Gloria (I-Ling) Chien, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Dr. Gloria (I-Ling) Chien is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University. Before coming to Gonzaga in 2017, she taught courses in Buddhism, Eastern Religions, and Religion and Film at Virginia Commonwealth University. She conducts...

Portrait of Dr. Gloria Chien

Contact Information

  • Office Hours Fall 2022
    Mondays & Wednesdays, 1:10-2:00 p.m.
    Tuesdays, 12:30-1:50 p.m.
    Or by appointment, at the Humanities Building (HUB) 330 or Zoom.


  • (509) 313-6780

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., Religious Studies, University of Virginia

M.A., Religious Studies, University of Virginia

M.A., Tibetan Buddhism, Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies at Dharma Drum Mountain, Taiwan

B.A., Finance, National Central University, Taiwan

Courses Taught

Buddhism

Buddhist Meditation & Practice

Religions of Asia

Asian Religions in Film


Dr. Gloria (I-Ling) Chien is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University.
Before coming to Gonzaga in 2017, she taught courses in Buddhism, Eastern Religions, and Religion and Film at Virginia Commonwealth University.

She conducts bibliographic analysis of the Tibetan Buddhist master Tokmé Zangpo's (1295–1369) biographies and Collected Works in order to shed light on the cultural legacy of Tibetan Buddhist Lojong (mind training) meditation tradition. Her research has taken her to Nepal, India, China, and Tibet. Inspired by her research, she became a certified instructor in the Cognitively-Based Compassion Training® contemplation program developed at Emory University. In the spring of 2018, she taught a CBCT® course entitled “Compassion Meditation and Happiness” to promote emotional well-being in Gonzaga’s students and to enlarge their ethical considerations of others. This course was funded by the Office of the Dean at the College of Arts and Sciences. Her publication based on this course is featured in this GU news article. Dr. Chien’s peer-reviewed articles concern topics such as Tokmé Zangpo’s life and Collected Works, Ignatian pedagogy, teaching Buddhism in higher education, and Chinese religions in film.

To promote scholarly discussion on teaching Buddhism, she established and co-chairs the Buddhist Pedagogy Seminar at the American Academy of Religion (2019–2023). She is the recipient of 2019–20 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence for Tenure-Track Faculty at GU. Upon request, she became the advisor of the student meditation club in 2021. Information on the club can be found in the Gonzaga Bulletin. To bring her scholarship and specialties to the general public, Dr. Chien has led several contemplation sessions for various groups, such as for the ZoNE Essential Skills Series and the Spokane Public Library.

In her spare time, Dr. Chien enjoys playing racquetball, going snowboarding, and making vegan dishes.



Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

2022 – “Employing A Chinese Ghost Story to Teach the Syncretism of Chinese
Religions.” Journal of Religion & Film (Forthcoming)

2020 – “Integrating Contemplative and Ignatian Pedagogies in a Buddhist Studies Classroom.”
Religions 11, no. 11: 567 (2020): 1-21.

2020 – “Building the Sanctity of a Tibetan Buddhist Lojong Master through His Hagiography.”
International Journal of Buddhist Thought & Culture 30, no. 1 (2020): 167-204.

2020 – “Complementary Teaching Practices: Ignatian Pedagogy and Buddhist-inspired
Compassion Meditation.” Teaching Theology & Religion 23, no. 2 (2020): 96-109.

2016 – “Examining the Blo sbyong Component in Thogs med bzang po’s Collected Works.”
Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines 37 (2016): 48-68.

Essays

2021 – “Integrating the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm with Buddhist-Inspired Compassion
Meditation.” The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching vol. 2 No. 1: 67-73.

2021– “Teaching the Bhikkhuni Ordination Issue through Contemplative and Ignatian
Pedagogies.” Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women
Newsletter
vol. 29: 24-29.

2020 – “Contemplative Exercises and Pedagogy Online.” Religious Studies News (the web
magazine of the American Academy of Religion), 1 October.