Maitripa College

Introduction

Maitripa College is the first Tibetan Buddhist college in the pacific northwest, and was the host of the Dalai Lama Environmental Summit in May 2013. Maitripa College is based on the conviction that Buddhist thought and practice have significant contributions to make to American society and culture. Led by Geshe Lharampa, Yangsi Rinpoche, Maitripa’s educational model is based on the three pillars of Scholarship, Meditation, and Service, providing a contemplative and transformative educational experience. Scholarships and ordained sangha fellowships, flexible schedule, and the attractions of Portland, Oregon, put your affordable graduate degree or continuing education within reach. Maitripa is both a college and Buddhist Meditation Center.

Our Philosophy of Education: The Three Pillars

We believe in the power of education to cultivate our potential to create a meaningful life. At the core of the Maitripa College education are the three pillars of Scholarship, Meditation, and Service.

Three Pillars of Education at Maitripa College

For both the Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies and the Master of Divinity degrees, the three pillars of Scholarship, Meditation, and Service are foundational. We realize that any one of these three pillars is available in a number of different ways in our lives—mindfulness trainings, dharma centers, colleges, and non-profits are everywhere. Only at Maitripa College are they combined to create a transformative and integrated education, which is grounded in tradition.

Unique to Maitripa College is the fact that our meditation and philosophy courses are taught both by trained western scholars and traditionally trained Tibetan masters, including the core of our faculty at present, Geshe Lharampa Yangsi Rinpoche, who speaks fluent English and gives instruction in a manner that is relaxed, loving, and directly from his own experience.

Scholarship

Through rigorous academic investigation, including courses on the Lamrim, Madhyamaka, Engaged Buddhism, History of Buddhist Philosophy, Theories and Methods, and more, we have access to both the breadth of scholarship available in the western academy and the depth of knowledge and wisdom transmitted through the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Through open dialogue and seminar-style classes, our faculty and students make Buddhist scholarship come alive.

Meditation

Unlike many places where one can practice mindfulness or meditate today, our meditation courses are combined with study and offer a clear and direct pathway to familiarize oneself with one’s mind. Through initial exposure to the path through classical and modern literature, followed immediately by sitting practice on the same, we create a map for understanding our experiences in meditation. As a result of the meditation pillar, we learn the antidotes to an anxious or dull mind—both in theory and practice. Our classes are at once modern, focused on common issues and misconceptions of contemporary practice, and ancient, tapping into traditional and time-tested methods for familiarizing oneself with the mind.

Service

The service pillar is where the “rubber meets the road” within the Maitripa College education. Exploring relationships outside of College grounds, students are paired with a community partner with whom they dedicate their time and effort in service. Working in hospice, in prisons, at schools, with the homeless community, in interfaith environments, or in any number of other volunteer capacities in and around Portland, students are guided to develop personal spiritual formation as a basis from which to take their study and practice off the cushion and into the world to benefit others.

In their first semester of Service Learning education, students focus on a needs-analysis study of targeted social service groups in Portland. In the following semesters, students train and eventually serve with selected partner organizations, and participate in regular sessions of structured reflection and analysis in small groups with Yangsi Rinpoche and other Maitripa staff. Simultaneously, students benefit from the experience of a number of guest speakers from local service organizations, who will join the class to share their knowledge and inspiration.

The Service Learning program culminates at the end of two years with oral and written presentations which seek to integrate the students’ internal and external experiences in service, as well as contextualize their service experience within the larger paradigm of their education at Maitripa.


It is not enough to become passionate. You must act. There are two aspects to action. One is to overcome the distortions and afflictions of your own mind, that is, in terms of calming and eventually dispelling anger. This is action out of compassion. The other is more social, more public. When something needs to be done in the world to rectify the wrongs, if one is really concerned with benefiting others, one needs to be engaged, involved. —His Holiness the Dalai Lama

This school offers programs in:
  • English

View MAs » View master programs »

Programs

This school also offers:

MA

Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies (MA)

Campus Full time Part time September 2017 USA Portland

The MA in Buddhist Studies Program is a 44-credit graduate degree program under the direction of Yangsi Rinpoche. The MA degree focuses on combining rigorous academic study with meditation and community service requirements to offer a superior, integrated education in Buddhist Studies, and is designed for students seeking an in-depth and critical understanding of Buddhist thought in the context of both traditional and academic scholarship. [+]

The MA in Buddhist Studies Program is a 44-credit graduate degree program under the direction of Yangsi Rinpoche. The MA degree focuses on combining rigorous academic study with meditation and community service requirements to offer a superior, integrated education in Buddhist Studies, and is designed for students seeking an in-depth and critical understanding of Buddhist thought in the context of both traditional and academic scholarship. The degree couples meditative experience of the path and training to integrate Buddhist principles into active service in partnership with a core philosophical curriculum designed to ground the student in Buddhist principles, logic, philosophical arguments, and meditative techniques. The integration of scholarship, meditation, and service is emphasized, with additional required coursework in research methods, history, and a minimum of two terms of classical Tibetan language. Comprehensive exams, or in exceptional cases, a thesis, is the capstone degree requirement. The MA in Buddhist Studies prepares students to be scholar-practitioners, to pursue doctoral studies and research, to become translators, or otherwise to shape the formation of Buddhism in the West by working within and beyond Buddhist communities. Graduates of this degree will be well-rounded with respect to academic, personal, and social applications of their studies. Students may elect to complete a concentration in either Canonical Languages and Literature, or Spiritual Formation. The concentration in Canonical Languages and Literature trains students in Classical Tibetan from beginning to advanced levels, with both Tibetan and Western scholars, and includes courses with close readings of texts in translation. The Spiritual Formation... [-]

Master

Master of Divinity Degree (MDiv)

Campus Full time Part time 3 - 4 years September 2017 USA Portland + 1 more

Maitripa College offers a robust, 72 credit minimum, three-to-four year Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree under the direction of Yangsi Rinpoche. The MDiv is a professional degree focused on a Buddhist approach to cultivating intellectual, spiritual, and professional skills in order to work as an agent of positive change in the world. [+]

Maitripa College offers a robust, 72 credit minimum, three-to-four year Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree under the direction of Yangsi Rinpoche. The MDiv is a professional degree focused on a Buddhist approach to cultivating intellectual, spiritual, and professional skills in order to work as an agent of positive change in the world. Scholastic and contemplative training forms a stable foundation for skillfully enacting culturally- relevant wisdom and compassion. Candidates are prepared for a life of service and leadership in the non-profit sector and traditional chaplaincy roles within Buddhist, interfaith, or secular institutions and communities. At the core of the degree curriculum are the three pillars of higher education at Maitripa – Scholarship, Meditation, and Community Service. The Master of Divinity degree is designed for students seeking a practical, in-depth, and critical understanding of Buddhist thought, with a strong emphasis on real-life application, both internally and in service to the community. The program couples meditative training and active service in community partnerships with a core philosophical curriculum designed to ground the student in Buddhist principles, logic, philosophical arguments, meditative techniques, and methodologies of the academic study of religion. The synthesis of this training and study informs personal and professional applications of Buddhist orientations to concepts of self and other, the wish to alleviate suffering, and interdependence at local and global levels. In addition, the MDiv degree attends to the personal, scholarly, and pastoral competencies required for chaplaincy by offering a breadth of learning opportunities in canonical language and literature, religious history,... [-]