The following address was given by Reverend Moon at the Inaugural Convocation of Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown, NY, 40 years ago on September 20, 1975. Click here to watch the highlight video of the event.
by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon
Honorable Mayor, distinguished guests, respected seminary faculty and students, ladies and gentleman:
It is my utmost pleasure to extend my warmest welcome to all of you present this morning at the Inaugural Convocation of our Unification Theological Seminary.
I deeply appreciate your coming here. I feel honored, especially because to my knowledge the attendeess here are, without exception, those who have been greatly concerned about the Unification Church. We have recently had the close attention of American society drawn to us, and the unreserved encouragement and support from many of you justified and strengthened our work.
As the founder of the Seminary, I want to assure you that we will do our very best to repay your friendship and good will toward us. May our mutual friendship be a lasting one in the divine will of God!
In history, there have been philosophies and religious doctrines working in the backgrounds of politics, economics, the arts and religion. Nevertheless, the reality is that they are all stalemated, resulting in confusion and chaos, without having brought about the realization of their promised ideal worlds.
Faced with this stalemate, people are turning in every direction in search of someone to take up the gauntlet for all people and pioneer a new way for humanity, straightening and guiding their direction towards a clear and achievable goal.
The people cry in unison, “Something is desperately wrong!” We have tried every possible way to diagnose and cure the sickness in society. We have finally concluded that the cause of the sickness is an internal disease and not external. By having emphasized the external elements, we have lost the intrinsic and central element of our existence. We are left without hope.
What is the intrinsic and central element which man lost? If we go back to the very beginning, we can readily understand that the greatest cause of the sickness is that man lost God, who is the very source of his life. With the loss of God, man lost sight of the absolute value and focal point of life.
Rediscovery of God, establishment of the father-son relationship between God and man and the resurrection of divine love that we, as the sons and daughters to God our Father, invite back into our hearts – these should be made human conditions toward ultimate peace and happiness. We can turn nowhere but to religion for the great revolution of human consciousness.
Let me daringly say that Unification Theology will surely accomplish the task. Only human wisdom centered on God alone would enable one to make the right decision and enthusiastically participate in this great cause.
Distinguished and capable professors of high caliber will be with us teaching the 50 hand-picked students who are well prepared with burning enthusiasm. It is by these people that the Seminary will be initiated. In other words, I am not the founder of Unification Theological Seminary after all, but rather the founders are these students who are here before us. The Seminary is not a place or building; it is these people who are equipped with the spirit and ideal given by God through Unification Theology.
We must change our direction from the established theologies which are deprived of life and spirit and turn to a new theology with a dynamic vitality and life style in which God would directly participate. By our learning it thoroughly and having the logos incarnated in ourselves, we will surely be able to build great personalities, making it possible to best use the acquired ideal and knowledge in accordance with God’s will. You certainly shall not only be able to practice what you have learned, but also make it a part of your daily lives.
Armed, upon graduation, with a capacity for creative leadership, these students, I am sure, will be able to usher in a new world of a higher dimension after removing society’s vicious social vices.
Video highlights of UTS’s Inaugural Convocation on September 20, 1975.
Any educational institute of graduate level is, in itself, a miniature society in an embryonic state, and is being nurtured like a baby in its mother’s womb. Therefore, until future days when you will begin your life in society, you must invest all your energy and time in studying and training yourself to be capable master builders of the ideal world in conformity with God’s will. Brilliant deeds and results accumulated with our blood, sweat and tears will provide excellent answers to the numerous skeptics who question us now.
More than in any other educational institute, to teach and study in one where men and women are produced who will contribute in establishing an ideal world under God is surely what would please God and make man happy. This is a sacred task well worthy of a hard struggle.
Therefore, I sincerely hope that the professors and students of Unification Theological Seminary would, as the name implies, be united into harmonious oneness so that the whole institute will have sound growth as a living organism, thus securely establishing a solid foundation and a shining tradition in the Principle to be inherited by future generations of students.
Unification Theology is God’s ideology, God’s philosophy and God’s doctrine; and Unification Theological Seminary will be the very arena where you will practice the knowledge and ideal you acquire here. Consequently, you are going to build a miniature Kingdom of God right here in our Seminary according to God’s providential blueprint.
We will establish a new world of unified culture with the Orient and Occident integrated, thus transcending national boundaries, racial discrimination and the generation gap, thus enabling the realization of the earthly Kingdom of God where one world and one human family will at last be the reality.
With this great mission of vast importance ahead, it is natural that we anticipate in the future countless difficulties and hardships. However, your strong faith and conquering spirit will more than overcome all of them, finally reaping the victory you are entitled to.
In this sense, I strongly believe that the Inaugural Convocation of Unification Theological Seminary today is the laying of the cornerstone of the earthly Kingdom of God.
I am most humbly grateful to God.
May God abundantly bless you, the Seminary, its faculty and students!
Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012) was Co-Founder of Unification Theological Seminary. He founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (Unification Church) in Korea in 1954. His wife and UTS Co-Founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han, appears with him in the photo at top taken on Sept. 20, 1975.
We also had a 40 year UTS service in the Minnesota Family Church. My wife, Mary Jane, gave the message and we showed a UTS first graduation (1977) video produced by Lee Shapiro (UTS ’78). The video begins 40:30 seconds into the service. You may need to download it and play it as it is at 1.4GB.
A speech made at a time when we all had great hope and, perhaps, unrealistic expectations for the future. Things have turned out differently than we thought, but hasn’t that always been the case in God’s providence? Father always channeled God’s hope, which it still is. Let us continue to pray that one day God’s ideal will in fact be realized and seek to align ourselves with His/Her will.