Dharma Drum Sangha University is located in the placid and secluded hills of Jinshan Township, Taipei County, with a campus
featuring both traditional and modern architecture, and a Buddhist Library and Information Center that contains an extensive collection of books and other materials in print and digital form.
A world center for Buddhist education dedicated to spreading Chinese Buddhism, it offers a global and diversified environment for studying Buddhism.
Cultivating Monastic Talent
Master Sheng Yen returned from the US in 1977 to succeed theposition of abbot of the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Culture and Nung Chan Monastery. To cultivate monastic talent capable of spreading the Dharma and sustaining the Three Jewels’ existence in the world, he called together members of the Institute for the Translation of the Chinese Tripitaka and people who had participated in sevenday Chan retreats to found the Three Studies Institute. Over time, the institute saw an increase in the number of members, some of whom decided to become monastics after the Institute for the Translation of
the Chinese Tripitaka closed. The Three Studies Institute, whose aim was to cultivate young Buddhist talent, gradually developed into the Dharma Drum Mountain Sangha.
After its establishment, the Sangha began to hold training programs frequently to cultivate talent for spreading the Dharma.
The Education Department—renamed as the Sangha Education Department in February 2005—was also set up to offer a more
systematic monastic education. In observance with the principles of the Three Studies Institute, it sets out to cultivate monastics with a capacity for both virtue and study, as well as an equal emphasis on the three studies.
Realizing the importance of monastic education, Venerable Master Sheng Yen instructed in 1999 that in order to cultivate monastic talent capable of spreading the Dharma and benefiting sentient beings, a more systematic and comprehensive Buddhist seminary should be formed. The Sangha held the first Buddhist Seminary preparatory meeting at Nung Chan Monastery on March 2 of the following year,with Venerable Master Sheng Yen presiding. Wide-ranging issues such as the goals, administration, and operation of the seminary were discussed at the meeting.
In autumn of 2001, after more than two years of preparation, the Buddhist Seminary of Dharma Drum Sangha University was
opened, another realization of DDM’s educational ideals since the establishment of the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies (CHIBS) founded by Dharma Drum Mountain to cultivate high-level researchers in Buddhist studies. The seminary aims to develop monastic talent with a capacity for virtue and study, equal emphasis on the study and practice of the Dharma,
and noble religious spirit to undertake the task of purifying society.
Establishing an Organization Specialized in Monastic Education Through the Integration of Diverse Resources
The World Center for Buddhist Education is a concrete realization of Dharma Drum Mountain’s vision, promoting the Three Aspects of Education: Education at the Academic Level, Public Buddhist Education, and Comprehensive Social Caring.
Dharma Drum Sangha University, one facet of Education at the Academic Level, is devoted to cultivating monastic talent. Run by the DDM Sangha—which has over 20 years of experience in monastic order and education—and combined with the academic resources of the CHIBS, the University is a cornerstone of DDM’s educational endeavors. Its academic policy is rooted in the teaching and practice of Chinese Buddhism, designed to impart to students both contemporary knowledge and Buddhist teachings so that they can become monastics with profound religious devotion.
In 1979, Master Sheng Yen established the guiding principles for the Three Studies Institute as follows: The mission of this Institute is to train talented young Buddhists who emphasize the cultivation of all the three studies of precepts, concentration and wisdom.
Practitioners at this Institute should possess all of the essential qualities of purity, diligence, minimal desire, refraining from
conflicts, tidiness, quietude, harmony, self-motivation, selfdiscipline, and self-rule. All should respect each other, help each
other, readily forgive each other, and complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. All should be well learned, and advance in cultivation on the path and study, in order to accomplish the noble goal of study and practice.
Practitioners at this Institute should take good care of all possessions of the Institute, and participate in the Institute’s affairs
with enthusiasm. Except for the purpose of the Institute’s business, one’s study, and one’s work, one must not get involved in
unnecessary social relationships. One should not go out for the purpose of seeking entertainment and socializing with others. One should fulfill one’s responsibilities to the best of one’s ability. By doing so, one cultivates the virtues of applying merit and wisdom as well as the vow power of spreading the Dharma and benefiting sentient beings.
The Three Studies Institute
Chronicle of Major Events of the Sangha University
．The proposal for Dharma Drum Buddhist Seminary was drafted in October.
．Master Sheng Yen convened and chaired the first Dharma Drum Buddhist Seminary preparatory meeting in March.
．The Buddhist Seminary of Dharma Drum Sangha University began to recruit students in April, with the first class enrolling in September.
．The Education and Administration Building was completed in September. CHIBS and the Sangha University were relocated to DDM World Center for Buddhist Education at Jinshan, Taipei.
．Master Sheng Yen chaired the first preparatory meeting for the DDM Postulant Training and Monastic Education Program in February（Original name: DDM Monastics Cultivation Program）.
．The Postulant Training and Monastic Education Program began to recruit students in October. This program provided postulant training in the first year and monastic education in the second year.
．The Postulant Training and Monastic Education Program enrolled the firstyear students in February.
．DDM Postulant Training and Monastic Education Program was incorporated in the Sangha University educational system in February.
．Sangha University planned and held the first Life Awakening Camp in February.
．The proposal for Dharma Drum Chan Seminary was drafted in June.
．The first preparatory meeting for the Dharma Drum Chan Seminary was held in August.
．DDM Postulant Training and Monastic Education Program was renamed the Monastic Education Program in January, and the first class of students in this program graduated.
．The first class of the Buddhist Seminary of Dharma Drum Sangha University graduated in September.
．The Chan Seminary was re-instituted into the Chan Practice Department of Dharma Drum Sangha University in June, providing a six-year program and began to enroll its first class of students. Concurrently the Buddhist Seminary was re-instituted into the Buddhist Studies Department.
．A ceremony was held in September to mark the term opening of the 2007 academic year and for the graduating class.
．A ceremony was held in September to mark the term opening of the 2008 academic year and for the graduating class.
．Venerable Master Sheng Yen, the Founder, passed away in February.