• Welcome to the Buddha Dharma University Student Portal

    Buddha Dharma University is a unique institution of higher learning that focuses on continually forging opportunities to experience a contemporary, in-depth and non-sectarian study of Buddhism, while also promoting the knowledge and understanding of the various traditions, schools, and cultures of Buddhism.

    Programs are taught and mentored by scholars and masters from a variety of traditions, which takes advantage of America’s unique diversity of Buddhist practice and presentation. We are both a seminary and a general Buddhist teaching center.

    Buddha Dharma University provides the opportunity to experience a profound, meaningful, and rewarding path towards Buddhist scholarship and awakening.

    We are staffed by Buddhists (including monastics as well as married, ordained clergy) from many diverse walks of life, each willing, qualified, and happily able to guide students along the Buddhist scholastic path. Our mentors are all volunteers, they dedicate their time to helping others in accord with the Bodhisattva Vow in order to keep our tuition to a minimum. Many ordained Buddhist monastics from each of the three major schools of Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana) are involved in guiding the continual process of the refinement, development, and formation of our programs. We seek to build a bridge between the isolated silos of Buddhism which have evolved since our original Asian founders have passed on.

    If you believe Buddha Dharma University is right for you, we encourage you to apply. If you are accepted, and become one of our students, please come with a Beginner’s Mind: willing to learn…and dedicated to seeing the Dharma unfold in your own life.



Welcome to the Buddha Dharma University Student Portal

Buddha Dharma University is a graduate Seminary under the direction of Reflecting Moon Zen Church, a direct descendent of the Five Mountain Zen Order.  

Buddha Dharma University was founded in 2008 by Ven. Dr. Wonji Dharma, in an attempt to bridge the void of location and accessibility by utilizing modern technology to reach potential seekers in all corners of the globe. He chose the tag line, "A Monastery Without Walls," because this new organization would not be constrained by traditional limitations found with fixed locations. Buddha Dharma University began serving the Buddhist community as the College of Zen Buddhist Studies as well as the Buddhist Studies Institute - Los Angeles, which was transferred to Ven. Dr. Wonji Dharma as the Chancellor by the Most Ven. Dr. Karuna Dharma on June 30, 2012. These two schools were consolidated by January of 2013 under the banner of Buddha Dharma University. 

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Buddha Dharma University returns to its original roots of being a full-service Graduate Seminary, providing world-class training and education that bridges East and West. Ours is one of the few Buddhist institutions in the world to make full use of online distance-education opportunities, providing our students with a convenient, affordable, and unique Buddhist training experience. Ven. Dr. Wonji passed on in December 2021, but we are proud that his legacy remains.

The Buddhist Studies Institute - Los Angeles, in its original manifestation, was founded on January 7, 1973 by The Most Venerable Dr. Thích Thiên-Ân as the International Buddhist Training Institute, at the International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles, California. As an autonomous division of the University of Oriental Studies, the International Buddhist Training Institute was conceived with the specified purpose of offering Western-style seminary training to Buddhist monastics from around the world, whilst not neglecting the inherent experiential nature of Buddhist monastic training, in favor of secular-slanted academia.


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