Unification Theological Seminary

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Unification Theological Seminary
UTS-Interfaith Seminary Logo.png
TypePrivate Seminary
PresidentDr. Hugh Spurgin[1]
New York
United States
CampusRural, 250 acres (100 ha)[2] including Soccer Field and Scenic Pond with Urban Campus in New York City

The Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) is the main seminary of the international Unification Church. It is located in Barrytown, New York, and with an Extension Center in midtown Manhattan. Its purpose has been described as training leaders and theologians within the Unification Church.[3] The seminary's first classes were offered in September 1975. The institution's regional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education first granted in 1996 was reaffirmed in 2016.[4][5][6]

While most of the UTS's students have been Unification Church members,[7] a growing number come from diverse churches and faiths. The seminary's professors come from a wide range of faiths, including a Rabbi, a Sheikh, a Methodist minister, a Presbyterian, and a Roman Catholic priest.[8][9][10] In 2003, the seminary had about 120 students from around the world, with most coming from South Korea and Japan, which have large numbers of Unification Church members.[11]


The seminary offers four distinct degree programs:

Program Duration of the Course Concentrations Notes
Master of Religious Education 2-year Program Religious Education & Interfaith Peacebuilding Welcomed the first class of 56 students in 1975
Master of Divinity 3-year Program Added in 1980
Doctor of Ministry Inaugurated in 2006
Master of Arts in Religious Studies 2-year Program Interfaith Peacebuilding, Non-profit Leadership, Unification Studies & Theological Studies Added in 2011

Presidents (past and current)[edit]

The Seminary has had five presidents so far.

No. Name Duration of Service Notes
Founding President.[12] David S.C. Kim, 1915–2011 1975 to 1994
2nd President Theodore Shimmyo 1994 to 2000
3rd President Tyler Hendricks, 1948– 2000 to 2010[13]
4th President Dr. Richard A. Panzer 2010 to 2015[14] Resigned
Incumbent Dr. Hugh Spurgin 2015 to present


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "President's Message" Archived 2012-02-25 at the Wayback Machine UTS Website. Accessed February 16, 2012
  2. ^ Virtual Tour of UTS Campus Archived 2012-02-03 at the Wayback Machine UTS Website. Accessed February 14, 2012
  3. ^ Yamamoto, J. I., 1995, Unification Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House ISBN 0-310-70381-6 (Excerpt: Archived 2012-02-10 at the Wayback Machine)
    "1. The Unification Theological Seminary
    a. The Unification Church has a seminary in Barrytown, New York called The Unification Theological Seminary.
    b. It is used as a theological training center, where members are prepared to be leaders and theologians in the church.
    c. Since many people regard Moon as a cult leader, there is a false impression that this seminary is academically weak.
    d. Moon’s seminary, however, has not only attracted a respectable faculty (many of whom are not members of his church), but it also has graduated many students (who are members of his church) who have been accepted into doctoral programs at institutions such as Harvard and Yale."
  4. ^ "New England, Mid-Atlantic Accreditors Reaffirmation of the Seminary's Accreditation" Archived 2016-03-26 at the Wayback Machine MSA CHE. accessed March 16, 2016
  5. ^ "List of Accredited Institutions by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education" MSA CHE. accessed March 16, 2016
  6. ^ "Removal of Probation and Reaffirmation of Accreditation" MSA CHE. accessed March 16, 2016
  7. ^ Korean Moon: Waxing or Waning Leo Sandon Jr. Theology Today, July 1978, "The Unification Church purchased the estate and now administers a growing seminary where approximately 110 Moonies engage in a two-year curriculum which includes biblical studies, church history, philosophy, theology, religious education, and which leads to a Master of Religious Education degree."
  8. ^ Dialogue with the Moonies Rodney Sawatsky, Theology Today, April 1978. "Only a minority of their teachers are Unification devotees; a Jew teaches Old Testament, a Christian instructs in church history and a Presbyterian lectures in theology, and so on. Typical sectarian fears of the outsider are not found among Moonies; truth is one or at least must become one, and understanding can be delivered even by the uninitiated."
  9. ^ Where have all the Moonies gone? Archived 2012-07-30 at Archive.today K. Gordon Neufeld, First Things, March 2008, "While I was studying theology, church history, and the Bible—taught by an eclectic faculty that included a rabbi, a Jesuit priest, and a Methodist minister—most of my young coreligionists were standing on street corners in San Francisco, Boston, and Miami urging strangers to attend a vaguely described dinner."
  10. ^ Divine Principle and the Second Advent Archived 2008-09-21 at the Wayback Machine Christian Century May 11, 1977 "In fact Moon’s adherents differ from previous fringe groups in their quite early and expensive pursuit of respectability, as evidenced by the scientific conventions they have sponsored in England and the U.S. and the seminary they have established in Barrytown, New York, whose faculty is composed not of their own group members but rather of respected Christian scholars."
  11. ^ Church urges Christian unity: Valley seminary open since 1975 Poughkeepsie Journal, 2003-12-11 "The seminary usually hosts about 120 students from all over the world, with the majority coming from Japan and Korea, where Unification has large bases."
  12. ^ Tribute to 1st UTS President, Dr. David S.C. Kim, 1915-2011 Archived 2012-02-08 at the Wayback Machine UTS Website. Accessed February 13, 2012.
  13. ^ Thank you Tyler Hendricks (UTS’78) UTS Alumni Association Website. Accessed February 14, 2012
  14. ^ Dr. Richard Panzer Takes the Helm at Unification Theological Seminary Unification Church News Website. Accessed February 14, 2012
  15. ^ New President for US Church, TParents Website. Accessed February 14, 2012
  16. ^ Tyler Owen Hendricks Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine UTS Website. Accessed February 14, 2012
  17. ^ Rev. Michael Jenkins, New HSA President, TParents Website. Accessed February 14, 2012

External links[edit]