Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

Search This Blog

Friday, March 28, 2008

Metaphysics and Miracles

One of the greatest and most obvious enlightenments I've received after taking the course,is being able to tell the difference between the "ego" and the "HOLY SPIRIT".

I've struggled for years not knowing what the problem was! Having had been through the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous more than a few times, experiencing peace and serenity and not fully knowing "HIM" along with the awesome wonder of who was this [spirit]helping me?

DR. Loretta Siani, put in simple terms and applications that really helped me when applied, got almost immediate results!

all ready bible versed found myself relating back to what I have already learned, as if I were translating a foreign language within myself, very interesting effect.

Another plus you might could say is, I've also noticed that my prayer life has changed because of reasons, that I found in the course that when I personally examined for myself and having made since. One being which seams a little childish now, would find myself knowing what I wanted,..... then praying for that............. as being GOD'S WILL for me, not receiving what I personally wanted...............but received...[what?] GOD"S WILL for me! and getting mad!!!! a very simple concept when fully understood saved me and is saving me a lot of needless pain.Along those same lines talking about the more personal my GOD is to me after taking this course was being able to let down my preconceived ideas that I had of spirituality and the course allowed HIM to introduce HIMSELF to me!!!!! one of the simplest concepts being; children already have parents, they don't create their parents,although they grow up and become like their parents, creating children....... not forgetting who their [parents] are,see that simple concept for me let me finally know that I could finally surrender,after thinking about that for about 4,000 hours! lol!!! trying to imagine a GOD who suited me! and my needs....and could finally wait and allow the HOLY SPIRIT to introduce HIMSELF to me and others, whom I might add, haven't yet been able to chose, but allow them to come to me for guidance and love.


by Rev. John Schroeder


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spirit Quest

When I first started taking this course I was estranged from my then 19 year old daughter. I was at a crossroads in my life and was feeling as if I was drifting without any real purpose. Now, approximately 7 months later I find that my life has almost complete balance. My now 20 year old daughter has reconciled with our family and my husband and I are both anxiously awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. While the reconciliation is ‘icing on the cake’, my entire world feels as if someone turned on a light in the dark room in which I was living. Last June when I decided to become an ordained minister and attend seminary I was seeking answers to questions that perplexed me. I have always had a close relationship with God, but I couldn’t hear or feel him anymore. Because I know that he didn’t change or go anywhere, I knew that I needed to look within myself to reconnect to Him. I believed that a course title “Spirit Quest” was just the vehicle that I needed. Using the various tools provided me in this course, I was able to literally relight the candle and see not only myself but the world more clearly.

Right out of the box (my email in box), the first lesson reminded me that I needed to take charge of my life instead of letting it take charge of me. Although I had always believed in goal setting, like many other aspects of my life, I had gotten out of the habit. I immediately sat down and wrote out what I really wanted. Although I did not necessarily meet every goal (like losing weight), I find that the more substantial goals (like forgiving others and myself) have been attained. One of the biggest gifts that I have received from this course is forgiveness. During week 1 I wrote that one of my goals was to “let go and let God.” Basically I needed to forgive certain people in my life who had harmed me and allow God to hand out their punishment. Shockingly, when I opened week 2 the word FORGIVENESS jumped out at me. I knew right then that I was in for a life changing experience. From that moment on I would anxiously wait for Tuesday when I would receive the next lesson.

I did have a difficult time with Meditation. I never “saw” anything other then darkness. At first I was stressed over this and decided that I either needed to have a lot of work done on me or I was doing something wrong. I eventually emailed Amy and she graciously told me that I was not the only person who never “saw” anything. I eventually learned to use meditation as a means to listen. Darkness became my friend as it shut down all other senses and allowed me to hear and feel. Because I never “saw” anything I was not able to create an image of a rose in my minds eye. However, I lit floral incense or candles and opened up my sense of smell. To clear my mind I would stare at flower (not necessarily a rose) and focus on each of its parts. It was very difficult at first for me to “sit still” long enough and I felt it was a silly exercise. However, over time the clearing of my mind happened quicker and easier. Now, when I see or smell a flower I almost immediately get a sense of calm. I feel centered and rejuvenated.

