The UTS New York City Campus is Now the Main Campus of UTS
- by Robin James Graham, Director of Institutional Advancement
UTS Faculty and Staff at 4 West 43rd Street. The official new main campus for UTS as of July 1st.
The news came that the NY Board of Regents had approved the change of the main campus for UTS from Barrytown, NY to New York City. From July 1, 2019 the new name of the UTS main location will be the UTS New York City Campus located at 4 West 43rd St. Barrytown will be an "instructional site".
The Board of Regents then held its meeting on May 7.
Master Plan Amendment – Unification Theological Seminary - Relocation of main campus from Barrytown, NY to NYC - The Board of Regents voted to approve a master plan amendment to authorize the Unification Theological Seminary to relocate its main campus in Barrytown, New York, to 4 West 43rd Street, New York, NY.
Dr. Spurgin, UTS president, had anticipated the reshuffle of the main campus from Barrytown to 4 W43 and made some personnel changes with a renewed emphasis on the marketing of academic programs, recruitment of students, and student retention.
In October 2018, Dr. Drissa Kone was appointed Director of Enrollment Management. With oversight for Admissions, Recruitment and Student Life, Dr. Kone has been steadily working on the reorganization of the Enrollment Management staff. He remains an Assistant Professor of Ministry.
In October, Dr Spurgin determined to work closely with Dr Kone in recruitment, and he urged the Board of Trustees to launch a Committee for Institutional Advancement with key functions to support fund-raising, church and alumni relations, internal and external communications, and student recruitment as a top priority. In 2019 that committee, led by trustee Rev. Richard Buessing, has been carefully assessing recruitment imperatives and coming up with strategies and solutions. Rev. Buessing enrolled Naokimi Ushiroda, Director of YAYAM - Youth and Young Adult Ministry, to help facilitate and guide the committee through the complex issues of recruitment and marketing. As many people know, Naokimi (an MA student at UTS) has a unique talent in helping teams to define goals and responsibilities, and establish accountability. The leadership of the Board in this area has encouraged the UTS administration to make constructive efforts to achieve greater success.
In the staffing of UTS, President Spurgin has made the following changes:
- Emiljun Rapada (UTS’17) was hired as Director of Recruitment and Marketing
- Joy Theriot was appointed Director of Student Life and Interfaith Outreach.
- Bob Wagner, the UTS Librarian, has assumed increased greater responsibility for the technical aspects of the UTS Online Learning Management Platform.
UTS-Online is now in its third year and has steadily been growing in popularity. In the summer of 2019 the UTS administration will petition the New York State Education Department to grant permission for a fully online Master of Arts in Religious Studies (MA).
When asked about his vision for the coming academic year Dr. Spurgin said,
“Since being elected in January 2015 as president of UTS, my priority has been to reorganize, restructure and adapt our seminary. There are three areas in which I have invested a lot of prayer, study and planning with UTS stakeholders:
- The challenge of the seminary location in Barrytown and the costs to maintain the facility
- The need for UTS to offer appropriate programs for a changing world, including fully online degrees
- The need to support UTS by: bringing new levels of trust between UTS and the sponsoring church, and extending that confidence to our alumni and friends.
“I have attended several Association of Theological Schools conferences and seen other seminaries facing similar challenges too. Some have sold real estate, including their main campuses; secondly, seminaries have had to adapt to the needs of the marketplace with remodeled degrees and online opportunities; and thirdly, seminaries have also been faced with changing church demographics with the ensuing challenges of both financial support and relevance to their communities."
“The latest Strategic Plan (2017-2022) has tackled these issues. It also highlights the need for a greater connection in urban outreach to partnering organizations. Being fully present and operational in 4W43 will anchor our seminary in service to the city and to the wide diversity of potential students who live throughout its boroughs. I see UTS emerging as an increasingly relevant and significant player in the New York City landscape. A seminary can provide a moral compass to the worlds of politics, business, and not-for-profits too. NYC is a natural location for a forward thinking seminary like UTS. Our relationship with the United Nations, which is only a few blocks from our new home gives UTS the opportunity to engage with the UN vision for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030."
“Our courses continue to expand, and our Doctor of Ministry program is attracting a lot of attention. The UTS-Online program is continuing to grow and reach out to graduate students worldwide. UTS serves both the needs of the sponsoring church but also the wider needs of a world which can benefit from the leadership and thought of our Founders. The next decade will be an exceptional opportunity for UTS to emerge as a catalyst for peace, prosperity and human development. With God’s help our future is bright.”