The term khenpo (also spelled Khyenpo) is a spiritual degree given in Tibetan Buddhism. In the Nyingma, Kagyu, and Sakya traditions, the title is awarded usually after a period of 9 to 15 years of intensive study, and is considered much like a spiritual doctorate.[1] Similar titles of lower standing are De Nod Dzin Pa, which is comparable to a bachelors degree, and Shor Phon (associate's degree). In the Gelug tradition, the title khenpo refers to either a senior monk who ordains new monastics, or the abbot of a monastery. A comparable title in the Gelug lineage is Geshe.

In some sanghas a khenchen is a senior khenpo or a title applied to the most respected khenpos.


  1. Mukpo (2006) p. 64
  • Mukpo, Diana J & Gimian, Carolyn (2006) Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chögyam Trungpa ISBN 1590302567

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