Author name
Chris Heltne

Thumbnail Imam Adeel Zeb has been named Duke University's new Muslim chaplain and director for the Center for Muslim Life, beginning September 20.

He succeeds Imam Abdullah Antepli, who is taking on a new role with the university.

"I am thrilled to be able to make this important announcement," said Zoila Airall, associate vice president of campus life. "We have made significant strides in serving our growing Muslim student population over the past few years. I have great confidence that Adeel is the right person to continue this growth and serve our Muslim community."

Zeb said he is committed to building what he calls "interfaith, intrafaith and inter-university bridges" to create opportunities for productive dialogues. He has led interfaith immersion trips and spiritual retreats to Trinidad and Saudi Arabia, and hopes to continue such work with students and colleagues at Duke.

"The students at Duke exude ambition and seem ready to make authentic and positive change globally, starting of course locally here at Duke University," Zeb said. "The Duke community is full of energy, intelligence, and passion. These three components seem to be a common thread in the framework of this exemplary institution. With the current setup of three Muslims in distinct leadership positions across campus, Duke’s Muslim Life has the opportunity to be the gold standard in America, and that’s my hope and vision for the near future."

Zeb is coming to Duke from Trinity College and Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and prior to that served the Muslim community at American University. In those positions, he designed and delivered successful programming and outreach that met varied Muslim student needs. His academic research has focused on Jewish and Muslim chaplaincies on college campuses.

"Imam Zeb brings with him a unique combination of knowledge about Islam as well as skills in counseling and student development," said Li-Chen Chin, director of intercultural programs for Student Affairs at Duke. "His rich and diverse life experience -- for example, initially wanting to be pre-med as an undergraduate, then finding his calling after a visit to Mecca -- will serve as an inspiration to all students."

Zeb is a graduate of the Master’s in Islamic Chaplaincy program at Hartford Seminary. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Baylor University, and a bachelor’s of science degree in Islamic studies from Arees University. He has earned multiple certifications in interfaith conflict management, conflict analysis, and negotiation from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). He was the first Muslim Chaplain student at Children’s Medical Center’s Clinical Pastoral Education Program in Dallas.

Zeb has spoken at Islamic centers, universities, hospitals and Muslim conferences throughout the United States and has delivered Friday Khutbah prayer on Capitol Hill. He has published works in the Washington Post, and Temple University’s Journal for Ecumenical Studies.