Diploma in Buddhist Studies
“The Karmapa International Buddhist Institute is founded with the vision to bring into being a fully accredited university where international students may obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees in advanced Buddhist Studies.” (K.I.B.I. pamphlet, circa 1990)
The Karmapa International Buddhist Institute: History and Vision for the future
A pamphlet dating to around 1990 lists the following as the goals and long-term vision for KIBI:
– Bring into being a fully accredited university where international students may obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees in advanced Buddhist studies;
– Establish a department of translation that will set a universal standard for accurate translating the vast treasury of Buddhist teachings;
– Develop a research library comprised of the works of authentic Buddhist and non-Buddhist contemplative traditions;
– Convene international conferences to bring together scholars from diverse disciplines such as religion, science, philosophy, politics and law, in order to exchange ideas for the betterment of society;
– Publish and distribute translated Buddhist works, both classical and contemporary, as well as proceedings of the Institute’s conferences;
– Facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge between Buddhist countries and cultures such as Japan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Korea, Nepal, Bhutan and China.
It was the goal of successive generations of administrations of K.I.B.I. for more than 20 years to establish an accredited B.A. program. In 2013, under the leadership of Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, Khenpo Mriti was finally able to make that goal a reality through a historic collaboration established with Mewar University. Between 2013-2018, three batches of students were able to complete B.A. course at K.I.B.I.. A total of 16 students received BA’s as part of the collaborative program. In addition, four students completed Advanced Diplomas based on a two-year course of study.During these years, a total of 63 guest students also studied at K.I.B.I., spending anywhere from a few weeks to a whole semester taking classes alongside the BA students.
While the academic program is taking a hiatus in the short-term, it is our long-term goal to rekindle the academic program and once again offer a BA. Once the necessary conditions are gathered, KIBI will revive a university-accredited program under the spiritual guidance of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, and the academic guidance of Professor Sempa Dorje.
Karmapa International Buddhist Institute: Diploma in Buddhist Studies at a glance
The Diploma Course is a comprehensive study program set over three academic years with each academic year being divided into two semesters:
- 1st Semester: October – December
- 2nd Semester: January – March
The course is comprised of the following three main subject areas:
Language: all diploma students are required to complete six semesters of Tibetan language. This includes instructions in both classical and modern colloquial Tibetan.
Religion: students will study the renowned text composed by Gampopa – Jewel Ornament of Liberation (Dwagspotharrgyan) for a total of 2 semesters. This text combines the Kadampa-tradition propagated by Atīśa with the Mahāmudrā-tradition of Marpa. Students in the 3rd semester will study The Letter to A Friend byNāgārjuna.
In the 4th and 5th semester, students will study Bodhicaryāvatāra (chos ‘jug) – the seminal text by Śāntideva that is an in-depth analysis of the Buddhist path and practice. In their final year, students will study Uttaratantrashastra by Maitreya.
Philosophy: In the first two years, students will study the foundational concepts in Buddhist philosophy as presented in Mipham’s Gateway to Knowledge (mkhas ‘jug) and the system of the Four Siddhāntas (the Tibetan doxographical approach to the Indian Buddhist philosophical schools).
In their third year, students will undertake an overview on Abhidharmakośakārikā by Vasubandhu and Pramāṇa (Buddhist Logic) Treasure on the Science of Valid Cognition by SakyaPandita.
Karmapa International Buddhist Institute: Faculty
- Professor Sempa Dorje
- Khenpo Lobsang
- Khenpo Tsering Samdrub
- Khenpo Ngedon
- Khenpo Chojor
- Dr. Tsewang Gyatso
- Dr. Rolf Scheuermann
- Lopon Gedon Darjay
- Lopon Jinpa Namgyal
- Lopon Ngawang Tharchin