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.

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Friday, October 31, 2008


Dr. of Spirituality

Essay: What I have learned in this course.
(Looking for the truth in the spiritual world)
My father once said to me: Son, always remember that learning never ends - regardless of age.
Now I am 54 and I have to admit that my father was right.
We live in a cruel world, lies at every corner and most of them blend-in perfectly with what we like to hear and how we like to look at things.
For 2,000 years we are being told that there is only one savior `Jesus Christ`.
Wars are being fought because we need to defend our countries.
Religious wars are being fought because we all have different Gods, given or assigned to us by our churches
who like to domain us just like the politicians of governments for their wars.
Who can you actually trust ?
We are all the same humans, brothers and sisters indeed. And there is only one God in Heaven and this God`s name we do not need to know and neither do we need to kill each other in His name. We are the ones who have given this God different names, beside the other Gods who visited Earth, self-proclaimed Gods, Gods made by humans, Holy messengers and Prophets. Who is the real God ? There can be only one real God in Heaven and that is the almighty God and His name is God (in English) and in another language you might call him differently.
How much do we know about Jesus Christ (New testament) and (Old testament) Joseph in fact / ? What about all the other Gods (whose names I will not mention now), are they fake Gods or fake Sons of Gods ? Certainly not !
What about the great (Genesis) flood / And, what about the Epic of Gilgamesh (around 2,600 BC) ?
What about Moses (Sargon), and all the other `moses-like-human prophets before;
in Babylon it was Nemo (10 tablets)
in India it was Manou (10 tablets)
in Crete it was Minos (10 tablets)
in Egypt it was Mises (10 tablets)
... and have you ever sought about the ending in our prayers: AMEN ? Where does it come from and what does it actually mean ? Are we worshipping Amen-Ra / Sun-God ?
Are we really knowing the truth about Earth and Humans and their Gods, or are we just living in a great Disney Land ?
Is everything just developed for political reasons so that religion can be used for slavery ?
Religion is a myth indeed, it is not debatable nor questionable, it is divine authority.
At young age I quit religion and I found it again through the ULC, especially the Spiritual course they offered.
In the end that is all I had left, a broken-view regarding religion and belief. All there was left in me was the Spiritual belief.
It is rather difficult to build-up that belief without some help of an spiritual advisor. Then the praying, we all pray for so much, but then is it right to pray that much ? And what kind of prayer is correct ? To whom should we pray ?
Beside weddings I do counseling of all kinds and children support, visit hospitals and prisons were I meet all kind of different nationals and human characters. I do not use the cross, of course when I am forced to use it then inside my heart I think of Jesus Christ but still fighting with my inner-self then. I rather wear a pair of praying hands instead of a cross.
Spiritual belief in the (Nameless) Almighty God is my belief and I consider myself an International Christian who welcomes all Gods and all other Religions for the purpose of uniting all humans together again.
The Free-Will being given of being able to choose an religion (Universal religious belief) and practicing it as granted to me by the ULC means a lot to me and the most-high in heaven will certainly agree to that. Arguing about religion is a waste of time, since all religious books are either partially incorrect, misinterpreted and anyway are not fully proven to be correct. Better be spiritual and study about Astronomy, Astrology and Archeology and really help-out others and then you will be on the right track.
Most of the people say they are spiritual, because they do not know anything about religion, neither won`t have anything to do with it for personal or other reasons. The question is just `Do They Understand Spirituality` ? Maybe 90% does not. Rev. Dr. Loretta Siani has been a helping hand to me with her lessons, Spiritual prayers and the deeper meaning of it. Of course not everything is according my spiritual belief, what she has taught me, but she awakened inside me the deeper free-spiritual thinking and in the end that is all I hoped to happen. Reading, learning, processing and sorting-out with a clear and free-thinking and feeling mind is important in order to evolve to the next spiritual step (per aspera ad astra). No human is perfect, no book is correct but we can correct our current dependent mind (s) and thinking as long as we keep ourselves open and uninfluenced to choose a new or different way of thinking according our heart and independent open mind. Whatever we read or study does not mean that we have to accept everything what is written or being said, but without studying and freely considering a learning process is not possible.
Spirituality is something you can not touch, not buy, not be given to but only slowly learn through study and life experiences and an open mind and an clean heart, otherwise the spiritual picture will not be visible and the guideline is not there.
I like to thank the ULC and Dr. Siani for their kind support till now and I like to encourage my other Pastor-Reverend brothers here on Earth to keep an open mind and always consider the cost of misusing the most powerful weapon `Religion` in the name of our most high GOD.
Blessed are those who spiritually support their brothers and sisters.
Brother Georg - Japan


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.


Final Essay
Rev. Tami

The study of Theology through the courses of faith and beliefs brings us back to our own back yard. Meaning often our structure and spiritual roots may be more of what is passed to us, and not necessarily always what resonates within us, as far as religion is concerned. Our Growth depends on our own inner belief and how it resonates through us and by us. This is how we grow spiritually. To personally re-examine, and break down the biblical texts more closely, it brought an array of clarity. To know ourselves and others more profoundly we can spread love and understanding, which can enable us to make a difference in our world by helping others - one person at a time if necessary. It makes us more complete in the service of ministry and missions.

Can we read the words and not embrace the meaning of the message? And yes, I think that can be so. Can we have religion and yet not have it resonate in our spirit? And yes, I think it can be so.
Ahhh but can we learn to grow? Can we learn to grow through understanding by embracing the deeper meaning of faiths as a whole? Yes, I think it can be so.

