Students at the Barrytown College of the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) got a face-to-face meeting with Dr. Michael Balcomb and Dr. Hugh Spurgin on Thursday, March 19, and learned of some sobering realities and some good news, too.

Two Unification pastors, both working moms, are newly enrolled as students in the Doctorate in Ministry degree program at UTS, in which students meet in Barrytown for 2 weeks in August and 2 weeks in February, and do the rest of their coursework at home.

Recently Dr. Mark Issacs helped to resurrect a very old academic custom: defending the thesis had been for centuries part of the way how ‘candidates’ -as they were usually called- could come one step closer graduating from their studies. This procedure meant that in front of the faculty, and with a great deal of interest from the student body, one had to present the thesis in words; in addition, one had to face the sometimes not so benevolent questions from professors or other scholars.

This month four candidates offered a short summary of their thesis and explain the reasons behind their choosing their respective topics. The range of works and the level of presentation was certainly surprising and high:


Name: Yasushi Kojima
Country of Origin: Japan
Thesis: The Necessity For Management in Not-For-Profit Organizations
Name: Gerhard E. Bessell
Country of Origin: Germany/Guatemala
Thesis: Preliminary Investigation for Establishing an Academic Institution of the Unification Movement in Latin America
 
 
Name: Ravil Kayumov
Country of Origin: Russia
Thesis: The Use of Bible Verses in the Exposition of the Divine Principle
Name: Shinichi Takeuchi
Country of Origin: Japan
Thesis: A Study of the Constructive Mutual Interaction Between Theology and Science

All presentations were received with great interest and rewarded with many profound questions and heartfelt applause. We could surely feel the founder’s intention and heart for us to become ‘big shots’ for heaven and servants for peace on earth. Let us keep this very stimulating academic tradition!

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