On November 5th, Dr. Hugh Spurgin met with ten graduates of Unification Theological Seminary and also with a few friends who live in Southern California to share about the challenges that UTS currently is facing as an institution; the progress being made in the first ten months of his tenure as President; and to listen to alumni share their perspectives on the future role of the Seminary. Hosts for the visit of Dr. Spurgin to Pasadena house in Los Angeles included Jack Ashworth (UTS’82) and the newly appointed FFWPU District 12 Regional Pastor, Rev. Young Tack Yang (UTS’00).
Having just celebrated the 40th anniversary since the founding of UTS on September 20th, Dr. Spurgin has the vision to establish alumni chapters in cities and states throughout the United States and beyond; wherever the 1,700 UTS alumnae and alumni live, in order for the alumni to better support and empower one another.
President Spurgin emphasized the importance for all alumni to own and share the current mission of UTS:
The Unification Theological Seminary offers educational programs in an interfaith context, which cultivate the heart, mind and spirit; bridge religious and cultural divides; promote leadership, service and engagement with the world; and provide tools for success in ministry and professional life. UTS is committed to the Unification vision of one global family under God.
Dr. Spurgin reminded those present of the vital importance that the Seminary has had in our Founder’s vision from the very beginning of his ministry in America and how crucial UTS remains as an institution for our mother church, on many levels. President Spurgin believes that online education has the potential to create exciting new avenues for growth and development of the educational mission of UTS.
Dr. Spurgin shared candidly that in his travels since becoming president he has often observed that with the passing of the Founder three years ago, there are those who aren’t sure how best to use their gifts and talents for God’s Providence. In light of this, he feels that each alumnus and alumna of UTS is well equipped to provide leadership in accordance with his/her own conscience and boldly share the Founder’s philosophy and principles with people everywhere.
At the conclusion of our meeting, there was a strong consensus among those present that we as alumni and friends in Southern California can form a local chapter, and meet on a regular basis, to brainstorm, to co-ordinate and to empower one another. We can offer support to help build God’s Kingdom and to foster interfaith dialogue and cooperation in our community and beyond.