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Jogye Order Buddhist School of International Studies Opens
First English-Speaking School for Nuns at Hwaunsa Temple
The Jogye Order Buddhist School of International Studies officially opened on March 25 as the first English-speaking school for Bikkhunis (Buddhist nuns). This school, located at Hwaunsa Temple in Yongin City, aims to train nuns to be able to propagate dharma in English to foreigners. Jogye Order President Ven. Jaseung and Department of Dharma Propagation Director Ven. Hyeoneung with over 200 people attended the opening ceremonies.
Ven. Jaseung said, “It is very meaningful to have an English-based school for nuns for the first time in the 1700 year-old history of Korean Buddhism.” He continued, “We hope that establishing the Jogye Order Buddhist School of International Studies will of course apply the internationalization of Korean Buddhism, which is one of the main aims of the 33rd Jogye Order Administration, but also we hope it will be an opportunity to open a new chapter in the international dharma propagation of the Jogye Order.
Ven. Dohyeon, Abbot of Hwaunsa Temple said, “I hope the nuns who have enrolled will study hard for the two years and be able to propagate Korean Buddhism to the world. With the members of the Hwaunsa Temple, I will support the school so that there will be no difficulties for the nuns to study.”
The Jogye Order established this school to produce nuns who will translate, moderate international events and conferences, guide templestay programs for foreigners, and propagate the dharma internationally. The school will offer two-year courses with the entire budget funded by the Jogye Order. All the students with the instructors will live on campus where only English will be spoken. This is the unique characteristic of the school.
The students will learn meditation, leadership skills, counseling methods, public speaking skills, interpersonal management, and how to effectively propagate dharma internationally. The Dean is Swiss nun Ven. Mujin and the Vice-Dean is Ven. Jawoo. There are two Western women to teach English and there are nine nuns enrolled as students. The Jogye Order will also select 10 additional students each year.
Ven. Mujin said, “The Buddhist School of International Studies is not to cultivate fluent speakers of English, but to cultivate nuns who can propagate dharma internationally.” She continued, “We will make efforts to graduate nuns who will take the responsibility of international dharma propagation for the Jogye Order.”
By Eo Hyeon-kyeong
Buddhist News # 2707 March 30