MDiv Degree (72 credit) Required & Recommended Courses

Maitripa College faculty and staff are committed to periodic review and revision of this curriculum in light of new findings and methods in the fields of study, feedback from alumni and professionals, and faculty expertise. Maitripa College does not guarantee all courses will be offered as listed in the coming years. An individual student’s course of study will vary according to concentrations, language studies, pace of study, and elective options. Students should meet regularly with Academic Advisors and track their degree progression in Populi’s Degree Audit.  For more information, please contact Leigh Miller (  To download a PDF version of the following information, click here.


Buddhist Philosophy, Tenets, and Sacred Texts
Required: 6 courses (12 credits)

PHL301 Introduction to Buddhist Thought
PHL302 Foundations of Buddhist Thought: The Medium and Great Scope
PHL303 Madhyamaka Philosophy: Where is the Middle Way?
PHL304 Madhyamaka Philosophy: A Dose of Emptiness, OR PHL308 Mahamudra: Realizing the Nature of Mind
PHL404 Fundamentals of the Vajra Vehicle

The History of Buddhist Thought and the Study of Religions
Required: 3 courses (6 credits)

HIS301 History of Buddhist Thought in India and Tibet
PHL450 Theories and Methods in Buddhist Studies
THL325 Understanding World Religions


Contemplative Practice and Spiritual Formation
Required: 10 credits

MDT301 Introduction to Buddhist Meditation
MDT302 Techniques of Buddhist Meditation: The Medium and Great Scope
MDT303 Techniques of Meditation: Madhyamaka
MDT304 Madhyamaka Meditation: Preparation for Vajrayana OR  MDT308 Techniques of Meditation: Mahamudra
MDT330 Meditations on Emptiness
THL338 Insight Dialogue: Interpersonal Meditation


Spiritual Care and Buddhist Ministry
Required: 6 courses (12 credits)

CS303 Chaplaincy and Models of Spiritual Care (required)
CS304 Servant Leadership in Buddhist/Spiritual Communities (required)
THL423 Spiritual Care in Practice
THL337 Empathy, Listening, and Mindful Compassionate Dialogue
THL339 Mindful Compassionate Dialogue
PHL410 Buddhist Rituals, Ethics, Services, and Ceremonies
THL424 A Good Death: Approaching End of Life
CST237 Survival and Liberation: The Complicated Relationship between Trauma and Dharma
THL428 Family Systems and Group Process

Contemporary Buddhist Thought and Ethics
Required: 4 courses (8 credits)

CS301 Foundations of Buddhist Service (required)
CS302 Finding Your voice: Communication and Context (required)
THL320 Contemporary Buddhist Thought and Theology
THL305 Engaged Buddhism: Non-violence and Social Justice in Buddhist Thought and Practice
OR Special topics on race, women, death and dying, etc.; THL417: Making the Invisible, Visible: Working with Unhealthy Bias and Uprooting it; THL438: Women in Buddhism

Field Education Placement and/or Clinical Pastoral Education
Required: 6 credits

CS500 Field Education Placement (internship, credit variable)
Transfer Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE, 6 transfer credits)


Required: 0 credits

Graduate students in the MDiv program are recommended to complete four to six credits in Classical Tibetan language on-site at Maitripa College; the exact courses to meet the minimum may vary depending on prior study or availability of the student for summer enrollment. Students with interest in doctoral studies, translation, and practice and philosophic texts are encouraged to take as many credit hours as possible, with both Western and Tibetan teachers. Canonical languages are often part of an MDiv degree, especially for those intending to teach, pursue DMin, or lead spiritual communities.

TIB110 Classical Tibetan Language Summer Intensive (6)
TIB108 Classical Tibetan Course Summer 2020 (4)
TIB118 Introduction to Translating Tibetan Texts (1)
TIB101 Introduction to Classical Tibetan Language I (2)
TIB102 Introduction to Classical Tibetan Language II (2)
TIB201 Intermediate Classical Tibetan Language I (2)
TIB202 Intermediate Classical Tibetan Language II (2)
TIB301 Seminar in Tibetan Translation (2)

Final Mastery Degree Requirement

Required: 4 credits
Default Required

ARP502 Action Research Project I (2)
ARP504 Action Research Project II (2)

Permission Only
THL500 Comprehensive Exam or Thesis (4)

GENERAL ELECTIVES and Curricular Planning

Students may select non-required courses from the course catalogue and new courses as they are offered to build specific competencies or concentrations of study according to their educational interests and goals. Students are advised to consider both breadth and depth of training, as well as requirements or expectations for post-graduate needs. The courses listed above are 2 credits each unless otherwise indicated. Number of total electives is variable, and students are advised to generate an individual plan with their advisors.