- Written by Richard Panzer
Nearly 200 Generation Peace Academy trainees (post high school year of service for young Unificationists), ministers from Unification Church in the New Jersey area, as well as a medical doctor from Germany, gathered in Barrytown for Unification Theological Seminary’s unprecedented “Three Day University” on January 9-11, 2013.
This workshop was designed to “to display [UTS’s] faith in the vitality, talent, and intellectual ‘firepower’ of Unificationists and like-minded allies and colleagues in America, and in our capacity to contribute to the larger culture and world,” according to Dr. Richard Panzer, President of UTS and Barrytown College of UTS (expected to receive approval from the New York State Education Department in February, 2013).
Dr. Panzer said, “We appreciated having Dr. Michael Balcomb, executive vice president of the Unification Church, welcome the participants and encourage them to use the opportunity provided by the Three Day University to explore the interaction between their faith and reality and to reflect upon how they could apply spiritual values to solve problems in their communities, nation and world.”
Dr. Panzer continued: “In addition to our UTS and Barrytown College faculty, we appreciated having outstanding and accomplished lecturers share their wide range of expertise.”
Topics included the “The Spiritual Dimensions of Music and Art/Music As a Change Agent” presented by David Eaton, director of the New York City Symphony and producer at Manhattan Center Studios, “Using YouTube for Ministry” by Pierre Tardy, publisher of the CompletedTestamentTV youtube channel, “Using Media for Social Outreach and Networking” by composer and documentary film director/producer Kevin Pickard and Kate Tsubata, founder and executive director of WAIT (Washington AIDS Intervention Team) and writer/producer of documentary films with LightSmith Productions; “Scientific Perspectives on the Origins and Nature of the Universe” presented by Alison Wakelin, Senior Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy at Widener University; “The Leader of Heart is the Leader of Authority, Applied Leadership" presented by Dr. Ann Iparraguirre, District Pastor of District 3; “A Principled Understanding of Business Management” presented by James Edgerly, senior advisor to Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) USA and management consultant; and “Rowling's use of Folklore in the World of Harry Potter” presented by Sammi Vanderstok, a young Unificationist scholar.
UTS faculty who participated in Three Day University as lecturers included Dr. Stephen Murray, dean of the College, who presented “The Changing Landscape of Religion in America,” which addressed the legacy of new religious movements such as the Unification Church, and “Technology and Theology in Futuristic Perspectives”; Dr. Keisuke Noda, chairman of the World Religions and Philosophy Department at Barrytown College, who presented two seminars about " Tipping Point of Good and Evil: Integrated Self and Meaning of Life”; Dr. Kathy Winings, Vice President of Academic Affairs at UTS, who spoke about My Neurons Made Me Do It: The New Brain Science and Dr. Donna Ferrantello, assistant professor of Literature at Barrytown College, who led a poetry writing seminar on “What does Metaphor have to do with you?”
Several seminars also explored issues raised by President of HSA-UWC USA Rev. Hyung Jin Moon and Chairman of the Tongil Foundation Rev. Kook Jin Moon regarding the "Freedom Society." These included “Economics for a Free Society” presented by Dr. Mark Isaacs, a UTS adjunct professor; “Principled Perspectives on Governance” presented by Dr. Gordon Anderson, President of Paragon House Publishers and author of many articles and books, including his most recent, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0; and “Church and State: Status of Religious Freedom around the World” by Dan Fefferman, president of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom. Furthermore, two seminars on " What Science Says about Love and Relationships” co-presented by Lynn Walsh, director of the Universal Peace Federation’s Office of Marriage, Family and Human Development, and Dr. Panzer, focused on issues relating to recent sermons by Rev. Hyung Jin Moon on "Absolute Sex."
Feedback from Participants of Three Day University:
What did you find most interesting about the Three Day University?
“How so much knowledge can be put into my brain in three days.”
“The most interesting thing about the Three Day University was the lecture on love. I thought it was applicable to everyone.”
“The information was fresh, unique and thought provoking, and most importantly, applicable.”
“I thought the topics of classes were really interesting. They aren’t typical courses that I’ve seen.”
“How the professors were able to connect the learning material with the Divine Principle. It made it easier to connect the material to real life.”
“I thought it was really interesting having principled perspectives and spirituality integrated into the topics and the classes. It really brought a new viewpoint and value in what we are learning.”
“The fact that there are both Unificationist and non-Unificationist members in both the faculty and student body.”
“The topics were great. I’m personally pretty interested in religion and psychology so I loved the topics about our minds and relationships and how the Divine Principle can be applied to the world.”
“I think that it’s amazing how many influential people in our church came out to make this offering.”
“I thought it was interesting how they taught things that normal colleges don’t.”
“I really liked the topics that were more catered to a less scientific mind. The Harry Potter lecture was my personal favorite because it introduced the concept of enjoying your classes.”
“The thing I found most interesting was the fact that Barrytown College is a university that hasn’t started up yet. I am so curious to see where this college will go and how it will develop.”
“I found that the speakers themselves were the most interesting. I was inspired by the fact that they could apply their morals and principles to their careers.”
“Just listening to people apply the Principle to everyday questions about life.”
“I like having a principled perspective on general subjects.”
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