Unification News for July 2000

Seminary Grads Embark on Their Mission

Igor Bali
UTS Media staff

Before embarking on their missionary work, 50 graduates of the Unification Theological Seminary were told on June 24 that from now on, their real challenge is to become a divine tool in God’s hands.

Master’s degrees were conferred on 39 men and eleven women during the 24th annual ceremony at the seminary, which was founded by True Parents in 1975.

A changing of the administrative guard, so to speak, took place just one and half months—a new president and academic dean replaced leaders of the seminary who had been charter leaders of this college since 1994.

New Seminary President Tyler Hendricks, one of the first graduates and a former professor at the seminary, gave an opening address. He talked about the significance of the seminary and the important roles of its graduates. "Through you people will feel God’s love and guidance. Be ready to serve and the world will start changing", told Hendricks.

The graduates are tasked with the seminary’s mission of revitalizing Christianity and saving America. Seven students received master of divinity degrees after completing three years of study; 43 students earned degrees of religious education after a two- year program.

Gregory Carter, along with his wife Rachel, were two of the students who received a master of divinity degree. Carter delivered the graduate response at the ceremony, where he expressed his appreciation and devotion to his fellow graduates and the seminary.

"This is a very wonderful day for me. The class of 2000 would like to thank everyone who cared for us during our study at UTS. We are all united to make a difference in this world."

He added, that all graduates from this seminary, them more than 950, since 1975 when the institution was founded, are linked together as ‘real brothers and sisters’, through their unforgettable experience of studying and working together.

A special address to the graduates was given by Dr. Elgin Watkins, Senior Pastor of Nazarene Congregational Church (UCC) of Brooklyn, NY, symbolizing the new the new direction and strategy of UTS in academic year of 2000/2001. "Our Founder created this school to serve the particular mission field of America and the larger Christian fellowship of churches," said Dr. Hendricks reading the Founder’s Address to the seminarians.

He added that "it is in America that most of you are called to minister."

America is an advanced and successful society, but it is not the Kingdom of God. America is in need of cultural reversal. It is a mission field that is as demanding of your sacrificial love as any in the world—perhaps even more so. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through you to reach others through the love only you can give. Heaven will help you."

He said, "Study the other churches that are running the same race. We are on the same team, fighting the same delusional and destructive power of Satan." In this way, from the Fall Term 2000 UTS is opening its doors for other denominations to come to study there, making one unified front of Christianity in the fight against evil. Please share the excitement of this day of Christian unity. Give it your best and you will be blessed," finished Hendricks in his reading of True Father’s message to the graduates.

Right after the ceremony, the graduates are going to attend the Washington Times Seminary Workshop to find out where they will be finally assigned.

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