(s) in the additional areas with related letters of recommendation through the MEC Endorsee’s portal
  2. The application and submitted items are reviewed for completeness
  3. The applicant is notified whether or not the application package is complete and meets the competency requirements
  4. Upon notification of completion of the application package, an interview with the applicant will be scheduled
  5. A three-person panel appointed by the MEC Board of Directors will conduct an oral interview with each applicant to assess whether he or she has the competencies attested to in the application. At least one of the panel members must be a person who has worked in the applicant’s area of specialty. After the interview, the panel will make a written recommendation to the MEC board for approval or denial.
  6. The Board of Directors of MEC will make a final determination as follows:
    1. Approval of chaplaincy endorsement. In some instances, the Board may require applicant to meet certain conditions to maintain their endorsement.
    2. Deferral of chaplaincy endorsement wherein the Board may require further information from the applicant prior to making a final decision.
    3. Denial of chaplaincy endorsement. If the applicant is denied, the Board will provide a written rationale for the denial. The applicant may reapply at any future time.
  7. A letter of the decision will be sent to the Applicant
  8. If an applicant is dissatisfied with the MEC Board’s decision regarding his/her application for endorsement, the applicant may file an appeal.  The appeal must be filed by email to info@mec-usa.org within 15 calendar days from the date the MEC Board issued its decision.The appeal must be in the form of a 1-3-page double-spaced statement in 12-point font with unlimited exhibits explaining the reasons for the appeal.  The exhibits must not include any documents that were previously provided to MEC as part of the initial application for endorsement.There is also a $25 fee which must be paid electronically within the same 15 calendar days of the appeal filing.Upon receipt of the appellant’s statement and fees, the MEC Board will appoint a three-person appeal panel.  At least one of the panel members will be a person who has worked in the applicant’s area of specialty. The appeal panel will not include any persons from the panel which conducted the oral interview and assessed the appellant’s competencies and eligibility for endorsement.The appeal panel will conduct a hearing with the appellant within an additional 15 days to evaluate the appellant’s reason(s) for appeal, review the recommendations of the interview panel and provide a report of its findings and recommendations to the MEC board for final determination.The board will inform the appellant within 30 days of its decision.  This decision is final.

Note: The average length of the endorsement process from application to endorsement decision is about 30-45 days. This length depends on how long it takes for the applicant to complete the application and provide all required items

Applicants may withdraw their applications at any time during the process. However, the $150.00 application fee is non-refundable.


  • Education

  • List high schools, colleges, seminaries, universities, Islamic studies, counseling or chaplaincy programs attended
    Name & Address of InstitutionDates (From)Dates (To)Graduated? (Yes/No)Degree/Certification 
  • NameAges 
  • (Including paid or volunteer years and specific dates):
    Institution/ OrganizationAddressPositionDatesSupervisor/ Contact No. 
  • Name of employing institution for chaplaincy where you work or are applying to:
  • Provide brief statement on how you meet each of the 5 competency areas

  • - Reading the Qur’an in Arabic with Tajweed.
    - Qur'anic Memorization.
    - Familiarity with scholarly interpretations of Qur’an.
    - Ability to apply the Qur’an to everyday situations in the US and in the context of chaplaincy engagement.
  • - Ability to recall and discuss major events in the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
    - Basic knowledge of hadith and their impact on the Muslim practice of Islam.
    - Ability to apply the Prophetic example to current everyday situations in the United States
    - Sound knowledge of the basic Fiqh of Islamic worship including the five pillars of Islamic practice i.e Shahadah, Salat, Sawm, Zakat, Hajj
  • - Basic working knowledge of the major cultural groups that the chaplain is likely to encounter in his or her chosen field of chaplaincy
    - Effective conflict resolution skills
    - Self-awareness and insight when it comes to dealing with one’s own biases
  • - Providing effective support that contributes to the well-being of persons who request their help
    - Providing support to and/or referrals for persons experiencing loss and grief
    - Developing, coordinating and facilitating public worship/spiritual practices as appropriate.
  • - Establishing and maintaining professional and interdisciplinary relationships inside and outside of institutions in which they function
    - Articulating an understanding of institutional culture and systems especially when it comes to ethical decision-making
    - Demonstrating an ability to effectively document interactions within the institutions where they work.

Payment Type and Information

Amount: $150

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