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IBS 2009 Fall Semester

Tuesday, September 08, 2009, 3:46 pm

The Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), a Graduate Seminary for Buddhist Studies, began its 2009 fall semester with an enrollment of 65 students. Of the total 26 are IBS students and 39 are students for the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), a consortium of Christian Seminaries.

Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean, stated that in the past few years the enrollment has increased due to the new IBS location within the Jodo Shinshu Center, Berkeley. Because of our close proximity to the GTU and the University of California, the campus atmosphere of the IBS has become the focal center for Buddhist Religious Studies.

Of the 26 IBS students 19 are on the MA program, 3 are exchange students from Ryukoku University, 2 are special students, 1 students is with the International Ministerial Orientation Program (IMOP), and 1 auditor.

Of the GTU consortium schools 11 are from the GTU, 13 from the Pacific School of Religion, 8 from the Starr King School of Ministry, 3 from the Jesuit School of Theology, 2 from the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1 from the Franciscan School of Theology, and 1 from San Francisco Theological Seminary.

“On September 1, 2009, the IBS celebrated its 60th anniversary. The faculty and staff are deeply grateful to the members and friends of the Buddhist Churches of America for their continued support in our journey to support the Shin Buddhist movement and Buddhism in the United States,” said Dr. Payne.

IBS 60th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, September 03, 2009, 11:47 am

IBS 60th Anniversary

The Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), a graduate seminary for Shin Buddhist Ministry and Buddhist Studies, celebrated its 60th anniversary on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 from 11 a.m. at the Jodo Shinshu Center (JSC). Some 80 persons were in attendance.

The ceremony included an opening service led by Bishop Koshin Ogui, Socho and President of IBS. Socho Ogui in his welcome remarks expressed his gratitude to all the BCA members who helped in the growth of IBS throughout the years and to the IBS staff for moving the IBS towards a strong Buddhist Educational Institution.

The ceremonies were highlighted by the conferral of a honorary doctorate to Mr. Hiroji Kariya, former IBS Trustee chair and long time supporter of the school, and the public presentation of the Rev. Yoshitaka Tami Professorial Chair to Dr. Lisa Grumbach; the George and Sakaye Aratani Professorial Char to Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto; and the Rev. Dr. Yehan Numata Professorial Chair to Dr. Richard Payne. The presentations were made by Mr. Thomas Yuki, Chairman of the IBS Board.

Kariya in his acceptance remarks expressed his gratitude to his late wife, Yasuko, his family, and the BCA leaders and members for giving him the opportunity to work with an educational institution which can become a vital force in Buddhist education and training of minister for our temples and beyond. He expressed his hope that the institute will grow and become a Buddhist University in the future.

He stated, “we have a good start in that at the Jodo Shinshu Center (JSC) we have a thriving IBS, an innovative Center for Buddhist Education programs headed by Rev. Kodo Umezu, the Ryukoku University programs for student overseas study, the Hongwanji English Corresponding Program, and the Hongwanji ‘s International Ministerial Orientation Program. All these are the core of a strong and positive educational program. We have a great beginning and a great future.”

He concluded by stating we need everyone to join this great and positive journey for Buddhist Education.

Dean Payne, on behalf on the chair recipient, expressed his appreciation for the generous support and commitment of members of the BCA who provided the endowed chairs.

He stated, “the IBS is now moving to make a positive contribution in the field of Buddhist Education. The history of the IBS marks the emergence of a strong and public commitment to share the teaching of Shinran throughout the western world, as the light of Amida shines unhindered throughout the universe. Key to that history are the figures of Rev. Haruyoshi Kusada and Rev. Seigen Yamaoka.

“Rev. Kusada served as the Executive Director of the IBS from 1968 to 1983. It was at that time that the vision of BCA to create a seminary for the Buddhist ministry to be trained in English was brought to reality.

“A second important step was in the mid-1980s. At that time with the leadership of Rev. Yamaoka as Bishop of the BCA, IBS affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley and with Ryukoku University, Kyoto. These were key steps in creating the present educational program of the IBS: providing education for future ministers and Shin Buddhist and Buddhist scholars.

“A third important step came under the leadership of Ogui Socho, who strongly expressed the importance of becoming a broader Buddhist institution. Thus our curriculum has grown and as a result the number of students have increased.

“The fourth historic step was the building of the Jodo Shinshu Center, which created an academic atmosphere for academic study,” he concluded.

Rev. Harry Bridge, Buddhist Church of Oakland and an IBS Adjunct Faculty, chaired the ceremony.

Prior to the ceremonies, the IBS conducted orientation for the students who will begin the 2009 fall semester. Kumi Hadler, IBS registrar, stated that there were 27 IBS students and 27 GTU students signed up for class.

Core faculty and courses are:

  • Dr. Payne, Issues in the Study of Religions (Doctoral level)
  • Dr. Matsumoto, Works of Shinran II – Teaching, Practice, and Realization
  • Dr. Grumbach, Buddhist Traditions of South Asia and Topics in Buddhist Thought: Buddhism, Meat, and Vegetarianism

Adjunct faculty and courses are:

  • Rev. Bridge, Rituals, Practice, and Ceremony in Buddhism
  • Dr. Daijaku Kinst, Zen Buddhism – Introduction to Zen Meditation
  • Dr. Hudaya Kandajahya, Buddhist Traditions of Southeast Asia: Ancient Center of Buddhism in Southeast Asia
  • Yufuko Kurioka, Shin Buddhist Texts: Buddhist Japanese 1

Online Course and instructors are:

  • Dr. Galen Amstutz, Shin History of the Shin Buddhist Traditions
  • Dr. Laura Harrington, Tibetan Buddhism
  • Dr. Scott Mitchell, Topics in Buddhist Traditions of the West: Globalization

IBS 60th Anniversary

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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