Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year!
- by Dr. Hugh Spurgin (UTS’77), President
As 2017 draws to a close, I hope you will consider giving an end-of-the-year charitable donation to UTS. Though there is always need, the news from UTS is inspirational.
Photo: Dr. Hugh Spurgin and Mrs. Nora Spurgin
Founded in 1975, UTS has seen both good and challenging days. Yet UTS continues to weather the ups and downs that are affecting the entire industry of theological education. Recently, I attended a conference for presidents of seminaries, which was held by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Listening to the experiences and the difficulties faced by many seminaries, I am happy to report to that UTS is doing reasonably well.
Our seminary faces challenges but the future for UTS is positive. Let me point out some bright points:
The UTS Board of Trustees has new leadership with Rev. Franco Famularo (UTS’94) as Chair with Dr. Christine Hempowicz (UTS’86) as Vice-Chair. Rev. Richard Buessing, the president of our sponsoring church, joined the Board and has been taking UTS courses online.
UTS-Online courses began in October. The feedback from students and professors is very encouraging. Two more online courses will be offered from March 12. Both courses are for 8 weeks and are already attracting a lot of interest and sign-ups. Please see the courses that are being offered on the UTS-Online info page.
2017 has seen the Guest Speaker series at our NYC campus grow and develop. During the Fall semester, the presentations have been filmed and gone live onto the UTS Facebook page. They are also available for later viewing. In October 2017 UTS welcomed Dr. Ani Kalayjian as the guest speaker.
In July 2017, Dr. Keisuke Noda assumed responsibility as Academic Dean. He has worked with myself to oversee the launch of the UTS-Online courses and is also introducing a new intensive course, Interfaith Peace-building & the UN, to be taught by visiting professor Dr. Frank Kaufmann.
The UTS Doctor of Ministry program continues to be exceptional. It is “an advanced theological degree that provides students who are engaged in ministerial leadership the opportunity to enhance and expand their ministerial skills and to reflect on their own theological and spiritual development as men and women of God.” Several well-known alumni/ae have benefited greatly from their D.Min. studies: including Dr. Michael Balcomb, Dr. Michael Jenkins, Dr. Drissa Kone, Dr. Gerhard Bessell, Dr. Edmond Charley, Dr. Rollain Muanda, Dr. Moonsik Kim, Dr. Dong Woo Kim, Dr. Ebony Kirkland, and Dr. Karen Judd Smith and several others.
As we venture confidently into a new year, UTS continues to receive significant funding from the sponsoring church, yet your financial support will help tremendously to cover the shortfalls and support several new initiatives that we are undertaking in order to maintain UTS as a vital part of our spiritual community.
You can give online at https://uts.edu/support-the-seminary
Please send checks to: