The College requires that teaching staff demonstrate personal integrity, expertise in their respective fields, and competence as teachers, lecturers, and mentors.
Ana Knez, MA
Ana Knez is the Principal of the Bhaktivedanta College, a member of the Board of Trustees and a founder of the Yoga Studies department. She holds an M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Zagreb, a B.A in Philosophy and Religious Studies from University of Zagreb and a B.A. in Theology from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Ana oversees curriculum development and teaches a number of courses.
Marija Kojcinovic, BA
Marija Kojcinovic teaches the First Canto of the Bhaktivaibhava Course at Bhaktivedanta College. She earned her BA in Theology and Religious Studies at Bhaktivedanta College and also earned VTE Teacher Training certificates. She is earnest about finding relevance and empowerment in theology for personal transformation and upliftment in everyday life. She has lived, studied, and taught short courses in various countries worldwide and is at present the creative director of a cultural center called Bhakti Hub in Belgrade.
Edith Best, PhD
Urmila Dasi (Dr. Edith Best) has a Bachelor’s of Science (BSc) from Excelsior College of the University of the State of New York in Religion and Education; Master of School Administration (MSA), and Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research is in the field of job satisfaction of teachers, and she’s done the only comprehensive, international study of the primary and secondary schools in the Hare Krishna Movement. Urmila is acting chair of the Sastric Advisory Council to ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) and has been an associate editor of Back to Godhead magazine since 1990. She has published Vaikuntha Children, a guidebook for devotional education, dozens of articles, and Dr. Best Learn to Read, an 83 book complete literacy program with technology enabling the story books to speak in 25 languages at the touch of a special “pen”. Urmila has three decades of experience teaching primary and secondary students, which include 19 years of experience as a school administrator and leader. Her official website is: http://urmiladevidasi.org/, and her personal blog can be found at: http://urmiladasi.com/
Anuradha Dooney, M.St.
Anuradha Dooney was awarded her BA in Social Science, from University College Dublin, and her M.St. in the Study of Religion, from Oxford University. Her masters thesis was an exploration of faith development in the Vaishnava tradition. She is currently a Fellow of the OCHS, acting as a faculty member of the Continuing Education Department. Anuradha has been a tutor for courses in London, Birmingham, Oxford, Cambridge, and Leicester since 2003. She has acted as the principal curriculum writer for undergraduate degree courses granted by the University of Wales, Lampeter, courses taught in the UK and Belgium. She has also organised and run academic and interfaith workshops, seminars and conferences internationally. Anuradha is a respected lecturer and broadcaster.
Gopal Hari Dasa, PhD
Gopal Hari Dasa teaches Readings in Vaisnava Acharyas and Science and Religion at the Bhaktivedanta College. He is a disciple of H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami. Gopal Hari completed a Masters in Science and Religion and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Hindu Studies at the University of Oxford, UK. His research interests include conceptions of consciousness, nature and divine agency in classical and contemporary Indian thought. Before coming to the UK, Gopal Hari completed a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Artificial Intelligence from Boise State University in Idaho, USA, where his parents run the ISKCON Boise temple. Gopal Hari is a regular speaker at interfaith events and university classes, and has been a contributor to radio and television channels on topics of religion, ethics, and science and religion.
Ravi Gupta, PhD
Ravi M. Gupta, is a notable Vaishnava scholar. He is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and a member of the faculty at Bhaktivedanta College. He received his doctorate from Oxford University on the topic of Jiva Goswami’s Vedanta, and has a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from Linacre College. He grew up in Boise, Idaho, where his academic accomplishments were documented in the Idaho Statesman. On April 17, 2008, he met with Pope Benedict XVI and presented a gift to him on behalf of the Hindu American community.
