Islamic Faith Basics
Islamic Faith Basics

Islam at BenU

Nearly one in four traditional undergraduate students (24 percent) at Benedictine University are Muslim, according to a 2016 survey. This may be the largest percentage of Muslim students to compose a university’s student body in the United States, according to the Chicago Tribune. The University welcomes diversity and respects all religions, and strives to meet the needs of all faith adherents including Muslims.

Practicing Islam at BenU

Regular and Friday Prayers

Regular prayers can be held in the Interfaith Prayer Room located in Kindlon Hall, Room 136. It is a place for the adherents of all religions. Students must be mindful about keeping the space welcoming for all.

For Muslim students and staff, Benedictine has designated the Intercultural House in the Founders’ Woods Apartments community as a venue for Friday prayers. Friday prayer is scheduled between 12:00-2:00 P.M., which was purposely selected as the best time to avoid conflict with academic activities. University administrators and faculty are to try not to schedule important activities during this time.

Muslim Holidays

Benedictine University’s policy for religious observances requires students to submit requests in writing to their professor or instructor by the end of the first week of class.


May 27-June 25, 2017

Eid ul-Fitr

June 26-29, 2017


August 30-September 4, 2017

Eid ul-Adha

September 2-5, 2017

Muslim and Interfaith Student Organizations

Muslim Student Association

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) at BenU provides education on Islam to the University community through informational meetings, events and participation in interfaith dialogue sessions. 

The MSA meets monthly during school semesters from 12:30 – 1:20 p.m. Thursdays in Tellabs Lecture Hall, Room 112 in Birck Hall. New members are always welcome.

Catholic Muslim Dialogue

A Campus Ministry program, Catholic-Muslim Dialogue was developed by Rita George-Tvrtkovic, Ph.D., associate professor of Theology, and gives students of both faiths an opportunity to come together to share their experiences, ask questions and discuss some of the global issues that are often shaped by religious doctrine.

The group meets bi-weekly over a shared meal in a safe and hospitable space for students to share their beliefs and develop bridges of understanding with one another. Past topics have included homeschooling, interfaith marriages, Islamophobia, vocation and easily misunderstood customs. Though kept intentionally small to foster true conversation and community, once a semester Catholic-Muslim Dialogue hosts a Fishbowl conversation that is open to the entire campus community.

For more information about joining Catholic-Muslim Dialogue, visit Campus Ministry or contact Kathryn Heidelberger, campus minister, coordination of ecumenical and interfaith engagement, at (630) 829-6336 or

News articles on the University’s growing Muslim student population and programs:

Small Catholic university, big Muslim enrollment try to build bridges
—Chicago Tribune

BenU appoints Muslim faith advisor to promote interfaith dialogue, understanding
—Daily Herald

Faith Communities

Carrie Ankeny
Director of Campus Ministry
(630) 829-6028