Another lesson that I felt was life changing was discourse #16, Speaking in the Positive. It was very difficult to change the way in which I communicated with those around me. I had to consciously remove negative words not only out of my vocabulary but my thoughts as well. Instead of focusing on the estrangement that we had with our daughter and the anger I had towards those that were responsible, I focused on the love I felt for her. It was very agonizing to do this, however with the other tools that were provided to me through this course I was able to push through the pain. Simplistically speaking, I tried to only think “happy, positive thoughts”. Those happy thoughts translated to positive words flowing out of my mouth. Lest one think that I have created a “Pollyanna” environment (although my husband has taken to calling me that), everyday I make a choice to be happy and productive. When I get angry or sad, I pull upon lessons learned these last 30 weeks to refocus my energy and remind myself that I am in charge of my life and therefore my emotions.

Rev. Michelle Fields


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.


Dr. Herbert L. Fuchs gave a good introduction to Christianity with a primarily Roman Catholic perspective, which I found helpful as I come from a Protestant background. We have two sacraments and Catholics have seven. It was good gaining insight into the meanings of many of our traditions. I also appreciated his simple Bible based perspective given to various issues that all Christians face such as abortion and gay marriage. Though his course was not as scholarly as some, it offered a simple, straight-forward perspective that would be especially helpful for the un-churched members of our seminary community. Anyone taking this course would understand basic Christian principles and traditions, and how to study the Bible, helping them grow in their Christian faith.

Bible study was dealt with very well by this teacher. He had a simple approach, encouraging students to look at several Bibles and pick the one that they understood and best suited their lifestyle and needs. Dr. Fuchs also walked students through a good introduction to Christian beliefs during a lengthy question and answer series beginning on page 6 of discourse 5. For people with little Biblical background, this course would be very helpful.

His discourse on the Trinity is done as well as I have seen it. Theologians have been fighting over the meaning of the Trinity for two thousand years, and Dr. Fuchs handles it this way: “See, in short you have it that the Father is one, the Son another, and the Holy Spirit another; in Person, each is other, but in nature they are not other.” Here we have three distinct aspects of God working as one. It is almost like one person with three distinct jobs, each supporting and completing the other.

Dr. Fuchs is clearly a fundamentalist, while I am a liberal, but I appreciate this course for what it offers to the mix at the Universal Life Church Seminary. We come from all faiths and backgrounds, so it is important to have a grounding and understanding of all faiths. This course gives a clear, concise understanding of the basics of orthodox Christianity. Christianity is the dominant religion in the United States and permeates through all aspects of our culture and society. Without an understanding of the basics of this belief, a Universal Life Church Minister will have difficulty understanding most of the people he or she comes in contact with. Though I disagree with aspects of Dr. Fuchs’ theology, I believe that this course is a positive presence as part of our curriculum.

Rev. Richard Alan Helmersen


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.

Comparative Religion

During the five months of reading Reverend Kythera Ann’s discourses, I have been confirmed in my belief that we are truly one, in keeping with the Universal Life Church Motto, and nobody has an exclusive access to God. Externally, our traditions and beliefs appear to be quite different, but at the esoteric level, we all experience the same awe when confronted by the divine. Furthermore, though our interpretations differ depending on our culture, our stories and symbols are frequently universal, and point us toward the transcendent.

Looking at the mystical experience, Kythera Ann reported in discourse seven “This paracletic dimension in Christianity is at the root of Christian theosophic thought. Theosophers strive through their practice to live in a world where the miraculous is possible, to realize the timelessness in the present moment.” Whether you are a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or Christian, your experience of God is the same on the esoteric level. We all connect with the transcendent and share the same experience of awe. Our interpretations may vary, but our experience is the same.

Stories too transcend cultures and religious expressions. Flood stories are universal. According to the author in discourse four, “It is estimated that there are over five hundred different flood legends worldwide. All these tales are about a huge flood, a large boat, and one tiny group of people being saved.” When I was attending college I was exposed to the Epic of Gilgamesh and was impressed that the story was very close to that of the Biblical flood story. Later, as a pastor, I shared the story with my congregation as part of a small group study, and they too were impressed with the similarities in the stories. The concept of God is quite different, but the story is essentially the same. As it predates the Biblical story, I suspect that the Biblical authors borrowed the Assyrian myth and altered it to fit their concept of God. Kythera Ann also shares Greek, Hindu, Chinese, Zoroastrian, and African flood narratives. It is clear to me that we have a universal archetype in the flood stories tying all people together. There may be a universal memory or it may simply indicate that in our collective unconscious, there is a fear of floods for their destructive power. Either way, we share the same story as a part of this human family.

