Course Schedule

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. 

Course Offerings (Spring 2020)

Course Title and descriptionCourse instructor and time
Technology and Human Presence (CERS-4875)
New 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.
Wednesdays, 9:40-12:30
Readings in Mahayana Texts, Three Pure Land Sutras (HR-3017)
An 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.
Bridge and Kuwahara
Mondays, 9:40-12:30
Works of Shinran IV: Tanniso (HR-4569)
Introduction to the teachings of Shinran through a study of a key summary of his thought. Course will utilized English translations 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, or instructor's permission is prerequisite to enrollment. Course is required for ministerial aspirants. Fulfills Area Distribution Requirement for Area I. [HRPH 1614; Faculty Consent required]
Tuesdays, 2:10-5:00
Buddhism and the West (HR-8344)
This 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. Format: seminar with lecture and discussion. Evaluation: class participation, book review, final research paper.
Issues in Buddhist Ministry (HRCE-3014)
Explore 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.
Thursdays, 2:10-5:00
Buddhist Ethics (HRCE-8340)
A survey of the role of ethical teachings in Buddhism. Together with meditation (samādhi) and wisdom (prajñā), ethics (sila) is considered to be one of the foundations of awakening.
Buddhist Traditions of East Asia (HRHS-1518)
Introduces 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. Lecture/seminar. Requirements: 1 research paper; 1 reflection paper; class presentation. Required course for: MA (Buddhist Studies), MBS, MDiv, Buddhist Chaplaincy Certificate Program, Kyoshi Cetificate.
Fridays, 9:40-12:30
Topics in Buddhist Traditions of Japan (HRHS-8454)
Selected Poets and Visionaries: This online course will begin with a consideration of Medieval Japanese Buddhist poetics and aesthetics. We will proceed with textual study of a range of Japanese Buddhist poets and inspirational teachers. These will commence with the Tendai monk and renowned poet Saigyō (1118¬1190). The totally fascinating and colorful early Kamakura period monk Myō¬e Shōnin (1173¬1232) of the Shingon and Kegon schools is known for his extensive dream journal as well as his intense devotion, and remains much underappreciated in the West. The Sōtō Zen founder Dōgen (1200¬1253) is known for the poetic and visionary quality of his teaching, now highly influential in the West. The late Medieval Rinzai master Musō Soseki (1275¬1351) was a celebrated teacher, reluctant but highly influential in national affairs, and also a brilliant Zen garden designer. Late Tokugawa Sōtō monk¬poet Ryōkan (1758¬1831) is still cherished for his poetry and eccentricity. These figures present a spectrum of Japanese Buddhist brilliant expression. Prerequisites: Some Introductory course in Buddhism, or Buddhist practice, including the Mahayana.
Topics in Buddhist Practice (HRPH-4558)
This 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.
Mondays, 2:10-5:00
Introduction to Buddhist Meditation (HRSP-1508)
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.
Tuesdays, 9:40-12:30