Bhaktivedanta College in a “Nutshell”
The Sanskrit term Bhaktivedanta has special significance for Bhaktivedanta College. Vedanta, composed of veda (knowledge) and anta (conclusion), means the culmination of knowledge, understanding, or critical evaluation. Bhakti means loving devotional service to the transcendental, personal source of everything.
So the word Bhaktivedanta combines the ideas of scholarly excellence and the highest spiritual values and activities. The honorific term Bhaktivedanta is given to revered devotee-scholars in Indian spiritual circles. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada the founder-acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), received this title in the mid-twentieth century from his contemporaries.
Late in his life, he wrote nearly seventy books, which are translations of and commentaries on Vaishnava texts. Between 1965 and 1977, he and his followers worldwide started more than a hundred temples, farms, and schools. Nowadays, his teachings are practised and taught in many congregations connected to ISKCON.
Srila Prabhupada is the inspiration behind Bhaktivedanta College because his exemplary life teaches that the best education combines the advancement of knowledge with self-realization and love of God or Sri Krishna.
Bhaktivedanta College is an international institution serving the educational needs of ambitious, spiritually minded students. For this purpose the College pursues six ideals:
- Courage and Purpose
- Student Wellbeing
- Spiritually Integrated Learning
- Academic and Professional Excellence
- Moral and Spiritual Maturity
- Collaborative Partnership
The College is located in Durbuy, a hamlet nestled in the scenic Ardennes region of Belgium. Unequalled for its quietude and tranquillity, this forested area is a superb setting for research and reflection. At the heart of the College campus stands the historic Château de Petite Somme, the heart of a thriving Vaishnava temple and community.
Since its opening in September 2002, Bhaktivedanta College has received over a thousand students from twenty-six countries. From inception, the College’s academic modules were augmented with extra-curricular study and mentoring schemes aimed at nurturing character, personal fulfilment and spiritual maturity.
The programme aims to integrate rigorous academic study with spiritual refinement, values education and vocational training. The teaching medium is English, and students with an alternative first-language are offered extra support in both spoken and written English.
In 2003, University of Wales Lampeter (UWL) accredited the three-year academic course, culminating in a Bachelor of Theology degree in ‘Vaishnava Studies’: the first ever in the English-speaking world. The College worked collaboratively with the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS), a recognised independent centre of the University of Oxford.
Since then, many faculty members have received their doctorates from Oxford. Committed to investment for the future, Bhaktivedanta College recently completed construction of a new library, office facilities and a residence block, thus providing students with up-to-date amenities for research and recreation.
Bhaktivedanta College is a reputable and well-resourced international institute that draws on the ancient Indian wisdom to nurture motivated, well-integrated and independently-thoughtful adults. In a supportive and spiritually-uplifting environment, the College enables students to realise their academic and vocational potentials, apply Krishna conscious principles to contemporary lifestyles and make lasting contributions to all worthy areas of human endeavour. To achieve this, the College promotes six ideals, namely:
1. Vision and Purpose
Inspiring long-term success through the ardent pursuit of truth, purpose and self-discovery.
2. Student Wellbeing
Enhancing student’s prospects by laying solid foundations for their future career, economic stability and spiritual fulfilment.
3. Spiritually Integrated Learning
Enriching students with positive spiritual experience, curricula infused with Vaishnava theology, and a practical, career-oriented qualification.
4. Academic and Professional Excellence
Promoting the highest standard of service and scholarship while preparing students as exemplary leaders in their respective fields.
5. Moral and Spiritual Maturity
Enabling students to develop virtue and insight, adopt ethical and fulfilling professions, and apply their wisdom to all aspects of private and public life.
6. Collaborative Partnership
Working cooperatively with local, national and global communities to establish an educational heritage of lasting social, cultural and spiritual benefit.
This school offers programs in: