Rev. Dr. Monica Sanford was ordained as an ICCBCE Lay Minister in August 2015. She is the Assistant Director of Spirituality and Religious Life at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York since February 2018. There, she administrates the department, oversees religious and spiritual programs for 18,000+ students, faculty, and staff, and provides spiritual care and counseling to those in need. Rev. Dr. Sanford received her PhD in Practical Theology (Spiritual Care & Counseling) from Claremont School of Theology in California in May 2018. Her research focuses on Buddhist spiritual care in North America. She conducts empirical research and connects Dharma theory to modern praxis to improve the profession of Buddhist chaplaincy. Her research has been published in A Thousand Hands: A Guidebook for Caring for Your Buddhist Community and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Buddhism (forthcoming). Her dissertation will be published in 2018 or 2019.
Prior to her post at RIT, Rev. Dr. Sanford worked in academic administration, teaching, and campus chaplaincy at University of the West in California for seven years. She also received her Master of Divinity in Buddhist Chaplaincy from UWest in May 2013. Rev. Dr. Sanford completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education as a campus chaplain and is on a path to become a Board Certified Chaplain. She is a member of the National Association of College and University Chaplains and has presented at the Global Conferences for Chaplains in Higher Education in 2012 and 2016, as well as other professional and academic conferences. She is also involved with the Buddhist Ministry Working Group convened by Harvard Divinity School to advance Buddhist ministry training programs in North America.
Rev. Dr. Sanford is originally from Nebraska and received her Bachelor of Science in Design (architecture) from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in May 2007. Rev. Dr. Sanford began studying Buddhism in 2002, took refuge in 2006, and bodhisattva vows in 2007, before becoming ordained in 2015. She lives in Rochester, NY, with her partner, dog, and cat. She travels frequently and blogs at dharmacowgirl.wordpress.com.