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, February 08, 2013

Final essay Comparative Religion by Rev. Hackler

 Mary Jane Hackler
FINAL ESSAY Comparative Religion FINAL ESSAY
What have I gained from this course. Of course I got all the wonderful knowledge, but I gained a greater understanding of the differences between us, as individuals and as groups. what I have learned has enriched my life and opened doors I didn't even know were closed. I was amazed at all the religions this course was able to cover. It really did compare them and show me not only the similarities, but I saw the differences as well. I learned to reach out to the different churches in my area. I also learned most people were as curious of me and my schooling as I was about them and their beliefs. I met a lot of wonderful people.

All the wonderful holidays people of different beliefs celebrate teaches me many are similar, just like our beliefs have similar stories written long, long ago. I want to embrace all it openly, and tell each and every person it's okay not to believe like others.
I got to soul search and found answers to questions I had never thought about. Being able to simply explain what religion is has helped me greatly: Religion is beliefs held by a person or group of people. There are many different religions, each with what they believe is different from other religions. And many of their beliefs are different, but in many religions there are similar beliefs with just a few alterations. Religious beliefs are about the world and people in it, it is about how the earth and the people came to exist, and what purpose people serve. Religious beliefs are often associated  with supernatural beings such as a god or a number of gods and/or spirits.

They also put forth an idea path one should take to be good, truthful and dutiful to that god, and/or spirit, it is that religion's moral code that should be reflected in the life you lead. Generally every religion has days they gather to worship and their own rituals, prayer, communion, dancing, singing, etc. Every religion also has their own days of celebration, (aka holidays).
In one lesson, at first, I really had to fight my narrow, set opinion. I wondered why people chose a religion that didn't allow them the freedom to grow, or the freedom to question, but as I read on and did further research I gained a greater understanding of the needs of others. I was lifted out of myself and saw others must take their own path to get to where they are going. This is a very informative course and I've learned far more from it than I expected Thank you ULC for making the complicated subject simple. In my small town I couldn't find people of all the beliefs we went over, but Internet research was great and got into a few chat rooms. Buddha was born a Hindu, but left it and became spiritual enlightened. He disagreed with the Hindu caste system, ( Social classes),  because he believed that it is unjust  to judge people solely by their social class. It is his opinion that all people be should by judged by their actions instead of their social position. I agree. 

Some beliefs have no deity.The Christian religions I grew up around there was one G-d and he ruled, what he said was all truth, there was no questioning it. For one lesson I asked several people I know about their Christian religion and they said the same as what I was taught in my youth. No magic, no secrets, nothing hard to understand... live by the ten commandments, publicly confess your belief in Jesus, and only one said you didn't have to be baptized, but you must publicly state your love and belief in the Holy Trinity.  I can't go over every religion in this course, but I can say I will take individual courses on some of them to understand them better at a later date as I am taking several right now. I liked all of this course, mostly how much information was in it, and how it was easy to read and understand.

My least favorite thing was how the pictures overlapped the words and I had to cut and paste to read it. maybe my PC, but that did happen with every lesson. Don't know anything to improve it. It is wonderful. This course helps in my
my ministry because we believe all paths lead to the same higher power, it gives me understanding of the path these other religions travel.

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