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Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies

In 1995, the IBS has established the Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies to serve as a vehicle for accomplishing its mission. The general purposes of the Center are to:

  1. Establish a new perspective from which to view ongoingIBS programs and priorities
  2. Provide for a greater focus on research, scholarship and instruction in contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies
  3. Develop new programs that would apply to a broader segment of the BCA community, including ministers and an increasingly well educated membership
  4. Help IBS to develop as a community in which Shin Buddhists, students and scholars can come together with the common aim of deepening their understanding of Shin Buddhism.

Chief among Center’s tasks will be the development of programs for:

  1. continuing education for BCA ministers and students of Shin Buddhism
  2. publication of Shin Buddhist texts and study material
  3. the translation of Japanese-language Shin Buddhist texts
  4. coordination of relations between IBS and institutions in Japan and the US
  5. increased IBS contributions to Shin Buddhist thought in a wide variety of media
  6. improvement of Shin Buddhist holdings in the IBS library
  7. IBS participation in ministerial training

Click here to see more information on CCSBS programs.

With the establishment of the Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies and the reorganization of its degree program and curriculum, the Institute of Buddhist Studies has taken monumental strides in realizing the goals of the Buddhist Churches of America in establishing a recognized center for ministerial training in North America. For many years, ministerial students of the BCA have received a solid introduction to Shin Buddhist doctrine at the IBS. However, students were required to pursue advanced study programs in Japan. Recent developments at the IBS have addressed this matter and changes have been instituted to insure our ministerial students a solid and comprehensive program in Shin Buddhist Studies.

Recent accomplishments are:

  1. Establishment of the Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies
  2. Reorganization of the IBS degree program emphasizing Shin Buddhist Studies
  3. Practicum courses have been replaced by academic courses in Shin Buddhist doctrine (the BCA Ministers’ Association has assumed responsibility for temple internship and orientation program)
  4. IBS courses on general and Shin Buddhism have been accepted as substitutes for required courses in the Graduate Theological Union curriculum
  5. Development and implementation of a Japanese language program based upon the writings of Shinran Shonin
  6. Development of an IBS website. Currently IBS courses designed for presentation on the Internet are being developed
  7. Strengthening of ties with the Graduate Theological Union

As a result of this developing program, it is anticipated that our students will become less dependent upon extended studies in Japan. Moreover, as the IBS program continues to be strengthened, more educational opportunities will arise for those students who would otherwise be hindered from pursuing them due to financial, language, or family factors. In anticipation of these welcome changes, the Ministerial Student Research-Exchange Seminar has been initiated. This will be the first time such a program has ever been attempted.