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 Requirements

 Course Number  Course Title  Quarter Units
 BMN 501  Buddhist Meditation Practice  4
 BMN 502  History of Buddhism I (600 BCE to 1000CE)  4
 BMN 503  History of Buddhism II (1000 CE to Modern Times)  4
 BMN 504  Foundations of Buddhist Thought I  4
 BMN 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 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
 MP 100  Meditation (Every Quarter)  1