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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Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I’ve spent most of my life wandering thru life lost and desperately looking for Something to believe in. Hoping to find some glimmer of hope that there IS more to life than just growing up, growing old and dying. Thankfully, I’ve found just what I was looking for.

I was raised Baptist and when I was a child, I went to Sunday school and church every week. I listened to the sermons and learned the hymns, and read the Bible. But after a few years, I started to notice something…maybe it was just me, but the more I went to church, the more I listened to the sermons, the less sense it made to me. It just seemed that I was reading and hearing contradictions. So I started looking into other denominations and found the same thing.

And not just contradictions, but hypocrisy abounded. It seemed to me that so many were preaching one thing and doing another. So I rapidly lost faith in anything but the here and now. And in so doing, I lost hope of anything resembling an afterlife. And without hope that there IS something more to look forward to than just death and emptiness, every day becomes a struggle to stretch it out as long as humanly possible, because with the end of each day, the Ultimate End comes one day closer.

And then I stumbled upon the concept of Paganism and began doing some research and what I found was that unlike organized religions, it at least Seems as if ALL forms of Pagan beliefs follow just one basic premise, just one “Golden Rule” as it were, and the Wiccan Rede seems to sum it up the best…”An it harm none, do as ye will”. Now I know that pretty much All organized religions believe in the “Golden Rule” of “Do unto others as ye would have others do unto you”, but unlike most “religious” people that I’ve known over the last 55 years, the Pagans that I’ve met and come to know actually FOLLOW that in their every day lives. This makes sense, finally.

After taking the Paganism for a New Age course, I have come to an even deeper understanding of what it really means to be Pagan. This course gave me not only a listing of Pagan Deities and their complete pantheons, but their history, preferences for tributes and the various Pagan sects who worshiped each. The course was Very complete in that it also listed the yearly sabats and celebrations, the magickal beings associated with Pagan beliefs. It taught a history of Paganism and how Christianity worked to do away with the “Old Religions”, but it also showed how most supposedly Christian holidays and celebrations seem to oddly coincide with the Pagan sabats, esbats and solstice celebrations that had been observed faithfully for centuries before the concept of Christianity came into being.

I learned about how Pagans view the afterlife and the concept of ‘rebirth’ and living more than just one life on this plane. I learned about creating “Sacred space”, using Sacred symbols and the concept of Sacred nature. The course offered explanations of different forms of ‘divination’ and the difference between ‘magic’ and ‘magick’.

When I enrolled for this course, I was expecting to simply get a ‘re-hash’ of the knowledge I have already gained thru my own research and following my own chosen Pagan path. What I got was not only a complete and in-depth study of Paganism in all it’s forms, but a ‘library’ that I plan to keep and use for reference in my own capacity as a spiritual counselor and leader. I have recently entered my Druid initiation year and hope to in the near future be accepted into the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. And although Druidism is my chosen path, and it seems the more I study, the more I come to realize I have not ‘chosen’ to be a Druid, I’m remembering what I once was many lifetimes ago, I enjoy counseling anyone who asks my counsel, regardless of what path they follow, whether it’s a Christian path or a Pagan one.

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to put this course together.

Rev. S.C. Hawkes


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