Our Lay Ministry Program involves approximately 80 consecutive weeks of assigned
readings, writing weekly reports and calling in to a weekly small discussion group
with participants from around the country. Email access is required. Other than purchasing
required text books, there are no tuition fees. Heavy sweat equity is required and
a commitment to writing reports and participating in group sessions every Sunday
A three-phase program is offered.
Phase One:Introduction to the Way of Oneness
Discussion over a four-month period that includes books by Rev. Gyomay Kubose and
Rev. Koyo Kubose.
Phase Two:Lay Ministry Courses
Topics covered over a fifteen-month period include life of the
Buddha and basic teachings, Mahayana Buddhism,
Buddhism in America, and relating the Dharma teachings
to modern applications.
Twelve months of formulating individual Action Plans around
personal areas and everyday activities.
The Practicum goal is to develop a continually evolving daily practice and being
able to see the Dharma teachings in all aspects of one's life. Participants will
work on the same theme and give feedback to one another. For the first six months
of the Practicum year, group tele-conferences will be held every other week. For
the last six months, the calls will be once a month.
The program concludes with participants attending a Lay Ministry Induction Ceremony
at the Bright Dawn Center in Coarsegold, California.
Two points help describe the background of our Lay Ministry Program. The first is
that our purpose is not to provide religious training to prepare a person to function
as a minister in the traditional sense of a profession or occupation. Our Lay Ministers
do not function within the context of being employed by a congregation or temple,
as is the case for traditional clergy. Both cases, that of a lay ministry and that
of traditional clergy, have their pro's and con's and it is not suggested that one
approach is better than the other. Our Lay Program simply offers a viable and important
option that we feel can make a significant contribution and can provide a valuable