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Kyoshi Certificate Requirements

Course offerings and program requirements

The program requires the successful completion of seven IBS courses. The courses are listed below, with the corresponding Hongwanji requirement in parenthesis.

Seven graduate-level courses through IBS

  1. Introduction to Shin Buddhist Thought (真宗教義 1)
  2. Readings in Mahayana Texts: The Three Pure Land Sutras (仏教教義1)
  3. The Seven Pure Land Masters: History of the Pure Land Tradition (仏教教義 2)
  4. History of the Shin Buddhist Tradition: Premodern (真宗史)
  5. Buddhist Traditions of South Asia (仏教史 1)
  6. Buddhist Traditions of East Asia (仏教史 2)
  7. Works of Shinran I: Shorter Works, or Works of Shinran II: Teaching, Practice and Realization (真宗教義 2)
Certificate program requirements
  1. Participants must successfully complete seven three (3) credit courses, for a total of twenty- one (21) credits.
  2. All courses are to be taken for credit/grade.
  3. Participants must receive a grade of B- or better in order to receive credit for a course, and an overall grade average of B or better for the certificate program.
  4. Audited courses (registration as either auditor or auditor with record) will not count toward fulfillment of the certificate program requirements. However, a participant who had previously taken one of the required courses as an auditor may consider one of the following options:
    • Taking the same course again for credit;
    • Petition to challenge for credit can be made under limited circumstances;
    • Petition to take the course again as a directed reading. (Regular tuition will still be required.); or
    • Substitution for a required course with another IBS course.
  5. Some of the courses in the program are offered on-site in Berkeley and some online. Completion of program requirements may necessitate completing both kinds of courses.

Four practicum sessions through CBE

In addition to the graduate-level coursework, participants must receive certification from the Center for Buddhist Education of their successful completion of the practicum sessions. These workshops, offered as part of the CBE Minister’s Assistant Program, will give IBS certificate program participants an opportunity to become acquainted with the practical realities and methods of Shin Buddhist propagation.

  1. Shin Buddhist Liturgy (勤式作法)
  2. Shin Buddhist Homiletics (布教法)
  3. Hongwanji Laws and Regulations (宗門法規)
  4. Introduction to World Religions (宗教概説)

Note that IBS offers courses and seminars on topics 1, 2 and 3 as part of its graduate degree program. IBS degree students must enroll in the IBS courses and seminars in order to obtain a degree, that is, fulfillment of Kyōshi Certificate requirement(s) by CBE seminars will not equate with either a specific required course, or for the total coursework requirement. Kyōshi Certificate Programs students may fulfill their program requirements by taking the IBS courses or seminars.

Course substitution procedure

In order to substitute another IBS course for one of the required courses in the Kyōshi Certificate Program, a petition, containing the following three elements, must be submitted to the certificate program director or IBS Dean.

  1. A letter of petition that:
    • explains why the substitution is being requested, specifically what educational goal the substitution furthers, and
    • identifies which specific required course the substitution is being requested for.
  2. A transcript of work completed to date at both the CBE MAP and the IBS, and
  3. A syllabus of the suggested substitute course.

After review of these materials, the director of the certificate program or the IBS Dean will issue a written approval or disapproval of the petition.

Challenge for credits policy

A participant who had previously taken one of the courses required in the Kyōshi Certificate Program as an IBS auditor or auditor-with-record may request the privilege of taking a challenge examination in order to receive credit for the course.

Procedure to Challenge for Credits

A petition to challenge for credits, containing the following elements, must be submitted to the certificate program director or the IBS Dean.

  1. A letter of petition that
    • explains why the challenge for credits is being requested, specifically what educational goal the challenge furthers, and
    • identifies which specific required course is being challenged
  2. A syllabus of the course, which had been previously taken at IBS and serves as the basis for the challenge, and
  3. A transcript of work completed to date at both the CBE MAP and the IBS.

These materials are to be submitted for review to the certificate program director or the IBS Dean, who will issue a written approval or disapproval of the petition.

Upon approving the petition, the certificate program will prepare a written, open-book examination and present it to the participant, who will have three (3) weeks to complete and submit it for evaluation. The standards for evaluation will be equivalent to those normally applied in the course in question.

Upon receiving a grade of “pass,” the participant will earn three credits for successfully completing the course in question. If a grade of “fail” is given, the participant will be required to take the course for credit.

Limitations

  1. No participant shall be allowed more than one challenge per course.
  2. No participant may obtain more than twelve (12) credits on the basis of challenges.

Fee for Challenge

The fee for a challenge for credit will be equal to one-half of the amount of tuition required to take the course in question, at the time of the petition.