Symbols are also universal in human religions. As Kythera Ann stated in discourse 9, “Jung argued that symbols constitute a universal idiom. Abstract shapes, which arise directly from the unconscious without any allusion to the natural world, are indeed encountered worldwide. The ‘Christian’ symbol of the cross was used by Assyrians to represent the sky god, Anu, and the circle and the cross combination that can be seen in the Celtic Cross and the Egyptian Ankh both reflect the belief of unification of heaven and earth.” The circle is a universal symbol for perfection and wholeness. “In Zen, the circle stands for enlightenment and perfection of humanity in unity with the primal principle.” The cross is another interesting symbol which I see as very similar to the “Cosmic Tree.” Both the Buddha and the Christ achieved salvation in a sense on or under the Cosmic Tree. Jesus, on the cross, a symbol joining heaven and earth together, achieves salvation by dying. The Buddha achieves enlightenment under the tree, freeing humanity from the bondage of suffering and reincarnation. Both the cross and the tree serve as symbols, tying heaven and earth, divinity and humanity together.

At this point, I have taken or am in the process of taking four courses through the ULC Seminary. Reverend Kythera Ann’s Comparative Religion course is by far the most scholarly of the courses I have encountered to date. She clearly has a great deal of knowledge about her subject and is able to relate it to her audience, regardless of their religious background. I also appreciated the graphics in this course. There were a few instances where I had no visual to go along with the text, but generally there were plenty of examples to supplement the text.

There was nothing that I disliked about the course, but I would like to see a continuation that would go in depth into the main groupings of world religions. I suspect that if a part two exists, that would be the direction it would go in.

Upon completion of this course, I have a clear picture of the interconnectedness of all human religious thought and a deeper appreciation of different spiritual perspectives. Reverend Kythera Ann is very knowledgeable and has a great deal of insight into both eastern and western religions. I would be very interested in taking any courses she was teaching in the future.

Rev. Richard Alan Helmersen

The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


I took this course in the hopes that it would aid me in learning how to minister to all people-those with widely diverse opinions as well as those who share my same experiences. I felt it was important to have the basis of the history and development of western thought from which to encompass all understandings.

At first I wondered if there could ever be common ground between God-centered and science-centered people. As the course progressed, my questions increased. How could I possibly learn and remember all these great thinkers and theories. With all these different theories, what common ground could there be. Then I began to realize that I will not be called on to repeat these facts. The person I minister to will have the benefit of my understanding the concepts underlying science and spirituality. I will have a well rounded knowledge from which to identify a person’s basis-I only have to listen and be open to what they are telling me. It is not bible preaching that will comfort someone in crisis. It is not science that will provide the answers to all those who are searching. It is a combination of both approaches and the person I am ministering to will lead me to what they need.

The most valuable lesson I have learned from this course is that I am able to minister to a person from both backgrounds. If I listen well enough I will know what he needs. I will also know when I need help, be it more facts of history and development of western thought or a mirror to delve deeper into my own abilities. There is a way to minister to all people who come across our path and invite us into their life.

Thank you for all the hard work you have done with this course. The overview was what I needed and will be a good resource for future studies. Your personal insights moved me and inspired me. I appreciate your including those –it helped to put a human face on this lesson.

Rev. Elizabeth Andres


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.

Comparative Religion

What I learned form this course.

Religions have aspects of similarity, and aspects of divergence. Three of what are commonly termed “the major religions” – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam -- have commonality in that they spring from the stories of the Talmud, or the five books of Moses. Abraham is seen as, religiously though not divinely, the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Jesus, after all, was a Jew. The Qur’an, provided by Muhammed, includes Jewish religious stories, as well as stories of Jesus.

It’s astounding that three religions so closely tied in scripture breed such murderous intention and action in some of their adherents. Of course, even within Islam and within Christianity (and Judaism too, though perhaps less so) there are sub-sets or “denominations” that declare themselves to be the “only true way” or the only true religion, sometimes persecuting their fellow religious brothers from other denominations to death.

