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Monastic Training System of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism

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Monastic Training System of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism




The Organization and Assessment of the Buddhist Practice and Training System




By Ven. Beopjin, Dean of Hainsa Sangha College




The goal of the pursuit of the Tripitaka (the three baskets of Vinaya, Sutra, and Abidharma) and application of the three trainings (ethics, meditation, and wisdom) is to accurately understand and apply the principles of Buddhism in actuality.  From this point, it is not an exaggeration to say that education and application are everything to the Buddhist practitioners life.  Here education refers to correctly understanding Buddhist concepts and application refers to actualization.  Because it is considered that only by properly understanding Buddhist concepts, can we approach the path of correct understanding and education, and that only by taking into account the actual situation can we practice the Paramitas and be innovative.  Accordingly, education and application are synonymous with understanding and actualization.    




In order to embody these virtues, what are the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhisms completion requirements within the training and practice system?  Together with marrying monks and non-marrying monks, the Jogye Order was officially registered in 1962 with the Korean governments Ministry of Culture and Public Information.  It became the sole order to officially inherit the 1600-year-old tradition of Korean Buddhism.  As such, we can understand that the Jogye Orders practice and training system is the status of Korean Buddhism.  This text is an attempt to organize and concisely introduce Jogye Orders monastic training and practice system, and the new direction for which the Jogye Order is working toward. 




Training System Summary

Jogye Orders training system can be broadly classified as:  1)  Elementary Training,  2)  Basic Training,  3)  General Training (specialized training),  4)  Re-training.  First is the postulant (hangja) training for a minimum of six months.  Second is the four years of training for novices (shramanera/shramanerika or Sami/Samini) undertaken at temple Sangha colleges, Dong-guk Universitys College of Buddhism, Joong-Ang Sangha University, or elementary Seon centers.  These first two trainings must be completed by all Jogye monastics without exception.  When the elementary training is completed, one can become a novice monastic (Sami/Samini).  When the basic training is completed, one can take the full monastic vows, and attains the qualification and rights of being a Jogye Order monastic.  Third is general training where a monastic can pursuit specialized training after receiving full monastic ordination.  Fourth is the re-training for monastics who have been ordained 5, 10, 20, and 25 years.  This is not obligatory, but it is the training process necessary to carry out certain responsibilities as set out by the order, and to hold positions in the order, as well as train disciples.  The following charts illustrates the training system.

Obligatory Training Before Full Ordination as a Bhikkhu or Bhikkhuni












Vows to Receive












































Elementary Training




5 Months








5 Vows








Postulant Robes




Hair-cutting Ceremony




Home Temple










3~5 Weeks




Novice Vows








Postulant Robes




Minimum of 5 months training




Postulant Training Center




5th Level















4 Years




Bhikkhu and Bhikkhuni








Samini (Novice)




Novice Robes




Completion of Elementary Training




Temple Sangha College, Joong-Ang Sangha University, Dong-guk University, Elementary Seon Center




4th Level




견덕 Gyun-deok








계덕 Gye-deok (Nuns)


Training System After Full Ordination as a Bhikkhu or Bhikkhuni




Type of Training




Training Facility




Qualification for Examination




Monastic Rank













General Education





Joong-Ang Education








Qualified to take 3rd Level Examination




중덕 Joong-deok (Monks)




Jeong-deok (Nuns)




All Monastics





Joong-Ang Education Center




Qualified to take 2nd Level Examination
















Hye-deok (Nuns)




Ordained after 1991





Joong-Ang Education Center




Qualified to take 1st Level Examination




종덕 Jong-deok (Monks)



















Officially applies to those ordained after 1991





Vocational Training




Joong-Ang Education Center




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