Graduate Theological Union

Buddhist Studies








Scott Mitchell and Eisho Nasu

The Non-Pursuit of (Unsustainable)
Happiness: A Buddhist View
Scott Mitchell (Ph.D. '08) and
Eisho Nasu (Ph.D. '96)



This Area of concentration is available to students affiliated with the Institute of Buddhist Studies.


Students in the program are required to take a breadth of courses in Buddhist Studies, while also gaining an exposure to other religious traditions and a variety of approaches to the study of religion. The course of study culminates in a thesis in which the student demonstrates his/her grasp of a specialized area of study within a broader context, either Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies or Buddhist Studies generally.

M.A. Requirements

In addition to the general Common M.A. application requirements, admissions requirements for the M.A. in Buddhist Studies include satisfactory completion at the undergraduate level of two 3-unit courses (or equivalent) in Buddhism, Eastern religions and/or Eastern Philosophy, and one course in comparative religion or world religions. 



Buddhist Studies is one of three tracks offered within Cultural and Historical Studies of Religion Ph.D. program.



Core Doctoral Faculty

JUDITH A. BERLING • GTU (Chinese and comparative religions) • Interreligious learning; student centered pedagogy; interreligious education and theologial education; East Asian spiritualities.

SCOTT MITCHELL • IBS (Buddhist Studies) • Buddhism and the West; Buddhism and modernity; post-colonial studies of religion.

RICHARD PAYNE • IBS (Japanese Buddhism) • Esoteric Buddhist ritual; Indian Buddhist philosophy of mind; philosophy of language and epistomology; Buddhism and cognitive science.

SEIGEN YAMAOKA • IBS (Buddhist Studies) • Shin Buddhist Ministry; Shin Buddhist Religious Education; Pure Land Buddhism in Japan and the U.S.


Consortial Faculty Resources

LISA GRUMBACH • IBS (Buddhist Studies) • History of Buddhism; Shinto and Japanese religions; religion and landscape.

DAIJAKU KINST • IBS (Buddhism and Pastoral Care) • Foundations & development of Buddhist pastoral care, chaplaincy, counseling in interfaith context; critical foundations for effective interfaith dialogue; interface of traditional Buddhist psychology and contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives; the teachings of Eihei Dogen: Buddha Nature, Time and Self; contemplative development and the experience of Trust.

DAVID MATSUMOTO • IBS (Buddhist Studies) • Jodo Shinshu history and thought.