"I'm beginning the second week of the DMin program here at Barrytown. It was a very emotional rush of feelings and memories when I arrived last Sunday. In some ways, it's exactly how it was 30 years ago when I arrived bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to save the world. As soon as I got here Sunday, I headed for Father's Trail to breathe in the presence of Reverend Moon's vigor and spirit. I remembered our hand and net fishing in the lagoon and the bonfires on the beach. I located our class's graduation plaque in the hallway. Each face has a powerful story of God's love. Many are no longer members and some have even transitioned to the spirit world, but a few are bright stars in the providence centered on True Parents.
"There have been lots of changes -- the dining hall now has a fireplace and the information booth was moved to the center of the road. These may've been done long ago, but I managed to come here only two times since my graduation -- a ten year anniversary organized by Tom Ward and then two years ago for the Parents Convocation. There's construction on the third floor dormitory to welcome local college students later this month, and the preparations continue for the transition of classes to the Extension Center in Manhattan.
"The two week summer intensive session, which we began last Monday, has three classes. The first is taught by Dr. Roderick McLean on 'Spiritual Formation and Integration' and deals with theological reflection. The second, by Dr. Andrew Wilson, is on dissertation research. The third, by Dr. Jacob David on 'Theological and Ethical Perspectives of Ministerial Leadership,' gets more into the nitty gritty of care and counseling for ministry. The winter session will be in February. Dr. Kathy Winings has done an incredible job of overseeing the doctoral program.
"There is an ecumenical mix in our entering class, and Rev. Michael Jenkins, Executive Director of the ACLC, is joining us on Monday. The whole day is spent in class but I take time to walk on Father's Trail and absorb the incredible beauty and holiness and listen for God's voice. When we were in Israel, there was a joke that a phone call made in Rome to God costs $100 a minute because it's long distance, but in Jerusalem it's only twenty-five cents because it's a local call. I like to think that a phone call to God from Barrytown is also a local call.
"I recommend you check out the Doctor of Ministry program!"
William Selig is Executive Director of the Summit Council for World Peace, Washington, DC.