Lynn Walsh M.Div. (UTS ’81) is currently co-chair of the United Nations NGO, Committee on the Family and Director of the Marriage and Family Peace Initiative, Universal Peace Federation, says her career has steadily evolved since 1981, when she graduated in the first UTS class to pursue the Master of Divinity.
Lynn Walsh has taught Marriage & Family courses at the University of Bridgeport for eight years, as well as at the Unification Theological Seminary and Mercy College. She is trained in PREP, PAIRS, Love Links, and Habits for Highly Effective Families. Lynn’s husband, Tom Walsh (UTS’79), is the president of Universal Peace Federation International. Lynn & Tom enjoy kayaking together and sometimes even speak at the same conferences. They were Blessed in marriage on July 1st, 1982, and currently reside in Tarrytown, NY and have two adult children, Nathan and Aidan.
“This is a path I’ve been led to, and I am happy to be doing something that combines the Divine Principle, the family and world peace,” she says. Walsh went on to gain her Master in Clinical Social Work at Fordham University in 1988 and has taught courses at UTS, Mercy College and at Bridgeport University on marriage, family issues and relationship building.
“My main role at the United Nations (UN) is representing the Universal Peace Federation in the area of marriage and family. This is a field in which the world seems to be so confused. I am fortunate to talk to Ambassadors and NGO representatives from all over the world. I learn a lot about the world situation from this exposure - and I am even more convinced how we must strengthen the role of parents and marriage."
For several years she has been working as an executive member of the UN NGO Committee on the Family. “Some of my work at the UN requires me to work productively with people with whom I don’t agree. It is so important to really listen to other perspectives.”
Many of these professional engagements have allowed Walsh to put to good use the lessons she learned from UTS’ Dr. Joe McMahon on “active listening,” she says. “Dr. McMahon’s counseling course led me to write my M.Div. thesis on spiritual growth, which had a lot to do with relationships with self, God and others. And that investigation shaped my ambition to further my education in marriage and family.”
Born and raised in a Unitarian family in Summit, New Jersey, Walsh was a seeker by the time she enrolled in college. “I remember my mother taking me to an Easter Sunday service at our Unitarian Church and there was not a single mention of Jesus,” she says of that time, adding, “I had a lot of questions and was looking for more.” Walsh found what she was looking for in 1976 when she joined the Unification Church, and two years later she had been accepted as a student at UTS.
Academics was not the only strength Walsh found at UTS. “It isn’t just the academics, although theology and religious education courses and training in counseling had a major impact on me,” Walsh says. “The other thing was community building and friendships. It’s so important to work on who you are in a community like UTS. It was about learning how to become a better person, that is, how to love others. UTS has that wonderful marriage between education and spiritual growth. Being able to express and explore your faith within a supportive faith community was precious to me.”