Union’s Thích Nhất Hạnh Program for Engaged Buddhism has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The grant, awarded through the Luce Fund for Theological Education, “supports the development of new models of teaching and learning, research and publication, leadership development, and educational program design.”
“This is wonderful support for the Engaged Buddhism program,” said President Serene Jones, “It will help expand students’ educational opportunities and deepen Union’s commitment to interreligious engagement.”
In two years, the Thích Nhất Hạnh Program has become the nation’s vanguard program in socially engaged Buddhism, and a leading model for vocational Buddhist education. The new M.Div. concentration in Buddhism and Interreligious Engagement has proven attractive to incoming students, with 23 students now enrolled in the program. Moreover, Union has become a home for Buddhist activism in New York City. The program has nurtured the growth of the Buddhist Action Coalition, and hosted seminars with leading practitioners like angel Kyodo williams, Bhikku Bodhi, Sharon Salzberg, and Bhante Buddharakkhita. And coming in January, Union will host Thupten Jinpa, the Dalai Lama’s primary English translator.
“We are so grateful to Luce for their support. Their shared understanding of the importance of interreligious engagement here at Union is deeply encouraging,” Rev. Kosen Gregory Snyder, Senior Director and Assistant Director of Buddhist Studies. “As students interested in IE and Buddhist studies continue to be drawn to Union, this gift will go a long way toward supporting them as well as addressing the overall teaching and programmatic needs of this growth.”
The Henry Luce Foundation’s generosity will help this vibrant program continue to flourish, while strengthening American Buddhism.