I found the course to be true to itself, on the basis of Christianity on a world wide perception. It opened the doors of biblical doctrines, through researching what has been written. Giving those, like myself, that selected this course something more to embrace and be compassionate towards within the biblical senses.

I have been on a personal journey of seeking not only my own truth, but the truths of divine faith by spiritual growth. This course afforded certain definite possibilities by illuminating the ideals that are presented in the holy written words. If you are open to see, I truly believe things can be allowed for you to see, no matter what particular faith you adhere to. Sacred Text- whether canonical, apocrypha, or those considered the lost ones, the scriptures personifies the purpose of life. Some are stories that provide powerful lessons in life, while others teach us the deep way the universal energies work. Scriptures give us instructions, teaching us how to be there for one other as neighbors, parents, spouses, and children. They advise us how to live and pray. Some scriptures were letters written to churches ministering to them how to have fellowship, by honoring God. These many letters written by prophets of long ago still hold honor today through these teachings. These sacred texts that have been passed down time and time again, give strength to those who are weak, give courage to those that are scared, give wisdom to those that are lost, and give hope to those that have none. We not only have the wisdom of the prophets, but lessons on their strength to persevere through the judgment of others, by embracing faith. Truly, this brings me to one of the most honored blessing given to us, and one we as humans tend not use as much as we should. I personally feel blessed by this most valued gift, and try to remind myself often not to forget to oblige it. "Judge Not" -- For we need not to judge others, as that is not our job, it will be done in accordance just as we will be judged too. It has given me a deep compassion for FAITH. Learning more so, to appreciate those who may walk a different path, and yet there is a correlation - a parallel within each that it brings us all together. We debate over differences yet seldom seem to embrace the likeness. Which is why I say this, "Though many faiths may use the ! same bib lical scriptures, I think it imperative that we try to find the common threads that bind us, rather than the differences that separate us." Even Christ washed the feet of bums in the street. Those less fortunate, those that where lost. He sought Them out. He did not look down on them, and only visited with those of like mind. No, nor did he bring fear, but to share love and hope. To me that is what it is all about. Whether we call it religion, beliefs, or faiths. It is knowing your own mission and being right with the divine powers that be. To work in the light and do that which is right.

Blessed Be
Always in the Light

Rev Tami


Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free,  and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.

As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

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Comparative Religion

Universal Life Church Seminary
Michael Babb

I was raised in Texas, right in the middle of the “Bible Belt” where tolerance for other faiths and belief systems was virtually non-existent. If the belief system did not conform to the protestant ethic following specific denominational doctrines, then they were characterized as false and those who worshiped through different religions were eternally condemned. The sad fact is that from childhood, I was frightened into believing that if I deviated from my faith’s teachings (specific religion omitted on purpose) I would face eternal damnation and possible emotional recriminations from my family. Still, at a relatively young age, I did begin to wonder why one God would single out a specific religious orientation for salvation and shun the others. For a child, this was exceptionally confusing and as I grew, it was something that I knew was not rational but I could not shake the fear. Even today with more depth and breadth to my understanding of religions and hopefully a more highly evolved respect for other religious belief systems, a small remnant of that fear still resides within.

Throughout my adult life, I have acquainted myself with the bare basics of several other belief systems and do not presume to judge another’s connection to the divine. However, until I enrolled in The Comparative Religion Part I course, I truly had no idea the depth of similarity that exists within and among the range of cultures. Certainly there are differences, some of them significant, but there are too many customs, artifacts, symbols and other interactions exemplified by the universal use of crosses and circles, to make these cross-cultural religious commonalities more than mere coincidence. The Rev. Kythera Ann has very skillfully brought these together for comparison with a depth that has left me with more than just an elementary understanding of the origins of the world’s religious belief systems. I now posses a functional understanding of how most have had influences on other developing religions and if not influence, the amazement of being able to compare religions that evolved with virtually the same message entirely independent of each other.

As a human being and minister, understanding and tolerance of others should be central to our mission. The vast amount of information and topics presented by Rev. Kythera Ann has filled a needed void, specifically the knowledge of those who worship God through practices different from my own. I claim the Christian faith as my religious foundation. But, rather than allow religious dogma to cloud my vision, I have chosen to worship with a “Christ Consciousness” that disallows the judgmental aspects some denominations feel compelled to put forward. Now I realize that what I refer to as “Christ Consciousness” is a consciousness that exists in different forms within religions throughout the planet. This has long been a personal belief of mine based on what little I knew of the world’s religious practices. The material, both in lessons and outside references, that this course has exposed me to has provided a strong foundation not only for this belief, but hard evidence of it. This was an intricate course that should be required for seminary graduation. It excelled in each and every way. I can clearly see that by understanding how another believes and worships, I am able to understand myself that much better. Thank you for a blessing and spiritual uplifting.


Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free,  and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.

As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

A Course in Miracles

Dr. in Metaphysics Final Essay
By Rev. Patricia Buben

A Course in Miracles is all about love and forgiveness. All situations can improve and miracles can happen when we open ourselves up to love and forgiveness in all areas of our lives.

The Miracle Worker course starts with explaining the function of the three parts of our mind: conscious, subconscious and higher mind. The conscious mind, which is the lower mind, is where we are consciously most of the time. It contains our personality and ego. Anytime we move to a different level of thinking, we move from servitude into freedom. As the Course states: “Freedom of choice is the only freedom that exists in this world”.

