Education System and Curriculum

Four-Year Buddhist Studies Program

In the fall of 2001 DDSU established the Buddhist Seminary (the later Department of Buddhist Studies, effective in 2006), a fouryear training program for young people ready for monastic life. As a well-rounded education, the program emphasizes critical thinking and foreign language skills to broaden the students’ mind and vision.
In addition to the study and practice of precepts, concentration, and wisdom, the program also designs the Merit courses to develop students’ devotion and the Virtue courses to cultivate the body and mind required of monastics.

The program fosters compassion and loving-kindness in students aspiring to benefit all sentient beings by sharing DDM’s vision. It is based on the three studies of precepts, concentration, and wisdom; and built on the three kinds of wisdom—learning, thinking, and cultivating.

Educational Goals
  1. We provide students with the all-embracing and adaptable Chinese Buddhist teachings and methods of practice to develop academically and morally in both Dharma study and practice, and nurture a strong religious spirit of undertaking the task of purifying people’s minds and society.
  2. In order to connect Chinese Buddhism with contemporary society in sharing Buddhist compassion and wisdom, we help students strengthen foreign language skills, develop global perspective, and interact with diverse cultures.
Six-Year Chan Practice Program

Our mission is to cultivate Chan teachers of compassion and wisdom who aspire to promote the Chan Buddhist tradition as practiced at Dharma Drum Mountain.
We help students realize Chan teachings through Buddhist doctrines and develop their knowledge through Chan practice, with concentration and wisdom as the principle, renunciation and bodhi mind as the foundation, fostered by patience and diligence.

Educational Goals
  1. By providing Chan teachings, our ultimate goal is to develop future Chan masters of solid practice and realization, for the great mission of bettering the world and benefiting all beings.
  2. By encouraging a simple life in a placid environment conducive to Chan practice, we aim to inspire students to become Chan masters of the spirit of Dharma Drum Mountain who promote its Chan teachings.