Participants in the recent roundtable, held at the West End Buddhist Temple, about the U of T Buddhist Chaplaincy program, have received a letter from Chris Ng, of the Buddhist Education Foundation for Canada (who are supporting the initiative)…
Dear friends in the Dharma,
I would like to thank you for participating at the Second Chaplaincy Roundtable – Exploring the important elements of an ideal Canadian Buddhist chaplaincy program. I would agree with Rev. Thom Kilts that we ought to shoot for the gold standard so that Buddhists will be as well educated as Christians in chaplaincy. Of course, there is the issue of government funding and available of positions for non-Christian chaplains. Indeed, when the next Christian chaplain retires, there will be a lot of pressure to replace that position with a non-Christian chaplain. In general, to make a case for more non-Christian chaplains, we need to have Buddhists who are qualified and be ready to apply when the positions become vacant, and also be in a position to advocate from inside the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care, even as a student member. It is not just a matter of advocating for more jobs, but more importantly advocating for people in institutions that are in need of the Dharma. And it is important to have professional chaplains who are bilingual to help bring spiritual care to the traditional Buddhist communities as well.
I would also like to let you know that Principal Toulouse agreed earlier this week that Buddhist students interested in chaplaincy or psychotherapy can also apply to the Christian Master of Pastoral Studies program without having to take the required Christian courses, i.e. students can take the seven Buddhism courses in the Diploma programhttp://www.emmanuel.utoronto.ca/prospective/Academic_Programs/Diploma_in_Buddhist_Mindfulness_and_Mental_Health.htm. We hope that there will be funding for Emmanuel to hire a full-time Buddhist studies faculty reasonably soon so that students will enter a Buddhist studies track in the MPS before they finish the seven Buddhism courses. Of course, the Psychotherapy track within the MPS is on its way to be created and those courses (list attached) are more generic in nature and are available for Buddhist students in the MPS program as well.
Please let anyone you know who has applied or are considering to apply to the Diploma program in Buddhist Mindfulness & Mental Health about the MPS option. Here is the link to apply for it. http://www.emmanuel.utoronto.ca/Prospective/Academic_Programs/mps.htm
Some Buddhist students I know are going through the MPS application process now. The deadline is Oct. 30, 2014 for taking courses in January 2015. Students will need to get 3 reference letters, prior undergraduate transcripts and submit a resume. The Admission Counsellor is aware of this change and the tight timeline and will help Buddhists students get their paperwork ready for the October 30 deadline.
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