Earn your Master of Divinity at Naropa, the West’s first Buddhist-inspired university. Our interreligious spiritual care degree values innovation and social engagement, while remaining deeply rooted in contemplative practice.
Among other religious studies and spirituality degree programs, the Naropa Master of Divinity uniquely prepares 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 (MDiv) degree in person on our Boulder campus or through our low-residency option. Our low-residency MDiv includes asynchronous online courses (i.e., not live classes) and limited live, synchronous online time in select courses including meditation practicums. Both in-person and low-residency students attend Colorado-based retreats with their cohorts. Each pathway is grounded in contemplative insights, meditation practices, and clinical training. You may also choose to complete Mindfulness Instructor Training as an optional specialty.
Our alumnx serve in diverse contexts, including healthcare and hospice chaplaincy, non-profit leadership, eco-chaplaincy, psychedelic-assisted therapy, and academic teaching.
MDiv graduate Daniel Rajunov seeks to bridge the worlds of the natural and the technological, the sacred and the mundane
“I learned how to be ok with not-ok and how to listen to the suffering of others, how to relate with it, how to validate it, without trying to fix it.”
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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 interspiritual approaches to 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 wisdom 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-inspired 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.
What to Expect
Gain in-depth knowledge of Buddhism and practice interreligious dialogue.
Understand the role of meditative practices in Buddhism and other religions.
Practice a contemplative, interreligious and interspiritual approach to chaplaincy.
Embrace diverse cultures and religions as part of your spiritual path.
Transform from within to be of greater service to others.
MA in Yoga Studies
MA in Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology
Take a deep dive into world wisdom traditions and learn to