ABCS and TRINITY

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Martin, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    Does anyone have any information on American Bible College and Seminary (American Christian College and Seminary)?

    I saw their website a few years ago. They have lost their TRACS accreditation, and now their website (abcs.edu) has vanished. I assume, since they were once with TRACS (which does such fine schools as Liberty, Southern Evangelical, and others) they are not a degree mill (however I admit I am in no position to know). Their old website claimed that they have a campus (even pictures).

    Does anyone know what happened? TRACS posted some information on their website: http://www.tracs.org/AcComAction4041.pdf (listed under number 3).

    Also, is there any opinion of Trinity College of the Bible becoming a candidate for accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools?

    See
    http://www.ncacihe.org/directory/?Action=ShowBasic&instid=2128
     
  2. UZThD

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    I was in the DMin in Bible for one year at ACCS. ACCS did not have in the opinion of the TRACS exec with whom I spoke (and I agree) faculty sufficiently qualified to offer grad studies in Bible/Theology. The TRACS website has as its standard accredited academic docs in the area of instruction. ACCS had NO PhD or ThD teaching Bible/Theology. Therefore, I suppose, the several courses I took were "taught" at the MDiv , not at the doc, level , but doc credit was given.

    Before that I also , believe it or not, was in the PhD (before that nomenclature was dropped) at TTS. Trinity at least has faculty with accredited docs.IMO Trinity is very likely to get RA. But also IMO for years TTS was a bit deceptive in regard to its claims about its quality, utility, and accreditation.

    Having accred MA, MDiv(equiv) ThM, I wanted to do an accredited, recognized, GAAP doc. So, I enrolled in a South African public university and in three years finished the ThD research and had it accepted. It cost less than $2500.

    As I am a retired public school teacher on a pension that was about all I could afford, but I'm very satisfied with the experience.

    My ThD committee included professors from three public universities, and I had as well a local (Oregon) reader who is published in the field, PhD from DTS, and prof at an RA college.
     
  3. Martin

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    Thanks for the info on American. I agree about Trinity's past mis-information.

    Martin
     
  4. PatsFan

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    $2500? That's incredible! I'll probably end up paying about $12,000 for the D.Min. I'm currently working on at Ashland Seminary, an RA and ATS accredited school in Ohio. I'm very happy with my program, but I enjoy looking at catalogs. How could I get a catalog for the university of South Africa where you got your ThD? Congratulations, by the way. That's quite an accomplishment!
     
  5. UZThD

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    Patsfan

    My MA in Theology is from Point Loma Nazarene in '68. After a bunch of work in English and Education at USD and OSU, I did the MDiv equivalency in '92 from Western CB Seminary and the ThM in Biblical Studies from same in '94. I began the Unizul ThD work about three years ago when I began public school teaching part time instead of full-time.

    There are about a dozen accredited public universities in South Africa and several private schools as well. A couple of these offer docs in several areas of Theology including the DPhil in Biblical Studies and the ThD or PhD in Pastoral Studies.

    I opted for Unizul (University of Zululand) because of the ease of working with them (only major hurdles were getting my "foreign" RA /ATS degrees approved by the UZ Faculty Senate and my proposal past ). I also appreciated the incredibly low cost, the fact that no residence normally is required, and because my promoter is expert and published in the area (Christology) of my dissertation.

    You can view the Unizul catalogue by a search for "Unizul" and then, when there, going to the faculty of Theology and Religion Studies.

    No criticism or attempted correction of my doctrine or denominational convictions or my peculiar views on my narrow dissertational topic was made by the UZ Faculty. The faculty includes some Baptists.

    Full Professors from three public universities in SA read and evaluated my dissertational research. Also, I had a local, informal, reader, whom I wanted because my topic most directly concerns a tenet in American Evangelicalism. He is twice published in the area of my research, is an RA prof, and has his PhD from Dallas. He informed me that my work fell within the dissertational expectations of his alma mater.

    With the availability of such very inexpensive, yet fully accredited and fully distance ed doctoral programs as Unizul AND OTHERS, where one's convictions are accepted, and one's skills are truly sharpened, I really do not see any valid reason to attempt doc work through unaccredited DL schools IF the doc expectations, curricula and faculty of such scools are substandard (adademically) EVEN IF the tuition is cheap.
     
