Course Schedule

Note: due to the unprecedented natures of the coronavirus outbreak, courses for the 2020-21 academic year are subject to change and may be offered in different modalities (e.g., online) than listed below. IBS will communicate with students as the situation develops.

The GTU Registrar’s Office is responsible for listing all courses offered throughout the GTU consortium. IBS courses are publicly listed via the GTU student information system, Sonis. Please visit GTU Sonis and search for courses by semester and school to see IBS’s current listings. Students should be aware that the information on the GTU Website is the most updated and correct version of courses currently available.

Current IBS students should log in to Populi to register for courses. GTU MA and Buddhist Chaplaincy Certificate students will need to log in to GTU Sonis.

* Note: While the IBS offers a set of classes each semester, there are instances in which a class may be cancelled due to low enrollment. 

Fall 2020

Course NumberCourse TitleFacultyDelivery MethodCourse Description
HR-1550LIFE & TEACHINGS OF THE BUDDHAFronsdalThis course will study analyze the early sources on the Buddha's life. We will investigate how these sources contribute to our understanding of the Buddha as a person, a teacher, and as an idealized founder of Buddhism. We will look at historical developments in how the Buddha and his life story were portrayed and used in Theravada Buddhist religious life. The class will survey the changing ways that the Buddha was depicted including a study of modern Western biographies and role in the religious life of Western Buddhists. Evaluation method: Class participation (20%); Mid-term analytical essay (8 pages, 25%); Final research paper (12 pages, 40%); Class presentation (15%). [Auditors with faculty permission]
HR-3300TERMS, TEXTS & TRANSLATIONSPayneA study of the key terminology of Buddhist studies across the tradition, the ways in which texts are studied, and issues of translation. These issues have all been central for the understanding of Buddhism as it has moved from one society to another, and this course examines how they affect the interpretation of Buddhism in the present.
HR-8107INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM AND BUDDHIST STUDIESMitchellOnlineThis course introduces the student to the Buddhist tradition and the academic study of Buddhism. The course covers the development of Buddhism across Asia, its history, major texts, lineages, practices and doctrines. Secondarily, we will discuss the academic discipline of Buddhist studies, its own historical development, methodologies, orientations and assumptions. It is required for the Certificate in Buddhist Studies.
HRHS-8151BUDDHIST TRDTNS OF SOUTH ASIAOnlineIntroduces the Buddhist traditions as they originate in India and develop throughout south and southeast Asia. First half of the required year long introductory survey of the entire Buddhist tradition. Lecture/seminar. Requirements:1 research paper; 1 reflection paper; class presentation. Required course for: M.A. (Buddhist Studies), M.B.S, M.Div., Buddhist Chaplaincy Certificate Program, Kyoshi Cetificate. NOTE: This course is co-sponsored by SKSM.
HRHS-8307HSTRY OF SHIN BUDDHIST TRDTNWondraOnlineHISTORY OF THE SHIN BUDDHIST TRADITION: PREMODERN A survey of themes and problems in the history of Jodoshinshu Buddhism, from Honen into the Tokugawa period, including doctrine but also other associated issues (institutionalization, women's roles, evolution of teachings, interaction with political and economic regimes, etc.). Online course, with readings and written interactions among students and instructor. Evaluation based on weekly student writings and a final paper. Primary aim is to establish basic knowledge, which may serve as foundation for subsequent studies. For all students concerned with Shin Buddhism's interaction with Japanese history, but assumes some general familiarity with Buddhist traditions.
HRIR-2000BUDDHISM AND WORLD RELIGIONSWuContextualizes the history, thought, and practice of Buddhism within the broad sweep of world religions, historically and contemporarily.
HRPH-1614INTRO TO SHIN BUDDHIST THOUGHTBridgeIntroduces the major ideas of Shin thought in the context of contemporary religious and philosophic discussions. Evaluation based on participation in discussion forums and final research paper. Intended for MA/MTS and MDiv students. [HR 1510, HR 1550 or instructor's permission; Faculty Consent required]
HRPH-4566WORKS OF SHINRAN IAn examination of the shorter works of Shinran (1173-1261), the founder of Shin Buddhism. The works include his interpretive notes and comments, collections of letters, Japanese-language hymns and others. [Faculty Consent required]
HRPS-8320PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS BUDDHISMPayneOnlinePSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF BUDDHISM 3 This online seminar integrates Buddhist doctrine and practice with advances in neuroscience, cognitive science, and modern psychology. The integration benefits from the foundation provided by Evan Thompson in Waking, Dreaming, Being (Columbia Univ. Press, 2015). This will be the primary text for the seminar, augmented by additional readings that will be be provided through the course Moodle site. In the past, the seminar has appealed to students from various seminaries, and all are welcome. The major requirement is to be open to alternative frameworks of understanding and to do whatever work is required to catch up on new developments across a broad spectrum of disciplines.
PSHR-3076BUDDHIST PASTORAL CARE IKinstBuddhist teachings and practices have much to offer the world of pastoral care and chaplaincy. This course integrates Buddhist teachings into the study of pastoral care and counseling, and chaplaincy, and explores their relevance in an interfaith setting. Key aspects of pastoral care will be covered in conjunction with applicable Buddhist teachings and practices. Psychological principles which are central to contemporary pastoral care will be included as well as specific topics such as family life and transitions, illness, addiction, trauma, grief, and wider social considerations. Exercises and reflections aimed at developing self-awareness and the skills necessary for effective pastoral care will also be included. There are no prerequisites for this course. Course format: seminar/lecture/discussion; Method of Evaluation: class participation/weekly reflection papers/ final paper. Intended audience: MA/MDiv/MTS. DMin/PhD/ThD with additional requirements. [16 max enrollment; Auditors with faculty permission]

