Interdisciplinary Studies Classroom

Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education (CACE)

Inspired by the rich intellectual and experiential traditions of East and West, Naropa University is North America's leading institution of contemplative education.
--Naropa University Mission Statement

Naropa University is the first and only fully-accredited university in North America that is completely based on contemplative education principles. Once perceived as merely a tiny, intriguing alternative institution, Naropa has in its 40-year history pioneered a growing movement in higher education on college campuses across the spectrum of public, private, and church-related institutions. At this moment in its history, Naropa University is redoubling its leadership in contemplative teaching, taking the lead in strategic thinking about the contemplative education movement and strengthening its own internal resources to support the fulfillment of its contemplative education mission.

Naropa University opened the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education (CACE) on September 1, 2014, to serve the University and the broader field of contemplative education by providing:

  • greater constructive leadership in vision and articulation of the meaning, outcomes, and best practices of contemplative education, drawing from the context of Naropa University’s forty years of experience and from its unique Buddhist-inspired, nonsectarian educational heritage;
  • greater effectiveness in offering this education in all its aspects to our students, both graduate and undergraduate;
  • greater strategic thinking about Naropa University’s future as the leading institution of contemplative higher education in North America. 

History and Context

Previously, a pilot program (2006-2009) funded by a generous grant from the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism, a redesigned CACE is now fully integrated into the University’s infrastructure to move Naropa University into national leadership of the wide-ranging and diverse higher education initiatives in mindfulness, contemplation, and compassion in education.  A division of Academic Affairs, CACE is poised for both internal and external initiatives to fulfill the University’s mission.

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