Nearly 200 Generation Peace Academy (GPA) trainees, Unificationists and ministers from the state of New York, gathered in Barrytown, New York for Unification Theological Seminary’s (UTS) unprecedented “Three Day University” on January 9-11, 2013. This workshop, following in the pattern of so-called “One Day Universities” at elite schools on the East Coast, was designed to “to display [UTS’s] faith in the vitality, talent, and intellectual ‘firepower’ of Unificationists and like-minded allies and colleagues in America, and [Unificationist] capacity to contribute to the larger culture and world,” according to UTS’s website.
Speaking on behalf of the organizers, Dr. Richard Panzer, president of UTS and Barrytown College, which is expected to receive approval from the New York State Education Department in February of 2013, said, “We appreciated having Dr. Michael Balcomb, vice president of the Unification Church, welcome the participants. He encouraged those attending to use the opportunity provided by the Three Day University to explore the interaction between their faith and reality and to reflect upon how they could apply spiritual values to solve problems in their communities, nation and world.”
Dr. Panzer continued: “In addition to our UTS and Barrytown College faculty, we appreciated having outstanding and accomplished lecturers share their wide range of expertise.”
Topics included the “Impact of Culture on Society” and “Using Media for Outreach and Ministry” presented by David Eaton, producer at Manhattan Center Studios, Pierre Tardy, creator of Completed Testament TV, Film-maker Kevin Pickard, and Kate Tsubata, founder and executive director of Washington AIDS International Teens (WAIT); “Scientific Research on Love and Relationships” presented by Lynn Walsh, director of the Universal Peace Federation’s Office of Marriage, Family and Human Development; “Scientific Perspectives on the Origins and Nature of the Universe” presented by Alison Wakelin; “The Leader of Heart is the Leader of Authority, Applied Leadership" presented by Dr. Ann Iparraguirre, District Pastor of the New Jersey-Pennsylvania region; "A Principled Understanding of Business Management" presented by James Edgerly, senior advisor to Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) USA ; and "Rowling’s use of Folklore in the World of Harry Potter” presented by Sammi Vanderstok, a young Unificationist scholar.
UTS faculty who participated in Three Day University as lecturers included Dr. Stephen Murray, dean of the College, who presented “Religious Trends in America,” which addressed the legacy of new religious movements such as the Unification Church, and "Technology and Theology in Futuristic Perspectives”; Dr. Keisuke Noda, chairman of the World Religions and Philosophy Department at Barrytown College, who presented two seminars about "Tipping Point of Good and Evil: Integrated Self and Meaning of Life”; and Dr. Donna Ferrantello, assistant professor of Literature at Barrytown College, who led a poetry-writing seminar on "What does Metaphor have to do with you?"
Several seminars explored issues raised by Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, president of HSA-UWC USA, and Rev. Kook Jin Moon, Chairman of the Tongil Foundation regarding the "Freedom Society." These included "Economics for a Free Society,” presented by Dr. Mark Isaacs, a UTS adjunct professor; “Principled Approaches to Governance” presented by Dr. Gordon Anderson, a management specialist, ; as well as seminars by Dan Fefferman, president of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom, on government/church relations and religious freedom. A seminar on "What Science Says about Love and Relationships" focused on issues relating to recent sermons by Rev. Hyung Jin Moon on "Absolute Sex."
Feedback from Participants of Three Day University
“What did you find most interesting about the Three Day University?”
“How so much knowledge can be put into my brain in three days.”
“The most interesting thing about the Three Day University was the lecture on love. I thought it was applicable to everyone.”
“The information was fresh, unique and thought provoking, and most importantly, applicable.”
“I thought the topics of classes were really interesting. They aren’t typical courses that I’ve seen.”
“How the professors were able to connect the learning material with the Divine Principle. It made it easier to connect the material to real life.”
“I thought it was really interesting having principled perspectives and spirituality integrated into the topics and the classes. It really brought a new viewpoint and value in what we are learning.”
“The fact that there are both Unificationist and non-Unificationist members in both the faculty and student body.”
“The topics were great. I’m personally pretty interested in religion and psychology so I loved the topics about our minds and relationships and how the Divine Principle can be applied to the world.”
“I think that it’s amazing how many influential people in our church came out to make this offering.”