The Words of the Angelucci Family

International Peace Leadership College in the Philippines

Interview of Marilyn Angelucci
February 2012

Some of the teaching staff and the administrative staff at the International Peace Leadership College. A reflection of the new main building being constructed is visible behind them.

The Philippines has long been a major center of growth for our movement. Now Father has backed the development of the church-run International Peace Leadership College, (IPLC) which has the potential to fuel that growth -- and the growth of our church internationally. Marilyn Angelucci has been working there for some months with her husband Umberto.

Question: Where did the idea to launch a college originate?

The previous continental director, Rev. Pyeonghwa Kim, and his wife, Julia Kim, wanted to have a seminary because it was too difficult to send the Filipino members to the Unification Theological Seminary in America. They began UTS Asia in 1999. Soon after, however, they learned that they could not legally have a master's program without an undergraduate program. This led them to found the International Peace Leadership College (IPLC) in place of UTS Asia, as a general undergraduate program. From the very beginning, the Kims maintained the vision of preparing missionaries who could go out to the world.

IPLC began on a small scale in the church training center in Antipolo and expanded to another training center in Rizal Province, where there was one main building, some small shacks and a few primitive classroom buildings.

In 2010, Dr. Peter Kim, special assistant to True Parents and boonbongwang (special advisor) for the Philippines, came to visit. Current Asia regional president Rev. Chung Sik Yong explained to Dr. Kim the vision for IPLC. Dr. Kim returned to Korea and conveyed to True Parents that the Philippines has the ability to raise leaders that can go out to serve the world. The reasons are many: the Philippines is a Christian nation; it is English speaking and the people are responding to the Principle; they are loving and serving. The most important reason is its providential position as a daughter nation, meaning that the Philippines should attend Father, whose desire is to spread the truth to the world. Father said that the college should prepare a thousand missionaries every year to go out to the world. At the groundbreaking ceremony in March 2011, Dr. Kim mentioned that Father had said IPLC should become an Asian West Point.

Mr. Kim teaching a Korean language class to International Peace Leadership College students

Question: How has the initiative progressed from there?

Father generously allocated enough funds for the construction of the main classroom building, a women's dormitory and men's dormitory. The main classroom building will be finished in July. The other structures will be completed before the end of the year. There were many typhoons this past summer, which hampered the work. It rained every day but the workers continued through the rain, twenty-four hours a day sometimes, in order to complete certain parts.

Are there enough members in the Philippines to support a college that is basically for members?

We have two or three thousand members. It's relatively easy to witness in the Philippines because the people are open and warm hearted. People join quite easily, but committing themselves is more difficult. Providing adequate training is a challenge. If they have the vision that they can earn a college degree, that they can receive an education for the sake of their future, they are more likely to stay the course. Dr. Yong wants all members to earn a college degree. From IPLC they will have a Bachelor's Degree, an English as a Second Language (ESL) certificate, and a black belt in Tong-il Moo-do, so they'll have different ways that they can support themselves and make a living after they graduate, even if they go overseas.

Question: What subjects are taught?

We have six majors. Philosophy, Education, with a specialization in Values Education (Graduates of this discipline will become values teachers for the secondary schools.), Political Science, Journalism, Business Administration and Business Entrepreneurship. Business Administration is divided between Marketing and Human Resources. You can specialize in either.

Is the college accredited by the Philippines government? Four of the majors have received accreditation from the Philippine government's Commission of Higher Education. The other two, Journalism and Political Science, are now under evaluation.

Students at the International Peace Leadership College ran a voluntary project to help local children last Christmas.

Question: How many students do you have at present?

We have two hundred and thirty students. But we believe in God and that God wants to do this. Now that Father is involved, he wants us to create an extremely high-standard, disciplined institution.

We are now setting a higher standard for admission. We now insist that students who have not experienced church center life as members and who want to attend IPLC go through six months of training. We'll provide training, and then they'll go to the church centers to witness. They'll do service projects, and be involved in the different activities, and receive complete training. This way, we will have more confidence that potential student's motivation for entering the school will be pure.

