Skip to main content

UTS 41st Annual Commencement

BARRYTOWN – On Saturday, May 27th, the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) held its 41st annual commencement on the Barrytown campus in upstate New York. Degrees in four fields – Master of Religious Education, Master of Arts in Religious Studies, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Divinity – as well as two honorary degrees, were conferred by UTS President, Dr. Hugh Spurgin.

In a special ceremony, awards were presented to international missionaries from the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) who were assigned by the seminary’s founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, to 94 nations. The year they began their foreign missions,1975, coincided with the opening of UTS in Barrytown, where they received training before they went to their mission countries. 

Rev. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chair of the FFWPU, gave this year’s commencement address, honoring the graduates and challenging them to go forward and bring a message of hope to the world.

Honorary degrees were bestowed on Beverly Berndt and Laurent Ladouce by Dr. Spurgin, following an introduction by Dr. Kathy Winings, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, and a reading of the honorees’ accomplishments. 

Following the conferring of degrees, graduate responses were given by Ms. Yilan Shao, Master of Religious Education recipient, and Dr. Elio Roman, Doctor of Ministry recipient.

Ms. Haruka Matsuura, presented two musical offerings. The first “The Promise of Spring,” was her own composition which she performed on piano, and, the second, a stirring rendition of “Nella Fantasia,” written by Sarah Brightman, which she sang without musical accompaniment.

Imam Shamsi Ali, President, Nusantara Foundation Spiritual Leader, Jamaica Muslim Center, New York, opened the festivities with a beautiful invocation, and Dr. Lillian Miles, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Pastoral Ministry, gave the closing benediction.

The service was followed immediately with picture taking by families and friends, and concluded with a catered reception attended by graduates, honored missionaries, alumni, administration, and friends of UTS. The happy crowd filled both dining rooms.