Claremont Announces Agreement to Establish Hindu Studies

Friday, August 24, 2012 at 1:05PM

Claremont Lincoln University and the Nalanda Confluence Institute (NCI) signed an agreement that is an important step in establishing an accredited graduate program in Hindu Dharma studies at Claremont.
Jerry Campbell and Navin Doshi signing agreement

Read the address NCI Chairman Navin Doshi gave during the ceremony.

Claremont Lincoln University and the Nalanda Confluence Institute (NCI) are pleased to announce a new collaboration. Today, officials from each institution signed an agreement that is an important step in establishing an accredited graduate program in Hindu Dharma studies at Claremont. NCI will join the Indic Foundation and other funders, with the goal of establishing a School of Hindu Studies at Claremont Lincoln.

Future plans call for offering graduate degrees in areas such as Hindu Studies, Hindu Clinical Pastoral Chaplaincy, and Hindu Theology/Philosophy, as well as academic concentrations in Hindu Contemplative, Yogic, and Consciousness Studies; Applied Dharma; and other initiatives in partnership with Hindu spiritual institutions and community organizations.

"At the heart of Claremont Lincoln's mission lies the ideal of building bridges of understanding for the purposes of improving and repairing our shared society, environment, and world," said Dr. Philip Clayton, Provost of Claremont Lincoln. "We are excited about this new agreement with Nalanda Confluence Institute. It reaffirms Claremont Lincoln's place as one of the most dynamic and collaborative centers for religious education in the country."

"The Nalanda Confluence Institute is equally excited about the agreement," said Dr. Rita Sherma, NCI President. "We see our relationship with Claremont Lincoln University as a wonderful opportunity to integrate the dharma-based insights and principles of the Hindu traditions with Claremont Lincoln’s innovative, engagement-driven focus on the world’s religions, with fidelity to their self-understanding and experience."

NCI is an international onsite and online experiential academic teaching and research institution that will affiliate with both Claremont Lincoln University and Indian institutes of higher education and research. It is also partnering with other related organizations, including the Dharma Civilization Foundation, to establish programs in Hindu Studies at Claremont. NCI plans two areas of study:

  • NCI at Claremont Lincoln will focus on dharma applied to justice, peace, ecology, economics, bioethics and more.
  • NCI Hindu Studies will focus on scholarship and teaching of the wisdom traditions of Hindu Dharma in reference to the self-understanding and history of the Hindu traditions.

Particularly important are the core values that both institutions share. Both believe that when the world’s religious traditions work together, instead of separately, they are much better equipped to address the most urgent global issues that we face today. Using their combined wisdom, infused with the best of modern thinking, they have a unique potential to transform the world.

Claremont Lincoln affiliates include Claremont School of Theology, Academy for Jewish Religion, California, and Bayan Claremont, established by the Islamic Center of Southern California. In addition, the International School for Jain Studies (ISJS) and the Federation of Jain Associations in North America (JAINA) have created the first stage of the International School for Jain Studies at Claremont Lincoln, and a collaboration with the Buddhist-founded University of the West offers cross enrollment opportunities for Claremont and UWest students. The Nalanda Confluence Institute becomes Claremont Lincoln’s newest associate.

Claremont Lincoln University

Established in 2011, Claremont Lincoln University is an interreligious graduate school offering accredited degree programs, advanced certificates, and custom-designed curricula for leadership that spans multicultural, multireligious, spiritual, and secular value systems. The University also serves as the hub of a history-making consortium of professional schools that educate religious leaders in their respective traditions while sharing a common interreligious curriculum. The new University is situated in Southern California among the prestigious Claremont Colleges, on the Claremont School of Theology campus, which has more than a century of progressive Christian and religious education as its heritage.

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