The foundation of the Buddhist Churches of America organization lies in the cultivation and deepening awareness and understanding of life. Thus a great deal of emphasis is placed on Buddhist education.
The pinnacle of the BCA’s education program lies with the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), which is located in Berkeley, California, adjacent to the University of California campus.
The IBS is affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union, (GTU) the world’s largest consortium of religious institutions, located in California. Additionally, the IBS is aligned with the Ryukoku University of Kyoto , Japan, that country’s oldest university.
The IBS is authorized by the State of California to grant a Masters Degree in Buddhist Studies. Through the GTU affiliation, the IBS also jointly grants a fully-accredited Masters Degree. The IBS sponsors various programs throughout the year promoting Buddhist understanding and education to both ministers and lay people.
The BCA’s educational concerns include programs for children and youth, adults, in both the English and Japanese languages, the development of Buddhist music, audio-visual material and the promotion of Shin Buddhist understanding in America.
In the area of publications, the BCA publishes the monthly Wheel of Dharma newspaper and the IBS issues an academic journal called the Pacific Journal.