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HomeHeadlineSophia Academy's First Graduation Ceremony Marks a Milestone in Online Theology Education

Sophia Academy’s First Graduation Ceremony Marks a Milestone in Online Theology Education

Basri Doğan – TR724

Sophia Academy, established in Rotterdam in 2018 for academic and scholarly pursuits, has grown into a prominent foundation offering online theology education and various other activities.

During the Covid-19 pandemic that affected the whole world, the foundation continued its previous activities online and initiated a 3-year online theology certification program in the academic year 2020-2021, bringing together expert instructors in Islamic sciences and students. Currently, Sophia Academy provides education to 250 students from 46 different countries, and the first graduation ceremony took place at the foundation’s headquarters in Rotterdam, with 73 students graduating.

The Online Theology Program commenced with a presentation by Dr. Osman Bodur, who oversees the academic affairs at Sophia Academy. Following the recitation of the Quran, the program continued with a speech by Bahattin Ayyıldız, President of Sophia Academy Foundation and Online Theology Board, about the establishment and activities of the foundation. Prof. Dr. Muhittin Akgül, the General Coordinator of Online Theology, highlighted the importance of online theology education. Subsequently, Ahmet Özberk talked about the technical infrastructure of theology education and expressed gratitude to the students.

Academic staff, including Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kadir Paksoy, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Refii Kileci, and Dr. Hasan Darcan, congratulated the students on their achievements. Other instructors who played a crucial role in the foundation’s establishment also sent video or written messages, extending their congratulations on this significant day.

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Sophia Academy’s instructors then presented the students with their certificates. The graduates expressed their appreciation for the invaluable opportunity to receive education from some of Turkey’s most renowned scholars in theology, stating that embarking on this educational journey was the best thing they ever did. The emotional program concluded with gratitude extended to all those who contributed, accompanied by gift presentations.

Bahattin Ayyıldız, President of Sophia Academy Foundation and Online Theology Board, expressed his happiness in awarding certificates to the first graduates after the 3-year program. Ayyıldız emphasized that Sophia Academy provided a comprehensive curriculum that covered various subjects including Arabic, the Quran, Islamic creed, hadith, exegesis, jurisprudence, as well as sociology, philosophy, religious psychology, and spiritual guidance – all essential for individuals in their social lives. He emphasized that this education was delivered online by a team of expert academics who had taught and held leadership positions at theology faculties for 20 to 30 years, coming from diverse countries such as Australia, America, the UK, Belgium, France, Austria, Egypt, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Prof. Dr. Muhittin Akgül, the General Coordinator of Online Theology, expressed how meaningful the Sophia Academy graduation program was. He pointed out the diversity among the students, including professors, associate professors, engineers, doctors, academics, and university graduates, which enriched the educational experience. The students posed original and diverse questions due to their diverse backgrounds, creating a unique aspect of the program.

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Prof. Muhittin Akgul

İsmet Macit, who completed the program, expressed his feelings, stating that receiving the certificate from Sophia Academy marked the end of his 3-year journey of Islamic studies and deepening his faith. As a lawyer who had completed postgraduate and doctoral studies, Macit had always yearned for a systematic education in Islamic sciences, which he found at Sophia Academy.

Ahmet Özberk, congratulated the 73 students graduating from Sophia Academy and emphasized the Academy’s efforts in providing students with the latest online technology services, including Zoom for remote education, personalized passwords for YouTube lectures, and a model system for students’ notes and exams.

Dr. Osman Bodur, who oversees hadith and general academic studies at Sophia Academy, expressed his hopes for students who had diverse academic backgrounds to integrate Islamic sciences from Sophia Academy with their respective fields of expertise, fostering new perspectives. The program aimed to empower graduates with diverse academic backgrounds, such as physics or chemistry, to pursue theology education and reshape their futures. A total of 73 students successfully completed the rigorous 3-year program, earning 180 credits and graduating as theology scholars.

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