Discover the Won Institute
Complete a 2 Year Full-Time Master's Degree Program
Get ordained into the Won Buddhist Order or Become a Lay leader in the Won Buddhist Community
The Won Institute of Graduate Studies is the only institution of higher education outside of Korea offering the study of Won Buddhism — a reformed Buddhism integrating Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian teachings. Advancing the study of Won Buddhist teachings is part of the core of the institute mission. As the only only institution in the United States offering the study of Won Buddhism, our two-year Master of Won Buddhist Studies program is specifically designed to present Won Buddhism within a Western context and to prepare students to practice and teach Won Buddhism. The flexibility of our program allows students to focus on their own area of interest, such as moving meditation, history of Buddhist philosophy, or the application of meditation. We serve both students wanting to become ordained ministers or lay leaders, as well as students simply interested in learning more about Won Buddhism. All our students develop a deep understanding of Won Buddhist teaching and practice, while building strong critical thinking, research, and academic writing skills. The Won Institute of Graduate Studies is the nexus of Won Buddhist Studies in the United States.
From the start of the program, Won Buddhist Studies students develop their own contemplative practice. Through daily disciplines, including meditative stillness and active engagement in the world, students better understand the practical application of Won Buddhist principles. The Won Institute’s program culminates with a practicum experience, during which students apply this knowledge in a setting they design for themselves: a calm, welcoming environment for teaching dharma, yoga or meditation. This gives students exposure to leading meditation sessions and dharma talks for American practitioners.
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by Rev. Grace Song, PhD Master Sotaesan, the Korean Buddhist teacher who founded Won Buddhism at the start of the 20th century, taught that Buddhadharma