Contemplative Education

The three approaches of contemplative education at Naropa form a cornerstone for all of our graduate and undergraduate programs. In the Masters of Divinity program, contemplative education includes not only the practices of a range of religious traditions but also the way in which classes are taught.

The MDiv curriculum reflects the three pillars of contemplative education: rigorous academic study (third-person learning), cohort-based relational training and field educational experiences (second-person training), and development in personal contemplative practice (first-person training).

MDiv students receive an academic grounding in the three turnings of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism as well as intensive training in the practice of mindfulness meditation and contemplation. At the same time, elective courses allow them to explore other rich contemplative traditions found in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Personal discernment allows students to integrate their academic, experiential, and personal work.

While the MDiv degree program requires students to engage in contemplative practices, there is no presumption about how the students identify themselves within a specific religious tradition. Many of our students are interested in exploring multiple beliefs and practices. Ultimately it is up to them as to how this is integrated into their personal development and career.