It goes on to discuss the nature of reality and how our being separate from God is only an illusion. Love is the only thing that really exists. When we choose to heal the separateness, we go back to the true reality of our oneness with God. The Holy Spirit is here to remind us that this world is only an illusion. When we let him in, he takes away all guilt and fear. He teaches us how to forgive.
Meditation is one way of going from the chaos of the world to true inner peace. It helps you to remove yourself from the attachment of the ego/false self and reconnect with who you really are inside. Meditation also has a profound effect on the body. It helps to reduce stress, induces the relaxation response and helps to balance out your body. This is the opposite effect that stress has on the body.

In order to create what we want, we need to focus on positive thoughts otherwise we will attract negative situations into our lives. Every thought we think creates our reality. Thoughts filled with fear and guilt will produce negative results. Thoughts filled with love and forgiveness will produce positive results. In order to have the life we want, we must have a desire to change and an intention to take action. These two things will produce the needed change and attract positive results into our lives. One thing that I found very interesting and thought-provoking was the definition of an addiction: “the giving away of our power to an outside source in order to hide from our guilt.” What a powerful (and true) statement!

Lesson 19 especially resonated with me. It discusses the purpose of life, which is to give of ourselves. This is true in every situation that we are in. For example, the purpose of work is not to obtain wealth, status and compliments from our boss. The purpose of work is to give of ourselves—to our coworkers, staff and boss. Work is a temple where we combine our talents with others’ talents and use them to meet the needs of others. We are at work to do God’s will and if we surrender ourselves to him, the Holy Spirit will be able to work through us. That is what creates miracles. God only wants us to be happy doing our work and doing what we love to do.
A quotation taken from the Course: “Our talents are diamonds reflecting the infinite talent of God” is one of the most beautiful statements I have ever read. It expresses beautifully how important our talents are and the genius that God must be.

Overall, the entire course was very powerful and I had many “aha’s” while taking it. I would recommend it for all students. It has made a big difference in how I look at life and how my thoughts have had such a powerful affect. I never realized just how responsible we are for everything that occurs in our lives.


Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free,  and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.

As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church  materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Comparative Religion

Comparative Religion Final Essay
By Rev. Patricia Buben

The course in Comparative Religion was very interesting and had a huge amount of information. I came out of it having a much better understanding of religion as a concept as well as amazed at how many similarities there are between religions and their stories. Most religions have associated with them sacred texts, some type of sacred space or church, stories, prayer, invocations/evocations and practices that do not change.

Many religions have very similar stories – such as the birth of Jesus and Krishna – even being similar to the point of them both having to escape from the clutches of an evil ruler. Many have the concept of a “golden rule” even though they may be worded a little bit differently. I think it is important for all of us to find and appreciate the similarities in religions rather than exploit the differences—especially as ministers.

It has always been my belief that there is truth in more than just one religion. Almost every culture on earth believes in a power larger than they are. Everyone has at least a concept of God. Therefore, I believe that there are many religions because there are many cultures. It only makes sense, but it doesn’t make one right and another wrong. Everyone needs to decide what works best for them.

I really enjoyed going through the comparisons and being exposed to so many rich faith traditions, their stories, architecture, similarities and differences. The bibliography for this course is one of the most extensive I’ve seen so far. Kythera Ann must have done a tremendous amount of research and study to put this course together. I would definitely take more courses written by this author if they were made available.

There is nothing that I did not enjoy about the course. It is very scholarly and requires a lot of concentration to get through it, but the ability to understand so many different traditions, how they came into existence and the history of each is very worthwhile.

This course could be enjoyed by anyone that has an interest in religious traditions outside of their own. I think everyone should be encouraged to understand as many religions as possible. It would encourage cooperation, collaboration and understanding among countries and possibly even prevent wars.
This course addressed many areas that I have always wondered about. I have a strong interest in other faiths and find a different perspective from each new one that I learn about.


Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free,  and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.

As a long time member of ULC, Rev. Long created the seminary site to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Four Gospels

Four Gospels Final Essay
By Rev. Patricia Buben

There are four gospels that are in the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The first three (Matthew, Mark and Luke) are synoptic gospels—that is their accounts agree with each other. The fourth, John, is a little bit different. Also included in this course is the study of the Gospel of Thomas. This is not included in the Bible, but is a gospel nonetheless.

Out of everything I studied in this course, I enjoyed the Sermon on the Mount the best. In particular, I liked the beatitudes the way they are translated from the Greek. They are much more understandable than traditional translation.

They are:
“The poor, in spirit, are in luck: the kingdom of the skies is theirs”. Although people might be poor in terms of money, if they are rich in terms of spirit that is what matters in heaven.

“The mourners are in luck: they will be consoled”. There is no need for mourning in the presence of God—spirit is eternal.

“The gentle are in luck: they will inherit the earth”. Love can cure all ills. Love is the only solution to changing a person’s heart. Eventually that will be the way of people on earth.

“Those hungering and thirsting for justice are in luck: they will get their fill.” God has made provisions for justice through Karma. We do not have to enact justice—God has taken care of it.

“The merciful are in luck: they will be treated mercifully”. This sounds like the golden rule... treat others the way you want to be treated.

“The clean-hearted are in luck: they will see God”. Those who are honest and see the good in situations already see God. Those who lie, cheat and steal will only see the bad and not be able to trust others.

“The peacemakers are in luck: they will be called God’s sons and daughters”. Bringing peace to the world, even in your own sphere of influence helps to contribute to world peace.

