Kick-start your Theological and Religious Studies
- by Robin James Graham (UTS’80) Director of Enrollment Management
People study at the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) for very different reasons. Ideas, texts, beliefs and actions are at the heart of Theology and Religious Studies. You may be considering whether to take one or both of the upcoming online courses; even to go on to pursue a full UTS degree. However, some of you may still be wondering what the benefits may be of taking courses at UTS.
In June 2017 UTS News brought you the article Fields Beyond Congregational Ministry by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) which stated that in the latest findings from the 2015–2016 Graduating Student Questionnaire published by ATS, roughly 35% of graduating MDiv students plan on pursuing a career direction other than religious leadership, and that in some seminaries that % is even higher.
Like some successful UTS alumnae and alumni you may be interested to start a not-for-profit, to become a teacher, to enter chaplaincy, or perhaps to go into social work. Quite a number of alumni have gone on to practice law, and others to launch successful businesses. You may have already followed a different career or family track and now simply want to take the opportunity to sign up for UTS courses to further your own knowledge about history, theology, scripture, and world religions.
There are then the UTS alumni who have chosen to pursue religious education and leadership. There are alumni serving throughout the world in over 60 nations
UTS News highlights alumnae and alumni who have used their UTS studies to be a stepping stone to pursue a life they love. This week UTS News introduces Dr. D. Michael Hentrich, who has been active in religious education and leadership since his graduation from UTS in the Class of 1979. His latest publication is The Humanist God.
The Humanist God
By Dr. D. Michael Hentrich (UTS’79)
Debunking both the god humanists have hated as well as the god religionists have loved.
While there are certainly many types of people who would refer to themselves as “humanists” we will not undertake an exhaustive survey of classical or contemporary humanism in this book. Rather, we will use a broad brush and speak generally about those contemporary humanists who reject the notion of a divine creator who is involved in people’s everyday lives. As such, a good humanist tends to define human and social life solely based on rational and empirical perspectives and dismiss any form of mysticism or spirituality.
We will scrutinize the god that is hated by so many people. We will dissect that god and analyze the findings. But, we will also scrutinize the god of “believers” and perform a sort of autopsy on the fictitious and ferocious god in whom many of them believe. The focus of this work is therefore on our common notions of god, rather than on all the various related and unrelated aspects of what constitutes humanism and/or what defines the faithful “believer”.
Are we advocating a new kind of god here? Are we attempting to redefine god? As you progress through this book, you will decide the answer to these questions for yourself. This discussion is long overdue.