The Dharma Gate
The story of the Dharma Gate Buddhist College began with the Dharma Gate Buddhist Church. It was established on the full moon of May 1991 (2335 BE) as an umbrella organization for different Hungarian Buddhist communities to combine their efforts in studying, practicing and spreading the Dharma and to set up a Buddhist institution of higher education. At the time of registration, its founding members numbered 108 professed Buddhists.
The Church has grown to its current size of 2,000 members and functions as a center for community life, often organizing gatherings, celebrations, meditations, rituals, lectures, seminars and exhibitions for the public. It cooperates both with member communities and with non-member communities to propagate the Dharma across all borders and promote cross-cultural dialogue.
In 1991 the Church decided to found a college in Budapest, Hungary. The new institution was called the Dharma Gate Buddhist College. Since then, the College has continuously brought together not only teachers of the founding communities, but also philosophers, cultural anthropologists, and scholars of oriental linguistics (tibetologists, indologists and sinologists) from various academic institutions worldwide under its roof. Thus, from the very onset, the curriculum has not only embraced a wide range of Buddhist subjects, but has also included courses in Western philosophy, comparative religion, and the sacred languages of Buddhism (Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Pali, Japanese and Mongolian).
The College was first accredited in 1999 – making it the first (and – at present – the only) European Buddhist institution of tertiary education to be accredited and supported by the state. It offers quality Buddhist education through intensive Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. It also hosts a Buddhist Summer College, where renowned speakers from around the world come to hold classes in English. This year for the first time it is starting a program jointly with the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, offering an internationally accredited Master’s program in English, under the EBTC.