The Words of the Jenkins Family after 2008

Letter from UTS Board of Trustees

Michael Jenkins
February 26, 2009

I am writing to report to you about the developments at the Unification Theological Seminary and also the challenges that we are currently facing. The seminary has made great strides, but in the face of fiscal difficulties we have come face to face with the mistakes that we have made in remaining dependent on the church and the larger movement for support. At this time we are reviewing financial procedures and drawing up a new business plan which will include a clear tuition and fees plan along with formalized procedures for application for financial aid.

In the course of our discussion during this week's Board of Trustees Meeting we realized that UTS needs to shift to a new paradigm. In that light we will be sending a report to you along with our new plan and only after that will we invite you to help in whatever ways you are able. We are using this occasion to express openness to all alumni for suggestions and invite your help in creating a world class institution of higher education. The progress that we have made in the academic program is a source of pride for all of us. Our doctor of ministry program now has 35 doctoral students, and a better "career" plan for graduates has allowed several to pursue a career path as chaplains.

Mr. Chris Antal, the head of our interfaith department for UTS, has been accepted as the first chaplain to the U.S. Army from UTS. The Extension Center in NYC has 73 students.

As alumni, we have all shared a common experience at UTS concerning the vision of our True Parents for the unity of religions and the role of Christianity in America as well as all faith traditions in the world. Also, we have fond memories of friendships and bonds that were developed through our encounter with God and with our brothers and sisters that can never be forgotten. Sometimes we cried and sometimes we were filled with joy.

Now that there is an annual alumni reunion, featuring the 30-year anniversary graduates, on graduation weekend, we are reminded about how deep those bonds really are.

As you know, there is a global economic crisis facing all sectors of the world. The seminary itself is also facing such challenges. We want to ask your support as we are going through a restructuring of UTS at this time. We are not asking for financial support at this time but rather spiritual, moral and practical support that you might offer to see the seminary through these tough times. The scholarship programs that have been generously supported by our worldwide movement, and in particular True Parents as well as Dr. Hyun Jill Moon, have brought many fine international students to our campus, as well as providing a higher degree in religious education of some of New York's finest Christian pastors.

We are writing to let you know that there is restructuring going on and we would like to request your help in the future with this process. We would like you to pray for our seminary and be ready to help us when we request your support in the future. Through the current efforts to increase the quality of our seminary faculty and administration, Dr. Lonnie McLeod, who is also a professor at New York Theological Seminary, has become the dean of our extension center. He is the past president of the United Churches of Christ Ministerial Council of New York, and is a very experienced professor and pastor. Such professors and leadership are bringing a great deal of depth and professionalism to our seminary.

The current scholarship program has also allowed for students from the Islamic tradition and other Christian faiths to join our campus in Barrytown. Notable young people, such as Ms. Chipho Muzorewa, the niece of the former prime minister of Zimbabwe, and other notable relatives of prestigious Ambassadors for Peace have joined our seminary. These developments have allowed us to seriously convene special programs at our Extension Center at 4 West 43rd St., in which other seminary professors, presidents, and students have come for forums and education and dialogue.

The Board of Trustees, which is made up of a number of alumni of UTS and professionals of different faith communities, stands behind UTS President Dr. Tyler Hendricks and the current administration, and are committed to work with him to see this great institution of higher learning realize a bright and prosperous future. We would like to ask the alumni to support this restructuring and also offer ideas about how we might make the seminary more attractive to students of all faiths as we seek better ways to fulfill the goals of our Founder.

We thank you sincerely and pray that your family and your work are doubly blessed by God at this time. Sincerely,

Rev. Michael Jenkins
Vice Chairman, UTS Board of Trustees

Mrs. Katie Zahedi

Mr. Farley Jones Esq.
Past Chairman, Board of Trustees

Mr. Jim Borer

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