Zaytuna College, the first Muslim liberal arts college in the United States, began in 1996 as Zaytuna Institute in Hayward, California. The institute, through various programs and media, established an international reputation for its efforts to help revive Islam’s educational and intellectual reputation for its advocacy of traditional Muslim education.
In 2004, noting the paucity of religious leaders with the cultural literacy to tend to the spiritual and pastoral needs of American Muslims, Zaytuna Institute launched a pilot seminary program. After the culmination of that program, the Board of Directors of Zaytuna Institute guided the organization through the momentous effort of establishing an accredited Muslim liberal arts college in the United States.
In 2009, Zaytuna College was launched in Berkeley, California, featuring a two-month long Summer Arabic Intensive as its first academic program. Subsequently, the undergraduate program welcomed its inaugural freshman class for the Fall 2010 semester. Thereafter, Zaytuna College continued to refine its academic identity, firmly rooted in the American liberal arts tradition. In 2012, it had secured a historic building to serve as its permanent home in the heart of the Graduate Theological Union.