Spring 2021

Course NumberCourse NameFacultyDelivery MethodCourse Description
CERS-4875TECHNOLOGY AND HUMAN PRESENCEBarrie-AnthonyNew technologies are broadly reshaping human relationships—the ways in which people are or are not present with each other. In this seminar, we will engage resources available across the academic study of religion and theology to examine, critique, and productively address these impacts. In doing so, we will explore the important roles that religion scholars and theologians might play in shaping public understandings of technologies’ impacts on presence and in shaping the technologies themselves. The seminar is part of Public Theologies of Technology and Presence, a three-year program and research initiative funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. The seminar affords students the opportunity to take up the program’s questions and work. The approach to the seminar is multidisciplinary and interreligious. Students are welcome from all academic disciplines, specializations, and religious traditions. Method of evaluation: class participation, reflection papers, final paper. Suitable for graduate students pursuing any advanced degrees. There are no prerequisites. Course is repeatable for credit.
HR-1596INTRO THERAVADA BUDDHIST TRADQuliINTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THERAVADA BUDDHIST TRADITIONS This course will survey the traditions of Buddhism commonly referred to as Theravada, with reference to their doctrine, development, and concrete localizations throughout South and Southeast Asia, as well as the contemporary West. We will also interrogate the shifting representations of these traditions that emerge in their interface with modernity. The course will incorporate both foundational primary texts and representative secondary scholarship in an attempt to broadly chart the living and historical dimensions of these traditions and the terms of their contemporary study.
HR-1630METHODS IN STUDY OF BUDDHISMA survey of different approaches to the study of Buddhism, including textual, anthropological, sociological, historical, and bibliographic. Particular attention will be given to contemporary critical studies, appropriate historical and social contextualization of doctrinal claims, and relations between Buddhism and other religions in the modern world. May be upgraded for doctoral students. [Auditors with Faculty permission]
HR-8317READINGS IN MAHAYANA TEXTSLeightonOnlineIntroduces a major Mahāyāna sūtra or śastra in English translation. May be augmented with work on text in canonic language(s). Usually alternates annually between the three Pure Land sūtras (required of ministerial aspirants) and other Mahāyāna texts. HRHS 1515 Buddhist Traditions of South Asia and HRHS 1518 Buddhist Traditions of East Asia are recommended as background. Fulfills the textual studies (Biblical Studies or Sacred Texts) requirement for the GTU MA.
HRCE-3002BUDDHIST ETHICSSeelawimalaLiving an ethical life is a foundational part of the Buddhist path of practice. Accordingly, teachings on ethics are the basis for all Buddhist teachings. In this course we will explore key ethical teachings, guidelines and attitudes in early Buddhism. In addition, in examining how Buddhist ethics is applied, we will explore Buddhist approaches to modern day issues related to such areas as the environment, suicide, abortion and euthanasia, social conflict and economics. Course Format: Lecture/seminar. Method of Evaluation: class participation, weekly reflection papers and final paper. Suitable for MA/MDiv/MTS. PhD/DMin/ThD with additional requirements. There are no prerequisites for this course
HRCE-3014ISSUES IN BUDDHIST MINISTRYExplore the difficulties and direction in Buddhist Ministry within the Western context. Also, through a person-centered educational process, explore ways and means to develop one's personal ministry for the west. To study and evaluate an educational process will be the core element of the course. Lecture/seminar with research papers which include personal reflection documents within the words of the Buddhist teachers. Course is for MA students with an emphasis on ministry and chaplaincy.
HRHS-3250HISTORY OF PURE LAND:7 MASTERSBridgeSEVEN MASTERS OF JODO SHINSHU The Shin Buddhist tradition traces its origins to the works of Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, T'an-luan, Tao-ch'o, Shan-tao, Genshin, and Honen. This course examines their contributions to the development of Shin Buddhism. Required of ministerial aspirants. Format: Lecture. Evaluation: Final examination. [HRPH 1614 Introduction to Shin Buddhist Thought recommended as background]
HRHS-5526TPCS IN BUDDHISM IN THE WESTMitchellTOPICS IN BUDDHISM IN THE WEST Specialized topic related to the introduction of Buddhist thought and practice is selected by instructor. Course may be repeated for credit, if topic is different.
HRHS-8152BUDDHIST TRDTNS OF EAST ASIAOnlineIntroduces the Buddhist traditions transmitted to East Asia and the development of new traditions. Second half of the required year long introductory survey of the entire Buddhist tradition. Usually offered each Spring semester. Course format: Online discussion. Evaluation method: Participation/term paper. NOTE: This course is co-sponsored by SKSM.
HRHS-8309HISTORY OF SHIN BUDDHIST TRADITION: MODERNAmstutzOnlineHISTORY OF THE SHIN BUDDHIST TRADITION: MODERN  (HRHS 3074 for onsite/8309 for online) This course takes the history of the Shin Buddhist tradition forward from the seven masters. Required of ministerial aspirants. HRHS 3250 History of the Pure Land Tradition: Seven Masters recommended as background.
HRPH-4558TOPICS IN BUDDHIST PRACTICEPokornyThis course will examine ritual practice in Mahayana Buddhism, focusing on Buddhist traditions in East Asia. Topics to be addressed include ordination, precept and funeral ceremonies, rituals for the state, repentence practices, devotional ritual practice, anti-ritual discourse, ritual dimensions of monastic life, ritualized approaches to meditation practice, esoteric ritual practice and healing rituals.
HRPH-4567WORKS OF SHINRAN IIAn examination of the major work of Shinran (1173-1262), the True Teaching, Practice and Realization of the Pure Land Way. A study of the first three chapters of the work in English translation, with frequent reference to the original kanbun text and its Japanese renditions. [Faculty Consent required]