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Seminary In Red Hook Holds 40th Commencement Exercises

Seminary president Hugh Spurgin hands a diploma to Sister Christiana Mmadu of Nigeria during commencement exercises at the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown on Saturday.
Seminary president Hugh Spurgin hands a diploma to Sister Christiana Mmadu of Nigeria during commencement exercises at the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown on Saturday. Photo Credit: Unification Theological Seminary
Family, friends, and dignitaries from as far away as Atlanta and Toronto attend the 40th commencement exercises Saturday at the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown.
Family, friends, and dignitaries from as far away as Atlanta and Toronto attend the 40th commencement exercises Saturday at the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown. Photo Credit: Unification Theological Seminary

RED HOOK, N.Y. -- The Unification Theological Seminary in the hamlet of Barrytown recently held its 40th commencement exercises.

Twenty-two graduates from places ranging from Nigeria and Austria to Japan and Great Britain received their master’s or doctoral degrees on Saturday.

Twenty certificates in religion and health were also awarded, according to the school, which is located in the Dutchess County town of Red Hook.

Some of the 200 people attending the ceremony came from as far away as Atlanta, Toronto and Vancouver, the school said.

Seminary president Hugh Spurgin handed out the diplomas.

The commencement address was given by Ki Hoon Kim, continental chair of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), who had been a student at the seminary.

The seminary, which purchased its campus from the Christian Brothers in 1974, launched classes there in the fall of 1975.

The first 56 students were chosen by seminary founders, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and his wife, Hak Ja Ham Moon.

Moon, who died in 2012, had said he hoped the Barrytown seminary would be “a place where students can develop deep personal faith and authentic spiritual communication with the world.”

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