“Those persecuted for the sake of justice are in luck: the kingdom of the skies is theirs”. When you work for justice and speak out for something you believe in, even if it’s not popular, it will bring you harmony with God.

“You are in luck: when they blame you and persecute you and tell lies of you, because of me, be happy and delighted, because you will be well paid in the skies. After all, they persecuted the prophets before us the same way. Don’t be discouraged if your message isn’t welcomed. It’s difficult for people to hear the truth sometimes.” This is looking at the positive side of a bad situation. 

This course helped me to view the gospels with a different perspective and helped me understand how these could be interpreted in a new way.

The Gospel of Thomas is a collection of the sayings of Jesus. Many of these sayings are new; many are stated similarly in the other gospels. It is enlightening and interesting although when they are taken out of context, they are more difficult to understand.

Overall, I found the course easy to follow and understand and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in studying the gospels to gain a better understanding.

Rev. Patricia Buben


Ordination with the Free Online Ordination button.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Metaphysical Healing

By Rev. Patricia Buben

I really enjoyed the course in Metaphysical Healing and came out with much more knowledge about the Chakra system, how the chakras align to the glands, the layers of the aura and the function of the aura.

It is interesting how similar metaphysical healing is to Reiki. The big difference is that there are attunement processes in Reiki that help to balance, align and open the chakras. Both methods align to the Universal Energy Field and can be bring Universal Energy into the body systems to cleanse and heal the body. The aura and energy anatomy are actually the blueprint for the body. Illnesses and imbalances show up in the energy field first, before they affect the body through disease. In this way, disturbances can be felt by the healer while scanning the auric field and can be remedied by bringing in Universal Energy even before the physical body is affected.

Hands-on healing has been used for many centuries by spiritual healers inside and outside of religion. It is referenced in the Bible and is the most ancient of healing techniques. It seems to be making a comeback in the forms of Therapeutic touch, Polarity therapy and Reiki.

The metaphysical healer has many tools in helping a client heal. Positive affirmations, visualization and meditation techniques help to prepare a client for healing and puts them into a higher energy state which can help to make the hands-on healing session more effective. Healing is strongly connected to spirituality as it is believed that Universal Energy Field is directly from God.

There is also the concept of absent or distance healing where the healer uses a representation of the client (can be a picture) and performs the healing service without the client being in the room.

As a Reiki practitioner, there are many techniques I can add from this course. I like the idea of using affirmations, visualizations and meditation to the practice of Reiki to help the client get into the right frame of mind for healing and also to use them on an ongoing basis to help the client relax when under stress.

In summary, this class was very well written, presented much detailed information about the body systems and integrated everything very well. Hands-on healing has become very popular over the last 10-15 years and I think it is important for people in the healing professions and ministers to understand how it works so that they can advise their parishioners as to the value of it as well as include healing services into the churches.


Ordination with the Free Online Ordination button.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar


Dr. of Spirituality Final Essay
Rev. Dennis Zerull

I first once again wish to thank the ULC Seminary for having the insight and forethought in offering this wonderful course written by Dr. Loretta Siani. Dr. Siani has a great God given gift as a Spiritual Teacher and Counselor and I am grateful to the ULC Seminary and to her for providing me with the opportunity to become ever more enlightened on my spiritual path.

This course has taught me a great deal about prayer and I can more effectively use prayer in my life of form on this Earth. Jesus prays frequently in the four gospels, addressing God personally as his Father. Jesus tell us that we too can ask God for anything, and that our prayers will be answered. I have found this to be true. I have had my prayers answered and have experienced miracles by becoming more miracle minded. I do try and change my mind about the world and
let go of ego which serves no purpose but to create a false identity and separates me from God. Sometimes the answers to my prayers I thought were no. This used to be of great concern to me because of ego but then I realized that prayer is clearly a powerful communication tool. It serves as my way to tell God not only what I want in terms of guidance but allows me to communicate with Him at the most personal and sacred level. The level at which I know that I am his Son and that his mercy and miracles are at hand for me to experience.

Often times man uses prayer for all things today, yet in an age of doubts, it is difficult to believe that prayer can achieve as much as Jesus claims. For Him, prayer has no limits. whether one prays to the Father or to the Son, Jesus is absolute that no request will be denied which is demonstrated by the most famous prayer in The Bible, the Lord's Prayer. The Lord's prayer in
essence asks for Heaven on earth. Deepak Chopra in his book The Third Jesus
states "That God could grant this seems idealistic to the point of impossibility. Our world may have progressed since the first century, but the Lord's Prayer hasn't delivered Heaven on this material plane".  This may be true but he further states "that one thing that can make the
Lord's Prayer real is enlightenment". I could not agree more.

The basis for A Course in Miracles and other enlightened materials written by either revelation or inspiration from God points to the fact that a person in God-consciousness would address the Father exactly like Jesus does. The basic principle of prayer is "ask and you shall receive" is the theme that Jesus comes back to time and time again. In this course my prayers have changed as I have progressed on the spiritual path, becoming more powerful on the basis of consciousness. As I stated before I thought that God gave me answers of negative content but I now realize that God doesn't grant or deny prayers, nor does He hear some and turn a deaf ear to others. These were appearances seem from my level of awareness. I know that Jesus put the blame for unanswered prayers on the one who prays rather than God. This is an acceptable fact for me and one I have discovered while taking this course.