Krishna Kshetra Swami, PhD
Krishna Kshetra Swami (Dr. Kenneth R. Valpey) holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.A. in Religious Studies from Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, an M.St. in the Study of Religion from Oxford University, and a D.Phil. (Ph.D.) from Oxford University (2004) for his thesis on Caitanya Vaisnava image worship. He has taught at the University of Florida, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Pula (Croatia), and (since its inception) Bhaktivedanta College in Belgium, he has taught a module on the Caitanya-caritamrita to third-year College students since 2007. He also teaches other courses at BC, and serves as the Dean of Studies. In addition to various published articles and his published doctoral thesis, he has collaborated with Radhika Ramana dasa (Dr. Ravi M. Gupta) on a pair of books on the Bhagavata Purana, published by Columbia University Press, New York. He is a permanent Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.
Mahendra Dasa, BSc
Mahendra Dasa teaches Classical and Medieval Philosophy. He began practicing Krishna consciousness in 1989 in Bulgaria and served as the ISKCON temple president in Sofia in the mid-1990s. He was the headmaster of the former children’s school in Radhadesh for two years. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy (Sofia University) and a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Information Systems and Management (University of London, London School of Economics).
Rembert Lutjeharms, PhD
Rembert Lutjeharms is the Librarian and Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. He was awarded his BA and MA in Oriental Studies from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and successfully completed his D.Phil. in Theology at the University of Oxford in 2010, focusing on the theology of the sixteenth-century Caitanya Vaishnava poet and literary theorist Kavikarnapura. At Bhaktivedanta College, Rembert currently teaches Vedas and Upanishads and, with Ravi Gupta, Pre-modern Indian Theologians: Rupa and Jiva Goswamins.
Pranava Dasa, PhD
Pranava Dasa teaches Modern Hinduism at year 3. He has previously taught courses such as The Six Classical Indian Philosophies and Science and Religion. He started his academic career in the year 2000 and has been a teacher at the Bhaktivedanta College since 2002. He has completed a M.A. and Ph.D. in History of Religions at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. He is the academic director of the Bhaktivedanta Research Centre in Kolkata and a fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. He and his wife, Kamala Priya, live in Stockholm.
Seth W. Spellman, JD
He joined ISKCON in 1973, inspired by the political activism of the In God We Trust Party for Purified Leaders, organized by members of ISKCON. He is a member of the Governing Body Commission and head of the Ministry of Educational Development. He served as the temple president of both Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia; as the Managing Editor of Back to Godhead magazine; and as the North American Secretary of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. He attended the United States Military Academy and later received a degree in Political Science from the State University of New York, Albany. In 1991 he earned a Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law. He lives in Alachua, Florida, with his wife and two daughters.
Yadunandana Swami, MA
Yadunandana Swami has been the Principal of Bhaktivedanta College since its opening in 2002 until May 2014. He joined ISKCON in 1977 in Spain and received initiation from Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami and later sannyasa initiation from Jayadvaita Swami (both disciples of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada). He has performed leadership and educational services in ISKCON since 1982. The latter include ministering spiritual education and counseling to many persons; teaching scriptural, academic, and vocational courses; and lecturing in more than twenty universities. He holds a MA in the Study of Religion from the University of Wales. He is the Rector of the Instituto de Estudios Bhaktivedanta in Spain.
Anuttama Dasa sometimes teaches two courses: Communication, and Leadership and Management. He is the International Director of ISKCON Communi-cations and a member of the GBC, the governing body of ISKCON. He is also a Trustee of Bhaktivedanta College. As a former President of ISKCON Colorado and a founding Board Member of Children of Krishna, Anuttama brings both practical insights and personal experience to his teaching. In the United States, he is the Vice President of the national Religion Communicators Council (RCC) and a Board Member of the National Conference on Community and Justice (NCCJ), Capital Region, and The Society for Hindu-Christian Studies. He lives with his wife, Rukmini, another College trustee, in Washington, D.C.
Braja Bihari Dasa, MA
Braja Bihari is the past Director of ISKCON Resolve, ISKCON’s conflict-management system. He earned his Master’s degree in Conflict Transformation and Organizational Leadership from Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia. He is a trained mediator and ombudsman and has mediated dozens of conflicts and met hundreds of visitors in his ombud’s office. He is the past director of the Vrindavan Institute of Higher Education (VIHE). He joined ISKCON in 1977.
