A Word from the President
Established in 1949 as a center for Shin Buddhist ministerial education, IBS today offers masters-level degrees and certificate programs in the full breadth of the Buddhist tradition, while maintaining its specialization in Pure Land and Shin Buddhist Studies.
IBS graduates have gone on to become ordained Shin Buddhist ministers in North and South America and Japan. Other graduates now serve as chaplains in hospitals, prisons and the military, while others have embarked on careers as Buddhist scholars. This diverse student body and approach to Buddhist education is unique in North America, preparing students to be thoughtful and creative leaders in a complex and changing world.
IBS is associated with a number of religious and educational institutions. Its primary religious connection is with the Buddhist Churches of America and Jōdo Shinshū Hongwanji-ha. IBS is also affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union, a richly diverse consortium of graduate schools and seminaries representing a range of religious traditions. Other important partners include Ryūkoku University in Kyoto, Japan, Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts in Taipei, Taiwan and the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies. Gassho, Rev. David Matsumoto, PhD President, Institute of Buddhist Studies
Rev. David Matsumoto, Ph.D.
President, Institute of Buddhist Studies
George and Sakaye Aratani Professor of Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies
A Word from the Dean
The Institute of Buddhist Studies grew out of a desire to educate American-born Buddhists for ordination in the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha tradition of Shin Buddhism. This denominational affiliation, however, is tempered by the American context. American Buddhists and those seeking to study Buddhism in America, are located in a necessarily diverse and pluralistic culture which informs their understanding of the tradition. Thus, the mission of the IBS has developed over time to include graduate education in the entirety of the Buddhist tradition.
This mission is expressed through providing our students with a broad base of knowledge upon which to build a depth of specialization. Whether our students are seeking to specialize in Jodo Shinshu studies, Soto Zen studies, or Theravada studies, they approach their studies by first being well grounded in the breadth of the Buddhist tradition as a whole. In preparing our graduates for further academic work or careers in ministry or chaplaincy, we seek to expose them to the wide diversity of Buddhist and religious cultures from across the globe.
Our educational programs then prepare ministers, chaplains, and scholars to become public leaders and further the development of Buddhism and Buddhist Studies in the contemporary world.
Scott A. Mitchell, Ph.D.
Dean of Students and Faculty Affairs
Yoshitaka Tamai Professor of Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Studies