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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

2009 IASBS Conference Highlights

Monday, June 22, 2009, 11:45 am

Some 100 scholars, priests, and students attended the 14th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies held on June 12-14 at the Ryukoku University Omiya Campus in Kyoto, Japan. With the theme “Shin Buddhism in the World of the Twenty-First Century: Challenges and Potential,” some 52 scholars, priests, and students from Japan, the United States, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hawaii, South America, and Europe presented papers on a wide variety of topics committed to Shin Buddhist Studies.

Some interesting papers included “Pure Land Teaching of Yongming Yanshu: Implications for Shin Buddhist Practice in the Twenty-First Century,” by Professor Albert Welter of the University of Winnipeg; “The Importance of Developing Religious Education and Pastoral Care Service,” by Mari Sengoku, graduate student at Tottori University; “The Influence of Women on Buddhist Secularization in the Song Period: Focuson Women in Southeast China,” by Jingjing Zhu a graduate student at the University of the West; and “Recent Changes in Society and Shin Buddhism,” by Gerhard Schepers, Professor Emeritus at the International Christian University.

BCA and IBS papers were given by Rev. Dr. Hoshu Matsubayashi, Rinban of the Seattle Betsuin, on “Contemporary Understanding of the Utmost Happy Pure Land”; Mitsumi Wondera, IBS Student, on “Takagi Kenmyo’s Influence to Contemporary Shin Buddhist Thought”; and Dr. Scott Mitchel, IBS Adjunct Professor, on “Buddhism , Pop-Culture, and Homogenization of the Dharma.”

IBS graduates presenting papers were Rev. Angela Andrade, Honpa Honganji South America on “Aspects of the Shin Buddhist Faith Literary Works”; Rev. Naoyuki Ogi , Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, on “TakagI Kenmyo: a 20th Century Example of a Way of Life on ‘Revitalizing Buddhism’”; Rev. Mary David, Moilili Hongwanji Buddhist Temple on “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Buddha’s Teaching”; and Rev. Tsui Chung-hui, graduate student at Hong Kong University on “Calligraphy of the Dunhuang Monestary: Based on the Northern Liang (AD 397-460) Period.”

Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean and Dr. Seigen Yamaoka attended the conference representing IBS.

2009 Spring Student Body

Saturday, April 04, 2009, 9:00 am

The Institute of Buddhist Studies, a graduate school for Buddhist Studies and Ministerial Studies in Berkeley, began its 2008 spring semester with an enrollment of 48 students. Of the total 25 are IBS students. In the fall semester there were a total of 60 students taking courses.

Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean, stated that in the past few years the enrollment has steadily increased due to the new IBS location within the Jodo Shinshu Center. The campus atmosphere has greatly enhanced the visibility of the IBS to the academic and religious communities.

Of the 25 IBS students 13 are ministerial students in the MA track, 3 are auditing with record, 3 in the Chaplaincy program, 3 are general students, 2 are from other traditions, and 3 are exchange students from Ryukoku University.
Graduate Theological Union students come from the following schools. 6 from the GTU Doctoral track, 1 from the American Baptist Seminary of the West, 1 from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 3 from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, 1 from the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, 6 from the Pacific School of Religion, and 5 from the Starr King School for the Ministry. These are all graduate students who are studying to be ministers, teachers, or church supporters of their traditions. Dr. Payne, IBS Dean and GTU Core Doctorial Faculty, teaches all PhD students.

Strangers to Each Other: Names without faces or stories

April 10, 2009
9:30 amto11:30 am

~ Names without Faces or Stories ~

Panel Presentation on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Community

Please join us in this panel presentation to connect Ministers, Chaplains, and Counselors to the names, faces, stories, and concerns of members of the LGBT Community. Through their voices we hear from all people who have experienced alienation, exclusion or exile from their faith community.

Facilitator: Demetrio Tofaya (Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, GTU)
Commentator: Dr. Daijaku Judith Kinst (Institute of Buddhist Studies)

This event is open to the public.
RSVP requested: (510) 809-1444 /

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