Adjunct Professor, Chaplaincy
MA, Claremont School of Theology
ACPE Supervisor, 2016
Chaplain Tahara Akmal joined Moravian Theological Seminary in the Spring Semester of 2017 to teach in the Chaplaincy program. She serves as the Director of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and ACPE Certified Educator at Reading Hospital in Reading, PA, and brings with her years of training and experience in chaplaincy.
But first—prior to her career in chaplaincy and education, Tahara worked for the Islāmic Information Service (IIS) in Altadena, California, as an Anchor and Segment Producer for IIS’ nationally broadcast television program, American Muslim Hour. She also hosted a southern California radio program, Islāmic Perspectives, and freelance writing for the Chicago, Illinois based Muslim Journal newspaper. Out of the many opportunities to engage the American Muslim community, interview clergy from various religions, and visit diverse houses of worship arose Tahara's interest in interfaith ministry.
Through her education and training, Tahara has focused particularly on end-of-life issues. Her graduate studies internship project centered on the end-of-life care practices and rituals in Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, and Buddhism. She also conducted a research project entitled Islamic Law and Medical Ethics: Organ Transplant, Defining Death, and Life Sustaining Devices. In her second-year specialized CPE residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, Tahara’s specialized ministry was with family members of patients who suffered a traumatic brain or cardiac injury. She provided spiritual and emotional care as these families decided sensitive end-of-life care options, mainly organ donation for their loved one.
Tahara remained at Johns Hopkins Hospital to become a chaplain educator (ACPE Supervisor). As part of the certification process, she developed theories for teaching interfaith ministry rooted in Islāmic theology, humanistic psychology, pastoral care and counseling theories, and adult education theories. In May 2015, Tahara made history as the first Muslim woman since ACPE’s inception in 1967, certified as an Associate Supervisor. She was certified as a Full ACPE Supervisor in March 2016. In October 2016, Tahara received the Muslim American Chaplain’s Association Lifetime Achievement Award, an award given annually to an individual that demonstrates excellence in service to humanity.
Tahara is the mother of two sons and a daughter. When she has the chance, Tahara likes to take road trips, exploring new areas and perhaps finding a few old treasures.