Buddhism, by contrast, is widely seen as a peaceful religion. Part of Buddhist values include the idea that all life is sacred, and that no beings should suffer. The pacifism of Buddhists has perhaps led them to be easily overthrown by the Chinese authorities. On the other hand, it perhaps that very pacifism that prevented an even more violent purge from the Chinese government than has actually occurred.

Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are all monotheistic religions, and the Indian concept of Brahma is monotheistic. The Hindu religion reportedly has over 2 million Gods. Interestingly, many in Islam and Judaism reject Christianity’s claim that it is monotheistic; they state that the Trinity – God as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – are actually three Gods.

Buddhism does not have a God or Gods at the center of the religion, which would seem to make it more of a philosophy than a religion. But Buddhism does have supernatural components to it, in it’s assertion that when a person dies, they reincarnate again and again, into circumstances that are predicated on the life they lived in their previous incarnation.

Most traditional Christianity views reincarnation as heretical. The traditional belief is that a person is born into the world and, based on his sins and or salvation, spends eternity after life in either a paradise called Heaven, or a “lake of fire” called Hell.

What I gained from this course.

My religious history encompasses many years of Catholicism until about age 35, including extra-curricular Catholic activities such as the Knights of Columbus. After age 35, I became involved in a more modern, non-mainstream Christianity (namely, the Emissaries of Divine Light,) and more recently a connection to the Unity Church and Universal Life Church.

This course has opened my mind to other religious views. This has happened along with a natural maturing process of age, in which hard-line views that “my beliefs are the only right beliefs”, transform to a recognition that God, spirit, the All, is bigger than any one religion, and that all people are searching for oneness, peace, and connection with each other and with what is Higher.

What I liked best in this course.
The information on the various religions was broad and thorough – exceptionally good.

What I liked least about this course.
There wasn’t really anything that I didn’t like.

How I think this course could be improved.
It was a good course, and I wouldn’t want to change anything.

Rev. James D. Connor


The Universal Life Church Seminary is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, and Paganism.  We have two courses in Metaphysics, as well as courses in Mystical Christianity, Buddhism and Comparative Religion. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Spirit Quest

Spirit Quest
My spiritual awakening began in December of 2004 in Scottsdale Arizona. I met another spirit who, for some reason, made me remember that I existed before I was born into this life in 1968. He did not say these words to me, in fact, he did not feel the intense connection between us as I did. This was very confusing to me for sometime. As time went on, I realized that the universe gives us opportunities to see beyond this earth - and state of mind, timing, physical well being are all factors that effect whether we see what the universe is showing to us or not. I saw what the universe showed - and decided to act on finding out more and more about it.

My meeting with this spirit was only 2 days. However, it has been the foundation that I have built 4 years of an intense spiritual journey. On this journey one of the first things I did, thankfully, was to join the Universal Life Church as an Ordained Minister. Next, I enrolled in the Master of Metaphysics Program. I could not have made a better choice. This was a well thought out, comprehensive explanation of everything that I had suddenly become aware of and was feeling overwhelmed with. The course overall, helped me to be calm about what was happening to me.

The most important thing I have learned, is that we create our own realities here on this earthly plain. That sounds great! What else do we need to know right? Just think it and it happens. What I have learned in the past 4 plus years - it takes a lot of energy and focus and work to really make things happen around you. Grounding, protecting yourself from outside energies, running energy - all the exercises the course taught me was the very beginning. I did these things regularly, however, I saw little results. And even the results I did see were temporary.
What I learned for me, in my journey - I had much cleansing to do both emotionally and physically. These things were blocking me from achieving positive results. You cannot create what you can not feel that you absolutely deserve. This must be the reason why the course was constantly reminding me that the universe loved and supported me. That I did deserve great things.
Emotionally, I had issues that had not been resolved from childhood with my dad. Even though I was creating things around me that I loved, they would soon disappear. In hind-site, I see this was mostly because I pushed them away. At the time, however, I had somewhat of a breakdown in 2005, where a hospital stay was involved. One of the diagnosis made was literally - Trouble Adjusting. They got that right! I was convinced that what I was reading was real - but it was not working. Things were going away - just like my dad and this all made me deal with my abandonment issue.
It was a long road, but I worked on and healed the wounds that were caused by my relationship with my father during childhood. Meanwhile, I still took many classes online, read several books about metaphysics, and periodically reviewed my emails from The Masters of Metaphysics course. I began reading tarot cards for my friends and they were amazed at my accuracy. I took the show online - and now, I am an expert psychic/tarot card reader on a very large website. I incorporate a lot of what I learned from the ULC Master’s course in my readings to advise how clients can do energy work on their own. Things are progressing slowly but steadily. I have accumulated several positive feedback scores. However, about 2 months ago, I hit yet another wall..

