A blended approach to study enables flexibility combining self-directed online study with teacher-led workshops and tutorials (currently online only).
Study at your own pace
Full-time and part-time study options available to all students.
FEE-HELP & Scholarships
FEE-HELP available for students. No loan fees or application fees apply to postgraduate students. Some individual subjects have scholarships available.
in Humanistic Buddhism
The Humanistic Buddhism Program at NTI – the first of its kind in Australiasia – is designed to help you cope with an increasingly dynamic and interdependent modern world using Buddhist principles and values.
The program draws on the strengths of NTI’s unique resources within its teaching programs, bringing a spirit of creativity and openness to the intellectual exploration of meaning within your personal and professional life.
You will study a range of subjects on Buddhist history, thought and praxis. But very close to Nan Tien Temple, you will have an opportunity to experience and study this religious setting (in terms of social engagement, worship, and organisation) as an example to inspire further pursuits.
In addition, the program will prepare you acrss disciples and beyond, with regular faculty members and visiting lecturers with a diverse range of specialities.
Explore Humanistic Buddhism Subjects
Below is a list of all the subjects available for Humanistic Buddhism (HB) enrolments. Access to specific subject requirements will vary. Please refer to information about specific subjects for details.
Foundational Texts in Humanistic Buddhism
This subject serves as a survey of texts contributing to the development of Humanistic Buddhism Students will survey a variety of texts including recent scholarship and historical commentaries on sūtras by humanistic Buddhist masters, cultivating both an analytical ability and understanding of contemporary interpretation. The subject also informs students of different methodological approaches to textual analysis, issues with translation, as well as the writings and lives of exemplary Buddhist practitioners.
Principles of Professional Engagement
This subject provides student practitioners with advanced skill development and understanding of best practices in engaging the public and devotees. Students will explore the effectiveness of a variety of communication and teaching strategies in multicultural and multi-faith communities to apply best practice and exercise humanistic values in a contemplative manner. Topics covered include ethical engagement, teaching methodologies, contemplative learning strategies, religious promotion, and project management in both faith-based and secular communities.
Introduction to Buddhism
This subject is an introduction to the fundamentals of Buddhist thought. Students will examine the origin and development of Buddhism, key doctrines, and common concepts across various traditions. This subject gives students a foundation for Buddhist studies by critically engaging with historical sources and following the development of Buddhist communities throughout Asia up to the modern period.
This subject provides an overview of Buddhist ethics in different traditions; it also examines issues arising from their application in the contemporary world. After outlining the framework of Buddhist ethics, a number of contemporary issues are reviewed and discussed using the lens of Buddhist ethical traditions: issues examined include the natural world (environment, animals, conservation), abortion, suicide, euthanasia, war, gender and sexuality, economics, social responsibility, health etc.
Buddhism and Interreligious Understanding
The subject focuses on a theory of religion, spirituality, and interfaith dialogue. It examines the foundations of religious studies, history and development of the major world religions and their position in the context of modern societal problems, conflict resolution and peace. Students will investigate the role and future of religion and interfaith dialogue in our globalised world, plus how Buddhist perspectives could inform and contribute to contemporary interfaith dialogue.
Buddhism and Modern Society
The various schools of Buddhism teach systems of beliefs and practices based on the principles of change and inter-dependence. This subject surveys how major Buddhist Schools today respond to contemporary issues and events around the world by adapting and reinterpreting the ancient doctrines to the modern world. Students will explore how traditional Buddhist communities adapt to modernity and how Buddhist teachings are interpreted, reinvented or embraced, including Buddhist responses to globalisation, science and technology, economics, consumerism, workplace management, ethical leadership, bio-ethics, gender issues and/or environmental sustainability.
Health as Buddhist Practice
This subject begins with an exploration of the notion of “Health as Buddhist Practice as Health.” The various modern categories of health, happiness, illness, wellness and cure will be considered first, both individually and socially, before reviewing life in the historical Buddha’s time. The Buddhist understanding of medicine will also be covered, the belief in the Buddha as “The Great Physician,” as well as aspects of spiritual health. The deficiencies and dilemmas of modern biomedical healthcare, despite “evidence-based care,” will be presented, together with the emergence of effective Buddhist insights and principles, notably a broad spectrum of mindfulness-based interventions, which are subject to ongoing research.
Buddhist Art as Visual Communication
The aim of this subject is to teach the knowledge and interpretative skills necessary to fully engage with Buddhist material culture. It will start with a brief assessment of Buddhist visual culture, before presenting the evolution of the image of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni, including aniconic and synoptic representations. Students will also analyse the characteristics and distinguishing qualities of diverse buddhas and bodhisattvas, symbols, the generation of merit through commissions, the visualisation of a deity, and the power of inscribed dharani and ‘seed’ syllables.
Naturalism of Buddhism in China and Beyond
This subject offers an advanced introduction to the history, doctrines, beliefs and practices of Buddhism in China. China is selected because of the successful sinicisation process that includes the transformation of various Buddhist traditions and their interaction with indigenous philosophy, culture and religious practices from the turn of the Common Era to the present. Students will also explore how this naturalised form of Buddhism continues to transform and is assimilated by other cultures.
This subject is designed to prepare students to be successful in their postgraduate studies by strengthening existing academic abilities and literacies gained through undergraduate study. It introduces contemporary topics to help students develop critical thinking, research and communication skills and includes an introduction to contemplative inquiry and reflective practices, which underpin NTI’s postgraduate curriculum.