Master of Divinity

Learn the path of authentic pastoral work, from the inside out.

Accepting Applications for Fall 2019

By the Numbers



Cost of tuition per credit for 2019-2020 academic year (recently reduced from $995/credit).



Of Naropa graduate students receive a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship.



The average number of assistantships offered to Naropa graduate students every year.

At a Glance

Grounded in Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice, Naropa University’s Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program is a professional, applied course of study that will prepare you for chaplaincy, teaching, spiritual community work, or as a leader in the human services sector.

This 72-credit, three-year accredited program takes an interfaith approach to individual and community care. By combining rigorous academics, contemplative practice, and internship work, you will acquire the self-knowledge and skills necessary to serve your community as a wise and compassionate leader.

Program graduates pursue diverse careers as case managers, hospice and hospital chaplains, prison and military chaplains, ministers, professors, and social entrepreneurs.

Contemplative Education

Naropa University’s 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).


Master of Divinity Degree Features


  • Experience intensive group meditation, giving you direct experience into the nature of mind.
  • Complete supervised Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) or a ministry internship that will provide you with direct pastoral experience and the opportunity to reflect on it.
  • Participate in regular small group process labs that will provide professional formation and integration throughout your MDiv journey.
  • Benefit from small student cohort-based classrooms with access to faculty.

Professional Chaplaincy

Naropa’s MDiv program meets the degree requirements for board certification with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC).

Nitartha Institute

Attend the Nitartha Institute for a sequence Religious Studies Tibetan Tradition sequence of eight classes for a strong foundation in the study of Buddhism.

Clinical Pastoral Education

Complete a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) supervised internship in a healthcare setting, prison, ministry, or social service agency that combines academic study, on-site fieldwork, and personal reflection.


Credits Required


The Master of Divinity program at Naropa is a three-year ecumenical applied Religious Studies program rooted in the Buddhist tradition.

Degree Requirements
Jamil Scott

Alumni Highlight

Director of Lifespan Religious Education
Unitarian Universalist Church, Fresno, CA
Anti-racism activist

— Jamil Scott, MDiv '14

Read More about Jamil

Featured Master of Divinity Courses

  • Breeze of Simplicity: Meditation Weekend
  • Buddhism in America: Dharma Comes West
  • Spiritual Models of Social Action
  • Contemplative Communication in Spiritual Caregiving
SEE All Courses


Program Learning Outcomes

  • To Formulate a theological identity - To formulate a theological identity informed by:
    • an in-depth knowledge of the teachings of Buddhism in its cultural and historical context.
    • an understanding of multiple religious traditions and practices.
    • ability and practices of interreligious dialogue, and contemporary spiritual/religious phenomena.

  • To explore and understand meditative practices - The student will theoretically and experientially explore meditative and contemplative practices in Buddhism and other traditions, and thereby understand the integral part they play in their respective traditions.
  • To develop chaplaincy skills -The student will develop chaplaincy skills grounded in theological identity and contemplative practice.
  • To develop, reflect and integrate diverse cultures, religions into a personal journey. 
  • The student will develop a personal spiritual journey that is sensitive to cultural context, religious pluralism, and community diversity.


Judith Simmer-Brown

Faculty Highlight

“My goal is to help students find their own voices in classroom discussions, in presentation and in writing. In this way, learning is growing both the heart and mind in order to develop the gifts we have to offer the world.”

— Judith Simmer-Brown, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies 

See All Faculty