By John Redmond, Chief Financial Officer, UTS
I have been working the last two years to help launch the undergraduate program of the Unification Theological Seminary, Barrytown College. One of the things I’ve noticed about working with second generation Unificationists is that they have a wide variety of interests, and for most of them, religion is not their #1 interest.
I imagine that 50% of their parents would have identified religion as their top concern; in fact, the first generation self-selected into an intense religious reality when they joined the young Unification Church. While many first generation hoped that their children would grow up to be super theologians, my experience shows that second generation Unificationists have a normal distribution of interests. This may cause some consternation to their parents. However, they are well equipped to engage society across multiple fields of expertise and to embed unification values in many fields.
From a historical point of view you could say that this phenomenon is similar to the Israelites. The first generation Israelites followed a charismatic figure across the desert at the price of their life, gave up material and political success and chose to live for spiritual values rather than material ones. God did not expect that of their children. He expected them to learn to use money, power and influence to build a substantial kingdom of heaven in the Promised Land.