The Master of Religious Education (MRE) program at the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) is a prime example of how religious studies are pioneering new roads in the implementation and practice of both teaching and learning and also interfaith peace building.

I was born in the Netherlands, stereotypically known as the land of windmills, tulips, bicycles and cheese. Among intellectual types, the Netherlands is also known as the land of Rembrandt and Van Gogh, of Erasmus and Spinoza.

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richard mooreRichard Moore, MRE (UTS’84)Richard Moore, MRE (UTS’84), of Simi Valley California, tells UTS News he is glad he upgraded his original MRE diploma to a Master of Religious Education degree in 2009. He is preparing for a new career as a science instructor at Redlands University. In September he will be teaching physics lab classes and lecturing three times a week.  Moore recently retired from the Los Angeles Unified School District after 15 years; he taught 26 semesters of high school physics.

His Master’s degree from UTS was key to getting hired into the Science faculty at the university. The recruiting staff at the University told him that with his teaching record at a charter high school and a Master’s degree he was qualified to teach physics to the college students.

Moore had been teaching science in the Los Angeles Public School System and knew that a Master’s degree would help his career advancement. He contacted the registrar at UTS in 2007 and, to his surprise, found that he only needed to take two further classes to qualify for the accredited Master’s degree. He fulfilled those requirements by taking two correspondence courses, “Paths of Faith,” taught by Dr. Dietrich Seidel (UTS’77) and Korean language taught by Moon Sook Yoon (UTS’91).

“After getting my degree upgraded, there was a small increase in pay from the school system. My raise came out to $500 a year, which was donated back to UTS and the UTS alumni association at $30 per month each. I felt I owed it to them.”

“I had been working as an environmental and safety trainer but was changing jobs every year or two. I mentioned this to my mom and she suggested that I should be a teacher.  My older brother was a wood shop and automotive high school teacher, and my grandmother on my father’s side had been a teacher in a one room school house in Indiana.  I also had taken Divine Principle teaching courses at UTS with Dean Stewart and Shirley Stadelhofer, and felt from that experience that teaching came naturally to me.”

“Of all the courses I took at UTS I liked those taught by Rabbi Josef Hausner the most. I think because I never studied the Old Testament before, and besides that, we students liked the wine and cheesecake he treated us to each time we had a class with him.”

Having graduated from UTS in 1984, Moore found himself placed in a variety of jobs and missions: from building security; to electrical maintenance; to newspaper distribution; to church evangelism in Mississippi and Florida; to tuna fishing in Gloucester, MA; engineering design: to teaching English in South Korea.

Moore and Isabel, his Brazilian-born wife, live in Simi Valley, California with their youngest child, their daughter Katia. They are also the proud parents of two adult sons. Mark, their older son, is attending Cal Poly Pomona University studying electrical engineering and tutors math and chemistry at the nearby Mt. SAC (San Antonio College) community college. Mark looks forward to having his parents help him find a match and then be given the Marriage Blessing. Jonathan decided to attend Job Corps and is living in Long Beach, CA. Moore says he and Isabel are encouraging their younger children to seek the Marriage Blessing, but it is a “work in progress.”

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