Prayer is not magic. It is however applied consciousness. One cannot expect God to fulfill requests unless there is an intimate connection with spirit. "Jesus was keenly aware of this, since he lived from the source of reality and therefore could change reality at will". The Third Jesus by Deepak Chopra. I have a knowing that the closer my connection with God, the greater my spiritual power becomes. In Buddhism, "mindfulness" has a central meaning of being aware. Remembering who we truly are, living to be worthy of God and praying so that we will be connected to Him. I have learned or and am trying to learn to speak from the heart instead of using rhetoric. To be sincere as Jesus tells us. To pray in faith. "Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive." Matthew 21:22

It seems that for centuries that prayer has been the litmus test for faith. In the past it has been hard for me to utter a prayer without feeling a twinge of guilt and doubt. This is once again because of the level of my God-consciousness. At the lower levels I always begged for help and at the highest level my prayer is no different from any other thought because all thoughts bring about a result with focused attention and surrendered doing. Jesus knew this and knows this because he tells us to believe that our prayers will come true. What a valuable lesson to be learned at any level of consciousness. I know that Jesus is telling the truth because Jesus is truth. Therefore prayer is meant to be answered. Further if prayer is meant to be
answered then praying can bring about two results. Either prayer brings about results or there will be obstacles that block a response. Obstacles and resistance to what is exist in ego and unconsciousness and therefore can be cleared away. So instead of being a litmus test for faith, prayer shows us what we need to do on the spiritual path. that is to open the channels of communication with God. Jesus assures us that the channel is never cut off but only temporarily blocked.

I cannot attest as Dr. Siani say's that A course in Miracles is a revelation from God. But the broader implication is that spirit communicates not through words but through direct experience. We all learn this from the time we are infants as we begin to experience life. Yet we sometimes believe that we can learn about God secondhand through authority and scripture. Jesus underscores the need to be in the presence of spirit, God consciousness or being yourself and to be affected by it personally. I can tell you from personal experience
that this is truth.

My goal is not to imitate Jesus but to be part of Him or as he said to abide in Him. I strive for this by not becoming part of the process that turns into separation but that which turns into unity. Not what I do but how I do it will determine how I fulfill my destiny and the level of my God-consciousness. My level of prayer is also dependent on three things. Acceptance, Enjoyment, and Enthusiasm.

Acceptance is my willingness to accept this moment, this situation and what it requires me to do and do it willingly.

Enjoyment when I link into the universe that God created which turns into a great sense of aliveness and joy.

Enthusiasm which is a deep enjoyment in what I do plus the added element of a goal or a vision that I work toward.

These three modalities working hand in hand with prayer and mediation will not allow ego to control reality. Ego cannot coexist with acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. It has no hold and doesn't like this fact. Just as Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." The meek are the egoless. The ones who have awakened to their essential true nature and recognize all other life forms. Living in a surrendered state as Jesus did seems an impossibility in our modern day life.

However I submit that it is possible achieve a level of God-consciousness and that prayer is one medium by which the door can be opened. And once it is opened and you walk through it a new world will manifest itself to you. One of presence, stillness and love.

Dennis W. Zerull


Ordination with the Free Online Ordination button.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Comparative Religion

I have enjoyed all the courses I have taken toward my ministerial degree at ULC Seminary. This course was splendid and right on target. I think this would be a much better world to live in, if more people, not just seminarians and theology students, would take more interest in all religions, not just their own. It is almost as if people are afraid. Afraid that they will somehow doubt their own religious beliefs. That they will be swept off their feet to some far away land of human and animal sacrifice...And that they will loose their souls in the process. So they never venture out of their safe, perfectly squared, perfectly insulated religion box. They sit and wait for someone to tell them what to believe, how to believe, when to believe. They tell them how to live. When to marry. How many kids to have and how to die.

How resourceful. Why look anywhere else?!

Ministers, Rabbi's, Mentors, and teachers do not have that privilege. Hiding our heads in the sand is not what we are suppose to do. In order to help others, we must know them, what they believe, what makes them tick, and what would they be willing to die for. That's right, DIE for. Many generations have died for their religious beliefs and heritage. Hebrews, Christians, Muslims, and the list goes on and on. So it must be important to their counselors, priest, ministers, and rabbi's as well.

Life is like an airplane. It is filled with people, from all walks of life and beliefs. All on the same airplane going to the same destination. The Flight Attendant is the poor soul, who tries desperately to get your attention before take-off. The all important "SURVIVAL INSTRUCTIONS" are given at this time. No one listens......too busy. The Flight Attendants are the ministers on these flight's of life. No one listens. But let there be a problem------and suddenly, everyone is looking for the Flight Attendant! They need help!

The plane is going to Heaven. To visit God and our old stomping grounds. It doesn't matter what seat you are in or if you are first class or coach. The destination is the same, eternal life with God. It has been said , "there are no atheist in foxholes". And believe me, there are no atheist on a plane in trouble. So it might be helpful to know a little about your neighbor, in the seat next to you.

I have always been interested in other religions. I was raised in the strict Roman Catholic Tradition. Jesus was Jewish. I love Jesus. I should know about His religion. It can only strengthen my love for Him. It can also help me to serve His people better. Mohamed is another central figure, I wanted to know more in depth. Buddhism, Druidism, Shamanism, all religions form the foundation for future generations. I needed to know. I needed to study, so I could serve God and be a good servant.

