NEW YORK, NY, February 9, 2012 – New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) and the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care (NYZCCC) have joined forces to provide the first fully accredited program for Buddhist practitioners seeking a Masters degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling in New York City. Launching Spring 2012, the partnership establishes a rigorous Buddhist studies track within the NYTS Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling program designed for those who wish to serve the world as spiritual care providers in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, mental health centers, and other institutions.

The creation of this innovative curriculum was supported by The Palatte Fund and the Henry Luce Foundation. The Palette Fund honors the legacy of Rand Harlan Skolnick through collaborative grantmaking and programs that value human rights and education. The Luce Foundation supports multifaith initiatives at NYTS.

“The New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care is very excited about our new partnership with NYTS,” says Koshin Paley Ellison, Co-Executive Director of NYZCCC, “It allows us to offer anyone interested in Buddhist based chaplaincy the opportunity to receive fully accredited seminary training and clinical training. This will provide the next generation of Buddhist practitioners an actual livelihood in spiritual service as chaplains working at the bedside of those in critical need.”

As a leader in multifaith education and chaplaincy, NYTS’ programs embrace Buddhism as well as other major faith traditions. The Buddhist track includes courses in Buddhist scriptures, Buddhist philosophy, and world religions to enhance the pastoral care and counseling program. Additionally, students who enroll in the program will receive 1600 hours of innovative contemplative-based clinical training through NYZCCC in two of New York City’s top medical centers: New York Presbyterian and Beth Israel Medical Center

“Our metropolitan context is extraordinarily diverse both religiously and spiritually” notes NYTS President Dale T. Irvin. “Christian institutions such as NYTS are increasingly being called upon to extend their resources and assist other religious faiths in training for leadership. Today, a Christian in a hospital or other facility in our region is more likely than ever to be visited by a chaplain of another faith. I, for one, would be comforted to know that the Buddhist chaplain who was calling on me or another member of my congregation or family in the hospital had been trained in this innovative pastoral care program with NYTS and NYZCCC.”

For more information on NYTS or NYZCCC please contact:

Koshin Paley Ellison
Co-Founder of New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care

Dale Irvin
President of New York Theological Seminary

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