We are in the middle of a very significant year: September 20, 2015 was the beginning of the 40th year of theological education at UTS. I hope that you will join with me this anniversary year by contributing to the Annual Fund and the 40/40 Campaign.

Donors make bequests to make a difference after they are gone. Mary Goodman, a New Haven laundress who bequeathed her life savings (nearly $5,000) to Yale Divinity School to provide scholarships for African Americans, was especially successful in this regard: her bequest supported the school’s first black students, and continues to support students today, nearly 144 years later.

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I am in the process of “re-imagining, re-defining, and re-positioning.” I have a new title at UTS. I am now Director of Advancement and Communications. This means I now cover the areas of fund raising, alumni relations and communications.  Let me try to cover all three in this article.

word cloud UTS v2UTS now offers 5 degree programs:

  • Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
  • Master of Divinity (M.Div)
  • Master of Arts in Religious Studies (M.A.)
  • Master of Religious Education (M.R.E.)
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Note: UTS is not accepting applications for the undergraduate program at this time for the 2015-2016 academic year, because UTS does not have approval from the Department of Education to offer federal financial aid for the undergraduate program.

For more information on the graduate degree programs visit: UTS Academic Programs.

There is often the question about the value of theological training.

I like to think of UTS as a “launch-pad” ….. the launch-pad for change.

Not everyone is destined to be a church leader, a missionary, a church planter, to lead youth ministry, or be a counselor for church marriages…… Many of the UTS alumnae/i have gone on to be successful in those fields. But not all, and I would say the majority have not ended up in these areas of church leadership. Most of the UTS alumni do not put “Reverend” in front of their names.

Some alumni have become lawyers, others teach at the college level, yet others at the school level, yet others are in real estate; in management; in technology; in travel; in journalism; in music production; in health services; healing modalities; book publishing; event management; catering; architecture; graphic design………… Some drive taxis and limos. Some write poetry.

A motley crew…… But I would say ALL are leaders, just not necessarily “church leaders.”

And this is not only in the USA!  Alumni are spread out throughout the world involved a whole host of activities. They are simply being themselves, influencing the people around them every day, with their words, behavior and their thoughts.

So what is the value of theological training when it may look like most have careers which seem a far cry from the call of church leadership?

Let me share a few insights from Young Oon Kim who was Professor of Systematic Theology at Unification Theological Seminary from 1975-1988, and the first Unificationist on its faculty.

I will capture a few quotes, but please read the whole article which she wrote in 1977. It can be found here: My Dream Concerning Seminary Education.

“In my opinion, there is no need for another theological seminary like those the traditional churches now have. What value would there be in duplicating Harvard, Union, Chicago or Princeton? We must provide something different, something extra, a superior education for a new way of life.”

“Christianity cannot be restored and the Kingdom of Heaven cannot appear on earth because you know all about the doctrines of Augustine and John Calvin, or because you have read Karl Barth and Rudolf Bultmann, or because you can tell the difference between form criticism and source criticism. Only through spiritual development based on direct confrontation with God and only through your magnetic personal quality can you become instruments God can use. As John Wesley would say, you have to get your “heart strangely warmed” and keep it warm. In the last analysis, Unification Theological Seminary will succeed or stumble on the basis of its spiritual atmosphere.”

The eagerness to help others, a genuine concern for people, a sensitivity to others’ needs and a readiness to serve others — these are the ingredients which create a magnetic personality.

“In Korea, we have a proverb: ‘If you plan for your life for one year, plant grain; if you plan for your life for 10 years, plant fruit trees. But if you plan for 100 years, then plant people.’

What UTS has done, continues to do, and aims to keep doing is to “plant people” and then launch them into a waiting world.

Support for the 40/40 Campaign YOUR SEMINARY NEEDS YOU!

The 40/40 Campaign means giving $40 per month for 40 months. It is a cornerstone of support for UTS, and critically important, enabling UTS to meet its expanding commitments. Gifts to the 40/40 Campaign are unrestricted gifts from alumnae/i, friends, faculty, staff, and churches that allow UTS to provide: student aid, improved technology, new library resources, expanded services to the alumni, support guest speakers, and educational outreach events.

UTS needs your support to make sure that the spirit that Young Oon Kim describes above…. the burning desire to love others ….. that this spirit continues to be nurtured and expanded beyond UTS to alumni and yet wider still to friends and contacts. 

There are several initiatives emerging around which alumni, friends and contacts can connect. Governance, Marriage Culture, Religion and Peace, Spiritual Life, and Unification Praxis, and Women Leadership. Other alumni are interested to see initiatives on public policy issues: Education, Economics and Terrorism.

The Religion and Peace initiative is exemplified in the work of the Islamic Forum (an article in UTS News this week).

The Spiritual Life initiative will be supporting a one-day seminar at Barrytown in October.

Already 30 alumni have signed up for the 40/40 Campaign. With just a month to go till the 40th Anniversary on September 20th please step up and join us. The goal is to have 200 supporters.

To sign up for the 40/40 Campaign visit Support the Seminary (there is also a link to give more or less than $40)!

Barrytown campus

Looking for a great venue to hold an event? Consider Barrytown!

Call 845.389.6224 or
Email conference-center@uts.edu

Our friendly staff will be happy to answer your questions.

Reserve a room to stay in while visiting the Mid-Hudson Valley area or while attending an event at Barrytown.