Buddhist Studies

Effective 1 June 2014 through 31 May 2015

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF version of past catalogs.

18 credit hours

This program offered by College of Arts & Sciences/Religious Studies Department

The Buddhist studies certificate program of study draws on Webster University's strengths in religious and international studies to explore the complex social reality of Buddhism in Asia today. We offer students a firsthand opportunity to study the cultural and spiritual roots of their host country, and to investigate the many ways in which contemporary Buddhists engage their changing social world--through grassroots activism, as well as through art, ritual, philosophy, institutional reform, and political debate.

Completion of the certificate requires a minimum of eight weeks residence and 9 credit hours of coursework at the Hua Hin/Cha-am campus. The remainder of the 18 credit hours may be completed (in whole or part) at Hua Hin/Cha-am, St. Louis, or any other Webster campus that offers appropriate courses.

Classroom discussions, field excursions, guest lectures, and opportunities for meditation practice are designed to create a multi-dimensional learning experience.

Course Requirements

  • RELG 2075 Introduction to Buddhism (3 hours)
  • ANTH 2000 Issues in Contemporary Anthropology: Thai Ways-- The Culture, Politics and Economy of Thailand (3 hours)

At least one course (3 credit hours) from each of the following groups:

Group One — Socially Engaged Buddhism

    • RELG 2420 Religion and Culture: Buddhism East and West (3 hours)
    • RELG 2430 Environments and Religion: Buddhist Eco-Activism (3 hours)
    • RELG 2440 Religion and Social Action:  Engaged Buddhism (3 hours)
    • RELG 2440 Religion and Social Action: Engaged Buddhism in Asia (3 hours)
    • RELG 2440 Religion and Social Action: Engaged Buddhism in Thailand (3 hours)

Group Two — Buddhism and Society

    • RELG 2400 Religion and the Arts: Buddhist Arts (3 hours)
    • RELG 2430 Environments and Religion: Buddhism and Ecology (3 hours)
    • RELG 2500 Gender, Culture, and Religion: Women in Buddhism (3 hours)
    • RELG 3030 Topics in Religion and Society: The Thai Temple/Monastery (3 hours)
    • RELG 3030 Topics in Religion and Society (with Buddhist topic) (3 hours)

An additional two elective courses (at least 6 credit hours) chosen from any course designated as part of the Buddhist studies certificate program, including courses listed above and the following:

  • RELG 2030 Contemporary Topics (with Buddhist topic) (3 hours)
  • RELG 2405 Buddhism in Film (3 hours)
  • RELG 3070 Topics in Religion and Psychology: Meditation and Healing (3 hours)
  • RELG 3120 Buddhism (3 hours)
  • RELG 3600 Field Experience in Religion (1-6 hours)
  • RELG 3605 International Field Experience in Religion (1-6 hours)
  • RELG 4400 Spiritual Paths and Classics (3 hours)
  • RELG 4550 Advanced Study in Religion (3 hours)
  • RELG 4610 Reading Course: Advanced, Directed Readings, Research Project, or Meditation Practicum (1-6 hours)

Topics courses within the Department of Religious Studies must have a formally listed Buddhist focus in order to count towards the certificate.