The seeds planted in Maitripa College programs bear fruit as our graduates take what they have learned here into the world to benefit others. The Maitripa College family is proud of our alumni and invites you to join us in offering our wholehearted rejoicing in their accomplishments!

Special in-depth stories of students’ experience at Maitripa College:

Rejoice for Accomplishments!

  • Michael Jolliffe (MA 2009) completed his Master of Science in Marital, Couples, and Family Counseling from Portland State University and is now working as a professional therapist, in addition to teaching modules of Discovering Buddhism for the Maitripa College community.
  • Julie Dreyer (MDIV 2018) became a Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) in December, 2019, and continues to work as a professional chaplain at Providence Portland Medical Center. She also became an FPMT Discovering Buddhism teacher.
  • Karl Schmid (MA 2011) completed his PhD at Emory University in Spring of 2020. Karl accepted a position as Professor of Practice in the Philosophy Department at Tulane University.

And Beginning New Endeavors!

  • Jane Sellers (MA 2009) broke ground on a home she is building for long term retreat in Crestone, Colorado. The blessing of the land puja was completed by Yangsi Rinpoche, Geshe Sherab, and FPMT friends.
  • Michael Ium (MA 2014) won the International Dissertation Research Grant from the American Academy of Religion in support of his research in Nepal and India on the early history of Tibet’s Ganden Monastery. He is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religion at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • Carl Jensen (MDIV 2015) began the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program in Spiritual Renewal, Contemplative Practice, and Strategic Leadership at Claremont School of Theology. Carl has been a Board Certified Chaplain since 2018 and plans to continue his work at Providence Portland Medical Center while he completes this degree.
  • Jacob Lindsley (MA 2016) left his Research Associate position in the Neurology Dept. of Oregon Health Sciences University to start the PhD program at the School of Psychological Science in Applied Cognition at Oregon State University.
  • Jason Seaman (MDIV 2019) undertook a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency at Community Medical Center in Fresno, California.
  • Jyoshin Clay (MDIV 2020) undertook a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency at Portland Providence Medical Center.
  • Mark Weidenaar (MDIV expected Dec 2020) undertook a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency at Providence Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Washington.

What Our Students Say (quotes from recent years)

My decision to come to Maitripa has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Maitripa has opened the door to a wealth of wisdom and caring for which I will always be grateful.

Maitripa College can meet you where you are, whether you are very new to Buddhist practice, or you have a long-established practice. You will still find deep learning and a genuine community here! Please consider coming to Maitripa!

The people at Maitripa are the kindest people I have met anywhere. Their kindness is based in Buddhist philosophy, service and practice. Which does not necessarily mean that people don’t also go deep in their learning and in the tackling of real life topics. We do-both!

Maitripa provides a type of education you won’t easily find elsewhere; first, the student is led to explore the inner world rather than the outer world, you really come to know yourself at Maitripa and this helps in interpreting just what’s going on around you. Second, the approach to teaching is similar to that the Buddha used – topics and issues are pointed out and you are shown how and encouraged to explore them – there’s no didactic teaching at Maitripa.  And third, the student body is unique in providing a non-competitive, safe and supportive environment for personal learning; I am quickly making some lovely and close friends at Maitripa.

When I first came to Maitripa, there was a lot of uncertainty in my life, and I wasn’t sure whether I could make it work to do the program.  At the end of my first day of classes, I remember reflecting on what I had learned and experienced that day, and I remember thinking that if it didn’t work out for me to continue the program, I was still so very grateful to have had that one day.  That one incredible day at Maitripa changed my life.  Two years later, still in the program, I still feel that way.  Every day at Maitripa changes my life.  And I am so grateful to everyone who makes it happen, offering this rare and precious gift to those of us lucky enough to have found it.

Maitripa has taught me that deep happiness comes from serving others. It has also taught me that it is possible to have a deep sense of calm and wisdom even amidst intense suffering, and that anything can be used for the path to enlightenment.

I’m really grateful for the relationships with my classmates. It’s wonderful to get excited about something and have people to share it with.

The ultimate gift to myself and others. It’s difficult to express the internal change I’ve experienced, which has happened in so many ways. To have the teachers, the curriculum, and the peers to develop my raw and unrefined qualities and potential is truly a gift.

Meet Some Maitripa College Alumni

Alumni of the MDiv Degree Program are employed as chaplains in hospitals and take leadership roles in their local spiritual communities. MA Degree Program alumni continue into Religious Studies PhD Programs or work as translators at Dharma Centers. In addition, many graduates of both programs continue to offer service locally to Maitripa College as well as to the FPMT as employees, volunteers, and teachers. Here are some of their stories.