The Words of the Yang Family
Enrollment at Unification Theological Seminary
American Family Church
4 West 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036
Fax (212) 768-0791
July 8, 1999
TO: American Family Church members who hold a bachelor's degree
FM: Dr. Chang Shik Yang, Dr. Tyler Hendricks
RE: Enrollment at Unification Theological Seminary
Greetings from National Headquarters!
We are so blessed, brothers and sisters, because our True Parents have been with us in America for a longer stretch that they have been in many years. We are happy they feel at home here.
In our True Parents' current stay here in America, True Father has turned his attention to the Seminary. He recalls how he invested to build the seminary in the early 70s at a great sacrifice to the rest of the church in America.
His love for the school was so great that he would visit there constantly. Once he arrived with a car trunk full of fishing net materials and proceeded to demonstrate how to fashion shallow-water nets. Once he started, he didn't stop. He didn't stop for meals. He didn't stop when it started to rain. He didn't stop all night. A small group of students stayed up all night working on the nets with him. That was the foundation for the carp fishing in the lagoon, in which many of you may have participated.
Father desires that all members in America connect with this heritage. Therefore he has asked that all members in America who hold a bachelors degree or its equivalent enroll at UTS this fall. In other words, Father sees UTS as a standard feature of Unificationist life. The tradition and education provided there unlocks a special realm of True Father's heart. There is, according to Dr. Shimmyo, capacity for 500 new students at UTS, and Father would like to see us exceed that capacity this fall.
Enrollment ideally means being a full-time student on campus. However, the seminary has a number of options for those of us for whom that is impossible. Those options include a commuter student program (excellent for those living in the New York area) and a correspondence course. (Please see Dr. Shimmyo's letter, below, for an outline of the various options.)
As one example of True Father's seriousness here, he personally directed that the Regional Directors in America who did not have Seminary degrees transfer from their church leadership position and enroll in the Seminary. All the incoming Regional Directors, as well as the incoming Continental Director and FFWPUI President, are seminary graduates.
There are many State Leaders who have not attended UTS. I am asking that these people enroll as correspondence students until True Parents' Birthday next year. After that, I ask that these leaders become full-time resident students at UTS. Please discuss the feasibility of this with your Regional Director.
In considering who will replace these State Leaders next year, Father's idea is that UTS alumni should take on the church leadership. True Father was inspired by the spirit of the 250 UTS alumni who attended his three-day workshop last month, and he is confident that you will make excellent State Leaders. While many UTS grads already are in church leadership positions, may are not, and we encourage alumni to prayerfully consider your calling for the church life.
Challenges and Opportunities
To make a transition to student life is most challenging for people in mid-life. But I expect that everyone will sincerely do his or her best. In particular, I ask that those members under thirty years old who have not started their family life make plans to begin full-time student life on campus according to Father's plan. I would like to share a letter I received from Dr. Theodore Shimmyo, President of UTS, concerning the methods by which we can respond to Father's inspiration.
Given Father's strong direction that all college degree holders in America attend UTS right away, I want to explain that we at UTS can offer our two degree programs (M.R.E. and M.Div.) with the flexibility which members need in order to complete their education with minimum disruption to their lives. We are concerned that some members avoid enrolling in UTS because they think in absolute terms that it will require uprooting themselves and their families for 2 or 3 years. It is true that most students earn more than half of their credits while in residence. However, there are ways for a resourceful student to complete the program while spending as little as one 10-week term on campus (the theoretical minimum residency requirement) plus a few short visits for intensive courses. We will work with students to show them how they can take advantage of the flexibility of our programs.
Consider these flexible ways in which students can earn many of the 72 credits for the M.R.E. (or 111 credits for the M.Div.) required for graduation:
1) Up to 18 credits can be taken by Distance Learning.
2) Up to 24 credits can be transferred from similar courses taken at other seminaries or graduate schools.
3) Up to 13 credits (16 credits for the M.Div.) can be earned through supervised fieldwork at a local church or CARP center.
4) Term-time or intensive classes can also be offered as evening classes at extension sites in other cities, if there is sufficient demand for them.
5) The M.Div. thesis (6 credits) can be written entirely off-campus.
6) We intend to offer 2-week intensive classes (3 credits each) during the summer and winter breaks. For example, by taking 6 weeks of intensive study each year over 3 years, a student can earn 27 credits.
7) Commuter classes are offered for members in the New York area.
8) Students can frequently arrange to take a full course load while being on campus only 3 days a week.
9) Gifted students may take 15 or even 18 credits in a single 10-week term, provided they have enough financial resources that they can use to focus completely on their studies.
10) Students may take leaves of absence to space their time of residence on campus into several terms over several years.
Furthermore, gifted members without college degrees should still be encouraged to apply to UTS. Some can be accepted as special students; others can quickly earn their undergraduate degrees through various special degree programs established by state universities around the country.
I think that if members know the above ten flexible ways, they will find it much easier to enroll in UTS than expected. So, I want to suggest that these ten ways should immediately be sent out to all the college degree holders in America.
Again, thank you very much for your heart and desire to work together. People at UTS, too, are willing to work together with you to save this nation.
Sincerely Yours, ITPN,
The UTS registrar, Gillian Corcoran, has sent enrollment and correspondence course information to all church centers. I hope that all members can appreciate the value of God and True Parents' investment in UTS, their vision for the Unificationist theological endeavor, and their love for America.
Recently, True Parents convened a three-day workshop for UTS alumni at East Garden, which they personally led. Through that experience there was a big exchange of love and heart between the mostly American alumni and our True Parents. This gave Father so much hope for America and it helped us to connect more deeply with our Parents. Father wants everyone to have this great foundation. It is up to us to make the seminary experience a shining light that will illuminate our lives, our church, our nation, world and cosmos.
Thank you for your concern and effort in this and all aspect of the path of heaven,
In True Parents' Love,
Dr. Chang Shik Yang
Dr. Tyler Hendricks
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