HCI-GTU Program Scholars Receive Fellowship Awards

Hindu Chaplaincy Education Receives a Major Impetus with the Award of Motwani Jadeja Fellowships to scholars in the HCI-GTU Program

PALO ALTO, CA - November 9, 2022 - The new collaborative pathway to Hindu chaplaincy between Motwani Jadeja Foundation (MJF), Hindu Community Institute (HCI), and Graduate Theological Union (GTU) has global participation and impact. 

The Hindu Community Institute (HCI) today announced the award of the first Motwani Jadeja Hindu Chaplaincy Fellowships for study at HCI and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, CA. Upon completion of the programs and training, these spiritual caregivers will serve at universities, hospitals, and other interreligious environments, equipped with the rich spiritual care practices of the Hindu tradition.

In making the announcement, Dr. Kailash Joshi, HCI President, said, “We are making this truly historical announcement, thanks to the generous grant from Motwani Jadeja Foundation (MJF) and the cooperation between HCI and GTU”. The announcement also celebrates the establishment of a “pathway to Hindu chaplaincy,” which is first-of-its-kind and combines the Counselor of Hindu Tradition (CHT) course by HCI with the GTU’s Interreligious Chaplaincy Program (ICP).”

Congratulating the new Motwani Jadeja Hindu Chaplaincy Fellows, Ms. Asha Jadeja, Chair and Founder of MJF, said, “We admire the pioneering decision of the Fellows to enter chaplaincy education and congratulate them for being the first in the long line of chaplains who will follow in their footsteps.” The chaplaincy fellowship program profile fits well with the MJF aspirations for driving compassion and the impact spiritual care services can have on university campuses, hospitals, and many other institutions worldwide.

GTU’s Interreligious Chaplaincy Program is designed to equip leaders to practice spiritual care and serve persons from diverse religious backgrounds. The incoming Hindu scholars will join the program’s other international scholars, furthering GTU’s vision to develop a broad global presence. GTU President Dr. Uriah Kim said, “We are delighted to be celebrating the fruits of many years of collaboration between the GTU and HCI. This new, merit-based fellowship program, generously supported by the Motwani Jadeja Foundation, will enable us to attract even more top talent to the groundbreaking Interreligious Chaplaincy Program.” 

“The Interreligious Chaplaincy Program was created to serve the urgent need to increase the competency of spiritual caregivers to address the needs of diverse communities and to train chaplains from underrepresented communities,” said Dr. Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, Director of the Interreligious Chaplaincy Program at the GTU. “This exciting new fellowship aligns beautifully with our ongoing work and will help us to ensure the training of Hindu chaplains and other spiritual caregivers to become well-equipped to serve Hindu populations when working in interreligious contexts.”

 Qualified professionals are invited to apply to HCI’s Hindu Chaplaincy Pathway program and GTU’s Interreligious Chaplaincy Program. Applications to the fellowship program are welcome from admitted and currently enrolled students in GTU’s ICP program.

Looking forward, Gaurav Rastogi, HCI Board Member, and Dean said, “HCI’s Pathway-108 program has the ambitious goal of facilitating the education and training of 108 Hindu chaplains into service by 2026. Towards this end, we have launched a $1M Fellowship fund drive and are setting up a support and guidance system for chaplaincy applicants, scholars, and practitioners. With the announcement of the seven Motwani Jadeja Hindu Chaplaincy Fellowships by GTU, we have reached ten Fellows on this pathway. Their profiles may be viewed here".

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About the Hindu Community Institute (https://hinduci.org) 
Silicon Valley professionals founded Hindu Community Institute (HCI) in 2018 as a first-of-its-kind, non-profit, service-learning institution. HCI addresses the need for selfless service (the ancient Hindu philosophy of karma yoga) and modern-day spiritual care in the Hindu diaspora countries.  

HCI provides two graduate certificate courses globally to professionals of all backgrounds: one for service as volunteers in their communities and the other a post-graduate pre-chaplaincy course that enables admission to the Interreligious Chaplaincy Program (ICP) at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). HCI also raises funds for fellowships for qualified applicants who aspire to become Hindu Chaplains. 

Among the unique features of HCI are 1) over 100 expert volunteers perform all operations and teach at HCI, 2) HCI maintains a strong interchange with interfaith and other Hindu organizations in the community service and spiritual support space, and 3) HCI is building a global network of spiritual care leaders of the future. 

About the Motwani  Jadeja Foundation  (https://mjf.world)
Motwani Jadeja Foundation is a not-for-profit, distributed, global venture fund, that aims to transform entrepreneurial individuals into creative change-makers. Their start-ups are a reflection of this ethos. Motwani Jadeja Foundation supports a global network of entrepreneurial thinkers, artists, writers, and tech innovators driven by the values of individual freedom and excellence. Motwani Jadeja Foundation aims to support and empower entrepreneurs to enable impact and exponential change. It is industry-agnostic and particularly cares about impact investing in education, the Maker Movement, and women’s rights, primarily in South Asia. Based out of the Bay Area, NYC, and India, the foundation has a strong global footprint across various tech sectors and academia. Its network has deep roots throughout Google and Stanford, from where it develops opportunities that help bridge gaps and contribute to solving global social problems.  

About the Graduate Theological Union (www.gtu.edu) 
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) is a world leader in the study of religion and theology, as well as a vibrant home for spiritual exploration through online learning opportunities with global reach.  

 Through rigorous academic research and active interreligious dialogue, the GTU’s centers of study and wider consortium offer programs that lead to groundbreaking scholarship, with alumni who become thought leaders in their fields. We offer innovative approaches to advanced study, driven by our core commitment to furthering the causes of ethical leadership, social justice, sustainability, and spiritual care to create more just and peaceful communities worldwide. Discover more about our programs and the work of our alum community at gtu.edu.