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IBS 60th Anniversary

by Seigen Yamaoka
Tuesday, August 04, 2009, 3:11 pm

The Institute of Buddhist Studies, a Seminary and Graduate School, will celebrate it’s 60th anniversary on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at its Jodo Shinshu Center campus, 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA from 11 a.m.

At the anniversary service, the IBS will officially confer, in an academic ceremony, an Honorary Doctorate to Mr. Hiroji Kariya for his lifetime contribution to the development of IBS. His award was announced at the Buddhist Churches of America National Council Meeting in February 2009.

“Mr. Kariya joined the IBS Board of Trustees in the early 1960s, and from 1977 until his retirement in 2009 he served as Chair of the IBS Trustees. His dedication and commitment enabled IBS to grow and develop into a strong graduate institution for Buddhist education and research,” said Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean.
Also, official recognition will be given to professors who are officially named to professorial endowed chairs.

The BCA ministerial training began in 1930 when Bishop Kenju Masuyama saw the need to train English speaking ministers. After World War II, Bishop Enryo Shigefuji established a monthly study group to persons interested in being ministerial aspirants. The monthly study session was held at the home Mrs. Shinobu Matuura. In 1949, the program was moved to the Berkeley Buddhist Temple at 2121 Channing Way where it became known as the Buddhist Study Center (BCS) under the guidance of Rev. Kanmo Imamura, resident minister of the Berkeley Temple.

A thriving study group developed into a notable number of Buddhist teachers in the world community. In 1958, under the guidance of Bishop Shigefuji and Rev. Imamura, the BCS became the official ministerial training center in the United States. The first students under the new programs were: Leslie Kawamura, John Doami, William Masuda, and Haruo Yamaoka.

In 1966, the BCA acquired a building at 2717 Haste Street, Berkeley, and the BSC was renamed the IBS. In the mid-1980s, Bishop Shnsho Hanayama and Bishop Kenyu Tsuji played vital roles in the early stages at the Haste Street campus. Rev. Haruyoshi Kusada served as Executive Director from 1968 to 1983, laying the educational foundation for graduate studies.

Under the guidance of Bishop Seigen Yamaoka, the IBS established affiliations with Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan in 1982 and the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley in 1985. In 1986 Dr. Alfred Bloom, a noted Shin Buddhist scholar, was appointed Dean and Head Professor. Upon his retirement in 1994, Dr. Richard Payne was appointed to the position of Dean.

With the dedication of the newly constructed Jodo Shinshu Center in 2006, and guidance of Bishop Koshin Ogui, the IBS Campus is part of the programs within the center. With the new campus, IBS has grown in its academic offerings.

The public is invited to attend the ceremonies. Contact the IBS for more information.

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