Course Schedule

Note: please refer to our covid response page for the latest updates about course delivery method, mask and vaccine requirements, and other information as we navigate the pandemic. 


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 2022

Course NumberCourse TitlePrimary Faculty Last NameTime/Delivery MethodDescription
HR-8107INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM AND BUDDHIST STUDIESCalobrisiOnlineThis 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 ASIARamswickOnlineIntroduces 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.
HRPH-1614INTRO TO SHIN BUDDHIST THOUGHTBridgeOnlineIntroduces 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]
HR-1630METHODS IN STUDY OF BUDDHISMCalobrisiOnline/hybridA 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-8145BUDDHIST JAPANESE IThompsonOnlineThis course introduces the basics of Japanese grammar, vocabulary, kana & kanji (Japanese characters), and dictionary work. Students will acquire knowledge of the characteristics of Japanese grammar and some Buddhist terminology. Students learn various types of sentences, which include simple and compound sentences. The final exam requires the student to translate two (unrelated) paragraphs of simplified academic texts related to Buddhism. Course format: Lecture/ online. Evaluation method: Participation/ Homework Assignments/ 2 Exams/ 1 Essay.
HR-8357BUDDHIST JAPANESE III ThompsonOnlineThis course introduces high intermediate Japanese grammar. It is focused on understanding compound and complex sentences. We also analyze why subjects and phrases are omitted in typical Japanese sentences. Students will acquire the knowledge of multiple language equivalents (Skt., Ch., Tib.) and the corresponding concepts within Buddhist thought. Students will continue to build upon knowledge of Buddhist terminology and kanji. [Auditors with Faculty Permission]
HRIR-2000BUDDHISM AND WORLD RELIGIONSLinThursdays, 2:10-5:00 pmContextualizes the history, thought, and practice of Buddhism within the broad sweep of world religions, historically and contemporarily.
HR-2850BUDDHISM IN THE WESTMitchellThursdays, 9:40-12:30This course surveys the history of Buddhist traditions in the West. Beginning with 19th century colonial contact and Asian immigration through 21st century global exchanges, we will explore the various ways that Buddhists, Buddhist communities, and Buddhist ideas have come to and developed in Western contexts. Previous Buddhist studies courses helpful but not required. [Auditors with faculty permission]
PSHR-3076BUDDHIST PASTORAL CARE ILinTuesdays, 2:10-5:00 pmBuddhist 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]
SA-8318READINGS IN VAJRAYANA TEXTSPayneOnlineIntroduces a major Vajrayana (tantric or esoteric Buddhist) tantra, commentary, ancillary text, or set of texts in English translation. Different texts may be selected depending on their significance for various Buddhist traditions of Asia. May be augmented with work on text in canonic language(s). 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. May be repeated for credit when a different text is chosen for study. [Auditors with Faculty Permission]
HR-3300TERMS, TEXTS & TRANSLATIONSPayneOnlineA 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-4548TOPICS IN SHIN BUDDHIST THGHTMiyajiTuesdays, 9:40 - 12:30Examination of a topic of instructor’s choice drawing from the interactions between Shin thought and contemporary thought and society. May be repeated for credit when topic is different.
HRPH-4569WORKS OF SHINRAN IV:TANNISHOMatsumotoMondays, 2:10-5:00 pmIntroduction to the teachings of Shinran through a study of a key summary of his thought. Course will utilize the English translation to support the study of the original text. HRPH 1614 Introduction to Shin Buddhist thought, and at least one year of college level Japanese language study (minimal level: ability to use character dictionary), or instructor’s permission is prerequisite to enrollment. Fulfills the textual studies (Biblical Studies or Sacred Texts) requirement for the GTU MA.
HRPH-8458TOPICS IN BUDDHIST PRACTICEPokornyOnline(online version of HRPH 4558)
Examination of a topic of instructor’s choice from the history of Buddhist thought, such as meditation, ritual, or debate. Where appropriate, primary source materials will be employed in the study of the topic. Course may be repeated for credit, if topic is different.

