by Seigen Yamaoka
Monday, February 03, 2014, 9:00 am
News from the Development Corner at the IBS
I have some wonderful news to share with all of you. After you read this entire article, I believe you will think this is a good thing as well. On November 8, 2013, the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Buddhist Studies unanimously approved the start of the Friends of IBS Annual Giving Program. The purpose of the program is to, with the help of our Sanghas, support IBS students who are ministerial aspirants. The “Friends of IBS” Program will annually raise money to create the IBS Ministerial Scholarship Fund.
The retiring of Kaikyoshi Ministers, currently serving BCA temples is ongoing, and, indeed, the number of retiring ministers will be greater than the number of ministerial students currently in the study programs. I believe this to be a problem for the future, and here’s why.
The current tuition cost of a Masters Degree for ministerial students at IBS totals $46,800.00 for three years of intensive graduate studies. This does not include cost of living adjustments. Additionally, there is a one-year exchange program at Ryukoku University, which, while not a requirement for the Masters Degree, is an invaluable enhancement to our ministerial students’ experience. Although recommended, the cost is in addition to the $46,800.00!
When these figures were brought up at a gathering of BCA ministers, we were astounded by what it costs today to attain the Kaikyoshi degree. We all grew quiet as we contemplated how that number would grow in the coming years. Understanding this reality, it is imperative that we establish a long term funding resource for IBS ministerial aspirants. This is how and why we came up with Friends of IBS.
The support and generosity of the BCA membership has been the source for the development of BCA ministers to this point in our history. To be able to educate the BCA minister of the future, we need your generous participation and continuous support, now and into the future. Please consider what you can afford to contribute on an annual basis. Your contribution(s) can be made in one lump sum each year, or mailed to IBS monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. Simply indicate your preference so that we can maintain proper records, and we will send you a summary for your tax records. (Yes, of course, lending your support to our future ministers is tax deductible!) If your circumstances change, and you find you can no longer contribute to this fund, no worries. We appreciate anything you can do to help. There is never a contribution too small. I also urge Dharma Schools, Jr. YBA, Basketball teams, etc., to think about creating an annual fundraiser for “Friends of IBS.” Never underestimate the great power of bake sales and car washes!
Thank you! I can be reached at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704-1589 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ~ I look forward to hearing from you.
Rev. Seigen Yamaoka
To learn more about making charitable contributions to the Institute of Buddhist Studies, please visit our donations page.
And to contribute to the Friends of the IBS program, please download this form and return it to our office in Berkeley.