"Interfaith is a process where people committed to their respective religious and spiritual paths meet for the purpose of mutual understanding appreciation, and enrichment. Interfaith affirms the goodness of each person and supports the healing of our world." (Comparative Religion Course, lesson 2)

In my opinion, worship is the relationship between the of man and his Creator. Religion is a man made entity to guide this relationship. All religions seem to have the same goal, eternal life with the Creator.

"Mankind comes to me along many roads, and on whatever road a man approaches me, on that do I welcome him, for all roads are mine" (Bhagavad-Gita)

We must find similarities, such as:

Golden Rule - Buddhism: "Hurt not others in way you find hurtful" (Tripitaka, Udnana-varga 5.18)
Peace: Judaism: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace. (Talmud, Gittin 59b)
Seeking: we must search within ourselves for the spirit of God.

This course contains so much material that is valuable to learn and remember. It is a great reference volume for any minister's library. This course shows that yes there are differences but we must focus our attention on our common ground as well. Whether, we wear the Roman Collar, a Yamika or White Robes, it doesn't matter. We are the same in our souls.

One thing I am sure of, people cannot sit around and have themselves spoon fed their religious beliefs and never look any further. God is everywhere. It is an act of supreme laziness not to read and study other religions. There are people walking around, hating other beliefs and at the same time , no next to nothing, concerning their own faith. It is so easy to hide behind a label -- Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, etc. Hate and misunderstanding requires no effort. Love, understanding, tolerance requires allot of effort. It is our ministerial responsibility, to try and understand all of God"s children.

This course gives us this opportunity. I recommend it to everyone, minister or lay person. How can a person argue or defend a point of view, if you don't know what you are talking about? This course will give you the information you need to try and be a better child of the Creator.

Thank you and may the Blessing of God be upon you.

Rev. Nitza Melgar


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Comparative Religion

Having been a life-long spiritual seeker and student of religion and philosophy, I was pleased to find that this course was very well researched and offered many additional reference works with which to expand my knowledge even further. The course had much to offer, and from my own personal experience and interest, I will write about an aspect of the information that prompted me most to reflect upon the nature of humanity’s need to define the Indefinable.

The topic of alchemy, which is to some extent a universal theme in all cultures, is fascinating in that it reminds us that all of those beings born into the human race are, by the complexity of their innermost nature, indeed alchemists in varying degrees. It is entirely by our own individual choice whether we opt to exercise this ability on the physical/material, mental/emotional, or spiritual/conceptual plane. The more conscious the choice is, the more potent it becomes.

The difference between a mediaeval alchemist seeking to elevate a base metal into gold is merely the plane on which he operates. Within our own minds, we are constantly trying to elevate our understanding, increase our wisdom, and release ourselves from lower, instinctive “animal” behaviors. Within our own spirits, we are also, either consciously or unconsciously, attempting to make sense of Existence and find our own place in the proverbial scheme of things.

One Hermetic principle of the Tabula Smaragdina (Emerald Tablet) states simply: “What is below reflects what is above”. This forms the basis of understanding of the interrelatedness of all objective and subjective matter and energy. W hat is to be found within an individual human being is also within the Universe as a whole, one entity reflecting another. This therefore helps to explain the individual’s perpetual attempt to improve, understand, expand, and conquer both one’s own personal life on a subjective level, as well as one’s surrounding circumstances on the objective level. We are not only necessarily agents of evolution, but also its results. We are, in a sense, branches, leaves, fruits, and seeds of the Tree of Life – branches in our species, leaves in our individuality, fruits in our ability to change the course of individual and collective history, and seeds in our ongoing evolution out of what is now considered to be “human”. What actually lies before us remains, nevertheless, still a mystery.

However, one would wonder if the archetypal principle of alchemy has really changed at all from medieval times into modern times, as we now split atoms for fire instead of merely splitting wooden logs to transform one element into another. Is this perhaps our inescapable recurring pattern and destiny – to continue to split and transform substances until we find the ultimate golden substance, that which we generally call so insufficiently and ignorantly “God”?

As a practitioner and teacher of yoga, which is based upon the Vedas and tells us that all is one eternal energy in a playful and infinitely imaginative myriad of temporary forms, and Reiki, which proves this point in a very practical application, I submit this theory: All religions are further forms of alchemy, in which both their leaders and followers attempt to find, through their own individual experimental and experiential approach, the highest form of gold possible – i.e. , the Formless behind all forms. 

Rev. Sandra Denninger, B.A.  D.D


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.

Spirit Quest

I am difficult to work with. This I was told was the reputation that preceded me. It disturbed me when I heard this. It was not an easy thing to hear. However it only took a day or so until I accepted the comment. I owned it. It was true. I am difficult to work with. I am passionate in word and deed and sometimes this is not an easy relationship to handle. This was an example in my life where I took ownership of something and it lost its emotional impact over me. My spirit had prevailed.

I am passionate about what our future holds. I have grandiose plans for my place in that future. I love the past and what it teaches us. I live today with the knowledge of yesterday to make tomorrow better. A young lady once emailed me in response to visiting my website stating that I was a pure soul. I didn’t quite understand what this meant. My wife suggested that I possess a worldly view with compassion for the mundane. My spirit is balanced.

I practice filling roses with my obsession of the moment; the things that I just can’t seem to stop thinking about. I allow those roses to open and when they reach their zenith of open beauty, I explode them and watch as their petals float to the earth. I do this until I can let the obsession go. I ground my spirit to the earth when I feel unfocused, unable to concentrate. I break that connection when I return to a level of comfort in my moment. These are tools that my spirit has learned to use to return me to my center.