Dharma dasa was born in the United States in 1952. He graduated from high school in 1970 and attended the University of Florida in Gainesville for one year where he was planning to become an electrical engineer. Two months after enrolling at the University of Florida, he met an ISKCON devotee at the university and heard him speak from Bhagavad-gita for about ten minutes. He was amazed that in just a few minutes, without even asking questions, this devotee easily answered questions that had troubled him since his childhood. He decided then and there that he would adopt the Krishna conscious path of life, and within three weeks, started daily chanting sixteen rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra, following the four regulative principles and daily attending the newly established temple in Gainesville, Florida.
One year later, Dharma dasa was sent to the ISKCON Miami temple to become a pujari and he has remained there, as a pujari, for the last forty-three years. He has served as the head pujari for at least twenty years. During his time at the Miami temple, he also did a variety of other services. He served as temple president for five years, as the temple treasurer and bookkeeper for about five years, and has tried to do whatever other services that needed to be done.
Jaya Bhadra Dasi, BA
Jaya Bhadra Dasi graduated from Bhaktivedanta College. She has regularly taught Bhakti-shastri courses, and she taught the First Canto module of the Bhakti-vaibhava course for three years. She has assisted students with English usage in their essay writing. Now she is acting as an internal monitor for TRS program.
Mangala-candrika Devi Dasi, MA
In 2001, a Slovenian girl hitchhiking through Ireland met ISKCON devotees. After several years of associating with devotees in Ljubljana, she joined Bhaktivedanta College as a student (2006-07) and eventually became the college secretary. In between she completed her MA in social work, and Krishna Ksetra Prabhu initiated her as Mangala-candrika Dasi. She got married in Radhadesh and until her first child was born, she was also a coordinator of introductory and Bhakti Shastri courses and taught “The Nectar of Instructions” module (on-site and online). She is now the Academic Administrator and the liason between students and the University of Chester.
Prema Manjari Dasi
Prema Manjari Dasi (Petra Gustin) was born in Slovenia and started to practice bhakti-yoga in 1991. Online for Bhaktivedanta College she teaches the Disciples Course and the Sambandha module of Introduction to Bhakti-yoga. For six years she served at North European division of Bhaktivedanta Book Trust as a translator and editor of Prabhupada’s books into Slovene. She co-directed the Institute for Vedic Studies in Charlotte, Noth Carolina, where she also gave classes on bhakti-yoga at a local university. She holds an associate degree in Transportation Technology from the Junior Maritime College in Piran, Slovenia. She is a certified hypnotherapist, a graduate of Hypnosis Motivation Institute in Tarzana, California. She earned a Bhakti Shastri degree from the Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education and completed the three teacher-training courses created by Vaisnava Training and Education. Currently she is enrolled in a Bhaktivaibhava study program. She creatively presents bhakti-yoga to new people through experiential learning in courses and workshops in the USA and Slovenia.
Shaunaka Rishi Dasa
Shaunaka Rishi Dasa is the Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS), founded in 1998 and officially recognized as an independent center of Oxford University in 2006. Shaunaka is committed to interreligious and theological dialogue and is an executive member of the Northern Ireland Interfaith Forum, in Belfast. He is also a broadcaster and lecturer. Shaunaka has been a member of ISKCON since 1979. He is an executive member of ISKCON’s Communications and Education Ministries and was the editor of ISKCON Communications Journal, a scholarly journal of dialogue and discussion.
Sacinandana Swami is a Gaudiya Vaishnava guru,sannyasi, and one of the religious leaders of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as the Hare Krishnas or ISKCON). Of German origin, he joined ISKCON in 1970 and was initiated by the movement’s founder, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in 1971. Sacinandana Swami is well known throughout ISKCON for his kirtana and public speaking. He teaches and writes prolifically on Vaishnavism and the Hare Krishna movement and has translated the Bhagavad Gita into German. His publications include The Nectarean Ocean of the Holy Name, The Gayatri Book, The Way of the Great Departure, The Art of Transformation, and Spiritual Tonic.