Introduction to Dharma Drum Buddhist College
Dharma Drum Buddhist College was originally the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, a private school founded by Dr. Sheng-yen, renowned Taiwanese Chan master and author. In 2006, a new law came into effect in Taiwan, allowing private schools - including those wishing to specialize in a specific religion - to be accredited by the Ministry of Education. Under this new law, the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies was granted accreditation as Dharma Drum Buddhist College.
In April 8th 2007 (on the birth date of the Buddha Shakyamuni), the new College opened its doors and inaugurated Professor Huimin Bhikkshu as its first President, thereby becoming the first accredited religious institute of higher education in Taiwan.
Currently, Dharma Drum Buddhist College offers both an undergraduate Bachelor's and a graduate Master's degree in Buddhist Studies. Research and teaching focus primarily on three traditional areas of Buddhist studies: Sanskrit and Pali Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism. In addition, Dharma Drum Buddhist College is well-known for its exceptional library and its innovative program in Buddhist Infomatics, which has led to such important academic resources as CBETA, Dharma Drum Buddhist College Authority Databases, Research Material for the Manchu Buddhist Canon, the Hopkins Tibetan Treasures Multimedia Research Archive, and many others.
Language training is an important part of the College's academic life. Besides Classical Chinese, students are exposed to most of the other Buddhist canonical languages: Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, and Japanese. Moreover, English is required for admission to the College. A number of classes are taught in English each semester. This is an aspect of the fact that Dharma Drum Buddhist College is an international institution, with ties to numerous Universities and Colleges around the world.
Because Dharma Drum Buddhist College is a Buddhist institution, the practice of the Buddha dharma is an integral aspect of student life. Students are encouraged to meditate and practice liturgical ritual under the guidance of trained monastics. As always in Buddhism, there is the hope of cultivating good habits for practice to benefit oneself and others. In this, Dharma Drum Buddhist College students are able to draw upon the many religious resources available here on Dharma Drum Mountain for a better understanding of the history and culture of Buddhism in its practical manifestations.
In the future, Dharma Drum Buddhist College will be complimented by a much larger institution, currently under construction. When Dharma Drum University is completed, students will have even greater opportunities for a learning environment combining academic excellence with a daily practice of Buddhism. Our graduates will have both the motivation and the training to serve society in meaningful and productive capacities.