Ingrid Mattson, Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations and Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, has been named the first London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies in the Theology Department of Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, effective July 1, 2012.
In announcing the news to the Hartford Seminary community, Seminary President Heidi Hadsell said, "We thank Ingrid for her multi-faceted leadership since she joined the faculty in 1998. Ingrid has been a great colleague and will remain a good friend of the Seminary."
James Nieman, Academic Dean of the Seminary, said, "I fully anticipate that we will continue to have a vital relationship with Ingrid in her new post, consulting and working with her to draw upon her wisdom. She will always be a part of us."
Mattson concurred about continuing a relationship with the Seminary and added, "I'm delighted that we have been so successful in developing innovative programs in Islam and Christian-Muslim relations at the Seminary, and attracted so many excellent students."
"At this point in my professional life, I feel the pull to teach in the Canadian context," she said. She said that 10 percent of the population in London, Ontario is Muslim, and she plans to apply the experience she has developed in interfaith programs and religious leadership at the Seminary to the Canadian context.
Mattson is the founder of the Seminary's Islamic Chaplaincy Program, currently headed by Timur Yuskaev. The program, which is the only accredited program to train Muslim chaplains in the United States, has placed chaplains in the military, prisons and many of the most prestigious universities in the country. Mattson also is associate editor of The Muslim World journal, which is edited by Hartford Seminary faculty.
Mattson completed her second term as president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in 2010, after serving two terms as vice-president; she was the first woman to serve in either position.
"Ingrid, as a person and a scholar as well as a Muslim leader, has contributed so much to Hartford Seminary and our work in Islam and Muslim-Christian relations. We are so very grateful," Hadsell said.
The Seminary plans to conduct a search to replace Mattson as professor and director in 2012, to start in fall 2013.