The gift agreement for the first professorship in Chinese Buddhist Studies was signed on May 4, 2015 at Victoria University. Pictured L to R: Victoria University President Paul W. Gooch, Emmanuel College Principal Mark Toulouse, Rev. Jian Zong, Rev. Jian Hong and Rev. Jian Yuan.
The Shi Wu De Professorship
Through an extraordinary donation of $1.1 million from Buddhist Youth Alliance International to Victoria University, Emmanuel College will establish the Shi Wu De Professorship in Chinese Buddhist Studies.
“Buddhist Youth Alliance International’s donation will help secure an exemplary faculty member who, as both a teacher and a researcher, will serve as the academic leader for the study of Chinese Buddhism at Emmanuel,” says Victoria University President Paul Gooch. “Students will enter Emmanuel College knowing that they will learn from the best. The benefit of this very generous gift to Emmanuel students today will be immeasurable for the College’s future.”
Emmanuel College will appoint the Shi Wu De Professor in the 2015–2016 academic year. The incumbent will lead the new Buddhist stream in the Master of Pastoral Studies program. This professional master’s stream specializes in spiritual care and will prepare graduates to be certified with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC) and qualified to work as chaplains in hospitals, educational institutions, prisons, other public institutions, and in Buddhist temples. Many courses in the stream are specifically designed for the study of Buddhism, but all courses are open to all students, in all degree programs. “The fact that the study of Buddhism now joins Muslim Studies and our historical Christian areas as a distinct professional stream at Emmanuel College is an exciting development,” Principal Mark Toulouse says. “This program naturally emerges out of the College’s vision which recognizes that concepts of justice, goodness and love are larger than any one particular religion or tradition can fully define by itself. We are profoundly grateful to Buddhist Youth Alliance International for generously endowing this professorship.”
The Shi Wu De Professor will teach courses in Buddhism that serve to provide a broad understanding of Buddhist traditions. Emmanuel College has formed a Buddhist Advisory Committee to advise both the professor and the College regarding Emmanuel’s programs in Buddhism, and to connect both the professorship and the College to the broader diversity of the Buddhist communities in Toronto. “The Canadian Buddhist community looks forward to this new connection with Emanuel College. It is important for us to have Buddhist education programs established here in Canada that will integrate academic studies with practice and service. Through the establishment of this endowed professorship in Chinese Buddhist Studies in honour of my late teacher, the Venerable Rev. Wu De, we will be part of a community of leaders, scholars, teachers, researchers, social activists, students and alumni/ae at Emmanuel College. In the spirit of Canadian multiculturalism, as leaders of our diverse Canadian community of Buddhists, we support the College in creating the kind of educational programs that we believe will reflect and serve the needs and aspirations of our Buddhist community,” says president of the Buddhist Youth Alliance International Rev. Jian Zong.
Applications from students for the Buddhist stream of the Master of Pastoral Studies program are currently being accepted.