We'll also screen the candidates, and those who seem to have leadership qualities, who have the desire to contribute more, will come to IPLC. So the purpose of the training is to find out if they can be leaders in the future.

Question: What will make IPLC attractive to young people such that they will accept a six-month evaluation period?

Students who come to IPLC are very inspired because of the vision and the atmosphere. Some even give up scholarships to other schools in order to attend our courses.

But it is also true that some students don't have the qualities needed for leadership or the ability to live at the standard we require. They are inspired by how they are embraced by the IPLC staff and by their peers, plus there is the bonding experience of raising funds together for their expenses. Even so, in the past, some have dropped out after one or two years. We have therefore arranged a six-month program to make sure the students have the right motivation and the leadership qualities needed to manage the course. Even so, whatever the result, it is valuable for someone to be in this six-month program because it is conducted by an international institution and will help them in the future even if they don't enroll in our school.

For example, they go fund raising in order to raise their tuition fees for the first and second semester. Fund raising improves social skills, plus it provides the opportunity for many of them to travel more widely than they otherwise would and to meet people from many different backgrounds. For the poorer students, this is a great opportunity beyond the financial benefits. Moreover, lecture practice helps with verbal communication including public speaking.

How do you cover the overall costs of running the school? Raising the operating costs is our obligation. One source of income is a one-year training program for the students after they finish their third-year that includes fund raising. At present, therefore, the bulk of our income is from the third-year students, though new students do pay a fee each semester.

The funds that students raise support the institution and all students tuition fees, not just their own. It is training for future leadership and the students can deepen their life of faith. Afterward, they come back and complete their degree program.

With a vision as grand as its name, the International Peace Leadership College celebrates the groundbreaking ceremony for a new main building, in March 2011, in Tanay, Rizal Province, in the Philippines. Construction will be completed this year.

Question: Won't you need other methods in the future?

We are also seeking sponsors for individual students. Money donated would be for a specific student. The donor, or group of donors, can make a relationship with the student and care for him or her. If the student doesn't have a spiritual parent but just came to the college, that sponsor could even become the spiritual parent. Sponsorship would be one hundred dollars a month for ten months -- a thousand dollars a year. We hope the international Filipino members will take this chance to invite and sponsor members of their tribes or some worthy, underprivileged Filipino student. "This is a great opportunity for the Filipino members outside the country to get involved in their homeland's providence.

Question: What about teaching staff?

We have some qualified staff members already, but we're recruiting. Dr. Yong has suggested that we recruit people who are sincere, ready to dedicate their lives to God and True Parents and have the heart of a missionary. It will be a challenge in the beginning, but once the system is in place the rewards will be great.

I've been praying a lot. Dr. Yong understands that for the college to be a high-standard institution the teaching staff must come from all over the world. He has suggested we find good, sincere, elder couples who would like to come and dedicate their final working years to help with this project. But we are open to receiving applications from well qualified teachers of any age.

Question: What is your role at the college?

I am the dean of student affairs as well as vice-president of internal affairs. I deal with more the moral aspects, and education and counseling. I am like the mother figure that supports the students to follow the Principle and prepare them for the blessing. The students come from many backgrounds, so it is a challenge to prepare them internally for such a serious mission after graduation. We must educate them in many fields.

Question: When will you accept students from outside the Philippines?

After another year of operation, we will open our admissions to international students. That will certainly add spice to our community. We are hoping to attract international members including from our own second generation.

Question: How far is the college from the capital city?

It is two hours from our headquarters in Quezon City in metro- Manila. It's up in the mountains in a beautiful, undeveloped area. They have just built a national highway through there.

It's a winding road, very beautiful.

Question: When do you expect the buildings to be completed?

November 2012. That is when we plan to dedicate all the new buildings. We're inviting True Parents and Hyung Jin Nim!

Father has high expectations. What do you feel about this? Maybe he trusts that we can do this. Our movement here feels this is a great privilege and honor. Through this educational institution, the Philippines has a great opportunity to serve the world. 

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