Master of Divinity (MDiv)


Earn your Master of Divinity at Naropa, the West's first Buddhist-inspired university. We take the concept of the chaplain degree program a step further with a focus on community and an interreligious approach rooted in Buddhist philosophy and meditation.

Due to increased demand, we're offering the opportunity to start the hybrid program in either the fall or spring semester.

Among other religious studies and spirituality degree programs, the Naropa Master of Divinity uniquely prepares future chaplains and spiritual community-builders for lives of contemplative leadership. This three-year accredited program combines deep theological study, community engagement, interreligious spiritual care, and meditation practice, all within a real-world context.

You can earn your Master of Divinity degree on our Boulder campus or through our low-residency option, which includes online courses and Colorado-based retreats. Both pathways are grounded in Buddhist teachings and meditation practices. You can also select Mindfulness Instructor Training as an optional specialty.

Quick Facts








Student-Teacher Ratio

Student-Teacher Ratio





Learning Pathways (On-Campus and Low-Res)

Learning Pathways (On-Campus and Low-Res)


Courses You Could Take

in the Master of Divinity

Naropa graduates learn that a spiritual care degree is best earned in a supportive, compassionate environment fostered by seasoned faculty whose lives and careers are steeped in contemplative practice. You'll benefit from the decades of lived experience shared by our contemplative educators and interreligious chaplains in a variety of settings, from classrooms to trauma hospitals to hospice care.


Your master of divinity degree will provide a solid foundation in theological study and interreligious methods of individual and community care. During the graduate program, you'll apply your divinity studies to hands-on experiences in the field, learning to serve diverse communities with empathy and compassion.


Courses in the Naropa Master of Divinity degree include:

The Naropa Difference

If you’ve been searching for chaplaincy degree programs but prefer an interreligious and interspiritual approach, look no further than Naropa. Our Buddhist-centered Divinity program functions as an interreligious seminary, welcoming graduate students who represent a diversity of spiritual and religious backgrounds.


Flexible Degree Options

Naropa’s Master of Divinity offers two pathways for graduate students. Those who prefer in-person courses can study on our Boulder, Colorado, campus. Graduate students who wish to remain in their current zip code can study online, connecting with Naropa faculty and divinity program peers during residential retreats. Each pathway is rooted in contemplative philosophy and practice.

Divinity students may also choose to add Mindfulness Instructor Training to their degrees. In short, divinity students benefit from all that Naropa's Wisdom Traditions department has to offer, from engaging courses to deeply contemplative, faculty-led retreats.


Hands-On Chaplaincy Experience

Naropa faculty believe in the value of hands-on learning experiences, especially for service-oriented disciplines in which students are preparing for roles as counselors, chaplains, educators, and community leaders. Each Master of Divinity student will apply their classroom learning in an ACPE-accredited Clinical Pastoral Education internship.

The Center for Contemplative Chaplaincy, through which divinity program internships are completed, is dedicated to creating meaningful contemplative chaplaincy experiences. Here, students learn an interreligious approach to caring for the spiritual health of individuals and communities in a variety of clinical environments, from hospitals and hospices to nonprofit and nature-based settings.


Careers in Chaplaincy

Since 1974, Naropa has provided a home for students wanting to study Buddhism and apply Buddhist teachings to meaningful careers. We’re proud to see so many of our graduates serving their communities.

In keeping with the Naropa tradition of service, Master of Divinity students go on to become mindfulness educators, sangha leaders, prison and military chaplains, social justice activists, and hospice and hospital chaplains. In 2017, a Naropa Master of Divinity graduate went on to become the first Buddhist chaplain in the U.S. Air Force.


Students Transformed


“In an immeasurable way, Naropa has helped me be more completely myself. It has not changed who I am, but has made me more comfortable with who I am. In a material sense, Naropa's staff has assisted me in finding internships and fieldwork that allow me to practice chaplaincy work before actually entering the field.”

Joseph Emery

Master of Divinity, 2017

What to Expect