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Case study

Creating a national institution for religious scholarship to improve the education of Imams and religious scholars

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Restoring moderate religious views and rhetoric globally

We were asked to provide strategic guidance and implementation support for the creation of the United Arab Emirate’s first national institution for religious research and scholarship. The initiative was implemented to address what key regional religious communities viewed as an erosion of traditional and moderate religious discourse in MENA and globally.

Building an institution from the ground up

We developed an institution-wide strategic plan and plans for each academic department. The plan was validated through work sessions held at the global launch conference. We also supported in establishing a prominent multi-faith board of directors that to expand the institution’s network of influence regionally and globally

Establishing academic support and partnerships

We spearheaded the planning of a global launch conference and formalized partnerships with local and international institutions to build institutional buy-in and a global profile. This involved forming academic partnerships with local, regional and international institutions to support training and research functions.

Balancing contemporary faith leadership with theological studies

We prioritized fields of study and defined research strategies to build a modern educational institution that attracts students from across MENA and abroad. Key to this initiative was balancing theological studies with the practical aspects of a faith leader’s work in a modern academic setting.


The UAE’s first educational institution for theological research and studies was established at a flagship global multi-faith event which brought together religious leaders and which is now hosted annually. The institution was able to rapidly establish an international network guided by a defined growth plan and a comprehensive institutional framework to support its ambitions.