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Foundations of Buddhist Chaplaincy: A Japan-US Dialogue

March 27 - March 29

The Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Center for Japanese Studies at U.C Berkeley are excited to announce this bilingual workshop, which brings together chaplaincy educators and working chaplains in Japan and the United States to reflect on how we connect Buddhist teachings with effective service. We will discuss the current state of chaplaincy in our respective countries, the practice of Buddhist chaplaincy on the ground, the training and education of Buddhist chaplains, as well as the role of chaplains in our changing world. Through a dialogical session format we intend to exchange ideas, create and strengthen relationships, and share resources that will equip and enrich Buddhist chaplaincy practice and education.

The event is co-sponsored by the Institute of Buddhist Studies; the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley; the Numata Foundation; and the Buddhist Ministry Working Group.


Translation will be provided into Japanese and English.

This in-person event is free and open to the public.

Register for the workshop here.


Speakers and Moderators:

  • Ram Appalaraju, Buddhist Eco Chaplain and faculty, Sati Center for Buddhist Studies       
  • Dr. Mark Blum, Professor and Shinjo Ito Distinguished Chair in Japanese Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Dr. Lilu Chen, Field Education Director, Institute of Buddhist Studies
  • Dr. Gil Fronsdal, senior guiding teacher, Insight Meditation Center
  • Dr. Jitsujo T. Gauthier, CoChair, Buddhist Chaplaincy Department, University of the West
  • Rev. HIRANO Shunkō, former abbot of Chūgenji Temple; death row chaplain at Tokyo Jail
  • Dr. KASAI Kenta, Psychologist, Professor at the Graduate School for Applied Religious Studies, Sophia University 
  • Dr. KAWAMOTO Kanae, JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo
  • Prof. KIGOSHI Yasushi, Professor, Shin Buddhist Studies, Otani University
  • Jamie Kimmel, BCC, Staff Chaplain, UCSF Health
  • Rev. Dr. Daijaku Kinst, Professor Emerita, IBS; guiding co-teacher, Ocean Gate Zen Center; Kokusaifukyoshi (International Teacher), Soto Shu
  • Dr. Nancy G. Lin, Professor of Buddhist Chaplaincy, Tibetan and South Asian Studies, Institute of Buddhist Studies
  • Dr. Adam Lyons, Assistant Professor, Institute of Religious Studies, Université de Montréal
  • Dr. Leigh Miller, Director of the MDiv Degree and Chaplaincy Program, Maitripa College
  • Dr. Scott Mitchell, Dean of Students and Faculty Affairs, Institute of Buddhist Studies
  • Mary Remington, Director, Spiritual Care Department, Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, NY; Director, Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program, Upaya Institute and Zen Center
  • Rev. Dr. Monica Sanford, Assistant Dean for Multireligious Ministry, Harvard Divinity School
  • Rev. TAKAHASHI Eigo, Abbot, Koryūzan Kichijōji Temple
  • Dr. TANIYAMA Yōzō, Professor, Practical Religious Studies, Tohoku University
  • Trent Thornley, Executive Director & CPE Educator, San Francisco Night Ministry
  • Dr. UCHIMOTO Koyu, Associate Professor, Ryukoku University
  • Jonathan Watts, Coordinator, International Buddhist Psychotherapy and Chaplaincy working group; Senior Research Fellow, Rinbutsuken Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program, Tokyo, Japan    
  • Evan Wong, BCC, Pediatric Palliative Care Chaplain, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland Medical Center
  • Dr. Pamela Ayo Yetunde, pastoral counselor and author, Marabella Storycraft; world traveler; spiritual care “crier”
  • Dr. Elaine Yuen, contemplative educator and chaplain; professor emerita, Naropa University


Workshop Schedule

Wednesday, March 27th

3:00 PM Welcoming remarks (Mitchell and Blum)

3:15–5:15 PM         Session 1: Key Topics for Chaplaincy in the US and Japan 

(Hirano, Kinst, Kigoshi, Remington; moderator: Lin)

5:15-6:15 PM Reception 


Thursday, March 28th

10:00 AM–12:00 PM    Session 2: Education, Training, & Formation of Buddhist Chaplains

                               (Taniyama, Gauthier, Miller, Fronsdal; moderator: Chen)

1:30–3:30 PM         Session 3: Collective Crisis

(Yuen, Takahashi, Appalaraju, Kimmel; moderator: Mitchell)

3:30-4:00 PM Tea and Snacks

4:00–6:00 PM         Session 4: Personal Crisis

(Uchimoto, Thornley, Kawamoto, Wong; moderator: Lyons)


Friday, March 29th

10:00 AM–12:00 PM              Session 5: The Future of Chaplaincy

(Sanford, Yetunde, Kasai, Watts; moderator: Blum)

12:00 PM–12:30 PM  Closing discussion (moderator: Lin)


March 27
March 29
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Jodo Shinshu Center (IBS)
2140 Durant Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704 United States
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