Programs of Distinction

The Institute of Buddhist Studies offers a systematic and comprehensive educational program in the entirety of the Buddhist tradition. Students enrolled in our degree programs may wish to specialize in one or more fields. Specializations may be an informal focus of a degree program or may be formalized through the completion of a certificate program.


The IBS has been committed to ministerial training and education since its founding. Ministerial aspirants may enroll in any of our degree programs and, in consultation with their advisor, create a program of study that emphasizes Jodo Shinshu doctrine and practice as well as pastoral education. Students may also wish to enroll in the Certificate in Shin Buddhist Studies.

Please review the information on the website and contact Rev. David Matsumoto with additional questions.


Students wishing to pursue education and training as a Buddhist chaplain may enroll in any of our degree programs; however, generally speaking, chaplaincy students are encouraged to enroll in the Master of Divinity or the GTU common-MA plus the Chaplaincy Certificate Program. These programs have been designed to meet the requirements of the Association for Professional Chaplains.

Please review the information on the website and contact the Admissions Director with additional questions.

Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies

Students wishing to complete a doctoral program in Buddhist Studies are encouraged to enroll in either the Master of Buddhist Studies or the GTU common-MA program. This program can be focused on the academic study of Buddhism from a variety of methodological lenses (textual, philosophical, cultural-historical), and many students continue their studies through the GTU’s Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies.

Please review the information on the website and contact Dr. Scott Mitchell with additional questions.

Certificate Programs

The IBS offers a range of certificate programs that can be completed as part of a degree program and focus a student’s studies on a specific area of specialization including:

Click here for an overview of all our certificate programs.