The Words of the Graham Family

UTS Challenge Program

Robin Graham
April 1, 2007

This coming week, between April 1-8, UTS staff will be visiting the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington DC. They will be reaching out in the community to identify prospective first and next generation students who can benefit from a Young Oon Kim Scholarship and embark on the UTS CHALLENGE Program.

The UTS CHALLENGE asks students to step up to discover life changing relationships, to pursue personal excellence, to build skills, to create high levels of trust, and to cultivate passion.

A UTS CHALLENGE student is called to grow the magnetic personal qualities to become instruments that God can use to tap the potential and unleash the talent and capability of the people who program graduates will serve.

This visit is an opportunity for UTS alumni/ae to meet with Director of Recruitment, Ritz Yamamoto in the Bay Area or Recruitment Officer, Chung Hee Bessell in the DC area. They will be able to answer questions about UTS today, and UTS tomorrow.

A lot of new initiatives are in play at UTS.

There is a shift toward a closer partnership with UPF, positioning UTS as the leading interfaith graduate program. This involves UTS opening its doors to students from many faith traditions, and encouraging Ambassadors for Peace to join the peace building program. There is success at the UTS New York City Campus where students from a wide range of religious backgrounds are joining the program there. UTS is establishing closer ties with ACLC to help their members benefit from the advanced training which many pastors are looking for to develop their social ministries.

The Unification Movement is now very concerned about succession. Who will take over the leadership roles in the next 5, 10 and 20 years? Rev. Dr. Michael Jenkins used the Young Oon Kim Memorial Dinner of 2005 in Washington DC to present the facts. There is a huge opportunity over the next few years. A wave of children from the 2075 couples is now going through undergraduate study. Rev. Jenkins projected that as many as 300-400 could be graduating each year for the next 10 years. Not all of those will want to pursue careers in the diverse organizations of the UM, but some will. If even 10%, say 30-40 per year, want to invest the time to benefit from the rich knowledge of the UTS faculty, and gain practical skills in urban ministry, in community building and in non-profit management, then they will be primed for successful careers and be very valuable to the UM community.

The current UM leadership needs to find replacements; a policy that Rev. Moon has consistently advocated. Many alumni/ae are now thinking about the personal legacy they will leave. Rev. Moon may have anticipated these things when he asked UTS alumni to help recruit and fund the education of the next generation of students. It has never been an easy proposition. With the UTS CHALLENGE Program there is now a concerted effort to make that happen.

Please think of the young people you know. Have they graduated college or will do so throughout the next year or so? Are they called to take on a challenge? Could they benefit from a UTS degree?

There is a growing need for prepared youth pastors, for talented managers of non-profit management, for community leaders, for experts in interfaith outreach, and organizers of international aid programs. The opportunities are endless as the UM seeks to professionalize.

UTS is in the middle of a repositioning to be more relevant in a changing world. What is the on the ground reality and how does UTS provide students with the skills to master the situations they will face? The UTS focus will be market oriented, practical.

Not everyone is called. Some choose a different path, maybe as a lawyer, maybe an engineer, a carpenter, or a teacher. UTS would like to partner with everyone who cares about the work of peace building and would like to support the preparation of the UTS students who will carry the message and the practice of God's love to the world.

As alumni in the DC area and the Bay Area, please think if there is someone you know whom you would recommend to come to take the UTS CHALLENGE. Is it someone who you would be able to mentor over the next two or three years?

The YOK scholarship is primarily a community based scholarship program. The community finances the candidate's education for an MRE (2 years) or an M. Div. (3 years) and the graduate returns to the community to work in a community related activity. This might be in the area of youth training, an outreach program, a food bank, or a marriage and family ministry. The community may even want to sponsor their student to prepare for an overseas mission. This can and should all be worked out at the community level and the relationship maintained throughout the course of study.

As Director of Development I ask that the alumni take a lead role in financing the cost of education and related expenses. This is an opportunity to club together and support one or two students from each community. Alone it would be difficult. UTS' yearly tuition fees alone are over $10,000. But as a team, with monthly contributions from many, it is doable and it is an investment in the future.

Dr Young Oon Kim wrote an article in February 1977 (to be re-published in the June E-Cornerstone) entitled "My Dream Concerning Seminary Education". In it she said:

In Korea we have a proverb: If you plan for your life for one year, plant grain; if you plan for your life for 10 years, plant fruit trees. But if you plan for 100 years, then plant people.

I have set up a YOK Scholarship Fund for DC and a separate YOK fund for the Bay Area. There are already people who have caught the vision and support Young Oon Kim's dream. Please let us work together to make this a powerful statement of support and commitment to our future.

Robin Graham

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