Articles From the July 1994 Unification News


UTS 18th Annual Commencement Exercises

by Dr. Michael L. Mickler

The Eighteenth Commencement of Unification Theological Seminary held on Sunday, June 26th had one of the fullest schedules in the Seminary's history. It combined not only graduation exercises for 17 Master of Religious Education (M.R.E.), 13 Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and two Diploma in Religious Education graduates but also an early morning Board of Trustees meeting, an inaugural address by President Theodore Shimmyo, congratulatory remarks by outgoing President Kim and an address of Rev. Moon (read by President Shimmyo). The day also included the traditional graduation banquet and entertainment followed by afternoon activities (a Tongil Moo Do demonstration and tennis exhibition were features) and an evening buffet after which the Junior class presented their version of the "Wizard of Oz."

Dr. James Baughman, president of the Unification Church in America and a 1978 UTS graduate, served as master of ceremonies for the Commencement exercises, which began in the seminary chapel at 11am. Following the invocation by UTS Chaplain Shawn Byrne, Dr. Theodore Shimmyo delivered his inaugural address as the second president of UTS. Emphasizing that "the presidency is not mine but God's," Dr. Shimmyo emphasized that he "will always be available and accessible to the whole seminary community." He also stressed that he "will make sure that this seminary serves the rest of the Unification movement, this nation and world, with a desire to shoulder their burdens."

Dr. David S.C. Kim noted in his congratulatory remarks (read by Shawn Byrne) that since the founding of UTS he had never missed a Board of Trustees meeting or graduation, but due to an eye operation scheduled for graduation weekend he was unable to attend either. In his speech, entitled "In the Power and Authority of True Parents," he encouraged graduates "to live by the C's of successful God-centered living: a commitment to Kingdom-building, communication skills, and control over yourself." David Hanna, representing the Class of 1994, in his graduate response conveyed his gratitude to the outgoing administration who not only pioneered the seminary from the beginning but also raised up its new leadership. He described the graduates as "better equipped" to do the task to which they have been called, which in his view has to do with a readiness "to embrace the world."

Rev. Moon, in his Eighteenth Commencement address, "Create Your Ideal Family to Save the World," emphasized that the world's problems "can be attributed to the problem of the family." Abnormal or unhealthy relationships among family members, including unnatural sexual relations, result "in abnormal or unhealthy relationships within society." In noting the family's "decisive influence on the world," Rev. Moon questioned Christianity's present capacity to "create exemplary families" or handle these problems, "in spite of Jesus Christ's original moral teachings 2,000 years ago." He therefore challenged UTS graduates "to do what Christianity could not do, i.e., create ideal families for the building of God's Kingdom on earth." In order to restore the world, Rev. Moon told graduates, "you must create your own blessed family which is an example to other families in this world." However, to do so, they "must know the tradition of True Parents' family."


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