Naropa Wisdom Traditions Department Announces Launch of 2 New Low-Residency Programs: Masters of Divinity & Masters of Yoga Studies

~Sparking the Pilot Light~

Greetings Treasured Naropians, both local and global!

In response to the current clarion call for embodied Wisdom and Compassion, we are enthusiastic to share news of the launch of two new low-residency programs:

The Master of Divinity 


Master of Yoga Studies 

To learn more keep reading and follow the links.  We hope you will join us in spreading the word-spark!

– Professor Amelia Hall, chair of the Naropa Wisdom Traditions Department

Naropa Wisdom Traditions Department announces launch of two new programs: Masters of Divinity low-residency program and Masters of Yoga Studies online program
““That which is above the sky, that which is beneath the earth, that which is between these two, sky and earth, that which people call the past and the present and the future—across what is that woven that ‘permeates’ it?” –Question from the great female sage Gārgī Vācaknavī to Yājñavalkya

Master of Yoga Studies – Low-Residency Program

Naropa University has recently launched a Masters of Arts degree in Yoga Studies. This new program is the culmination of almost fifty years of Naropa serving as a unique higher-educational setting for the study and practice of yoga.

Naropa’s MA in Yoga Studies is low-residency; this means students can complete the degree from anywhere in the world, but it also includes two in-person retreats hosted in Colorado.

Naropa’s first summer seminar of 1974 included a course that helped galvanize the launch of the institution: Ram Dass’s The Yogas of the Bhagavad Gītā, taught to over one thousand students. Compelled by Naropa’s original vision to “provide an environment in which Eastern and Western intellectual traditions can interact and in which these disciplines can be grounded in direct experience,” Ram Dass agreed to join the faculty. In a school bus converted into a camper, he spent two months before the summer of ’74 preparing the course in the deserts of New Mexico and California. He not only immersed himself in the Gītā and its commentaries that summer, but even gave the inaugural lectures to a rapt audience of desert jackrabbits—a picturesque beginning for yoga studies at Naropa.

In subsequent decades, Naropa pioneered the first Bachelor of Arts degree in Yoga Studies to be offered in America, a program that has been flourishing for the last ten years. The MA in Yoga Studies carries forward this legacy by offering an educational journey that takes seriously the enduring wisdom of yogic traditions. In addition, the curriculum critically illuminates developments in our understanding of the history, philosophy, and global transmission of yoga based on recent waves of yoga studies scholarship. In short, it facilitates a unique merger of contemplative and academic rigor.
Co-Founders of the Naropa Master’s of Yoga Studies Program, Ben Williams, Program Lead (right) and Nataraja Kallio (left)

Master of Divinity – Low-Residency Program

Jamie Beachy, program lead of Naropa’s Master’s of Divinity

A few words from Masters of Divinity program lead Jamie Beachy:

“In the Fall of 2020, Naropa launched a new low-residency Master of Divinity (MDiv) program and received the largest MDiv student cohort in Naropa’s history! The incoming students come to us from diverse national and international contexts. They will complete their program mostly online in addition to attending a series of in-person contemplative retreats designed to facilitate training in Buddhist meditation and face-to-face engagement.

While we had planned to host our Fall 2020 students in person here in Colorado, the responsive and nimble MDiv faculty and staff shifted our Fall retreat to an online platform out of an abundance of caution and attention to safety. The new MDiv cohort is a creative and committed group of students who bring diverse spiritual and religious commitments, a deep commitment to service, and expertise from other professional and academic fields. We look forward to the ways their insights and gifts will contribute to the Naropa community, as together we explore theology and practice in a time of significant cultural transformation and upheaval.”

Learn More

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“Bloom Where You’re Planted” ― Mary Engelbreit
“Knowledge … shall always bear witness like a clarion to its creator.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.