  6. Broadus

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    I couldn't agree more. There are so many less-than-credible non-traditional schools floating around that it makes your head spin. I can't help but wonder how many are money-making schemes, while, doubtlessly, some may be well intentioned.

    I by-passed them to do a PhD in church history at SBTS. Though it wasn't easy to move a family from GA to KY, I didn't want to look back and regret the time and effort spent acquiring a questionable degree.

    Unizul ( http://www.uzulu.ac.za/the/the.htm ) looks like an attractive alternative to the traditional route while requiring substantial work.

    Bill
     
  7. UZThD

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    Bill

    I very much appreciate your point of view re the importance of doing only academically credible work if the award is an academic degree. Thanks for providing the UZ address. I visited your church website on your profile and found your credentials , to be , obviously, very impressive. Are you a fellow member of the Evangelical Theological Society?

    Bill
     
  8. Broadus

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    Hey Bill,

    Actually, I've let my ETS membership lapse, but I am considering renewing it.

    Bill
     
  9. PatsFan

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    I noticed their website is now up and running again. If you want to see how how the school has changed, check it out:
    www.accs.edu
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    From their website:
    They must have run into a buzz saw. Who would attend classes or take external correspondence when credits are dubious and no degree-granting by State of Oklahoma is allowed?
     
  11. Nord

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    ACCS had a rise and fall of epic proportions. Sad for students and faculty. They worked hard to obtain TRACS accreditation and become a multi million dollar operation with a residential campus and distance learning.

    My experience with them was that they had well meaning staff and faculty but major administrative problems which seemed to occupy most of the TRACS report about ACCS. For example, they failed to keep the schools endowment up with enrollment and budget (students actually got fund raising letters shortly before the TRACS visit). They made programmatic changes without ACCS board approval, etc. I experienced many frustrating headaches.

    UZThd is correct that one of the issues was the fact that they had DMin's (suited to Practical Theology) teaching the biblical studies program. Should have been PhD's or Thd's. In my case the opposite was true. In the doctoral program in counseling, they had PhD's teaching the program when they could have had DMin's in Pastoral Counseling teaching it. In one sense they had invested in PhD's for the Practical theology program when they could have used DMin's and had used DMin's in the biblical studies when they should have had PHD's/ThD's.

    Having said that, I can say the following. The faculty that I had contact with were very well meaning & helpful but overworked. They have also really given of themselves to try and take care of students during the teach out. The Teach Out is an agreement and mandate between the accrediting agency, ACCS and the Dept of Ed that allows students in the program who are 75% through to still graduate with and accredited degree provided that they successfully complete all requirements by May 2005 (no exceptions). The school is basically remaining open to take care of the remaining students. The staff are giving of themselves physically, spiritually and financially (working practically for free) to ensure that they do the best they can.

    Also, I have to give the school this, they were diligent in ensuring that they had integrity when it came to academics. For instance, the approval process for the doctoral Applied Research Project (dissertation) was no rubber stamp. The proposal was taken a part assessed and suggestions for development of a solid proposal made. The project had to be substantial and around 200 pages was expected. Even under the teach out they are not short cutting academically (still requiring Oral Defences of the dissertation etc).

    As an alumnus, I am both sad at the turn things took and gratified to see the way they are conducting themselves during the sunset of ACCS.

    Nord
     
  12. Broadus

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    Nord,

    Thanks for your insight into ACCS. It is a sad situation, and I feel especially for those finishing under such circumstances.

    Bill
     
  13. UZThD

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    Hey Nord

    Are you my guy from DI?

    Bill G.
     
  14. Nord

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    It is I. If I recall, I could not register as North so tried the Deutsch version.

    Real proud of you Bill! You worked hard and earned that UNIZUL ThD. That is a success story and you can offer a lot of practical experience to anyone thinking of SA schools (including to never give up in spite of personal trials).

    Nord
     
  15. UZThD

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    Nord

    And YOU are the one who pointed me in that direction of SA.

    In two weeks I head less south as a guest lecturer to tell a group of 25 seminary students of systematic theology some of my dissertational things you and I have discussed at DI. That is thrilling for an old, over the hill sinner like me.

    Thanks,

    Bill G.
     

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