Students at the Barrytown College of the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) got a face-to-face meeting with Dr. Michael Balcomb and Dr. Hugh Spurgin on Thursday, March 19, and learned of some sobering realities and some good news, too.

Two Unification pastors, both working moms, are newly enrolled as students in the Doctorate in Ministry degree program at UTS, in which students meet in Barrytown for 2 weeks in August and 2 weeks in February, and do the rest of their coursework at home.

After a five-month process, the UTS Faculty has approved a set of Learning Outcomes by which to evaluate the effectiveness of its new Interfaith Peacebuilding program. This is in line with the school's "culture of evidence" by which academic and student life can be evaluated by the results it has for students' intellectual, professional and spiritual development.

Download:icon UTS Learning Outcomes For The Interfaith Peacebuilding Concentration Of The MRE Program (22.31 kB)

The program's initial design, which was approved by the Faculty in the summer of 2007, included a list of twelve Purposes. Then, in the fall of 2007 the President had the opportunity to survey a cross-section of movement leaders (potential employers), and a second group of individuals from diverse faiths and nationalities, about what personal qualities and professional competencies they most wanted to see in the UTS graduates whom they might hire for leadership positions.

The survey listed 26 competencies, from "a living relationship to God" to "counseling ability and listening skills" and "event and project management." Nearly 150 leaders were surveyed, with the results indicating that what they prize most highly is students' spiritual formation and moral character more than a discrete skill set.

When the Faculty was shown the survey and its results, they recognized the need for a more comprehensive list of Learning Outcomes. They saw that it could have many different uses:

  • to assess how well UTS is training its students to fulfill these outcomes
  • to assess how well the courses and the curriculum promote these outcomes
  • to guide the faculty in upgrading or redesigning the curriculum

 

Thus in October 2007, Dr. Mark Isaacs, Mr. Chris Antal and Academic Dean Dr. Andrew Wilson formed an ad hoc committee to craft a list of learning outcomes. The committee looked at the learning outcomes of other schools, as well as the ATS guidelines. In time, all members of the faculty would have input into the list. The final list of 27 outcomes was approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting of February 27, 2008.

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