Development period (1927-1933)
In 1927, three-year tenure of rabbi Huiquan was expired, then Taixu was chosen as Abbot and also dean of Minnan Buddhist Institute after consulting with other rabbis. As soon as rabbi Taixu took the position, he cultivated late-model monks, greatly reorganized and adapted various measures to promote the healthy development of Minnan Buddhist Institute.
To complete the academic institutions, except the dean, vice dean and agent of dean, Minnan Buddhist Institute also was set up with the dean of studies, the education officer and the affair officer each. In addition, it offered the positions of supervisor, accountant, comptroller, secretary, librarian, which exerted their own duties.
From August 1928 to July 1931, various positions were taken as belows: Taixu was the dean. Changxing was the vice dean. Juesan was the agent of dean and the dean of studies. Daxing was the agent of dean, the dean of studies and the education officer. Zhifeng was the dean of studies. Zhuanfeng was the education officer. Juebin was the affair officer. Jichen and Hongdu were supervisors. Huitong was the supervisor and the accountant. Xiaoxi was the accountant and the comptroller. Mochan and Zhian were the accountant, the comptroller and the librarian. Yinjiang was the comptroller and the librarian. Huihuai was the comptroller. Guangjin and Su Huichun were communicators. Hanxu was the secretary. Yinxia was the secretary and the librarian. Tanxian was the librarian.
In order to reduce the teaching difficulties and improve the effectiveness, specialized and general subjects were changed to specialized division and middle school. The students of specialized division were major in Buddhism, science, literature, etc. The students of middle school were taught general junior high school courses apart from Buddhism.
In the summer of 1930, the research division was founded.
Rabbi Zhifeng and Daxing were separately appointed as the chief of research and the deputy chief of research. At that time, there were 10 monks only, but all of them were excellent in moral as academic performances. The research division was set up with Dharma Character Consciousness-only major, Dharmas Wisdom major, Hinayana Abhidharma-kosa-sastra major, Chinese Buddhism major and Accommodation Application, which were selected for researchers.
In autumn of same year, Xilan oversea team (learning English so as to study abroad) was set up in Nanshan School located in Zhangzhou, and united with some monk education to be the second school of Minnan Buddhist Institute.
In order to make the monks adapt to modern society on the basis of Buddhist truth, the courses were diverse. On Buddhist aspects, there were Buddhism Introduction, Sect History, Buddhism Logic Outline, Great Vehicle Preface, Law Outline, Xianshou Outline, Tiantai Outline, Consciousness-only Outline, Esoteric Outline, Dhyana Outline, Pure Land Outline, Jushe Outline, Chengshi Outline, Four Treatises Outline and so on. On National Literature, there were vernacular, classical Chinese and grammar, philology. On foreign language aspects, there were Japanese and English. On mathematics aspects, there were arithmetic, abacus reckoning, algebra, geometry and trigonometric function. On historical aspects, there were Chinese history, universal history, Indian history, freedom concept and history of monk system. On geography aspects, there were national and universal geography and region situation of Buddhism. On philosophy and Buddhism aspects, there were Chinese Philosophy, occident philosophy, Indian philosophy, weltanschauung, globe Buddhism abstract, psychology, ethics etc. On education aspects, there were education theory, professor method, Buddhist research method, temple management method etc. On art aspects, there were calligraphy, music, drawing, Vatican music, architecture, sculpture. Furthermore, also it was supplied with gym, labor and other classes.
The various courses and tight learning time resulted in weak results for monks. In 1929, the Institute accepted Master Hong Yi's advice, that is may increase and particularly focus on more classes for Buddhism but cancel English and arithmetic. Since then, students' performance was much better than before.
Making education standard and training objectives so as to admonish monks practice and apply their knowledge and talents, which would break the long-standing abuse of staying at home and being cheated etc. Due to feeble Buddhism at that time and lack of training, education standard was adhered to Cultivation and Certification, but also kept the principle of Four Immeasurable Minds, Harmony and Diligence. At the same time, Minnan Buddhist Institute also decided training objectives. In mentality, recognized Buddhism was the only way to resolve life problems and direct human-being move forward. Deeply believe Buddhism should not leave society, but do benefit career to create new modern Buddhism. In action, made the movement with clear purpose and steps, broke the vice of selfishness etc and created a harmony, organized and orderly group. In living, got rid of lazy habit, cultivated diligent living, and did the exercises.