Yes. We are planning that for some years. It should manifest in academic 2016/17.
With proof of your English education you do not need any additional language tests.
Honours degree has different meanings for different degrees. Most commonly it is an award in connection with undergraduate Bachelor’s degree variations. If you meant on that answer is “yes”.
We are having some funds each year but they are locked to those students who are coming from economically weak countries.
Due to time zone difference and job, it would be difficult to match the timing. Is it necessary in an online program to be present at the exact time or I can spare time during the week at my convenience?
Lectures are recorded and are accessible 24/7, so students from all parts of the world can access them at their own conveniance, anytime and anywhere. Even if there are webinars for some of the modules they will be recorded for later.
Bhaktivedanta College is a reputable international institute that draws on ancient Indian wisdom to nurture motivated, well-integrated, and independently thoughtful young 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 endeavor. Read more here: bhaktivedantacollege.com/about-us/vision-mission-statements/
Read about the aims of the course leading to a BA in Theology and Religious Studies (TRS) here: bhaktivedantacollege.com/program/theology/
The term bhakti means “devotion” or “love”, and the term sastri refers to a person who is conversant with ancient sacred texts of spiritual knowledge and wisdom, known as sastra in the Sanskrit language. The title Bhakti Sastri is traditionally offered to accomplished students of the theology and philosophy of the Vedas. According to the Bhagavad Gita, texts that teach how to develop bhakti, love of God, the Supreme Soul Krishna, are the best.
This is an eight-week course being held only once a year.
Yes it is the same degree.
Would the certificate awarded by Bhaktivedanta College & University of Chester mention the word online?
We are issuing two certificates: one from UOC and one from BC.
For extension of the deadline for taking the final exam, a tutor can approve maximum 2 weeks of extension based on reasons student provide in the extension form. It is not possible to give the extension for weekly assessments, but only for final assessment/s. This doesn’t apply to Introduction to Yoga Philosophy course which doesn’t have a final exam, but only weekly assignments. Extension form is available upon request and it should be sent by email directly to the secretary. The extension request must be sent AT LEAST 3 DAYS IN ADVANCE of the deadline.
Requests for an extension are considered by the tutor, who will only grant an extension if there is a good basis for it. Claims should be accompanied by a valid medical certificate or other valid certified evidence. The tutor should agree and confirm the new deadline date for the student by email. Failure to do the final assessment before the deadline calls for the application of ‘Second attempt’ policy.
Examples of Acceptable Evidence in Support of an Extension
Extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. We are unable to make allowances for minor illnesses. You are expected to plan your work and allow leeway to cope with minor misfortunes. Notes/letters from a doctor or nurse stating that the illness/ailment ‘may have an impact’ or which state ‘the patient informs me’ will not normally be accepted as valid evidence.
The tutor will not take account of events such as car breakdowns, public transport delays, and computer breakdowns. For a submission deadline or an exam, you must allow extra time in the case such things happen. It is up to you to back up work on your computer.
One exception is a failure of Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus web-site. However, the failure has to be substantial, very close to the deadline, and documented by our technical department.
Students can face other obstacles while preparing for taking the final exam. If that is the case, it is up to the tutor to decide if the reason given by the student is acceptable for granting the extension or not.
Another option is to postpone the studies for a later date. For more info on postponing, please follow this link.
After 7 days, if we don’t get any statement from the student, it is considered that s/he has taken the course and refund or transferring is not possible anymore. Those who didn’t pass the closed-book exam (including those who didn’t take it) can take the whole course again at later time after paying administrative fee of 25 EUR. Admistrative fee for Bhaktivaibhava course is 100 EUR.
Those who started their studies before November 26th 2015 fall within the old refund policies:
If students who sign up for a particular online module or complete program are unable to take up the module due to some unavoidable circumstance, they should communicate with the online course administrator via email. During the first week of any online module it is possible to request transfer to the same module on the next scheduled delivery, free of charge. Changes after seven days are not possible without paying administrative fee of 50% from the tuition fee of a particular module. In general full program payments (Bhakti Sastri) are not refundable since they are discounted.
We will give a 100% refund on cancellations in the first week of the course. We will give a 30% refund if after the first week you decide you don’t want to continue for any reason. After the first week we can discuss a refund, or transfer you to a later course under special circumstances, such as illness. It is our policy to extend the greatest possible flexibility to students under these circumstances.
We are mainly focusing on Indian classical notes (SA Re Ga Ma etc) as opposed to cordes, although they can also feature in at some point. But again, it is a course for beginners.
If a student, due to some unavoidable circumstances, is unable to take up the module, s/he should inform our secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org during the first 7 days of any module to be transferred to the same module for its next scheduled delivery.
After 7 days, if we don’t get any statement from the student, it is considered that s/he has taken the course and transferring is not possible anymore. Postponing of one module can be made for two consecutive deliveries. After that, new full payment for that particular module is required for continuation of studies.
