Institute of Buddhist Studies

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Institute of Buddhist Studies
TypePrivate, non-profit
Established1949 (1949)
AffiliationBuddhist Churches of America, Graduate Theological Union
ChancellorRev. Marvin Harada
PresidentRev. Dr. David Ryoe Matsumoto
Vice-presidentRev. Seigen H. Yamaoka
DeanScott A. Mitchell
Location, ,
37°52′00″N 122°15′57″W / 37.866787°N 122.265945°W / 37.866787; -122.265945Coordinates: 37°52′00″N 122°15′57″W / 37.866787°N 122.265945°W / 37.866787; -122.265945

The Institute of Buddhist Studies is a Jodo Shinshu-affiliated seminary and graduate school, located in Berkeley, California. It is an affiliate member of the Graduate Theological Union, also located in Berkeley. Its primary mission is to train Jodo Shinshu ministers for service in temples in the United States through the Buddhist Churches of America, the U.S. mainland branch district of the Nishi Hongwanji sect of Japanese Buddhism. The school also accepts graduate students pursuing Master of Arts degrees in general Buddhist Studies. In addition, the school has a chaplaincy training program and has partnered with Sati Center in California to train Buddhist chaplains.

The Institute of Buddhist Studies originally began as a study group for nisei ("second generation") Japanese-Americans interested in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism during the 1950s. Its original location was at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple, then later relocated to its present location on Durant Street.

Degree Programs[edit]

The Institute of Buddhist Studies offers three graduate degree programs:

  1. Master of Arts (M.A.) with a concentration in Buddhist Studies jointly offered with the Graduate Theological Union
  2. Master of Buddhist Studies (M.B.S.)
  3. Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

Certificate Programs[edit]

The Institute of Buddhist Studies also offers five certificate programs which may be completed concurrently within a degree program to focus one’s studies and certify competence in a particular field of study, or may be completed as stand-alone programs:

  1. Certificate in Shin Buddhist Studies
  2. Certificate in Sōtō Zen Buddhist Studies
  3. Certificate in Theravada Buddhist Studies
  4. Certificate in Buddhist Chaplaincy
  5. Certificate in Buddhism and Contemporary Psychology


The Institute of Buddhist Studies publishes an academic journal, the Pacific World, and has partnered with several other organizations to produce journals and book series:

  • Pacific World: Journal of Institute of Buddhist Studies
  • Contemporary Issues in Buddhist Studies book series
  • Pure Land Buddhist Studies book series
  • The Pure Land: Journal of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies
  • The Buddhist Forum
  • The Journal of Buddhist Literature
  • IBS Monograph Series
  • Publications of the Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies

External links[edit]