As the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) reaches its 40th year, faculty and staff are preparing for an unprecedented, three-day event to mark this milestone. That includes graduation of undergraduate as well as graduate students, a reception, a thinkers’ conference for alumni on Sunday and Monday, a documentary slide show, and an open discussion with President Hugh Spurgin– all at the Barrytown campus where the Founder began the school in September 1975.

A visitor to the chapel of the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) in Barrytown today will open the door, and the first thing that hits him or her will be the light. His or her eyes will be drawn to shafts of light streaming down from 16 brand new, double-paned, tinted, argon-gas filled, segmented windows.

UTS Founder Rev Sun Myung MoonRev. Sun Myung Moon was born in North Pyeongan Province, now part of North Korea, February 25, 1920 (lunar: January 6, 1920). He is the founder of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) or Unification Church in 1954, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) in 1994, and the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in 2005. He was called to religious ministry as a result of a direct experience with Jesus Christ in 1935. His original teachings are published in English as Exposition of the Divine Principle (1996). He is a prolific speaker whose collected sermons fill over 400 volumes.

Rev. Moon founded Unification Theological Seminary in 1975 as an institution of higher learning dedicated to “interreligious, interracial and international unity.” This was consistent with his belief that theological studies can only be adequately pursued in relationship to the full range of religious traditions. Rev. Moon continued his support of UTS as well as a number of ecumenical and interreligious organizations begun at the Seminary. In 1985, 1990, and 1992, Rev. Moon hosted well-attended Assemblies of the World’s Religions. In 1998, he proposed establishment of an inter-religious council at the United Nations, an idea that was taken up by a number of national delegations and is currently under discussion in the General Assembly. In 2003, he launched the Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI) which in over 35 pilgrimages has brought thousands of peace-makers from diverse religions and nationalities to the region.

In addition to Unification Theological Seminary, Rev. Moon founded Sun Moon University (1989- ); the Little Angels Performing Arts Center (1981-); and Cheong-shim Graduate School of Theology (2003-) in Korea; and the Kirov Academy of Ballet (1990-) in Washington, D.C. He also played an instrumental role in reviving the University of Bridgeport . Rev. Moon is the founder of The Washington Times (1982-); the Segye Times (1989-), a Korean daily newspaper; Sekai Nippo (1975-), a Japanese daily newspaper; Tiempos Del Mundo (1996-), an international Spanish daily newspaper distributed in Latin America; and the Middle East Times (1983-), a weekly newspaper published in the Middle East. He is renowned for his “International Marriage Blessings” which, since 1960, have brought together ever-increasing numbers of couples dedicated to world peace.

Barrytown campus

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