These policies are valid for online courses only. Onsite courses, or those which have an onsite component, have different policies in place.
Although online studies offer many benefits, one of the challenges of online studying in general is in achieving sufficient interaction with others and cultivating verbal proficiency and skill in presenting relevant topics. Speaking more specifically in relation to our studies, there is both theological, personal, social and spiritual significance in our endeavor to present the message of Bhagavatam verbally. Srila Prabhupada doubtlessly wanted it, and he went to length to train his disciples how to present it. As ISKCON and in general as contemporary Vaishnavas, we are inescapably meeting a need to present the teachings of Krishna in a relevant and empowered way to both intelligentsia and the masses. Therefore it is essential for us to make an endeavor and do at least two short 10-20 minute presentation per Canto.
How to do it:
o assemble students for an online presentation (skype etc)
o present locally at your center/ temple/ sanga and send us the recording
o present on a radio/ tv/ newspaper and send us links
o present locally at Radhadesh
o one can record Power Point presentation
o one can do home video presentation and send the youtube/vimeo link
o record webinar session and provide the link
Do students usually bring their own instruments (harmoniums, kartals etc), or they can buy them in Radhadesh?
Students do not have to bring their instruments since they are provided by the course. Still, you can choose new instruments at the beginning of the course and buy them. We are selling the instruments for approximately same price as we bought them.
At the end of each module student will receive the grade directly from the Bhaktivedatna College administration or sometimes from the tutor. Student should not pay attention to the automatic grades given in the Moodle system.
The administration fee of 25 EUR (for IDC self-study 10 EUR and for Bhaktivaibhava course 50 EUR) is applied to students who, in agreement with our secretary and in line with our refund and postponing policies, have to take a course or exam for the second time. If the student is just submitting the missing parts, from the moment we confirm the acceptance of the fee the student has 2 weeks time frame to do it and inform secretary about it. This second attempt policy does not apply to students of Introduction to Yoga Philosophy (IYP) course. More info on second attempt policy for IYP course is available in the ‘Assessment and Certification’ section of the module.
IMPORTANT: in the box ‘Special instructions’ on Paypal payment page you MUST write your BCOC username and course/module name for which you are re-taking the exam.
For any successfully finished online module student can get the printed copy at home address. To get the certificate via snail mail, one should:
- Pay 10 EUR by using the Paypal button below (for bank transfer, please use the bank details available here). If you need more than 1 certificate, kindly arrange the payment with our secretary.
- Fill in the Certificate by post online form.
- Kindly wait for a while: we will arrange that the certificate comes to your address as soon as possible!
Please use the following address and format:
for: (YOUR NAME HERE)
Petite Somme 10
Is it possible to transfer my non-refundable deposit for the Kirtan course to some other course offered by Bhaktivedanta College?
Deposit can only be transferred for the next year’s kirtan course, also as a non-refundable deposit. It can’t be used for or transferred to anything else.
We offer lacto-vegetarian food and usually half of the meals are vegan.
Is the rule from the student guidelines regarding the dress code applicable to Kirtan Course students?
This is written in the Student Handbook:
“Public behaviour and dress code
To wear devotional attire in the temple and in the classroom (for women, gopi skirt and sari; for men, kurta and dhoti, or exceptionally, yogi pants). At other times, more casual attire may be acceptable if it is neat, clean, and modest (i.e. attire that does not call unnecessary attention to the body). For men, to keep their hair short (if not shaven) and faces shaved. To develop an awareness of local customs and sensitivities and to be careful not to offend neighbours and villagers.”
The idea is to keep the dressing code as much in sync with spiritually aspiring community. The main point is to wear clothes which are not focusing one’s attention to the body (uncovering the body in an inappropriate way). Some common sense should be applied.
‘The guideline from Student Handbook says ladies should wear gopi skirts and saris for both temple and classroom, but then here in FAQs we are informed that common sense for modesty is actually all that is needed. So which is it, because these seem like two different conclusions?’
Common sense for modesty is actually all that is needed.
Yes, they are.
Sure. It doesn’t have to be Indian clothes. Just think what would you wear in a ‘slightly conservative’ setting.
We provide all listed (in two sets) except bath towels.
Latest two weeks before the Kirtan Course starts we will send you a digital form for submission of arrival/departure details. We will organize your pick up from any station in Belgium. The prices are listed here under the ‘Airport and other pick-up’ tab.
Yes. The days off are Saturday and Sunday.
No one is bound to stay in Radhadesh all the time. It is expected that you don’t miss the classes, the rest is up to you.
Full morning program attendance is not mandatory. You are expected to take part in at least one part of the morning program. If nothing else is possible, attending the morning lecture at 7:45 would be the minimum.
