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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Sunday, November 07, 2010


Universal Life Church
Islam Final Essay

Paul Culp has written a tremendous class! It is a shame more folks at the Seminary will not be able to take it. Of all the classes I have taken at the Seminary, this is one of the most academic and definitely one the best written.

I knew absolutely nothing about the Islam culture nor the Muslim religion(s) I say religions because of the many factions beneath the Muslim umbrella. I erroneously believed that Muslim and Christianity were fairly close in their beliefs. Having completed this course, I now realize the absolute opposites that exist within the two religions.

Culp wrote very intelligently with excellent citations of Muslim life, early historical divisions, and brought in today’s political actions with some possible whys in explanation.
One of my favorite quotes from lesson 8 follows:

From lesson 8
“Muslims waste a great deal of energy and make a great many enemies by attempting to present themselves as something other than regular old humans. Perhaps it is no wonder, then, that their enemies often do regard them as less than that, and that Muslim extremists treat their victims as sub-human. There can be no peace between a world-view without God and a religion which tries in vain to live without humanity.” Paul Culp

What a powerful statement! No wonder many in this country view all of Islam with fear and loathing. This extremely well researched and well written academic study of Islam contains many such though provoking and explanatory paragraphs. I learned something in every lesson that was appropriate for today's world not just an historical academic view at Islam belief from a shallow textbook overview.

His discussions concerning Ji’had and the Muslim fundamental view actually made me feel more afraid of the events and terrorists than I had before the class. I know that was not an intended result, but I realize Christianity also has its “”die for God factions. Fear perhaps is not the appropriate reaction to those who are following what they believe.

I really liked this class. I read each lesson at least twice. Now that I have completed all 20, I will start from the beginning and reread them again to try and better understand Islam better. I hope another instructor will write an equally good class for the Seminary. With all of the events in today’s world, this religion and culture really needs to be better understood by all of us.


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