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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Monday, July 23, 2012

Final Essay - Spiritual Development

This was the last course in my series towards the Chaplaincy degree (and I will continue with the rest of the courses.
It took me quite a while to finish—the last year I have been sidetracked with many other spiritual/religious activities (more about that in my final essay for the complete chaplaincy program).
When starting the Spiritual Development course, I had a hard time getting into it. Even though I understood everything being explained, my heart/mind did not quite follow the materials. I am not sure why—maybe initially I thought some of the ideas were a bit far-fetched, or maybe because some of the subjects scared me a bit. Let's face it: it is a bit scary to start exploring other planes, other worlds, spirits, and so on.
But the further I got into the course materials, it all started to make sense to me, and suddenly I realized that a lot of the materials were actually already familiar to me, in some form or another. I may not have called it NLP , "6-Step Reframe", or other terminology as used in the course, but over the years of management training, employee coaching, problem solving and so on many of the same subjects were lightly covered there. This course brought it all together, and with a lot of detail to actually start using it in practice.
That brings me to a whole other subject related to this course: It will probably take me months or even years to fully digest the materials and put it all into practice.  I have done many of the exercises, but especially the ones in the second half of the materials are ones that need a lot of time, practice, and repetition. As Dr. Crouch mentioned, some people will "connect" with the materials a lot quicker than others. I have a feeling that I will be fairly quick, but to really take advantage of this vast pool of treasures I will need to go through it several more times while I practice and practice some more until it will come more natural to me.
As mentioned, a lot of the materials felt familiar. I am not sure if that also has to do with my history as an avid Science-Fiction reader when I was younger. Many of the stories I read were about alternate universes and changing outcomes.
One thing that came to mind as I was going through the course materials was a book I read many years ago as part of my self-discovery and self-improvement: Dianetics from L. Ron Hubbard. At the time, I did not know about the Scientology Church, and the fact that Mr. Hubbard actually used to be a SF author himself (it clicked later when I remembered I read some of his SF work).
As initially with this course, I ended up having a hard time with Dianetics, as I thought some of the concepts went off into an area which I thought was very improbable.  However, after having finished the Spiritual Development course, I have to rethink that. I am even thinking of picking up Dianetics and read it again, in light of what I have just learned. I think that may be an interesting experience.
Thank you for yet another excellent course made available through the ULC Seminary!

Rev. Peter van Sluis
Rev. Peter Paul

Multifaith Minister, Universal Life Church
Universal Spiritual Philosopher
Phone:  (612) 208-9168

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