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, December 21, 2012

Defining Spirituality ~ Final Essay by Rev. Murman

Lesson 19 ~ Defining Spirituality ~ Final Essay
By:  Rev. Trent Murman, OSM, OSF
There are few things in this world that can make one sit up and say wow.  This Defining Spirituality course is that wow course for me.  I learned about many of the great philosophers of both the ancient and present society's.  Each to their own rites of thinking and observing the world and its players around them.  At times it was difficult to accept and/or agree with their thinking and expressions, but when I put my own beliefs aside and actually thought about what they were saying, it was amazing to me how they were able to decipher and persuade the masses to their position of thinking. 

It was interesting, when studying Socrates to find out he was sentenced to death and when asked for his last words, instead of pleading for his life to be spared he responded by standing by his convictions which in turn made many more of his accusers upset and agreed he should be executed.  There were numerous leaders of the world that I did not agree with, but in the free world we do have the right to freedom of thought.  Sometimes we have to pay the ultimate price for vocalizing our personal agenda when we try to impress it on others. 

I think during the course I was most moved by the endurance these men had to stay with their convictions.  Every time I began studying about another philosopher it constantly made me remember not to judge and be more tolerant of others right to express themselves which can definitely be filtered in to our work as ministers.  There are many so called "prophets" out there starting with the ancient biblical to Hitler and on to present day leaders which in their own minds were doing what they thought their gods wanted.  To change or attempt to change another's way of thinking is not what we are here for. 

Beware of false prophets for their downfall is eminent.  Be ever mindful of whom you choose to associate with.  A great man once said "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" in my opinion there has never been a truer statement.  When face to face with the devil or a misguided person, I say to him:  Do Your Worse, for my God will keep me from harm.  May the Peace of the Lord be with you through eternity.  Go In Peace.

Rev. Trent Murman, OSM, OSF

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Comparative Religion Course from Universal Life Church - Rev. Longsden

I have subscribed for yet another course and it looks quite interesting in the sense I know have a reading list of suggested books this in itself appeared rather interesting. I tried the quiz only too find my religion is in cyber space could this in itself be an act of god or some supreme being ie I should already know.
            As I am from the uk we are constantly being reminded on how diverse or multi cultural we are within a mile radius we have numerous churches and chapels add a few yards and we have mosques and temples due to the various communities and nationalities
These cover Bangladeshi Somali Pakistani west Indian and polish to name a few.
I hope learn more from this course than I already now know.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Religious Philosophy ~ Rev. Murman

Lesson 20 ~ Religious Philosophy ~ East is East and West is West ~ Essay
By:  Rev. Trent Murman, OSM, OSF
What does "dominion" mean to you? Does it entitle you to kill anything you want? For food? For sport? What about non-living natural resources? Does dominion give you the right to take whatever you want or need, and not worry about the long term impact?

The topic of dominion can be quite controversy to many people.  However, I feel in my personal opinion, there is proprietary dominion and civil dominion.  Proprietary dominion would encase your personal possessions where on the other hand civil dominion would encase anything outside of your personal possession.  In the years when this great nation of ours was just being formed the settlers entitled to kill game for means of survival.  The American Indians killed game for food, clothing and housing.  In these circumstances I believe even by today's standards it would be permissible to kill what you needed for man's survival.  As for killing for sport….I personally do not believe in this.  However, there are family members that do this every year when hunting season comes about….but, they know how I feel about this.  I do not believe dominion gives anyone the right to take what you want or need from others that have attempted to provide for their families and if we were back in the settlers days you might be jailed, hung or shot for stealing.  This would also be termed as breaking one of the Ten Commandments.  Ignorance of the civil law or God's law would be no excuse for these people.

The Chinese invented paper, gun powder, wine, and numerous other things that we now take for granted. And yet, it was the West that developed the "scientific method", and the West that created the entire "field" of science. Since China was clearly capable of brilliant individual inventions, why do you suppose the organic development of science happened in the West rather than in China?

I think perhaps China was more into the developing things of personal needs and to survive on a one-to-one basis.  They invented things of need.  They even came to America as sometime forced labor when we were settling the west.  We used their explosives to blast away or forge onward through the mountains and mining etc.  Unfortunately, they were greatly misused and pushed around as were the American Indians, but I am inclined to believe our fore fathers were using them as they thought was acceptable in those days.  As for the west developing the "scientific method", perhaps the west was a bit more socially developed at that time.   Go In Peace