College building is attached to the practicing classrooms, and the temple is just across the street. All Radhadesh facilities are in the 5 minutes walking circle. Here you can see a part of Radhadesh property from the sky.
Every Kirtan Course student will have his/her own harmonium for individual learning and practice. There is no need to carry a personal harmonium except if someone really wants it. There is also a possibility for students to buy instruments for the same price we bought them for Radhadesh.
I just wanted to know what kind of practice I can do before I get to the seminar since I just don’t have too much art experience.
Everyone can practice copying a painting of Krishna or Prabhupada and doing drawings of existing Krishna art learning to express oneself in devotional art is an ongoing process with patience and continuous practice required.
Everyone must have:
– Personal portable easel (usually available in lightweight aluminium) very important!
– Brushes assorted Bristol or synthetic flat or filbert # 2 # 4 # 6 # 8 # 10 (at least these , or any others you might like as well)
– Synthetic rounds # 2 # 4
– drawing pad 11×14 . And another large sketch paper pad 18×24
– Pencils 6B or softer, any other materials for drawing, charcoal, conte crayon eraser etc.
– One pad of tracing paper at least 11×14. Container for turpentine, rags or paper towels for painting and cleaning brushes.
Paints, turpentine, and canvas will be provided.
A digital camera or phone camera is very advisable as we will be learning how to take reference photos. I recommended to all students to do a copy of an existing BBT painting before attending class to get familiar with the type of painting we will be doing and doing drawings of Srila Prabhupada and other figures.
Please begin thinking of a painting you would like to do during the class. A simple one figure, perhaps of Krishna is suggested, the time is limited so keep it simple. You can also begin some idea sketches for this class in preparation. If anyone prefers to do a copy of an existing Krishna painting, that’s fine, we will help anyone at their existing level.
No, we are looking for both raw talent and experienced artists
Do I need to bring paint brushes with me? What other equipment do I need to bring, or can they be gotten there?
We ask all students to bring your own brushes, portable easel and drawing pads. Paints, canvas, and turpentine will be provided.
The daily schedule for the art seminar is from 10:00 to 18:00 pm, with a break for lunch. We encourage everyone to participate in every session to get the full benefit of the classes.
We will be providing all the instruments for the duration of the course. However, if you do prefer to bring your own instruments, you may, of course, do so.
Unfortunately, we did encounter some cases of plagiarism. In such cases, the student will be requested to take the course again and final mark will be capped at the minimum for passing.
If a student strongly disagrees with the mark assigned by the tutor for any of the components (which are not automatically marked by the system), s/he can ask for the monitoring procedure:
1. another BC tutor in the role of a monitor marks the component and suggests the change to the original tutor
2. if monitor and tutor agree on the mark (new one or the same), that mark is final
3. if monitor and tutor do not agree on the mark, external monitor is invited to mark the component and that mark is final
A student cannot put another complaint about monitor’s or external monitor’s mark as these marks are final.
No. it will be too demanding if the background in yoga is meagre. One needs to have a solid personal practice in asana-practice and yogic breathing.
Is it possible to participate just for deepening one’s personal practice, and not necessarily for becoming a teacher?
Yes. TT is ideal for learning effective, safe and advanced technical skills for one’s personal practice. Whether one wants to share it later on with others or not is another matter. There is some training in teaching skills, which is not obligatory if one does not want to become a certified teacher.
The college facilitating the course, Bhaktivedanta College, is run by devotees of Krishna. Is it possible to participate even if one does not share this worldview?
Yes. Having a particular faith is not a requirement. Indeed, yoga is fairly open in matters related to faith. That said, we will learn some basics of bhakti yoga, such as mantra meditation and the introduction to the central ideas of Bhagavad-gita. However, a major focus in the training is to develop professional competence in practical yoga. Such competence can be combined with any worldview that is in line with yoga’s central ideals, such as non-violence and respect for each individual.
What if the participant is only interested in practical yoga, not in the philosophy? Can one still participate?
Yes. However, to become certified, it is necessary to receive approval for yoga philosophy as well. Without a solid understanding of what one is doing, practicing yoga is like driving a good car with neither map nor destination. The same goes for teaching it to others. There is a real need in the contemporary yoga world for a clear understanding of the central ideas behind yoga, and our TT has a special focus on learning these basics.
It depends on the issue. Most practitioners have challenges of some kind, and that is not an impediment to practicing yoga. That said, we do not advocate yoga as a cure for all problems. One needs to consult competent medical practitioners, and their advice should take precedence.
Altogether, the teachers of this course have been practicing for more than sixty years. Gokulacandra is amongst the world’s most skilled asana practitioners. Moreover, he educates yoga teachers on five continents. Janne Kontala is particularly known for his work in Slow Yoga and conveying classic yoga philosophy with contemporary language. Emma Silventoinen is a specialist in prenatal yoga and physiotherapeutic application. The combined competence of the teachers covers all the main bases. That said, the teachers are very progressive while doing more of what they love most.
