The Humboldt University of Berlin pioneered the research model of university education that influenced many Western schools. This approach focuses on the discovery of knowledge by the research method, employing disciplined, orderly, critical analysis into the subject of study. In other words, the purpose of this type of education is to train and use the intellect in pursuit of truth. Coupled with the values of academic freedom, freedom to learn and freedom to teach, this institution fulfilled the humanistic belief that it is up to humans to find the truth, based on our rational faculties and not relying on revelation, faith, mysticism, or any tradition as authority on either the questions or answers. Even theological education came within this purview, becoming training for professional ministry rather than the development of one's character or spirit to be a model for others.
This approach has certainly benefited human society, advancing our knowledge and our ability to obtain knowledge in all areas of study, free from the control of potentially corrupt and limiting governments and religious authorities. Yet, the intellect alone is insufficient to uncover the true meaning and nature of human life. Unification Thought explains that while the intellect can uncover knowledge of the external, physical world, there is another dimension—internal, spiritual knowledge of the spiritual world. As beings of not only intellect (which seeks truth) but also emotion (which seeks beauty) and will (which seeks goodness), and with love as the central force that guides us, we must develop our character as individuals, learn norms of social interaction with others, and learn to care for our environment through the mastery of skills and knowledge. A complete education, therefore, cannot be for the intellect alone.
While the University of Berlin has established an excellent approach to the mastery of intellectual skills and knowledge, unless we develop moral character and the ability to love our fellow human beings, such skills and knowledge can be used for the destruction of human life and the earth. As the age of globalization and the need for all people to learn to live in harmony has dawned, it is necessary that education serve to uncover not only knowledge about the physical world, but to enable us to understand our spiritual, internal human aspects. For the University of Berlin to succeed in attaining its goals of educational reform, social responsibility, and global cultural awareness the education of the inner person must also be included.