UTS-Online is Off to a Strong Start
- by Cabot W. Peterson (UTS‘92)
The UTS-Online study program, begun this semester, is off to a strong start. Over 40 students have signed up for one of the two classes - in some cases both classes - being taught by Drs. Tyler Hendricks and Andrew Wilson.
Dr. Hendricks is teaching a course entitled: Unification Apologetics in Practical Contexts in which the students learn how to represent Unification faith to those who challenge it and how to respond to criticisms and accusations, both personally and publically.
The second course, being taught by Dr. Wilson, entitled: Divine Principle in Depth, is an advanced course offering deeper insights into the Bible and Christian doctrines viewed from a Principle perspective.
Each course is an intensive eight-week program, covering the same amount of material that would normally be covered in 15 weeks of a classroom setting.
In spite of the relatively short run-up time before the launching of the online program, students from diverse - and distant - countries have signed up, including Albania, Austria, Kosovo, Canada, and the United States.
Jennifer Yashiro first heard about the new program when Dr. Hugh Spurgin, President of UTS, spoke to the members of the Clifton (NJ) Family Church and was won over by what she referred to as “Dr. Spurgin’s convincing and effective presentation.”
“My expectations are being met and exceeded. I really like how the course is put together and how you can access discussions, resources, grades and all quite easily. I find myself checking in often to look for new discussions or comments; something that doesn’t happen in a traditional class setting.”Larry Krishnek (UTS’93), Counselor, UTS-Online Student
“I jumped on this opportunity, said Jennifer, “because distance learning fits with my lifestyle and the time was right. I’m impressed and inspired. I couldn’t have imagined how exciting, deep and powerful the content would be, as well as the interactions with classmates and with Dr. Hendricks.
“I hope to take Dr. Wilson’s Divine Principle class if it’s offered again. I will enthusiastically recommend UTS-online and particularly the Apologetics class to friends and family. I believe that the content can benefit peoples’ lives of faith.”
Larry Krishnek (UTS’93), who is a regional counselor for the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) in the northwest and lives in Washington state, was one of the first to jump on board.
“I first heard that UTS would be offering online courses during one of our weekly staff meetings,” said Larry. “Soon after, an email came with an outline of the Apologetics course content. In my work as a counselor, and in daily life, I encounter issues that I wish I could handle in a more rational, systematic way. I decided right away that I would like to take this, and that it would be really beneficial.
“My expectations are being met and exceeded. I really like how the course is put together and how you can access discussions, resources, grades and all quite easily. I find myself checking in often to look for new discussions or comments; something that doesn’t happen in a traditional class setting.”
One student from Albania is especially grateful for the opportunity to study at UTS. "This MA in Religious Studies course… to me was an answer from God, as I was looking here in Albania to study for a masters in social work. I have my bachelor’s in social work, but did not find myself comfortable with the courses, because I want to use what I learn for God's providence. So, here, I find myself very satisfied and happy to learn many things that I am in need of."
Students in Dr. Wilson’s class have been equally impressed and stimulated by the content of the lectures and the way in which Dr. Wilson sheds light on a deep understanding of the Principle can expand and clarify their relationship with God and humanity.
“This lecture was fascinating, I’m still digesting it,” expressed Tasnah Moyer. “... I really appreciated how clearly it broke down many of the skewed concepts of the male/female relationships from Christianity and Confucianism, that male and female qualities should contribute to a greater whole rather than detract. I also really liked the depiction of the differences in style of leadership and education between men and women.”
Roland Platt’s point of clarity in understanding God’s nature seen through the prism of the Principle was equally as profound as it was revelatory.
“God’s dual characteristics implies that God is a being of RELATIONSHIPS,” said Roland. “That stood out for me. And therefore, we have the nature to live for the sake of others. I am often amazed at how simple and obvious the truth contained in the Principle is.”
It was left to Ajet Bosi from Albania, however, to put into words what every professor longs to hear, “Dr. Wilson speaks in a way that is really easy to understand and to connect with the lecture.”
Both Dr. Hendricks and Dr. Wilson will again be teaching online courses in the spring of 2018. Dr. Hendricks will teach, Life and Thought of Sun Myung and Hak Ja Han Moon, and Dr. Wilson will teach World Scriptures and World Peace. Once again, each course will be eight weeks long, beginning on March 12. The sign-up deadline will be Friday, March 2.