Master of Comparative Religious Studies

Program Description
The Master of Comparative Religious Studies program is designed to provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge of two religious traditions: Buddhism and Christianity. Students will encounter different central issues of theory and method that underlie the discipline of the study of comparative religion.

Program Objectives
The objectives of the Master of Comparative Religious Studies program are to:

  1. Acquire a critical appreciation and mastery of both Christian and Buddhist thoughts and traditions.
  2. Become familiar with contemporary critical theory in the academic study of comparative religion.
  3. Be informed with a variety of different methodologies, including but not limited to: textual and philological studies, history, psychology, and sociology.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the Master of Comparative Religious Studies program, the students will:

  1. Gain foundational knowledge of both Christian and Buddhist history, literature, thought, practice, and ethics as the basis for effective ministry, chaplaincy, or religious leadership.
  2. Find structured and critical exploration of one’s own religious tradition as a basis for ministerial formation and the development of facilities to provide pastoral care.
  3. Engage with one’s tradition within a multi-religious and multi-cultural context to support an engagement with diverse communities.

Admission Requirements
1. Submit a completed and signed Application Form: The application form can be requested from the Admission’s Office or downloaded from the University website: www.iueast.org.

2. Submit the $100 Application Fee (non-refundable).

3. Submit all documents that are required by the admissions office:

  • a. Proof of Graduation: Applicants must provide proof of bachelor’s degree, such as official transcripts or certificate of graduation.
  • b. International Students Only:
    • Copy of valid passport
    • Copy of valid visa
    • Copy of I-94, if available
    • Previous institutions Form I-20
    • Bank Statement, or Affidavit of Support

4. Personal Identification: All applicants are required to submit a photocopy of personal identification such as state driver’s license, government issued identification card, and passport or any government issued photo identification.

Graduation Requirements
Successful completion of 81 quarter units of study is required with minimum of 3.0 cumulative grade point average.  The normal time necessary to complete the program is 3 years.


Course Number            Course Title                                                            Quarter Units    

BMN 501                        Buddhist Meditation Practicum                                         4

BMN 502                        History of Buddhism I (600 BCE to 1,000 CE)                   4

BMN 503                        History of Buddhism II (1,000 CE to Modern Time)         4

BMN 504                        Foundations of Buddhist Thought I                                   4

BNM 505                        Foundations of Buddhist Thought II                                  4

BMN 506                        Buddhist Ethics                                                                      4

BMN 507                        Bible Overview                                                                       4

BMN 508                        Gospels                                                                                   4

BMN 509                        Christian Evangelism                                                            4

BMN 510                        Church History                                                                      4

BMN 511                        Spiritual Formation                                                              4

BMN 512                        Church Leadership                                                               4

BMN 513                        Buddhism Through Its Scriptures                                      4

BMN 514                        Buddhism and Western Philosophy                                  4

BMN 515                        Buddhism and Modern Psychology                                   4

BMN 520                        Buddhism and Science                                                         4

BMN 601                        Sutra Studies                                                                          4

BMN 602                        Buddhism in the New Global Society                                 4

BMN 603                        The Buddhist Practitioner I                                                  4

BMN 604                        The Buddhist Practitioner II                                                 4

BMN 605                        Buddhist Leadership                                                             4

BMN 606                        Internship                                                                                4

BMN 607                        Religion and the Meaning of Existence                              4

BMN 608                        Buddhist Thought and Philosophy                                     4

BMN 609                        Seminar on Buddhism and Cognition                                4

BMN 610                        Cultural and Social Aspects of Buddhism                          4

BMN 611                        Developments in Buddhist Psychology                              4

BMN 612                        Seminar on South and Southeast Buddhism                    4

BMN 613                        Religion and Ethics Seminar                                                 4

BMN 614                        Spiritual Development                                                           4

MP 100                           Meditation (Every Quarter)                                                   1