The Uberoi Foundation Awards $40,000 in Grants to the GTU’s Center for Dharma Studies

The Uberoi Foundation Awards $40,000 in Grants to the GTU’s Center for Dharma Studies

Gift will drive development of a new research project as well as provide for student scholarships

BERKELEY, CA – February 8, 2023 – The Graduate Theological Union is delighted to announce that the Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studies has awarded two grants totaling $40,000 to the GTU’s Center for Dharma Studies (CDS). Half of this amount will be dedicated to supporting a CDS  project focused on “Justice, Compassion, & Service in Indian Philosophy.” The remaining $20,000 will fund individual scholarships for students conducting research within the Center for Dharma Studies.  

“We are grateful for this gift, which marks the Uberoi Foundation’s first ever graduate student research grant,” said Dr. Rita Sherma, Director of the CDS. “These funds will allow the Center to deepen our ongoing work around care for the earth and the ways in which those practices are informed by Indian philosophical traditions. This grant will also help us in broadening our horizons as we develop symposia and courses in these areas, as well as building upon our multi-volume ‘Ecology and Indian Philosophy’ project. We are excited to go deeper into this important work.” 

Dr. Sherma has previously collaborated with the Uberoi Foundation on the publication and release of Religion and Sustainability: Interreligious Resources, Interdisciplinary Responses, a compendium which was published as part of Springer-Nature's United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals series. GTU has further deepened its involvement with this important work through the recent announcement of a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Faith for Earth Initiative.  

The work started with the release of Religion and Sustainability will be foundational for the new project exploring Justice, Compassion, & Service in Indian Philosophy, with new research and the publication of several edited volumes, such as Ecology & Indian Philosophy: Perspective from Hindu, Jain, and Yoga Traditions (Rita Sherma and Christopher Miller, 2024), and Service as Spiritual Practice in Hindu Experience, which will be conducted under the larger umbrella of the GTU’s Center for Dharma Studies Dharma & Sustainability Project. The grant will provide for new, multidisciplinary research in religion and ethical interactions with the world, enabling scholars to look deeply into the origins of justice, compassion, and service within Indian philosophical thought and practice.   

“There is considerable overlap between the virtues espoused in Indian philosophy and practical ways of conserving and protecting our global environment, and we have seen that there is a hunger for research and work that occurs at the intersection of religion and the natural world,” said Dr. Uriah Kim, GTU President. “We are proud that CDS is at the forefront of this essential work, drawing upon learnings from the world’s wisdom traditions to address the critical issues of our time.” 


# # # 


About the Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studies 

The Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studies serves to raise awareness of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism and their respective music and arts through scholarly study. 

About the Center for Dharma Studies 

The GTU’s Center for Dharma Studies (CDS) represents the leading edge in interdisciplinary and interfaith academic programs of the Hindu world. Highlighting theology, ethics, spiritual paths, world engagement, and the in-depth study of ancient, classical, and contemporary Hindu texts, thought, and practice, the CDS offers the vast richness of the Hindu world to scholars and students of these and other traditions. 

About the Graduate Theological Union 

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.  

Spanning a robust array of interreligious and interdisciplinary perspectives, 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 empowering those with a passion for serving others, as inspired by the world’s many spiritual paths, faiths, and cultural traditions.  

At its heart, the GTU’s educational work is brought to life by a unique instructional approach that encourages dynamic encounters and exchange about the world’s wisdom traditions and is inspired by the transformative power of spiritual study and reflection to generate profound personal, social, environmental, and spiritual healing to create just and peaceful communities worldwide.  

Discover more about our programs and the work of our alumni and community at