Today a new semester starts at University of the West, where I work as an assistant professor and Coordinator of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Department. Over the weekend, one of our students posted the above picture on Facebook; it shows a large group of our monastic students returned to campus. As you can imagine, it brought a smile to many UWest faces when it was posted.
This semester, I’m teaching a course on “Spiritual Leadership” to the graduate students in our MDiv program. It’s my favorite course to teach: Gandhi, King, as well as Buddhist leaders Sulak Sivaraksa, A.T. Ariyaratne, and Aung San Suu Kyi are explored. In addition, this semester we’re going to have a special focus on economic justice. So that they get a real look at some of the worst effects of poverty in our country, I’ll be taking the students to see Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles, and we’ll be going to serve in a soup kitchen as well. I’m also going to teach a new undergraduate course in “Service Learning,” which I’m very excited about — almost 20 students have signed up at this point! (I’ll also be teaching an online class entitled “Assisting the Process: Life Transitions in the Context of Spiritual Care and Counseling” for my friends at Hartford Seminary, which I’m very pleased about.)
As you can tell, UWest is an often very delightful community in which to study, practice, and work. Check us out online at www.uwest.edu.