Spring 2023

Course NumberCourse TitlePrimary Faculty Last NameTime/Delivery MethodDescription
HRHS-8152BUDDHIST TRDTNS OF EAST ASIARamswickOnlineIntroduces 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. Course format: Online discussion. Evaluation method: Participation/term paper. This course will have synchronous Zoom sessions every week (time TBA, but likely afternoons Pacific Time), as well as weekly asynchronous assignments (reading responses to be submitted on Moodle). [Auditors with faculty permission]
HR-8150ZEN BUDDHISMPokornyOnlineSPRING 2023: A survey of the history, teachings, doctrines, practices and textual traditions of Zen Buddhism as this tradition developed in China, Korea, Japan, and its contemporary transmission to the West. Socio- historical aspects of the tradition’s development and history will also be considered.
HR-1596INTRO THERAVADA BUDDHIST TRADQuliTuesdays, 9:40-12:30This 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. [Auditors with faculty permission]
SA-1615READINGS EARLY BUDDHIST TEXTS: AFFECT AND EMOTIONLinTuesdays, 2:10-5:00This semester the course will focus on affect and emotion in Buddhist traditions. Primary sources in English translation will include selections from Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women, narratives of Buddhist lives, Mahayana sutras, Buddhaghosa's Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga), Abhidharma literature, and Sanskrit literary and dramatic theory. These will be supplemented by secondary scholarship from within and beyond Buddhist studies. We will study how affect and emotion may differ across religious, historical, and cultural contexts, especially by investigating Buddhist representations of and perspectives on joy, wonder, mental pain, compassion, solitude, and more. Format: Hybrid [20 max enrollment; Auditors with faculty permission]
HR-8146BUDDHIST JAPANESE IIThompsonOnlineThis course focuses on reading Buddhist texts (in modern-Japanese translation) and Japanese Buddhist Studies scholarship. Students will pick up Buddhist vocabulary through the readings, though the teacher’s primary focus will be on developing the students' ability to analyze sentences, understand Japanese grammar, and use resources such that they can read Japanese Buddhist texts on their own. During this semester we will begin to look at Japanese-language Buddhist dictionaries and encyclopedias. We will meet weekly for a three-hour Zoom session, and the teacher will work with students on an individual basis as is needed.. [Auditors with faculty permission]
HR-8359BUDDHIST JAPANESE IVThompsonOnlineStudents will be required to read extended text selections in Japanese. Discourse level grammar and sentence analysis will be studied in depth. Students will continue to build upon knowledge of Buddhist terminology and kanji. This course also introduces basics of classical Japanese. Note from instructor: Students who have questions about whether this course is right for them are encouraged to contact the teacher directly to enquire. Class is offered online synchronously, Fridays (time TBD, but probably morning, Pacific Time. [Auditors with Faculty Permission]
HRCE-3014ISSUES IN BUDDHIST MINISTRYDunfordThursdays, 2:10-5:00This course will navigate the challenges and opportunities facing Buddhist Ministry within the setting of the United States. We will navigate issues of politics, power, and institutions alongside deeper personal understandings of social location, privilege, and marginalization within the framework of the Buddhadharma. In addition to considering these concepts as Buddhist teachers and ministers, we will practice dharmalogical reflection on the trajectory of our own lives, supporting one another together in this class, in order to cultivate critical and intentional foundations for our own ministerial contexts. Course will be offered in hybrid format..[Faculty consent required; Auditors excluded]
HRHS-3250HISTORY OF PURE LAND:7 MASTERSBridgeOnline/Mondays 9:40-12:30The Shin Buddhist tradition traces its origins to the works of Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Tanluan, Daochuo, Shandao, Genshin, and Honen. This course examines their contributions to the development of Shin Buddhism. Required of ministerial aspirants. HRPH 1614 Introduction to Shin Buddhist thought recommended as background.
HRPH-4556WORKS OF SHINRAN IMiyajiTuesdays, 9:40-12:30This course will be conducted in a hybrid format. This will be an introduction to the teachings of Shinran through a study of his shorter writings. The course will utilize the English translations of Shinran's works to support the study of the original texts. HRPH 1614 Introduction to Shin Buddhist Thought, and at least one year of college-level Japanese language study (minimal level: the ability to use character dictionary), or instructor's permission are prerequisites. Course required for ministerial aspirants. Fulfills the Shin Buddhist Ministry requirement of the MABS program, and Jodo Shinshu Ministerial Studies requirements of the M. Div. Program. [Auditors with faculty permission]
HRPH-4556TOPICS IN BUDDHIST THOUGHT: Buddhist Women's Liberating PowerAraiWednesdays, 9:40-12:30We will explore gender and power dynamics in several Buddhist traditions as women pursue enlightenment. How do they wield power despite structures of systematic oppression? What insights can women offer about liberating power? We will examine the contributions and concerns of women in various cultural contexts (Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and North American) and time periods (ancient through modern). Critical analysis of practices, texts, and hermeneutical schemes that foster misogyny and liberate women will guide our journey. Special attention will be given to laying a theoretical foundation in the construction of gender in each cultural and religious context encountered. [15 max enrollment; Auditors with faculty permission]
HRHS-5526TPCS IN BUDDHISM IN THE WEST: CENTERING AND DECENTERING IDENTITYMitchellMondays, 2:10-5:00This course will explore the intersections of identity in the context of American Buddhism. How have different Buddhist thinkers foregrounded social or cultural identities and their embodied challenges in the American context? How have Buddhist drawn from doctrinal positions such as “no-self” to engage or dis-engage with racism, sexism, trans- and homophobia both within and outside the sangha? Over the course of the semester, we will look at specific case studies, do close reading of contemporary Buddhist writing, and engage larger theoretical issues in the inter-related fields of critical race theory, post-colonial theory, and feminist/womanist theory. We examine key Buddhist concepts such as dukkha, anatta, anitya, and sunyata as they related to the discussion of Buddhism, practice, and the understanding of the sangha. This course is co-taught by PhD student Angela Lintz Small with a Newhall Award and Scott Mitchell. [Auditors with faculty permission]