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Buddhist Chaplaincy Certificate Program

A Joint Effort of the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Graduate Theological Union

The Institute of Buddhist Studies, in cooperation with the Graduate Theological Union, offers a program of study leading to a certificate in Buddhist chaplaincy. The certificate program may be taken

  1. concurrently with the MA (Buddhist Studies) degree offered as part of the GTU’s common MA program,
  2. sequentially after having completed the MA (Buddhist Studies) degree, or,
  3. as a stand-alone certificate, for someone who already has two years of relevant, preferably graduate level, course work from another institution.
The Certificate in Buddhist Chaplaincy will be granted by the GTU in cooperation with IBS. Admissions, curriculum, advising, and administration are the responsibility of IBS. Upon completion of the program the Administrative Assistant to the GTU Dean will verify that the program requirements have been met before the certificate is granted. Tuition for the certificate program, under any of the three enrollment categories described above, is paid to the IBS.

The certificate requires the successful (B+ or better) completion of eight courses (3 semester units each, for a total of 24 semester units). Typically the eight courses required for the Certificate in Buddhist Chaplaincy will include the following:

  • HRPS 8320: Psychological Aspects of Buddhism, I: Classic Theories
  • HRPS 3016: Psychological Aspects of Buddhism, II: Dialogue with Contemporary Western Psychology
  • a course in Buddhist practices, other than the tradition a student may already be engaged with (advisor’s approval)
  • PSHR 3076: Buddhist Pastoral Care
  • four additional courses in Pastoral Care and Counseling (advisor’s approval)

Based upon a student’s prior studies, however, the specific requirements for that student will be individualized—the goal of which, however, is to cover the nine subject areas identified for Buddhist chaplaincy by the Association of Professional Chaplains.

Download a chaplaincy application

Download letter of recommendation form

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