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IBS celebrates 60th Anniversary


Buddhist Churches of America-  The Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) celebrated its 60th anniversary on Tuesday, September 1 at the Jodo Shinshu Center (JSC). 
The following candidates were recognized at an awards ceremony for their contributions to the institution.

Dr. Hiroji Kariya – Honorary doctorate
Dr. Lisa Grumbach – Rev. Yoshitaka Tami Professorial Chair
Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto – George and Sakaye Aratani Professorial Chair
Dr. Richard Payne – Rev. Dr. Yehan Numata Professorial Chair

In his acceptance remarks, Kariya expressed his gratitude to his late wife, Yasuko, his family, and the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) leaders for having the opportunity to become involved in the support for Buddhist education.  He also shared his anticipation for the Institute of Buddhist Studies into what could become a Buddhist university. 
On behalf of the chair recipients, Payne expressed his appreciation for the generous support and commitment of the members of the BCA who provided the endowed chairs.  “The IBS is now moving to make a positive contribution in the field of Buddhist Education. The history of the IBS marks the emergence of a strong and public commitment to share the teaching of Shinran throughout the western world, as the light of Amida shines unhindered throughout the universe. Key to that history are the figures of Rev. Haruyoshi Kusada and Rev. Seigen Yamaoka.  Rev. Kusada served as the Executive Director of the IBS from 1968 to 1983. It was at that time that the vision of BCA to create a seminary for the Buddhist ministry to be trained in English was brought to reality.   A second important step was in the mid-1980s.  Under the leadership of Rev. Yamaoka as Bishop of the BCA, IBS became an affiliate to the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and with Ryukoku University in Kyoto. These were key steps in creating the present educational program of the IBS: providing education for future ministers and Shin Buddhist and Buddhist scholars.  A third important step came under the leadership of Ogui Socho, who strongly expressed the importance of becoming a broader Buddhist institution. Thus our curriculum has grown and as a result the student numbers have increased.  The fourth historic step was the building of the Jodo Shinshu Center, which created an academic atmosphere for academic study.” Payne commented.
For more information, contact the Institute of Buddhist Studies or visit their website at,
or click on the following link for relating article at Wheel of Dharma, October 2009, page 6,