Although no one has seen their faces at the Unification Theological Seminary in New York, UTS has gained eight new students, according to Dr. Kathy Winings, Vice President for Academic Affairs. The new students are preachers, deacons and lay ministers at churches in Prince Georges County, Maryland who are enrolled in Logos Christian College Washington UTS, located at 9135 Piscataway Rd, Suite 410, Clinton, MD 20735.
For 18 years, Logos Christian College (LCCW) has been training clergy and those seeking to become ministers in Bible studies, pastoral counseling, homiletics, hermeneutics, church history and evangelism through the Oral Roberts University church-extension campus program, but could not grant an accredited degree outside of Oral Roberts University, according to Archbishop John Paul James, the principal of LCC.
Since September 2nd, LCCW has become an extension site of UTS, which means that students are taking graduate courses that will lead either to a Master of Arts in Religious Studies or to the Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Religion at UTS, according to Winings. Many of the enrolled students are serving clients and congregants working their way through addiction issues, eating disorders and depression in an urban environment.
I would like to see the campus, over time, become a branch campus of UTS where students would do all of their core courses at the Maryland venue.Dr. Kathy Winings, UTS Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Rose Merchant, a clinical psychologist, teaches “Working with Small Groups” on Monday evenings at LCCW, and Archbishop James teaches “Church History I” on Wednesday evenings.
“Dr. Merchant comes to us with substantial training in psychological counseling. Dr. Merchant is the Chief Psychologist at the Total You Integrative Medicine Center. She also has a strong degree background, a wealth of knowledge and experience in the classroom,” Winings says. Archbishop James also comes to us with substantial training in psychological/addiction counseling and holds a Ph.D. in Divinity/Philosophy. He is the Senior Pastor of St. John’s Community Church in Capitol Heights, MD. Archbishop James serves as the CEO of the Total You Integrative Medicine Center. He serves as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Practitioner (Mediator) for the District Court of Maryland. Dr. James recently received the certification of Diplomate of the American Association of Integrative Medicine. Dr. James was required to meet comprehensive, peer-review as well as psychometrically validated standards for knowledge in complementary, integrative, and holistic medicine. He tells UTS News that he is “a Psychometrician and Co-Occurring counselor that practices integrative mental health, Integrative and Holistic Health Coaching.”
“I would like to see the campus over time become a branch campus of UTS where students could do all of their core courses at the Maryland venue,” Winings says. The students enrolled at LCCW have met all the eligibility requirements as other UTS students, and the two courses being taught this semester – "Working with Small Groups" and Church History I" – are part of the UTS curriculum. The LCCW currently is an extension site, which can be upgraded in time to an extension center on par with the New York City Extension and someday could become a branch campus of UTS with the authority to offer all courses for any degree program or certificate,” Winings explains.
“Many of the graduate students are interested in taking more diverse counseling courses as part of their MRE or MA in Religious Studies program at UTS to support their particular ministries and vocations. The location of the campus also affords students the opportunity to do effective internships as well as develop strong social justice ministries,” she adds.
Another benefit of the UTS extension site is that UTS alumni in the Washington, D.C. area could enroll in evening courses needed to upgrade their MRE or MDiv degree earned before UTS became accredited. “It is possible to have an adjunct professor in the area teach the courses needed by some of the local alumni to upgrade their degrees, and it is possible that spouses and friends who never had the chance to get a UTS degree can now do so at the Maryland venue,” Winings says. “This makes this new location truly exciting.”
Although some clergy in Maryland expressed doubts about LCCW’s affiliation with UTS, their questions are being answered, and several like the benefit of earning an accredited degree, according to Archbishop James. “Increasingly, people are becoming comfortable with UTS’ ecumenical blend,” he says.
“Next year we will add continuing education credits for professionals, more Mind-Body and counseling courses and courses in business that can help clergy get greater employment,” James says.
“A lot of the background work for the campus was the result of UTS Board of Trustee member, Archbishop David Billings and his extensive pastoral network and our shared desire to offer a rigorous accredited degree program for churches and pastors who have not always had the opportunity to enroll in such degree programs,” Winings explains.
UTS faculty hope that a footprint in Prince George’s County Maryland will lead to a big step forward in a few years.