The name, Ryokan College (pronounced “ree-oh-kahn”), stems from the name of a Japanese 18th Century Buddhist renegade monk who left his order’s path and moved to live in a remote village where he spent the remainder of his life begging, living a spartan existence, playing among village children and becoming known for his beautiful, poetically written insights.

The monk, Ryokan, has been compared in temperament and message to America’s Henry David Thoreau, and though the College has no affiliation with any organized religious thought, its founder, Dr. Alvin Ross, took the name in memoriam to his son who expressed deep appreciation for the monk’s beliefs.

Inspiration for the College’s founding took place during father and son conversations in the months preceding the son’s early death at 23. In 1978, Dr. Ross established a school that reflected their shared vision and over 2,000 graduates have received its benefit.

The Faculty

“Today’s professionals teaching tomorrow’s professionals.”

Faculty members provide instruction based upon expertise in their chosen fields of therapy or business training.

Our standard policy is to have experienced instructors who have worked or are working in the subject taught. Students who plan to work in the real world need practical advice and experienced perspectives along with theory, history and research. Instructors may be highly skilled therapists, working professionals or active consultants who know their subjects and can communicate applied psychology, professional evaluations, business solutions or various intervention techniques to clinical conundrums and proven approaches.

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Unique Education Approach

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"I chose Ryokan because it was convenient, flexible and affordable. I still work, have a family, take care of my aged mom, own a home, etc. The online classes work best for my busy lifestyle. Without their flexibility, I would not pursue this."

Bob Kennedy, MS, MFT (current doctoral student)

"I had attended two California State Universities and received a Master’s Degree from each before attending Ryokan College to acquire my doctorate in Clinical psychology. My second Master’s Degree was from California State University at Dominguez Hills—the program was completely online and there was virtually no difference in the quality of education I received from an accredited California state university and Ryokan college."

Dr. Jann Blackstone-Ford

"My experience at Ryokan from the initial interview through graduation was one of encouragement, motivation and compassion. I have referred others to Ryokan without hesitation knowing first hand that the school is always a part of my mind and I will always be grateful to Ryokan for giving me that chance."

Honey Pietruszka, Psy. D. PSY