Degree awardees from Bachelor of Arts to Doctor of Ministry got their marching orders to go forth and be the light of the world on Saturday at the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) in Barrytown, New York.

Faculty and students of Barrytown College said goodbye to each other Friday, May 22nd, with their signature elements of emo, film, PowerPoint, poetry and – oh yes -- group dancing. By all appearances, a lot of memories had been packed into a short two-year span in which Unification Theological Seminary had launched its first undergraduate program.

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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