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To inquire about applying for a program or registering for a course offered by Ramakrishna Seminary, please fill out our application form, including some of your spiritual and educational background and interests. Further communication by email, phone or Zoom may be required as part of the application process. 

In keeping with the gurukulam tradition, classes are kept small, personal and intimate.

Applications are carefully considered by the faculty of Ramakrishna Seminary and acceptance into the program is based on the  applicant’s character, maturity and aligned educational and spiritual orientation.


We are seeking to serve serious students who:

  • are interested in deepening and broadening their understanding of Hindu spirituality

  • are committed to personal spiritual development

  • are seeking to be of greater service of the Divine in the world

  • are non-fanatical and non-sectarian in their religious views 

  • value religious pluralism

  • respect Hindu culture, tradition, and etiquette

  • value cultural authenticity

  • have an intellectual curiosity and flexibility

  • have a reverence for Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and his teachings

Students must be able read, write, and communicate in English at a collegiate level, and have access to the internet with the bandwidth and strong enough connection to download study material, access videos, and participate in live video chats on Zoom.



Most courses consist of multiple modules. A module typically includes two to four hours of lecture or demonstration; interactive online instruction and discussion via webinar using Zoom or similar media, reading materials and possible assignments. The interactive webinars last between 60 to 90 minuets.  In general, a module will occur each week during the period of the course. Most courses contain 8 modules, but some may be shorter.

Although informally in operation since 1993 Ramakrishna Seminary has begun offering formal distance learning courses to the wider spiritual community in 2019. To celebrate this new service venture, we are offering all courses at discounted tuition to our new students for the 2020/2021 school year.

​Single-Themed Open Courses

Base cost per unit is $212. With the first year discount the price will be lowered to only $165 per unit.

For example:  An 8 Module/3 Unit course would be $636, but with the first year discount the adjusted cost is $495


During the economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, courses may be offered at greatly reduced prices.

Certificate and Diploma programs

For the first year program leading earning a Certificate in Hindu Studies and for the second year program leading to a Diploma in Applied Theology, the costs are basically the same: $2960 per year.

  • Application fee: Free

  • Courses (from 40 to 53 module/units): $2560

  • Access to restricted video-podcast lectures and interviews (independent of courses): fee waved for enrolled students

  • Access to restricted online discussions on sacred literature (independent of courses): fee waved for enrolled students

  • Fall Intensive Retreat: $200

  • End of Year Intensive Retreat: $200

  • Certificate/Diploma: no extra fee

Cost for year-long year Certificate in Hindu Studies program: $2960

Cost for two year-long Diploma in Applied Theology program: $5920

Prices are subject to change.


Students who takes one or more Open Course can later decide to sign up for the one-year Certificate or two year Diploma program. If accepted, students will receive a pro-rated tuition that will include a deduction of the courses already taken with the Certificate or Diploma discount pricing applied.


A student must pay for Open Courses courses at least two days before they start.  Students committed to the Certificate or Diploma programs can pay the full tuition all at once or in several installments. All tuition and course fees are non-refundable after courses begin.

Payment of fees can be made by check, credit card, PayPal or Venmo.


It is our goal that no sincere student should be denied religious education and training due to limited finances. As such, we try to keep our tuition costs affordable. Scholarships will be considered for qualified individuals in the form of discounted tuition, donations from patrons, or from the Kali Mandir Scholarship Fund.


Textbooks for your course may be purchased from any vendor or bookseller of your choice. Some may available online in downloadable formats for free or minimal costs. Students will also have free access to instructor-curated class readers that may contain collections of PDFs of articles, essays and selections from books and journals.



Certificate and Diploma students are strongly encouraged to attend two Intensive Retreats each year at the Ramakrishna Seminary at Kali Mandir in Laguna Beach, California. The retreats lasts three days and occur over a weekend in late Fall and in early Summer and includes attending temple ceremonies, instruction in ritual and meditation, interactive classes, communal meals and fellowship with instructors and fellow students in the atmosphere of a traditional ashram.  Students are responsible for their own travel and local accommodations.

Financial Aid

Students are not eligible for federal financial aid programs.


By participating in any program or course given by Ramakrishna Seminary, students consent to our Terms and Conditions Agreement.


According to United States law, religious education is exempt from regulation by the Department of Education and its regional accrediting bodies. Religious schools run by non-profit religious corporations such as Kali Mandir are not required to be accredited by those institutions (see Exemption 94874 of the Education Code of State Board of Education.)  This allows Ramakrishna Seminary to maintain our spiritual independence and to freely pursue our unique programs and ciriculae  with integrity, while keeping tuition costs low.

All courses, certificates, diplomas and degrees offered by Ramakrishna Seminary are religious in nature and meant for the personal, spiritual, and professional enrichment and training of mature spiritual seekers and are not designed to meet any particular local, state or national licensing or credentialing laws, or to meet any requirements established by any private independent associations. Prior to enrollment, students should not assume that credits will be accepted by other seminaries, educational institutions, secular and other private schools, colleges, universities, businesses or governmental agencies. If seeking a degree for licensing purposes, Ramakrishna Seminary advises students to inquire with said associations, state, or specific school districts to determine acceptability.



Ramakrishna Seminary does not deny admission to qualified students because of age, race, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sampradaya (lineage), varna (class/caste), or ashram (stage of life).

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