Master of Arts

Engaged Jain Studies
Arihanta Institute and
Claremont School of Theology
Arihanta Institute (DBA Arihanta Institute) offers a first of its kind, remotely available Master of Arts focusing on Engaged Jain Studies – in partnership with Claremont School of Theology (CST). Bringing you leading scholars from around the world, this flexible remote program is designed to teach you how to apply timeless Jain wisdom in your busy everyday life whether you are Jain or not. Choosing to follow Jain philosophy/religion is not a prerequisite.

As a human society, we face unprecedented environmental and social challenges. Most Jains and non-Jains interested in learning about the Jain tradition therefore wish to understand how they can incorporate the tradition’s philosophical and moral insights in daily personal, professional, and social life for the betterment of society and the planet. What makes our master’s degree remarkably one of a kind is just that: its emphasis on integrating what students learn from rigorous Jain scholarship on philosophy, ethics, history, and anthropology into their daily lives.

Our MA’s interreligious course offerings augment these integrations with further critical and much sought-after insights from yoga, dharma traditions, and other religious philosophies.

Our program also provides elective courses that consider applications of fundamental Jain principles such as non-violence (ahimsa), non-possession (aparigraha), and openness to dialogue with other religious traditions (anekantavada) in light of allied fields such as animal studies, environmental studies, and business ethics.

Ahimsa is the paramount virtue in the Jain tradition that espouses non-violence in thought, word, and deed toward all forms of life including animals and the environment. Aparigraha, or non-possession, requires that we live a simple, non-consumptive life amidst the sensory trappings of contemporary consumer society and requires us to limit our material possessions to reduce our environmental impact. Anekantavada requires that we maintain an openness to learning about and appreciating other religious and philosophical viewpoints in addition to our own to create a more open-minded and peaceful society.

To help integrate these principles from their coursework, students are encouraged to engage with their local communities, non-profit organizations, or other institutions to ensure engaged learning and application of their learning in service to the world.

Who would be interested in such a degree?

Anyone who wants to understand how to apply Jain philosophy and principles in daily life at the highest level, including, but not limited to:

1) Young adult professionals and householders, both Jain and non-Jain

2) Non-Jains who are aligned with Jain values and want to enrich their personal, spiritual, social, and professional lives (e.g. vegans, animal advocates, and environmentalists)

3) Young adults and those in retirement who want to enhance their spiritual lives

What does this degree offer its recipients?

Our MA emphasizes application of Jain principles with expert faculty who have been using an “engaged Jainism” pedagogical technique at the university level for years. This approach brings Jain wisdom down to earth, making it relevant for the many challenges we face as a human society.

In addition to their own personal and spiritual development, graduates will learn to enrich their professional lives with Jain principles and ethics and to develop their own entrepreneurial endeavors. Others seeking further graduate studies will be prepared for pursuing a PhD in Jain Studies, Yoga Studies, Dharma Studies, South Asian Studies, and other related fields of scholarly inquiry.

Apply Today!

To schedule an appointment with one of our advisors to learn more about our program, please email study@arihantainstitute.org