Organizational Structure

JODO SHINSHU HONGWANJI-HA

The official name of our school of Buddhism is Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha (sometimes called “Honpa Hongwanji” or “Nishi Hongwanji”). The headquarters (honzan) are in Kyoto. The spiritual leader of Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha is the Monshu, who is a direct descendant of Shinran Shonin. The lineage is through Shinran’s youngest child, daughter Kakushinni-ko.

The Hongwanji comprises ten thousand temples within Japan and two hundred temples overseas, with twelve million members. At honzan, the Board of Governors, headed by the Governor General, oversees all business operations of the Hongwanji. The General Assembly, consisting of elected ministerial and lay representatives, is the legislative branch of the Hongwanji. It deliberates on statutes, regulations, and budgetary matters. Under the guidance of the Board of Governors, the administrative departments manage the operations of Hongwanji.

Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha in Kyoto has overseas districts with their own regional headquarters: Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, Buddhist Churches of Canada, and South America Hongwanji Mission. There are also developing districts throughout the world: Australia, Europe (Austria, Belgium, England, Germany, Poland, Switzerland), Mexico, Taiwan, and Thailand.

BCA org chart

BUDDHIST CHURCHES OF AMERICA

In the United States, BCA is the national body that oversees some sixty temples and five fellowships. BCA is divided into eight districts; Southern District comprises fifteen temples, including SFVHBT.

At the national level, the two main organizations are the BCA National Board and the Kyokucho – Ministers Association Cabinet. The National Board is a lay organization consisting of an Executive Committee, district representatives, directors-at-large, and organization representatives. The National Board meets twice a year, in June and December. The National Council meeting, held once a year in February, is attended by members of the National Board, BCA committee representatives, ministers, and temple representatives.

The BCA Executive Committee meets as necessary and comprises the following officers: Shocho (Bishop), Ministerial Representative, President, Vice President (1), Vice president (2), Secretary, Treasurer

Groups organized on the national level and represented at National Council meetings include: California Young Adult Buddhist Association (CaABA), Federation of Buddhist Women’s Associations (FBWA), Federation of Dharma School Teachers League (FDSTL), Western Adult Buddhist League (WABL), Coast District Adult Buddhist Association (CDABA), Western Young Buddhist League (WYBL).

There are also over two dozen committees (see the current BCA Directory for a listing).

BCA Southern District (SD) Temples

Arizona Buddhist Temple
Gardena Buddhist Church
Guadalupe Buddhist Church
Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple
Orange County Buddhist Church
Oxnard Buddhist Temple
Pasadena Buddhist Church
Buddhist Temple of San Diego
San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple
San Luis Obispo Buddhist Church
Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara
Senshin Buddhist Temple
Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple
Vista Buddhist Temple
West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple

The main organizations at the district level are the Southern District Ministers’ Association and the Southern District Council. The Council is a lay organization which meets quarterly, usually at the temple of the Council Chairperson. Each temple is typically represented by its President and President-Elect or Vice President, along with its minister; however, other interested temple members may attend.

The Council comprises these cabinet offices: Chairperson, Chairperson-Elect, Vice Chairperson, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Past Chairperson, Lay Advisors, BCA Representatives

The following groups are also organized on the Southern District level and are represented at SD Council meetings: Southern District Buddhist Education Committee (SDBEC), Southern District Buddhist Women’s Association (SDBWA), Southern District Dharma School Teachers League (SDDSTL), Southern District Junior Young Buddhist League (SDJYBL), Southern District Young Buddhist League (SDYBL)

San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple

SFVHBT is governed by a Board of Directors, elected by members at the Annual General Meeting each February. The Board of Directors elects a president, vice presidents, a secretary, and treasurer, who administer the day-to-day matters of the Temple.

Organizations

  • Buddhist Women’s Association (BWA)
  • Dharma School
  • Jr. YBA
  • Sangha Teens
  • Gatha Group and Musicians

Committees

  • Audio-Visual
  • Buddhist Education
  • Obon
  • Repairs and Maintenance
  • Toban (group service rotation)

Services

  • Bookstore
  • Membership
  • Temple Times Newsletter
  • Recycling

Sources

– Buddhist Churches of America. 2006. 2006-2007 Directory.
– Hongwanji International Center. 2004 (3rd printing). Jodo Shinshu: A Guide. Kyoto: Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha. 99‑100, 105.
– San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. 2005 (October). Temple Times. 3

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