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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Joshua Lorenzana, from the Philippines, and Galina Li, from Russia, are the first recipients of the UTS Jerusalem Peacebuilder Scholarship—a new grant program to help students develop competency in the field of interreligious peacebuilding. On December 27 Joshua will fly to Israel where he will spend six months in a supervised internship in the historic city of Jerusalem. In his learning contract, which all UTS students develop before starting their Field Education Internship, Joshua states one of his goals is to “apply principles of peacebuilding learned at UTS such as exploration of common ground, engagement in the world of the religious other” as well as practicing the “peacebuilding teachings of the world religions” which he learned in courses at UTS. Galina is scheduled to begin her internship in the summer of 2008. Applications for the Fall 2008 Grant will be accepted though April 1.

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