By Vanette Colmenares
New York City – If it were not for my good friend, I would not be in a Theology seminary today. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a pastor and I am way past to becoming a nun. So why did I chose to decide to take up my Master’s degree in a seminary? For knowledge and meaning, I suppose.
If I cannot be a healer in the mundane physical world, maybe I can be one in the spiritual sacred realm. But then again, why put meaning when there’s not one? Let’s face it, in this conflicted world, how can we create peace on earth and goodwill to humankind? So I decided to get into a theological school.
Yesterday, we had an ‘oath taking’ at the Unification Theology Seminary, and the new students signed a code of conduct. After the ceremony, we had snacks of pizza and ube (purple yam) cake since it was the birthday of a student.
I do enjoy my three classes. My teachers have their Ph.Ds in Theology and they are all very good.
My ‘Pauline Epistle’ class is headed by an Episcopalian Pastor, the Rev. Jacob. He has been in the seminary for 17 years and is very level headed and funny. Although he picks on me and another lady classmate, I seem to enjoy it because it means he’s paying attention to what we say. And it is always carried with lots of laughter.
One day, Rev. Jacob had to go out of town and we had a substitute teacher from the Ivory Coast. I was so amazed that a Muslim (and he’s black) was teaching us the Pauline Epistles which is a Christian subject.
He knew the Bible by heart, with its meanings of passages which I, a Christian, didn’t even know. I was impressed.
My Entrepreneurial Ministry class is composed of four students with me as the only rose among the thorns. In one occasion, a classmate and I disagreed about the merits of a case in class. The teacher, also a very distinguished professor, know how to break the ice and joke about the arguments, making us all laugh.
The Peacebuilding class of Dr. Wilson, born Jewish and now a Unificationist professor, is one that holds a lot of thought and understanding about the many issues facing the world today.
Our class is about 17 people, with some taking it virtually via Adobe Skype and the rest are physically in the classroom. We are a global diversity considering there are Filipinos, Hindus, Israelis, South Africans – all coming from different religions and cultures.
It is one class with many opinions and experiences: rich in knowledge and magnanimous in wisdom. It will still be a long journey but I am glad I started it. I know there is a reason why I am in this pilgrimage of truth. It is exciting and fulfilling. It is destiny.