Money is a tool, a tool that you use to build things. Good, bad, grandiose or trivial, these things that we build are not the result of having money, they are the result of using money. Money is a tool you acquire to be used to create something else.  Used improperly, money is a burden. Used correctly money becomes indispensable.  I am financially burdened at this moment in time not because money is evil, but because I used it in an improper way.

I have a supervisory job in a large institution.  The other day I angered my manager at the place where I work.  I was asked by the manager of another department to give a recommendation for a young lady who worked for us and was applying for another position within that department. As only a supervisor it was my job to tell this manager that the recommendation should come from my manager and not myself.  Instead I gave the recommendation and allowed myself to be upset with my manager who became angry with me.  I stood my ground.  I refused to not give a recommendation when asked.  I suggested it was the fault of the manager who requested the recommendation for not knowing better than to ask me for the recommendation.  It wasn’t until later that I started asking the right question. The answer was obvious once I asked the right questions. In my heart I am a minister.  To minister is to help. I was asked to help and I did so without thought to the consequences.  Did I break workplace policy?  Yes I did.  Did I regret the action I took?  No, because I work in the wrong workplace. I am a minister and I should be a minister first and always.  Did I mention I am difficult to work with? My spirit is going to be OK.

Rev. Kirk Haas


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.

Compartive Religion

What I gained/learned from this course:

I found this 20 lesson course to be very informative and valuable to my education as a minister. Each week I anxiously awaited the next lesson and was never bored while studying the material. Although the lessons corroborated what I had always believed, that most religions are more alike at their heart than not, I did find myself learning a great deal about the ways in which religions are the same, as well as different. For example, I was fascinated to learn that so many religions have the equivalent of an angel, or divine messenger. Also, it was interesting to learn that most religions share similar teachings, such as the Golden Rule or its equivalent, as well as similar stories, such as a great flood occurring.

It was very interesting to learn about similarities across religions, such as the importance ritual plays in nearly all religions, as well as the idea of creating sacred space. I also learned how people from various faiths have similar ways of praying and reaching out to the divine, despite great differences in beliefs. After taking this course, I feel certain that all religions are simply different paths that people may use to try and connect with the divine source, and that all religions meet the same basic needs of humans. Religions serve to answer important life questions, such as what our purpose on earth is, where we came from, why we have suffering, and what happens after we die. They also serve to provide a set of rules and ethics by which to live our lives. Different religions certainly find different ways of answering these questions, but I think the variety of religions speaks to the fact that diversity is the way of the world, and no religion could ever satisfy everyone’s needs.

Overall, I feel that I learned a wealth of information regarding how the world’s religions are the same, despite obvious differences, which validated my long held belief that humans are all more similar than we sometimes tend to believe. I feel that this course provided information that will assist me in my hopes of working as an interfaith minister, and to work on building bridges between people from around the world.

What I liked best and least about this course, and how to improve:

I really liked the variety of topics covered in this course, and the fact that obscure as well as mainstream religions were given equal coverage. I felt that this course gave a fair evaluation of many types of beliefs held by a wide range of religions. However, I think that it would have been helpful at times if the information were broken down into chart form, or a format that would allow for easier comparison between religions. This could just be added to the end of lessons, while leaving the more details discussions for a deeper understanding of the topics.

Rev. Kythera Ann did a wonderful job of researching and presenting this information. I think it is an important course for everyone to take, not just those choosing to be ministers or work in religion. I would definitely take another course by this author, and look forward to future parts of this course.

Rev. Nahtanha Hering


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.

Four Gospels

A Soldiers Faith

“Lord, I’m not important enough for you to come under my roof; just say it in words and my child will be cured.” No other words in this collection of books moved me more then these words. In one simple sentence a military leader from a pagan community proved that faith alone can heal all; faith in the creator, faith in the Word of God, faith in the healing power of the universal energy. Jesus had worked so hard amongst his people and in his home land and not one person, not even his own students had this much faith in God or Jesus. He saw amongst his people faith because they were told to have faith but in this soldier he saw faith based on truth, and a deep understanding of the power of the Creator and the Christ. When Jesus was confronted with this mans request for his son to be healed he proclaimed to all that no person had proven their faith in him as this Roman soldier had. It is in this moment Jesus tells us that those who think they will be given eternal life based on their birth right will find that in missing the truth they get nothing, to receive the glory of God is to believe in the Creator and his infinite powers.

“Go home and let it be for you as you have trusted.” Now here is the most profound example of Jesus’ ministry, distance healing based on faith; because of the faith of the father, Jesus was able to heal a child without laying on his hands without even seeing the child’s physical body. Here is an amazing example of what the spirit can do. I see in this passage several important messages; first he tells the soldier to go home that his job and position is not important that what is important is faith and Spirit. The second message here is that when he arrives home his faith in Gods power to heal all will have saved his child, but it is not just the father’s faith that has done this it is also the child’s faith in God. A child has such profound faith that it can heal all. In my work as a Residential Care Worker I saw so many adults give into their illness and wallow in self-pity that they eventually gave up on being healed yet so many children have over come illnesses that would strike the life out of even the most faithful person. These children just believe so strongly in their care staff, themselves and in the Creators ability to save them. I have seen children with no spiritual upbringing pronounce the existence of angels and of God and within weeks be on the road to health and I have seen adults with a life time of spiritual truth handed to them give up and transition to the next life with in weeks of being told of their illness. It is not enough to speak of faith in God as a Spiritual person, a healer and a lightworker; I must have child like faith in the Creator to bring health to every aspect of my life.

