HDS 3004

The Arts of Buddhist Ministry: Teaching, Leadership, and Pastoral Care in Buddhist Community

Willa B. Miller


This course takes as a central question: What is Buddhist ministry? Through readings and case-studies, we will begin by looking at Buddhism in diaspora as it has come into contact with modernity, taking as a specific point of focus the role of minister and the role of congregation in Buddhist community. Then, through readings and class assignments, we will explore the issues facing of Buddhist communities in a modern context, including leadership, authorization, adaptation, hierarchies, group dynamics, models for decision-making, outreach, transparency, confidentiality, empowerment, sexual misconduct, diversity, boundaries and power. Some training in practical arts of Buddhist ministry will be integrated into the course. Students will participate in the organization and co-guiding of a weekend meditation retreat, Oct. 11-13, as part of the experiential learning component.

Enrollment Limited: Limited to 35 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: Yes


0.50 credits
Fall 2013
Wed 4pm-6pm
Rockefeller Hall Room 116

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Buddhist Studies
  • East Asian Religious Studies
  • Religions of the Americas
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Buddhist Studies
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry
  • Administration and Program Development
  • Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning
  • Preaching and Worship
  • Religious Education and Spiritual Development
Language Course Designation(s) None