Yes, but it is low compared to others. Considering the comprehensive online module on philosophy aligned with the availability of personal interaction with three competent teachers, we are confident that the program offers essential skills for moving forward on the path of life-long learning.
I have already completed a course in teacher training. Is there any point of doing this one as well?
It depends on what you have done before. All trainers have the experience that some of their best students have been persons who are already active in the profession. A teacher is always a student as well, and learning never stops. You can consult the teachers personally if you are unsure as to whether what you have studied before overlaps with the program, or whether you can upgrade and learn new skills.
No, but it gets you started. However, many students of our previous courses have reported that after the initial training, they suddenly were able to teach students who had been practicing longer than them. Still, after the course, you should continue studying and learning, both for developing your competence as a teacher and in your personal practice.
When one does the physical practices with correct technique and slow breathing, the change that takes place in one’s state of mind is conducive for meditation. Although the physical aspects of yoga are not in themselves enough to achieve the non-material goal of self or God-realization, yoga asanas and pranayama are supportive to spiritual practice. Recognizing the good health and peace of mind that an appropriate practice of yoga provides, we also acquaint the course participants with directly spiritual practices, particularly mantra meditation.
They will have the opportunity to develop solid skills to help their students practice safely. They will also receive an understanding of yoga as a potentially spiritual practice; the basic principles of two major books on yoga: Bhagavad-gita and Yoga-sutra; and an introduction to mantra meditation.
I have seen the bullet-point list of topics you will be teaching. Can you tell me anything about your teaching style? What you will use, will it be interactive, etc.?
Yes, it is interactive. We have three teachers, not one. I will conduct a section that is characterized by a slow approach. We will learn the correct techniques safely, at a slow pace, and in great detail. In other words, we won’t just go through a number of exercises, but we will also examine the exercises from various vantage points. This is a pedagogically demanding and rewarding approach, and suitable for those who want to go beyond surface-learning. We will also learn to use props where appropriate. Just as on any other path involving physical exercise, yoga is not risk-free. Competence in using correct techniques and methods of protection is essential for one’s own practice, and even more so in your role as a teacher. This is also in pursuance of the ideal of ahimsa, non-violence, which is amongst the most important rules of yoga, unfortunately somewhat overlooked nowadays.
The focus on safety and anatomy heightens mid-program, when our specialist in prenatal and therapeutic yoga, Emma Silventoinen, takes over. She is unable to stay for very long, but her competence in these fields is a great asset. Teachers need to have a realistic understanding of both the benefits and risks of intense yoga practice.
Otherwise, one may unwittingly end up causing harm to oneself or to one’s students.
The latter half of the program will introduce a more dynamic and flowing way of approaching the exercises. That is the specialty of Gokulacandra, who is a master in this field. Such an approach will involve its own set of challenges, which is why the basic techniques have been introduced first. The idea is that the participants will get acquainted with both styles, partly in order to help them find a way of practice according to personal preferences and need, and partly in order to have a broader understanding of how modern yoga is practiced and taught.
One of the central features in asana practice will be the use of the wall. This is less prominent but really valuable. It initially aids practitioners in the experience of prolonged inversions, which in turn are directly conducive for meditation. The central point is that all the physical tools and practices are only meant to aid mental focus, and ultimately, self and God-realization.
The place is special. The combination of teachers that constitute the team is exceptional. We have an expert in slow yoga, in therapeutic yoga, and in challenging and dynamic yoga. Anyone of the three would make the program valuable, but now the participants can learn from a team of experts. Also, even though kirtan and chanting is quickly becoming popular in the yoga world, we are introducing that following an authorized succession of teachers, which if not totally unique, is at least extremely rare. As far as I know, only a handful of yoga teacher training courses have this approach. This means the students will get in a direct contact with a genuine chain of spiritual transmission.
We will introduce the basic techniques of mantra meditation. That will involve both personal practice, japa, and chanting in a group, kirtan. As I said earlier, despite kirtan’s popularity, it is rare that the practice is directly connected to a parampara, although some branches of modern yoga do have strong Vaishnava influences. Krishnamacarya and Iyengar are followers of Ramanuja, whereas Swami Kuvalyananda’s guru was a follower of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore, it would not be correct to say that this would be the first program ever to find its inspiration from Mahaprabhu, but it is certainly exceptional.
