The mood of the first class of UTS at the Clinton Maryland satellite center was upbeat and veering toward the heights of optimism at its first convocation on Monday, Sept. 28th. The celebration began with prayer of blessing offered by Bishop David Billings, presiding Bishop, United Fellowship of Churches International and UTS Board of Trustees member.

The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) provides an overview of enrollment, students, faculty, and finances at member schools. Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) is not yet a member of ATS, but our presidents and administrative staff have been welcomed at several ATS conferences over the last 15 years.

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On Monday August 14, 2006, a cadre of 13 ministers and spiritual leaders commenced their studies toward the Doctor of Ministry degree. "The group is wonderfully diverse," D.Min. Director Dr. Kathy Winings stated, "with individuals from five faith bodies, three races and several nationalities. What they share is a desire to deepen their ministries in service to God and the world."

The Intensive lasted for two weeks. The first week featured a course from Dr. Roderick McLean (UMC), and the second from Dr. Jacob David (Episcopalian). The two weeks included a one-hour session each day led by Dr. Keisuke Noda on research methods. "Research reveals that the dissertation is a challenge for many D.Min. candidates," explained Dr. Winings, "So we decided to get the students thinking about their dissertation from the beginning, even though the dissertation work doesn't begin formally until the conclusion of the two years of course work."

The courses featured a generous amount of time given to discussion and interaction with the professor and fellow students.

The two years of the program each include two-week intensive periods in August and February on the Barrytown campus. "This allows the students to develop a spirit of comaraderie that compliments the mentoring that takes place through field supervision and site teams back home," said Dr. Andrew Wilson, UTS Academic Dean.

The program was approved by the New York State Education Department in June, after a rigorous process of planning, assessment and peer review.

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