For me this wonderful story of faith, healing and truth affirms my work as a spiritual leader, healer and lightworker. As I walk my path in life and touch those that cross it I can only hope that my faith in the Creator brings life to them. Jesus sent forth is students to teach and do greater things then even he did, this is a large task laid out before us but one that every person can accomplish as long as we have the faith that it can be done.

by Jessica Marshall


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.

Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free,  and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.

The  ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials.  I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.

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Mystical Christianity

People need to read, to study, to question what are their beliefs, and what meaning does their Faith have in their lives.

When someone says, "I love you," what does that mean? Everyone says it sooner or later. We need to pin the person down and ask, "Why do you love me?" Many times that will bring a sudden silence and confused look on your partner's face. "I love your blue eyes." Lots of people have blue eyes, do you love them too? "Well, I love your great personality." Lots of people have great personalities, do you love them too? "When I am with you, I feel peaceful, happy and complete." Ah, that's better. That's the key. We all are looking for answers to why we are here, now and in this body. The mystical path helps us to look and search within for what connects us to God.

When I first began studying this course, I felt a sense of happiness and satisfaction in knowing that there were others in this universe who believed as I believe. I felt a sense of final validation of concepts and ideas, of questions that no one would answer. As a child, I tried to ask these questions, I was told, "you think too much," "It's a matter of faith," or the famous response, "What difference does it make?"

What difference does it make, is probably the most profound statement of all. We are taken as children taught, molded, and directed in certain truths. These truths are to be the foundation of our very beings. They help to shape the people we will become. But what if what you hold as most dear, is based on a lie? A lie that grew out of control. One lie built on another. One lie to back up another lie. So it all makes sense somehow. In the end the truth is lost, hidden amongst the lies.

I do not believe that it was done out of maliciousness. I believe it was done out of great love. But as so often happens when one loves so fiercely, that it turns into fanaticism. Fanaticism leads to the ridiculous.

As I read from lesson to lesson, I also felt a growing sadness. Something so beautiful and simple as Jesus message was turned into a mega production of spin doctoring. Jesus - Love -Love one another - do not kill -God is everything.


Why is it so important to dot every "I" and cross every "T"? Now I would like to ask -- What difference does it make :
Who His mother was?
Virgin or not?
Who was His father?
Where did He come from?

All of these questions are fine, to discuss over coffee, but none of it changes the message Jesus taught us. The "Message" is the key, not anything else. Jesus taught peace, tolerance, acceptance and unconditional love. That message doesn't change whether Jesus was a prince, a soldier, a thief, a murderer, or a Messiah. The message is the same.

That is what Christianity really is about. Everything else is just filler. Nice but really not necessary.

Jewish scholars had this little practice of "fixing" documents also. If a translation wasn't quite clear they would add a little here, subtract a little there, till it made sense to everybody. (sort of like making soup ). But when you did this, you essentially change the story.

Another example of this, was the four Gospels. The Gospels were supposedly written by men who were not around when Jesus taught the message. And what of the Church leaders, who centuries after Christ, take the writings from the people who were there with Jesus, and forbid others to read them. And in some cases, actually destroyed these documents. Ex. "The great rejected books of the Bible." These so called scholars thought we were not intelligent enough to make the proper choices regarding what is true and what is a lie. Maybe they were afraid, that if we did read these forbidden books, we would notice the "fixing" that went on in our teachings.

Which brings me to Mary Magdalene. I found Mary Magdalene extremely interesting. It seems we should have had a female in Rome as well. Can you imagine the Mother Church, headed by a female Pope. Instead of "Viva el Papa", we would hear "Viva la Santa Madre!" Would things be different or the same? I was wondering why the Blessed Mother was not elected head of the church. After all, who knew Him better, who was closer to Him than His mother?

Religion is the tool man uses to fix what is already perfect and change it into something unrecognizable. The truth does not need fancy buildings, ceremonies or an all powerful hierarchy of men telling everyone what to do and believe. Jesus had no building to call His own. The world was His temple. The seeking of truth is at the heart of mysticism. It encompasses it's own power. The early Christians had the right idea. They would gather together in their homes and discuss Jesus and His teachings over the family hearth. Others would meet on the street and discuss the same as they walked in the evening sun. Women talking at the market. Children playing in the sand. All had the truth there in their hearts.

Truth is liken to a Jewel. A beautiful, simple, uncomplicated diamond, that should not be changed. I honestly believe that Jesus never intended to start a new and separate religion. I believe Jesus wanted to reform Judaism and bring it into alignment with the path of God, the Father. Jesus was a Rabbi. He loved and respected Judaism. Jesus knew that people needed to refocus and center their lives on God and goodness, not wealth, rigid laws or unkindness to their fellow man.

All the folk lore, all the ancient stories of gods and goddesses, were just man's way of looking for the truth. Jesus was, is and evermore will be the Truth we all long for in our lives. We are all brought together in Christ Jesus.

Reincarnation to me is the one means of searching and finally reaching the truth. Karma is the pathway to a better life. Together, Karma and Reincarnation can lead us home, back to heaven and oneness with God.

And the Churches that claim to be the One true Church, well, people need to wake up and smell the candles! There is no such thing as the one true Church. There are only the true teachings of Jesus. That's it.

I truly enjoyed this course, thank you.

Rev. Nitza L. Melgar


The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, 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.