Our online philosophy module will be quite distinctive. One can study the basic ideas of yoga philosophy as in a classroom, yet through an online environment. This enables the students to get the best of both worlds. Since philosophy is mostly studied online, that will give more time for giving a maximum amount of practical guidance onsite. The philosophy module is also unique, as it presents a unified understanding of the central ideas of Yoga-sutra and Bhagavad-gita, which despite their different emphases, share much common ground. Much of the philosophical ethos in modern yoga is influenced by the neo-Advaita-Vedanta of Vivekananda, as well as by Buddhism. There are historical reasons for this, but these lines of thought work better on their own and are not quite suited for understanding the Yoga-sutra and Bhagavad-gita. To understand the central ideas of these texts, we need to approach the traditional commentaries and see what kinds of possibilities open up. The insights of the commentarial traditions are quite remarkable. In living traditions, theory is always connected to practice. The online module will have the two-fold focus of introducing both important philosophical ideas, as well as ideas about how they can be practically implemented. Hence, we try to avoid armchair philosophy, which is not suitable to yoga’s practical approach. One could, of course, study the module out of plain academic curiosity.
What will the Yoga Alliance registration participants receive at the end of the course allow them to do?
Yoga Alliance does not formally certify students. It keeps a register for anyone who is interested in finding a certified teacher. I would focus more on the content of the teaching. It is our experience that sometimes practitioners who have been teaching for more than a decade still find what we have to offer valuable. That said, there are situations in which certificates are needed. One may need a certificate when marketing, or when applying for a job as a yoga teacher. Certification is also necessary for those who want to pursue further education and accreditation, and register that in Yoga Alliance. Quite simply, Yoga Alliance is currently widely recognized nowadays, and it has to some extent managed to overcome sectarian disputes in which a particular lineage claims a monopoly on genuine yoga.
Apart from the Certification, what will people get from the course? What will they bring into their own teaching when they become yoga teachers?
Some of them will become dedicated teachers and continue on the path of life-long study. By working in the field, they will be able to help people to improve the quality of their lives, disseminate a sattvic influence that is sorely needed nowadays, and be inspired and inspire others to take yoga seriously as a spiritual path. We hope that the participants will respect their own integrity, since personally-felt inspiration lies at the root of all yoga. In this spirit, we would hope that those who feel drawn to explore the path of bhakti would do so in their personal practice.
Yes, there is a scope of employment in ISKCON and outside. There is also a variety of scopes to continue your studies.
- BA in Theology and Religious Studies
- Bhakti-yoga for beginners course
- Bhakti Sastri Course (six modules)
- ISKCON Disciples course (one module)
- Bhakti-vaibhava course (1st Canto)
- BA in Theology and Religious Studies
- Kirtan Course Certificate
- Transcendental Art Seminar
Coming earlier or later is fine. Two additional nights are included in the price (no matter if one comes before or staying longer after the course). Extra fee of 15 EUR per day (food & accommodation) will be charged for additional nights.
Bhaktivedanta College is a non-profit educational initiative overseen by the ISKCON Ministry of Educational Development and a Board of Trustees. The College’s Faculty Council deals with the academic standards and quality assurance. The management is done by its Administrative Council.
There are various prospects for graduates. Read more:
According to the University of Chester, is it possible for holders of a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and Religious studies from Bhaktivedanta College to pursue postgraduate studies in a discipline other than theology or religious studies?
There is no straightforward, universal answer to this question. While some institutions or programmes will regard the Bachelor’s degree in Theology suitable, others will not necessarily do so, but will require subject-specific foundational studies. While Theology or Religious studies BA/BTh will demonstrate a good level of education and required academic ability, many programs will have subject-specific entry requirements. So it is best to make enquiries about specific programs at the institution where you plan to enroll.
Our graduates have pursued their careers in a variety of different directions: some continued postgraduate studies in different disciplines like Hinduism, Education, Social and Political Sciences, etc…, some are working as teachers, some have taken positions in ISKCON temples and other related institutions, some have taken on other engagements,… You can find reports of graduates on our website.
Bhakti Sastri PLUS is an additional degree issued to students who complete all six modules of the Bhakti Sastri program PLUS one module of their choice from the curriculum of our BA in Theology and Religious Studies online year-one program (TRS). The optional modules are:
Introduction to Western Philosophy
History of Vaishnava Thought
Introduction to Hinduism
Encountering World Religions
Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
Modern Interpretations of The Bhagavad-Gita
Introduction to Ethics
One of these TRS modules can be pursued only after all six modules of the Bhakti Sastri program are completed. And if after receiving a Bhakti Sastri PLUS degree the student wishes to continue the TRS program, the passed module will be taken into consideration and the student will be exempt from reassessment in that.
Externally validated means there is a third party in between BC and UOC which is independent and which is monitoring educational quality.
Latest two weeks before the Kirtan Course we will send the online transportation form to be filled in. Possible ways how to reach us and the approximate prices are visible here:
Registration to the complete Bhakti Sastri PLUS can be done here see under “Registration” Tab.
Students can inquire and apply any time of the year, preferably in spring so that there is enough time for the admission process to be completed before the academic year starts in September.
For the onsite course please refer to: bhaktivedantacollege.com/program/theology/ under the Tab “Admission”.
