The first workings for establishing of Dar ul-funun started in 1846 and though some attempts in 1863, 1870, 1874 this institution was established in 1900, 30th Aug with the name of “Dar ul-Funun-ı Shahanah” during the Sultanate of II. Abdulhamid. Dar ul-funun included the Theology Faculty too.  After gathering all madrasahs of Istanbul under the name of “Madrasahs of Dâr ul-hilâfat ul-aliyya” in 1914, Theology Faculty of dar ul-funun was assigned as Âlî department to the Madrasahs of Dâr ul-hilâfat ul-aliyya. After connecting the madrasahs to Ministry of Education with the law on unification of education (Tawhed-i Tadrisat) No: 430 in 1924, 3rd March, the Âlî Departments of madrasahs were assigned to The Theology Faculty in Istanbul Dar ul-Funun. In this faculty Arabic literature, philosophy, kalam, ethics, sociology, Islamic history, history of religions were being taught besides some other basic lectures like tafsir (Qur’anic Exegesis), hadith and fıqh. Furthermore Arabic, Persian, French languages were among the lectures. Dar ul-funun and the incorporated faculties were closed in 1933, 31st July. So Theology Faculty was also closed. In 1933 when it was changed to university from Dar ul-Funun, theology faculty was turned into Institute of Islamic Studies. Faculty of Theology was reestablished under the same roof of Istanbul University in 1992. Istanbul University, Faculty of Theology has been accepting students since 1996 and continuing the education and training both for undergraduate, graduate and doctorate studies. The first graduates were in 2000-2001. 

1. Prof. Dr. Yaşar Nuri ÖZTÜRK 1993 - 2002 

2. Prof. Dr. Emrullah YÜKSEL 2002 - 2005

3. Prof. Dr. Fahri KAYADİBİ 2005 - 2009 

4. Prof. Dr. Şinasi GÜNDÜZ 2009 - ...2012 

5. Prof. Dr. Mürteza BEDİR 2013-...


To be indispensable in service to education, research and industry


The principle mission is to cultivate theologists who learn the religion from basic books objectively; who are equipped with moral virtues to guide the society; who contribute to the coexistence of differences to live in peace and also to make academic researches with this purpose. The vision is to become a leading faculty in national academic field and to be a prestigious theology faculty in international field.

Istanbul University, Faculty of Theology was born as one of the five departments of Dar ul-funun which was the first modern university in Turkey.  The name of Faculty of Theology in Turkey was first used for this faculty with this reason in 1924. The field of theology / religion is one the most important manifestations of the claim by Istanbul University accepting 1453 as foundation year; foreasmuch theology researches occupied a strategic place either for the education in Ayasofia or in the madrasahs of Zeyrek and Sahn-ı Seman also  for the education in other madrasahs. As it is seen, in the context of history, Istanbul University Faculty of Theology, is relatively young.  With the reason to be in the historical place of Istanbul, our faculty acts with the vision to be an educational institution which dates back Ottoman Empire time from today. By the power of this vision its goal is to make the Islamic tradition come together with modern horizons through the experience of Sahn-ı Seman and Suleymanıye madrasahs and through the understanding of Darulfunun / university information and thus aims to train people of science and thought that our country needs.
We are aware of   that we should internalize our tradition so the correct and durable platform for Islamic sciences can be provided; but this is not enough on its own to solve the problems of global village. Therefore, our wish is to contribute to the manifestation for this feature of Islamic nations again as an intermediary Muslim community (Ummatan Wasatan) between the East and the West. While the academic and cultural experience of humanity was flowing to the channel of wisdom or enlightenment before Islam, in Islamic civilization and tradition wisdom and enlightenment became kind of one flesh. Our aim is to present contributions to the new steps to arouse the association of science which represents wisdom and enlightenment, which represents heart just like in the example of Ottoman time. 
Theologians who work in the religious fields are needed a lot in order to make Islamic thought to get out with success from the struggle of being in a new process of confrontation against the challenge of liberal arts and sciences towards Islamic tradition with reforms (Tanzimat). Foreasmuch theology/religion is an essential component of knowledge of humanity and one of the basic factors which plays a part in building of today like it was in history. It is not possible to build social studies and human sciences without getting depth in the field of religion. The efforts to establish the university by being unfamiliar to the field of theology unfortunately did not cause to weakness and deficiency in theology/religion only but on the contrary the deficiency in this field caused the social and human sciences in our country not to be able to find their own course and also caused not to be able to develop the original approaches and theories in these fields. 
The students who will study in theology / religion field have to undertake very sublime missions like providing a strong connection of this society with its historical identity over again; contributing in removing the deficiency of history and theory as a condition of producing knowledge in social and human sciences; concretizing the vital role of religion in finding the self-conscience of humanity in universal level and like building a scientific stance against the ones who corrupt the universal message of Islam. Istanbul University Faculty of Theology is in an effort on the way to realize these goals with its academic staff being strengthened every day that goes by and with its undergraduate and graduate programs which have been developed recently in different languages in national and international levels in addition to the graduate and undergraduate Turkish programs. Effort is from us, divine guidance and assistance is from Allah.

Prof. Dr. Murteza Bedir

Journal of Faculty of Theology Istanbul University