Note: The application window for this position is now closed.

Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU) looks to expand its teaching faculty for the 2024-2025 academic year. DRBU will offer up to two successful candidates an assistant professor or teaching fellow appointment. Please read the information on this page carefully before applying.

What Is a Professor at DRBU?

Professors at DRBU play a significantly different role than professors at many other institutions. Instead of demonstrating mastery in a single discipline and “professing” their knowledge for students to absorb through “listening,” professors at DRBU facilitate a discussion-centered collaborative approach to learning known as “shared inquiry.” This learning-in-the-round requires that all present in the classroom, regardless of their backgrounds, engage in a shared exploration of the text before them.

The purpose of the shared inquiry pedagogy is to stimulate a love of learning, not merely an acquisition of information. It is also meant to acknowledge and activate an inherent human capacity for wisdom possessed by all individuals. Developing this inherent capacity requires an orientation toward learning that is interactive, probing, and deeply self-reflective. This means that professors see the students not as receptacles that passively receive the understanding of others; rather, they view students as engines of discovery who are actively formulating their own understandings through deep questioning, personal testing, and direct affirming. Casting the teacher as a guide rather than a director of the students’ learning process reflects an ancient pedigree across classical traditions. As Plutarch noted in his discourse On Listening to Lectures, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

Professors facilitate the students’ understanding not by presuming to be a final authority on the text, but by clarifying the issues, demonstrating the methods, guiding discussions, and sometimes challenging students to reexamine their first interpretations. They aim to ‘draw out’ (educere) rather than ‘pour in,’ so that each student develops the capacity to be an independent thinker. A core assumption underlying the DRBU’s instructional model is that the text, instructor, and student form a triangular relationship of inquiry in which none of the three is seen as “the measure of all things.” Rather, “authority” is distributed and allowed to emerge through a lively give-and-take among the three; all center on arriving at one goal: the students’ knowing for and through themselves.

The most important duties of a professor at DRBU are to ask probing questions and to gently encourage and assist students in the bittersweet task of answering these important questions for themselves. By directly wrestling with the texts and, by extension, their own thoughts, feelings, and tendencies, they acquire a hard-won confidence and clarity that serves as a foundation for engaging life to its fullest. Amid all the conflicting desires and complex issues they will encounter in life, such individuals can undertake for themselves to discern, decide, and act upon what is true to themselves and responsible to others. This is what is meant by “self-cultivation.”

In order to achieve this, professors must continually learn outside of their disciplines and be actively engaged in their own efforts at self-cultivation. Academically, this involves a great deal of preparation, including but not limited to reading various texts, exchanging ideas with other professors, and innovating and participating in contemplative exercises integral to the program. It also requires a certain vulnerability and humility, not just in remaining open to new interpretations of even the most familiar works, but in staying alert and available to the kinds of spontaneous and heartfelt encounters that can and do occur in an atmosphere of sincere shared inquiry and genuine self-discovery. 

For these reasons, professors at DRBU do not teach solely to their area of expertise, and learning is not separated into stand-alone, academic departments. Unlike what faculty might experience in many other University positions, professors at DRBU are encouraged but not required to publish academic works, nor are they restricted to conducting research in one particular field of study. At DRBU, the priority of each professor is to engage with the program in its entirety and over time develop a deep understanding of the collective texts. This method is enriching for professors, in that their workload never becomes routine or rehearsed; they retain a refreshing openness of mind and infectious love of learning—hallmarks of a scholar and teacher.

Professor Appointment vs. Teaching Fellowship

Annual salary for teaching faculty at DRBU will be $66,560 in 2024.

Procedures for New Appointments to the Teaching Faculty

If you would like to be considered for appointment to a teaching position at DRBU, please follow the application procedure outlined below. Inquiries regarding the application process should be sent to Office of Academic Affairs ( before February 8, 2024. For this round of hiring, DRBU cannot provide H1-B sponsorship for international candidates.


Application for a teaching position at DRBU must contain the following materials:

  • A cover letter highlighting your understanding of DRBU’s instructional model. Please discuss your preparation for working in a teaching institution, especially one with DRBU’s model. Please also consider and address the following: 1) teaching without “professing” and assuming authority based on field expertise; 2) leading discussions on texts outside of your academic background; 3) scholarship in a core texts institution without a publishing mandate; and 4) contemplative practice as a hermeneutic or methodology (see Hadot, Philosophy as A Way of Life). 
  • A completed Dharma Realm Buddhist University Application for Employment
  • An updated curriculum vitae or resume, listing educational and professional experience, credentials and advanced degrees, certificates, honors, publications, and professional memberships
  • Names of three professional references.

DRBU will request the following additional materials from candidates advancing beyond the initial round:

  • Three letters of recommendations from teachers, colleagues or students. Please do not send class evaluations from students
  • Transcripts of completed formal academic studies (undergraduate and graduate).
  • A writing sample or a published article

Please email all application materials to by February 8, 2024.


When the need for a new appointment to the teaching faculty arises, the Dean of Academics, with the help of the Instruction Committee, reviews the completed application files and selects applicants to be invited for a formal interview visit. The university provides food and lodging on campus, and transportation costs. The visit includes opportunities to audit classes and to converse informally with students and faculty. It also includes a formal interview with the Instruction Committee, which is the faculty committee charged with making appointment recommendations to the president.

DRBU is an equal opportunity employer.