For the online course please refer to: bhaktivedantacollege.com/online/ba-theology-and-religious-studies-trs-online/ under the Tab “Admission”.
There is no particular list of the things what to bring. For sure you need to bring some warm clothes (something) and dress for rain (just to prepare you :-).
The academic topics include philosophy and theology, religious studies, scriptural studies and practical theology. At the end of Year 3, students are required to write a dissertation on any of the chosen areas, agreed upon with a mentor. The curriculum is fun yet challenging. The College facilitates the devotional, intellectual, artistic, cultural, and missionary aspirations of the students. Thus the curriculum includes all these aspects, and the courses contain varied teaching methods to best involve the students in the process of learning. Each course has its own mood and is exciting and inspiring.
It depends on your knowledge and interest in India’s culture, philosophy and practice. The Certificate in Bhakti-yoga Studies program aims to introduce you to some general ideas and principles, whereas the Bhakti Sastri course requires some preliminary knowledge about the most common bhakti texts and practices.
The BA program (BA Hons in Theology and Religious Studies) is the most extensive program we offer during three years and will provide you with an accredited Bachelor’s degree. Since two years the Bhakti-Sastri course modules are integrated in our degree program as well.
You will find a commitment to providing you with extraordinary convenience, online tools and resources, and the opportunity to achieve your educational goals. You can count on an attractive and challenging curriculum in a supportive learning environment.
We are having wireless internet access at the college premises and temple reception but we are not providing laptops.
Courses are open to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Onsite: The academic year runs from September through June. Each of the three terms run for eleven to twelve weeks. The terms are separated by a two-week break at Christmas and a two-week break around mid-March. Generally all the Bhaktivedanta College courses last for one or two weeks. Some weeks are set aside for writing essays, preparing presentations, or studying for exams.
Online: The academic year runs from August through June. The terms are separated by a two-week break at Christmas and a two-week break around mid-March. The courses are taught and spread in a different way than the onsite courses in order to facilitate a proper distant learning experience. Some weeks are set aside for writing essays and preparing other assignments depending on the course requirements.
On average, we have about two dozen students per class.
Every weekend you will be able to go for shopping by car (college arrangement, free of charge) or you will be able to order whatever you need. We also have Radhadesh taxi driver and, if needed, you can go to the nearby city during the week.
The students attend the morning program at the Radhadesh temple, which is followed by breakfast. The morning classes usually run from 10.30 AM till 1.30 PM, followed by lunch. Afternoon classes (if required for the course) usually run from 3 PM until 6 PM, followed by an evening snack of fresh bread and butter and milk. Gaura-arati is at 7 PM.
The VTE accreditation refers only to the Bhakti Sastri program, not the Certificate in Bhakti-yoga Studies course. The VTE certificate is your official Bhakti Sastri certificate issued by BOEX (the ISKCON Board of Examination). The diploma you will receive from Bhaktivedanta College upon finishing your studies confirms that you have taken the course, but is not the Bhakti Sastri certificate. To receive the Bhakti Sastri certificate you will have to provide a letter of recommendation from one of your local ISKCON representatives, confirming that you chant sixteen rounds, follow the four regulative principles and are positively engaged in Sri Caitanya’s sankirtana mission. We’ll ask you for the recommendation letter and a completed VTE Application Form after you enroll in the course. You also have to take closed-book exams in the ISKCON center nearest you under the supervision of a devotee.
No pre-requisites mentioned, but do the facilitators expect the participants to be able to play an instrument (harmonium, kartals, mridanga)?
There is no minimum requirement for knowledge or experience in playing instruments or leading kirtans. In fact, the facilitators hope that participants do not know everything; otherwise, what would they teach? Joking aside, it is helpful if the candidate has an ear for music and singing, and even if the experience or knowledge of a person is extremely basic, or nil, that does not make a difference, as long as ENTHUSIASM is there and noticeable along the way. We want enthusiastic participants, not necessarily just talented ones or students with the attitude that “I know it all.” So if your heart is in it, this is the right course to come to for learning and doing kirtan.
It is a package price: ashram accommodation and meals are included. More details are given under the tab “Fees” at:
The yearly tuition is split into three installments, of which are to be paid 50% at the beginning of the 1st term (beginning of September) and 25% at the beginning of both the 2nd and 3rd term (beginning of January and April).
You can pay by bank transfer, Paypal, or in cash. You will find the necessary information under the tab “Admission” at:
There are a variety of assignments, depending on the nature of the course. Some courses require essays or other samples of writing. Some require exams. Others require group or individual presentations made to the class. There may be required reading or research for academic courses. After each course, there is usually a time reserved for essay writing, studying for exams, or preparing a presentation.
