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The Applied Buddhist Studies Initiative


With the generous gift from the Buddhist Youth Alliance International, Emmanuel College has established the Shi Wu De Professorship in Chinese Buddhist Studies to launch the new Buddhist stream in the Master of Pastoral Studies (MPS) program, the first of its kind in Canada. This program prepares graduates to be certified with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC) and qualified to work as chaplains in hospitals, educational institutions, senior homes, prisons, other public institutions, and in Buddhist temples.

In collaboration with the Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada, Emmanuel College is launching an Applied Buddhist Studies Initiative (ABSI). The ABSI will complement the MPS Buddhist Program at Emmanuel by offering additional educational programming in Buddhist chaplaincy, hosting events to advance interdisciplinary scholarship through workshops, conferences, and publications. We hope that the ABSI will provide an array of opportunities for engagement by the Buddhist community and other academic disciplines and for the students in the MPS program to be exposed to a richer understanding of contemporary issues related to all the traditions of Buddhism as well as other faiths, helping them make practical use of their education in their future careers.


A Psychiatry Fellowship is also under development. Housed in the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, the Fellow will be cross-appointed to the ABSI, and will be co-supervised by Dr. Kenneth Fung from the Department of Psychiatry and the Shi Wu De Buddhist Studies professor at Emmanuel. The Fellow will conduct research relating to the application of Buddhism in psychiatry that would have implications in Buddhist chaplaincy in public institutions and Buddhist temples as well as clinical practice. They will also give public lectures organized by the ABSI. The ABSI is also planning outreach connections with the local Buddhist communities to build meaningful ministerial works and relationships in the Greater Toronto Area. Courses on Palliative Care will also be developed jointly with Hospice Palliative Care Ontario to offer students interested in volunteer chaplaincy a deeper and practical first-hand experience in their learning.


The Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada offers a limited number of the Shi Wu De Community Care Scholarships to qualified students taking Buddhism courses offered in the Buddhist MPS and Buddhist Diploma programs at Emmanuel College.


Events for ABSI are coordinated through the Emmanuel College Continuing Education Office. Please contact