|Rev. Robin M. Viorla, O. of M.|
Master of Comparative Religion
Instructor: Rev. Kythera Ann
I was called to the ministry when I was thirteen years old. I talked with my teacher, Sister Marie 'Somebody', who suggested that I, upon completing high school, come back to the convent and become a part of their community. The invitation, though offered in love, left me cold. There was something else for me. Committing my life as a Nun, did not resonate for me as my journeys goal.
Throughout my spiritual journey, I searched for places where I could grow and learn. It became painfully obvious that the traditional seminary experience was not going to work for me. So I prayed and recognized that the path was spreading out before me. It was important for me to move along it with strength and faith as I would gain the necessary information and experiences necessary to fulfill my desires and needs.
I am fifty years old now, and the stop along this juncture of the road is called the Universal Life Church Seminary. Having gone the traditional academic route, I have attained a BA in Political Science, worked as a Teacher of the Handicapped in the New Jersey School system and presently work with teachers, teaching the how to create and maintain positive environments in their classrooms.
I myself have had many life-teachers. Several incredible Spiritual teachers, and as usual, Masters have come to me upon my readiness to hear information new to me.
ULC has offered me an opportunity to do a study, the research of which would have taken me years to gather on my own. Comparative Religion, in all good seminaries, is the basis for understanding and developing authentic respect for all forms of religions and the individuals to aspire to walk its path. The format chosen to present the topic (s) of the twenty discourses developed by Rev. Kythera Ann, did not only provide an almost side-by-side presentation of the subjects and issues, but did so with a comprehensible and research-base approach.
I enjoyed equally the independent study format and the opportunity for me to work at a pace that was good for me and my schedule. Knowing that I had access to my instructor and others made it easy to ask questions of them if I had any. Although I would not suggest that just anyone take the course, I would support those who are sincere and able to work on their own, to dive in and experience any course that ULC offered.
For example: Discourse #3 – Similar Teachings Throughout Religions
I will always remember this particular discourse as the one that had that "wow' factor, such simple information yet, so important. When you spend so much time in the world attempting to teach people the benefits of reversed thinking based related to the differences and realities of religions which seems to separate more than unite, it is easy to forget that the very basis of our searching is that all human beings seek peace and love. Although I have referred to this searching as the "forest for the trees" syndrome, it is nevertheless the basis of all of our desires.
Discourse # 9 Symbolism
An equally surprising discourse, I was amazed the depth of the subjects discussed here. I had studied the work of J.J Hurtak the most popular of which being, The Keys of Enoch, "a paraphysical 'codebook' written in 1973… It is a text of higher consciousness experience which explains how the human race is connected with a more advanced higher evolutionary structure of universal intelligence." Much of Hurtak's work is around his interpretation of Sacred Geometry as an ancient science that explores and explains the energy patterns that create and unify all things. I was impressed with Rev. Kythrea's ability to make such intricate subject matter, so clear in its contrasting among other meaning symbolism of religions and cultures.
I could go on and on about what I believe to be the most comprehensive compilation of comparative religious studies I have ever read, and I have read many. I am so happy that back in eighth grade I decided to trust that my path would be guided. The education that I have gained through this course has done more that given me a fresh look at religions and the cultures which abide by them, but has confirmed for me, things I have previously understood about people and the need of all people to belong, discover, create and seek their divine selves.
There is nothing about this course or the information that I disliked, as I went initially approached it without judgment waiting to pounce on every word laid before me. We are, in my humble opinion, more same than we are different, and even in our struggle to be unique we are, just that much more the same.
Thank you, ULC. Thank you, Rev. Kythera.
The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.
Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free, and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.We also offer many free wedding ceremonies for your use.
The ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials. I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.
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