At the heart of all our programs is our exceptional faculty. They are both leading scholars in their fields and mature Vaishnavas, an ideal combination to support your academic and spiritual pursuits. One of the requirements for a faculty member is that he or she demonstrate personal integrity, expertise in the field, and competence as a teacher, lecturer, and mentor. Read more under Staff:
Yes. If you are not interested in receiving VTE accreditation, you can take the course and receive a Bhakti Sastri diploma from Bhaktivedanta College confirming that you have taken the course. You can even do your exams for the VTE certificate later.
If you are a UK/EU resident, then you do not require any visa. Only if you are from outside the European continent.
Upon enrollment you will be asked to pay via Pay Pal. If you don’t have Pay Pal, you can use a bank wire and inform us by e-mail about it:
Account holder’s name: Bhaktivedanta College
Bank name: Belfius Barvaux, Belgium
Bank account number: 068-2456949-63
IBAN: BE40 0682 4569 4963
You can pay by PayPal or bank. For Pay Pal, please pay to paypal@bhaktivedantacollege.
For further questions about payment methods please contact sridama@bhaktivedantacollege.
One must have a secondary education diploma or be a mature student above 22 years of age. Applicants who do not have a high school diploma should at least have two A levels plus three different GCSE passes at grade C or above. The College does look at individual cases on the basis of the submitted application. Students of all ages are welcome. In the study year 2012-13 we had students from 18 to 50 years of age.
Yes. During the procedure for getting it, you will need to provide contact details from a person who knows you well and who can give us a good understanding of your personality.
No. It is open to all levels of devotees. We do expect the persons registered for this course to follow the four regulative principles and chant as many rounds as possible daily, in line with Srila Prabhupada’s standards for residing in a Krsna conscious community. As long as you stay on the Radhadesh property (ashram, guesthouse, apartment, etc.), particularly in an ashram, you are expected to follow the house rules and behave like a regular temple devotee (take part in morning programs, assist with services when required, respect the local devotees). So no “spiritual qualifications” needed other than enthusiasm and respect for the environment in which you stay.
You’ll be responsible to find a local ISKCON representative who is willing to oversee your “close book” exams as you write them. You need internet and a computer to do the examinations.
No particular scriptural qualifications required. It might help if you have some general knowledge, especially in the theoretical courses, wherein we discuss different acharyas and their approaches to kirtan. But it is also an opportunity to learn a lot.
Each Bhakti-sastri course runs once a year and you can start with any of it. Bhaktivaibhava Course also runs once a year.
Other courses run multiple times per year:
– ISKCON Disciple Course – 3 times
– Bhakti Yoga for Beginners – 2-3 times depending on interest
– Thematic Bhagavad Gita – 2 times
Do not worry about technical skills – if you can handle e-mail then you’re ready to go.
We encourage students to find sponsors through their local ISKCON temple or congregation.
For information on scholarships, please Contact Us: bhaktivedantacollege.com/contact/
There will most likely be supervised kirtan practice in small groups during the instrument sessions, and perhaps even at separate times. The students can also perhaps organize this during their free time. Indeed, it is not suitable to practice before the Deities.
Yes, if you feel you can manage. However, if you haven’t studied at the university level before or for a long time, you may wish to start with one course to get familiar with the way of studying.
Each student has a personal mentor with whom they can discuss personal difficulties and goals as well as an academic tutor for support in academic matters.
There will not be separate classes for students on different levels. We are well aware that everyone will be on different levels. So, although there will be group sessions, teachers will do their best to give time and attention to individual students, to ensure that they are able to advance as much as they can from whatever level they are on. Thus all student will have possibilities to advance at their own pace in singing and playing instruments.
More questions? Contact us. We aim to respond to queries within forty-eight hours.
You can enroll for any future course at any time. For the courses which already started, you can enroll 7 days into the course. If you are not able to enroll untill then, please contact our secretary to explain your situation and try to arrange later registration.
The list of all forthcoming courses is here.
For more information on scholarships, please Contact Us: bhaktivedantacollege.com/contact/
Instruments will be provided for class and for practice during class. However, it might not be possible for each student to practice separately, unless they share an instrument.
Ashram residents are expected to perform two hours of community service for the temple per week (usually students help cooking break-fast once a week but may do also choose a different service according to their capacity). Of course students can do more voluntary services any time. The college students may lead kirtans, make garlands, help in the pujari department, help cooking and serving prasada. Students can take part in monthly home programs and harinams, and they stage dramas for major festivals. One of the favorite services is participating in the evening kirtans for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha.
One can apply for a scholarship; depending on the true need and the reasons described on your application, there might be a possibility of receiving a scholarship, though there is no certainty of it.
Belgium has fresh summers, with an average temperature around 18°C, and long but moderate winters (average 8°C). Bring warm clothes. Spring and autumn are incredibly colorful, with some rain, but usually not enough to need an umbrella.
