About Us

My name is Reverend Marvin Harada, one of three full-time online instructors. I have had the privilege of serving as a minister at the Orange County Buddhist Church for the past 31 years. I graduated from the University of Oregon in Religious Studies, received an M.A. from the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, and went on to study in Japan, at a Nishi Hongwanji seminary called “Chuo-bukkyo-gakuin” and at Ryukoku University, where I received an M.A. in Shin Buddhist Studies.

Over the years I have had some wonderful teachers, like the late Rev. Haruyoshi Kusada, at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, the late Rev. Gyomay Kubose of the Buddhist Temple of Chicago, and the late Professor Takamaro Shigaraki, of Ryukoku University. They have all had a tremendous influence on my ministry.

Presently, my greatest teachers are the members of my temple, whose questions and sincere seeking of the Dharma give me great opportunities to study and reflect as well. It is one of my great joys as a minister, to conduct classes within our Buddhist Education Center, on Buddhism and more specifically Shin Buddhism.

Hello, I am Reverend Dr. Mutsumi Wondra at the Orange County Buddhist Church and one of three full-time online instructors. It is my pleasure to study and learn Buddhism and Shin Buddhism with you through this online program.

I was born in Kyoto and graduated from Kyoto Women’s University, B.A. in English Literature.I was raised by the Shin Buddhist family, and came to the United Stated in 1981 after college.In 1991, I started going to the Shin Buddhist temple in Los Angeles.While working at a corporation, I completed the correspondence course of Kyoto Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin, and she received the first ordination Tokudo in 2006 and second ordination Kyoshi in 2007 from the Jodoshinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, Japan.I received an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) in 2010.Right after graduating from IBS, I entered the Ryukoku University Graduate School, Kyoto, Japan to further study Shin Buddhism, and in 2012 I received an M.A. of Shin Buddhist Studies.In 2015, I completed the Ryukoku doctoral course, and my dissertation title is The Study of the History of Shin Buddhist Thought in America – In the Movement of Buddhist Modernism. As of September 1, 2015, I became a full-time BCA minister (Kaikyoshi) at the Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC), Anaheim, California.I have been teaching Buddhism and Shin Buddhism (Pure Land Buddhism Jodoshinshu) in English and Japanese.

Let’s learn together the teachings of Shinran (1173-1263) and think of the message to us living here and now.


私は京都生まれで、京都女子大学英文科(学士)を卒業後、渡米しました。20数年のあいだ会社で働きながら、京都中央仏教学院専修科通信教育修了後、2006年に得度、2007年に教師を取得して、2010年に米国仏教学院 (IBS) 修士を終えました。その後2012年には京都龍谷大学大学院文学研究科真宗学専攻に入学して修士修了をして、2015年に同大学院真宗学博士課程修了しました。博士論文は「アメリカ真宗思想史の研究-モダニズムのなかの真宗から現代へ-」です。


Hello, I am Reverend Jon Turner, one of three full-time online instructors. My family and I have been attending the Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC) since May 1999. I have been in the Ministers’ Assistant Program (MAP) at OCBC since 2001 when it began as a Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) pilot program. I was certified with robe, okesa and Dharma name in October 2004. I began attending the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) in the Fall of 2005. IBS is a member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. I graduated from IBS with a master’s degree in Buddhist Studies on May 14, 2010. I received Tokudo ordination in October 2010 and was fully ordained as a Kyoshi minister in December 2012. I currently lead services, write essays and teach. I became a full-time minister at OCBC on September 1, 2017 after retiring from a 35 year career as a computer programmer.

Throughout this time, I studied and practiced Buddhism very diligently. I have also made every mistake one can make in understanding Buddhism. As a result, I think these experiences have helped me to become a better teacher. This has helped me know where and how to avoid the potholes when studying Buddhism in America because I have already stepped in all of them.

Guest lecturer Reverend Dr. David Ryo Matsumoto was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1976 and practiced law until 1981. He decided to pursue a Buddhist path, earning an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) in 1984. In 1989 and 2004 he was a Visiting Research Fellow at Ryukoku University, in Kyoto, Japan, and in 2007 he received his Ph.D. in Shin Buddhist Studies.

Rev. Dr. Matsumoto obtained Kyoshi ordination in 1988 at the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha in Kyoto. He was the Resident Minister of the Berkeley Buddhist Temple from 2005-2015. He is the IBS President, the George and Sakaye Aratani Professor of Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies, and the Director of the Ministerial Education and Certificate in Shin Buddhist Studies Programs.

Guest lecturer Dr. Nobuo Haneda is a dynamic Dharma teacher who combines scholarship and passion in his presentations. His perspectives and insights into Shinran Shonin teachings will offer participants an opportunity to expand their understanding and experience of Jodo Shin Buddhism.

Rev. Dr. Nobuo Haneda was born in Nagano, Japan. He graduated from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, majoring in Russian. Having come to the U.S.A. in 1971, he received the Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin in 1979. He served as a lecturer at the Otani University in Kyoto, Japan, 1979-1981; dean and head professor at the I.B.S. in Berkeley, 1984-1985; and a researcher at the Numata Center in Berkeley, 1987-1997. Since then he has been director of the Maida Center of Buddhism. He has publications such as December Fan, Evil Person, Heard by Me, and Dharma Breeze.

Guest lecturer Gregg Krech has been teaching and studying Japanese Psychology for thirty years and is the author of four books including, Naikan: Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection (Stone Bridge Press) which won the Spirituality and Health Magazine award for Best Books of the Year in 2002, and has been translated into five languages. His book, The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology discusses the "action" side of Buddhism and Eastern philosophy. Gregg's work has been featured in Tricycle, The Sun, Counseling Today, Utne Reader, Yoga Journal, The Guardian and on National Public Radio. He is the Director of the ToDo Institute in Vermont, a member of the North American Naikan Council and Editor of Thirty Thousand Days: A Journal for Purposeful Living. He studied Shin Buddhism for eleven years with the late BCA Bishop, Rev. Kenryu T. Tsuji. He currently lives in Vermont where he rides his bicycle, writes haiku poetry and plays blues piano.