For some reason, all of a sudden, I could not connect with as many people as I once could. I felt somewhat “off”. I couldn’t understand it. A quick reading on my own - showed that there was something difficult coming up for me - but I would overcome it.

Something was wrong - and I didn’t know what. Using the techniques of meditation, the protective rose, speaking with my spirit guides and angels I searched for the source of the block. Turned out that I was physically ill. I have a chronic condition that interfered with my life subtly for years - without me noticing. Within a month I was in the emergency room diagnosed with colitis from chronic chrone’s disease. This disease has been with me for a long time. Depleting my system of needed nutrients to supply optimum energy and ultimately, blocking me from obtaining the maximum amount of connection with my clients. Now that I found out this information about myself - and have done everything I can to correct it - I have begun reading again with even better results than before.

Spirituality is an never ending road for us human beings. When I first began, I had no idea what I was getting into. A constant process of cleansing this human body in mental and physical ways to get to the truth of spirit. It has for me, been a very difficult road. I am grateful though, that I did have the information in this 30 week course to always reflect on and give me strength and hope that in the end, the universe is taking care of me.

Rev. Jennifer Hagar


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.

The Universal Life Church offers handfasting ceremonies, funeral ceremonies and free minister training.

As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge selection of Universal Life Church  minister supplies. Since being ordained with the Universal Life Church for so many years and it's Seminary since the beginning, I've watch the huge change and growth that has continued to happen.

Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar


Paganism Final Exam
Rev. Jean Pagano

The Paganism for A New Age class was truly an enjoyable undertaking. So many different facets of paganism were covered in the class because, I believe, paganism is multi-faceted. It is obvious to me that the author of this course was not merely an academic examining a discipline from a distance – this is a person who has intimate insights into the practice of paganism. There were many lessons which I found insightful. I will touch upon my favorite ones and describe what I liked best about each of them.

Lesson #9, entitled The Sacred Place, detailed the altar and mentioned three separate setups: standard, enhanced mage, and master/mistress. While the three different types suggested different levels of complexity, they all described functional altars, regardless of the elaborateness of design. In addition to the setups, a very thorough description of things one could have on the altar is included.

Lesson #10, entitled Creating the Sacred Place, describes various methodologies for dealing with the sacred space, from creating and cleansing the circle, to the calling of the guardians, the release of the guardians, and finally in the releasing of the circle. A series of different techniques, some traditional, some refreshingly non-traditional, are included and described.

Lesson #13, entitled Sacred Nature, has a wonderful list and description of many magical trees. As a student and teacher of the Ogham, many of the trees in this list are Ogham trees! There is also a very nice tree meditation included to help the student get in tune with a given tree. Herbs and stones are also listed and I found both lists very informative and enlightening.

Lesson #14, entitled The Mind and Spirit, has a great guide to meditation that is not only simple but it works. The manipulation of energy exercises are fantastic and will give any student a good luck at what one can do with intent and direction – truly amazing!

Lesson #18, entitled The Magick of the Mysteries, is by far my favorite. The idea of using stones in circle really resonates with me, and since it is such a natural tool, it seems particularly appropriate for a pagan circle. The best part of the whole course, in my mind, is to use the winds to perform ritual. In this way, one performs the ritual according to the winds, not in spite of them. The Gods choose the ritual to be performed in this manner.

The final lesson has a long list of links to web sites to further expand on topics touched upon by the course, or possible avenue for research and membership, if people so choose. This has been a most enlightening class and I would recommend it to anyone on the pagan path or those just interested.


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more. I have been a proud member of the ULC for many years and the Seminary since its inception.