Visiting teachers like Madhava and Jahnavi will mainly do kirtan and give classes. There might be some practical sessions with them, but do not count on it. So if you hope to learn mrdanga from Madhava, that will probably happen indirectly by taking part in his kirtans. The practical teaching will be done by local devotees who will be here throughout the course.
Please bring money for minor expenses (study supplies, birthday presents, pizza and ice-cream in the restaurant). Regular temple prasada consists of three meals a day. You can purchase whatever you need during the year in the Radhadesh boutique or local shops and supermarkets. Students need to bring their own laptops.
Most teachers will come for one week, some for just around four days. The instrument teachers will be here full-time.
The College offers two interactive classrooms for courses. Students can study in peace in the College library. There is a common room with wireless Internet access, where students can chat or talk.
They can take advantage of visiting a pure vegetarian restaurant, gift shop, bakery and the Museum of Sacred Art, which are all part of the Radhadesh community.
Students live in rooms in the temple and college building, ladies and men separate. There are usually two students in one room in the ashram. There is a common bathroom for each ashram. The College has its own laundry room.
To get to Bhaktivedanta College, please follow the Directions here.
What if my level of playing mridanga, kartals and harmonium is already mastered at a certain level. Will it be developed from there?
We are aware that everyone will have a different level of proficiency in singing or mrdanga and kartal playing. So the teachers will cater to individuals to the best of their ability to make sure that everyone can advance. There will normally be more private sessions than whole group sessions. It will be up to the mrdanga teacher to decide how fast he will teach you.
Course materials are made accessible in batches on weekly basis. Students have the freedom to organize their time within each week at their own convenience – they can study at any time of the day, any day of the week, but also follow the deadlines given by the teachers.
I would like to join the Kirtan Course. Probably I can come only from the third week on. Is that OK?
No part-time participation is allowed (only exceptions). Still, we are offering 8-day Kirtan Connection as an alternative also for those not able to come for a longer time. Please visit the Kirtan Connection page.
The numbers vary from year to year. In 2002-03, the first year, there were nine full-time students. In 2011-12, there were twenty-three students (about half men and half women). Students come from different backgrounds (devotee families, nondevotee families) and cultures (thirteen countries).
The Radhadesh temple operates a transport service at reasonable rates. All you need to do is call a driver and make an appointment for a car ride. The College has its own car, with seven seats, which is available for experienced drivers to rent. Students organize themselves on a weekly basis to go shopping locally.
After successfully completing the Bhakti Sastri program (six modules) students get Bhaktivedanta College electronic certificate and, if they desire, VTE diplomas. Students of other courses can receive a digital certificate of attendance upon request. For a hard copy, please follow the instructions available here.
I am a beginner, as I don’t know how to play any instruments nor how to sing. But I am very inspired to learn. Can beginners attend this course?
All you need is inspiration and dedication. We would rather have kirtan novices with a strong desire to learn and practice than an amateur musician with no desire to learn anything new. We are aware that there will be different levels of knowledge, and we hope to nicely facilitate everyone.
No, all materials are included in the course. In some courses the online course notes are available for purchase in book form, but this is for convenience only and is not a necessity.
Yes, the price indicated on the Web site is for the full course. So your total will be the sum of your selection in accommodation plus food plus tuition.
You can register up to one week into the course. To register, please go to Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus, create a user account, choose the course you wish to attend and pay via PayPal for the automatic registration. If you don’t have a PayPal account, please contact our secretary who will give you instructions on how to make a bank transfer.
I was so much inspired to know about this event. Unfortunately, I cannot fully participate. Because the teaching of Sacinandana Swami touches my heart, I thought it best to be there during his period as a teacher.
We are not accepting a part time attendance. Only full time students will be admitted.
There are living facilities for families in Radhadesh, but these are limited. For more information, please contact us: here.
Every student can come 2 days before/after the Kirtan Course is officially starting/finishing since 4 extra days are included in the package price. Still, one can come even earlier and leave later if that helps in arranging better priced travelling tickets. Additional stay costs after 4 additional days is 20 EUR per day.
Petite Somme 10
Telephone: 00 32 86 32 32 77
There is no deadline. Once we reach our maximum enrollment students, it will no longer be possible to attend. So if you are sure you will come, do not wait to register, as this is a first-come, first-served procedure. Payment details will be discussed when we receive the application. We require only a deposit to confirm your application, and later the balance will be required.
Check your spam folder and if it’s not there, please contact our secretary.
Radhadesh management would not be giving out scholarships, as they have more people than usual staying over the summer, which provides them with enough manpower. If you still wish to explore this please write to the Visiting Devotee Committee (VDC) at email@example.com.
Unfortunately for a packed course such as this one, it is unlikely the temple will be able to find a suitable solution, because service hours are usually during the same time as a course. Also, the Radhadesh temple has recently implemented a strict policy under which devotees can stay here, which means that it won’t be very easy to get into the ashram in exchange for service while following the course part-time.