The Master of Religious Education (MRE) program at the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) is a prime example of how religious studies are pioneering new roads in the implementation and practice of both teaching and learning and also interfaith peace building.

I was born in the Netherlands, stereotypically known as the land of windmills, tulips, bicycles and cheese. Among intellectual types, the Netherlands is also known as the land of Rembrandt and Van Gogh, of Erasmus and Spinoza.

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Mugyo Choe, after seven years as a church leader in Japan, came to UTS in order to improve his competency as a minister and learn how to do ministry in an environment of religious pluralism. Now, as a Field Education Intern in the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at Westchester Medical Center, Mugyo has the opportunity to achieve his goals. Reflecting on his experience, Mugyo reports that in the hospital environment he regularly encounters imams, rabbis, priest and clergy from several Protestant denominations. Moreover, as a hospital chaplain, he also ministers to all patients no matter what their religious preference.

Mugyo is the first Barrytown Student in the thirty year history of UTS to be accepted into a CPE program and is the first recipient of one of the five $1200 scholarships UTS established this term to support students who have been accepted into CPE programs. Westchester Medical Center is one of three accredited CPE program sites in close proximity to the UTS Barrytown Campus. Other students are in the process of applying to CPE programs at Albany Medical Center and Vassar Brothers Hospital—both within one hour of the seminary.

 

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