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. All fall 2021 courses will be offered remotely (online); we hope to offer some courses on site in spring 2022. All students and faculty are required to be fully vaccinated before entering an IBS facility.


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 2021

Course NumberCourse TitleFacultyTime/Delivery MethodCourse Description
HR-8107INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM AND BUDDHIST STUDIESMontroseOnlineThis 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 THOUGHTBridgeMondays, 9:40 - 12:30 [onsite or hybrid]Introduces 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]
HRIR-2000BUDDHISM AND WORLD RELIGIONSLinTBD [concurrent hybrid or distance]; Tuesdays, 2:10-5:00Contextualizes the history, thought, and practice of Buddhism within the broad sweep of world religions, historically and contemporarily.
HR-3300TERMS, TEXTS & TRANSLATIONSPayneTBD [online]A 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-1630METHODS IN BUDDHIST STUDIESCalobrisiFridays, 9:40 - 12:30 [most likely hybrid/online; contact instructor]A 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]
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.
HRPH-4568WORKS OF SHINRAN IIIMiyajiTBDWORKS OF SHINRAN III: TEACHING, PRACTICE AND REALIZATION, CONTINUED Continuation of the study of Shinran's major treatise, which was taken up in HR 4567 Works of Shinran II. Course is recommended for ministerial aspirants. Fulfills the Area Distribution Requirement for Area I. [HR 4567 or equivalent as determined by the instructor; Faculty Consent required]
HR-8250ESOTERIC BUDDHISMPayneOnlineA survey of the history, teachings, doctrines, practices, and textual traditions of esoteric, or tantric, Buddhism. Particular focus may be given to Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, or Japanese forms of esoteric Buddhism. As appropriate attention will also be given to basic introduction to the traditions of Indian tantra that provided the religious context for the development of the Buddhist tantric tradition.
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.

Spring 2022

Course NumberCourse NameFacultyDelivery MethodCourse Description
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. Usually offered each Spring semester. Course format: Online discussion. Evaluation method: Participation/term paper.
This course will have synchronous Zoom sessions every Friday (time TBA, but likely afternoons Pacific Time), as well as weekly asynchronous assignments (reading responses to be submitted on Moodle).
HR-8150ZEN BUDDHISMPokornyOnlineA 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. There will be weekly required reading and writing assignments as well as a term paper. This online course will have synchronous Zoom sessions on Mondays at 2:10 pm pacific time. Asynchronous participation may be possible.
HR-2850BUDDHISM AND THE WESTMitchellOn-site, JSC room 130, Thursdays 2:10-5:00This 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.
HR-8317READING IN MAHAYANA TEXTS: THE THREE PURE LAND SUTRASBridgeOnlineAn introduction to selected Mahayana Buddhist texts in English translation. In this semester we will read the Three Pure Land Sutras: the Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra, the Smaller Sukhavativyuha Sutra, and the Contemplation Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life. The course will introduce the overall structure of each text and examine major doctrinal issues which form the foundation of the Pure Land teaching. Course format: Lecture. Evaluation method: Participation/term paper.
HR-3017READING IN MAHAYANA TEXTS: THE BODHICARYĀVATĀRALinOn-site, JSC room 131, Tuesdays 2:10-5:00This course studies the Bodhicaryāvatāra in English translation with commentaries and contemporary scholarly interpretation. A classic guide to the Mahāyāna path in poetic form, this eighth-century Sanskrit work by Śāntideva has been translated and interpreted in English under such titles as The Way of the Bodhisattva and Guide to Bodhisattva Practice. We will discuss its themes including aspiration, compassion, wisdom, and patience, along with its literary qualities and its place in historical and contemporary Buddhist traditions. An introductory level course in Buddhism is recommended as background. Fulfills the textual studies (Biblical Studies or Sacred Texts) requirement for the GTU MA.
HRPH-8453WORKS OF SHINRAN IMiyajiOnlineAn 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.
HRRS-4551TOPICS IN THERAVADA BUDDHIST STUDIES: Western TheravādaQuliOn-site, JSC room 131, Tuesdays 9:40-12:30This survey course explores Theravāda practice among Westerners in Europe, European settler colonies, and Asia. Of immediate concern will be deconstructing who is and isn’t “Western” and “Theravādin,” and who has the authority to define these terms. We will consider issues of authenticity relative to textual, monastic, and other sanctioned sources of legitimacy, as well as to semi-hidden structures such as class, race, and gender. We will discuss popular scholarly paradigms, including the Buddhist Modernism and Two Buddhisms models, with particular attention to the ubiquity of dualistic categories. Using postcolonial analysis we will explore the legacy of Orientalism, early Western Buddhology, and Western colonialism in contemporary Western Theravāda practice, as well as identify differences among groups in areas of praxis and worldview, such as merit and meditation, expressions of and responses to patriarchy, and lay and monastic hierarchies. Finally, we will reflect on the rise of global Theravada movements and the effects of transnationalism, immigration, and tourism on contemporary Western Theravāda traditions. Weekly format: lecture and discussion. If COVID conditions allow, one or more field trips to local Theravāda communities.
HRPH-8458TOPICS IN BUDDHIST PRACTICE: BUDDHISM AND MEDICINEBruntzOnlineThis course surveys the intersections of Buddhism and medicine across Asia and introduces students to historical and contemporary healing practices of Buddhist communities. Students will examine Buddhist sources regarding the history of medicine, as well as rituals and practices related to notions of health, wellness, disease, death, and the body. This course will focus on how religious beliefs and rituals shape and interact with these cultural views, and furthermore, provides opportunity to question one’s own notions of “health,” “religion,” “healing,” and “medicine.” The course emphasizes Buddhism and healing traditions across South and East Asia, but will also examine the global spread of these practices, with focus on their presence in the United States. Course content will be delivered asynchronously via discussion forums and posted video lectures.
PSHR-5160TOPICS IN BUDDHIST PASTORAL CARE: HEALING MODELS, NARRATIVES, AND PRACTICES IN BUDDHIST TRADITIONSKinstOn-site, JSC room 130, Thursdays 9:40-12:30TOPICS IN BUDDHIST PASTORAL CARE: HEALING MODELS, NARRATIVES, AND PRACTICES IN BUDDHIST TRADITIONS In this seminar we will examine models of healing in Buddhist traditions, the teachings and narratives that give rise to them, and the practices that express them - as well as their relevance for contemporary ministry, chaplaincy, and pastoral care. We will consider a variety of perspectives and use them to explore and develop ways to assess and respond to pastoral care encounters. The focus of the class will be on creatively furthering the field of Buddhist pastoral care with specific attention to its applied dimension. Class format: seminar. Method of evaluation: class participation/presentation of final research paper/facilitation of one class discussion. Max enrollment: 12; faculty Consent required. 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 on Fridays for a three-hour session (9–12 noon Pacific), and the teacher will work with students on an individual basis as is needed.
HRSP-1508INTRO TO BUDDHIST MEDITATIONBhante SeelawimalaOn-site, JSC room 130, Tuesdays 9:40-12:30INTRODUCTION TO EARLY BUDDHIST MEDITATION Early Buddhist Meditation is a carefully developed series of mental exercises that is designed to effectively treat various mental and emotional disorders. Samatha and Vipassana are two main areas of Buddhist Meditation found in the Pali Buddhist Texts written in 1st century B.C. and the 4th century commentary on them called Visuddhimagga. These texts will be used as the resources for the course. One part of the class will be a lecture and other part will be students' presentation and class discussion. Limited amount of the class time will be used for actual practice. Final research paper and individual collection of technical terms and their definitions will be required by the end of the course.