Accredited or Not

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by mnw, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. mnw

    mnw
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    From viewing another thread I wanted to ask this question.

    What would be better. Going to a solid, Bible believing, God honouring college/university that has no "official" recognition? Or going to somewhere that is accredited but does not adhere to Scripture and does not glorify God?
     
  2. Joseph M. Smith

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    Why pose these as though they were mutually exclusive? Choose a solid and deeply Christian institution that is accredited -- which means that its organizational structure and academic standards are up to par. There is no need to compromise on either end of this equation.

    By the way, I am a member of the Board of Trustees of a relatively new seminary, The John Leland Center for Theological Studies, based in Arlington, VA -- and the visitation team from ATS has voted to recommend accreditation for us. We are very pleased indeed.
     
  3. mnw

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    I didn't mean to say that if you are one then you cannot be the other. Sorry for the confusion.

    Let me put it this way, what is more important to believers here. A Bible based education that may not be accredited, or a humanistic education that is?

    There are highly academic schools in both these catergories.
     
  4. Rhetorician

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    mnw,

    If the young person knew on the "get go" what God was going to do with their life longterm it would be much easier to answer.

    I have tried to make the arguement on the BB and to other young "full-time Christian workers" of whatever ilk; that they go to a regionally accredited college or univeristy for two primary reasons.

    First, to get a BA/BS in something where you can make a living. Not all ministers/fulltime CWs are going to be able to make a living by the Gospel, so they need a way to "make tents." Teaching public school is a perfect way to do that. If one goes to the traditional and sometimes non-RA "Bible College" the ways to make a living and feed the family can be slim to none.

    Secondly, if one has an RA BS or BA then you can go on to an RA or ATS seminary or secular university and do an MA or MDiv which in turn can lead to some doctoral work.

    I know that I am calling for an engagement with the culture and historically the IFB ran from the culture. So, these two issues have to be separated and discussed. And it all hinges on what the young person thinks God's will is for their life now as well as longterm.

    One fly in the ointment: many on the BB have found that education is not a once and for all thing but it grows as we have gone along. Don't ever do something that you might have done rightly the first time; like getting an RA BA or BS!! It will pay myriads of dividends.

    FWIW!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  5. Broadus

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    I think your question remains too general. What level and area of education do you have in mind? Are you speaking of an undergraduate degree in engineering or a graduate degree in theological studies for an aspiring minister? A believer needing to do ancient language studies outside the biblical languages may need to study in a secular institution simply because there is no Christian insititution which teaches such studies. Too, one must remember that all truth is God's truth, whether a secularist realizes it or not.

    While there are exceptions, on the whole I would counsel one to study at or through an institution which is biblically based and accredited. In the U.S., one need not sacrifice accreditation for truth. That said, there are many areas of study that Christian institutions do not teach and which Christians may need to study.

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  6. James Flagg

    James Flagg
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    You will ultimately have to weight the pros and cons yourself.

    I personally would never even consider an unaccredited university for anything. Even a degree in Bible, much less a degree like chemistry where secular vs. Christian is irrelevant.
     
  7. mnw

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    I appreciate the replies. Let's boil it down a little further. Would you suggest going to an accredited school simply for the reason that it is accredited? Should a schools status in the eyes of the government play a part in our choice of school? (This is assuming both are equally academic)
     
  8. Rhetorician

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    mnw,

    The major arguement for a BA/BS that is RA is that it will open doors for you later. You will have so many more options that you may not have had other wise.

    Options you may not see now, unless you have time to do TWO Bachelor's degrees? Do you want a "do-over?"

    I really don't think you do!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  9. mnw

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    I can see the wisdom in your argument Rhetorician. That is certainly an option God may use.

    I would be concerned that it is used as a "back-up" plan, just in case God's plan didn't work out. I have known of situations where a family pressured their son to get a practical degree first and then study for the ministry. The son has got the practical degree, and never made it into the ministry.

    However, I do see your point and I do beleive there are times that is the right thing to do.
     
  10. James Flagg

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    I would suggest NOT going to an unaccredited school simply because it is unaccredited.

    I say that without hesitation or qualification.
     
  11. rbell

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    mnw,

    What if God wants to call you at age 55 to pastor, part-time, a small church? How will you provide for your family?

    I got an outstanding undergrad in religion, and a M.Div as well. Doing it over again...I would have majored in something other than religion. Much of my work was duplicated...and I think it's good to have a marketable skill--not to be a "fallback position"--but to expand your availablity for ministry. There are tons of ministry opportunities out there, and many of them won't pay your bills.

    I guess I'm (less eloquently) echoing rhet's comments earlier...

    One caveat...my position ain't Gospel. If God tells you to go to ABC unaccredited, then go there, by all means...just make sure it's God telling you.

    God's best to you,

    RBell
     
  12. Plain Old Bill

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    What is the availability of Christian higher education in the Emerald Isles?
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    Accredited if at all possible.
     
  14. mnw

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    In the UK "Christian" higher education is virtually non-existant. There are a number of very small local Bible colleges, nothing that would come under the banner of a "liberal arts" college/university.
     
  15. Plain Old Bill

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    Then you may want to consider a school in South Africa or Australia which recieves national accreditation and the exchange rates are generally favorable which makes these schools economical as well.
     
  16. Rubato 1

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    What is your goal? If you must be "marketable" You'd better be accredited. If you are a preacher, a Biblical education is more important, for plenty of unaccredited preachers have done wonderful things, besides, I don't know if true Bible teaching CAN be accredited.
    If you can't find a happy medium, don't be hung up on accreditation, but don't throw out "accuracy"? for the sake of "reputability." My father went to accredited school, my brother and I went to non-accredited. The point is, that I learned what I needed for my area of ministry. God led me to where I went to school.


    I should be a politician-I feel like I said a whole lot without saying anything...

    Accreditation isn't everything. There. Is that better?
     
  17. mnw

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    Thanks for the post rubato and old bill.

    Just to clear something up, I am not looking for somewhere to attend. Sorry about any mix up. It just bothered me that in another thread some seemed to post that accreditation was everything.

    My parents put me into an ACE school which at the time was unrecognised by the government and virtually unknown in the UK. However, I have never gone to an interview without getting the job and in my last job before becoming a pastor I was put on the accelerated promotion scheme for the biggest supermarket in the country.

    At the end of the day I think accreditation is nice, but employers look for ability, potential and then performance, not necessarily accreditation.

    It's like that old joke: What do you say to someone with a Ph.D? Can I have a large coke and a Bic Mac please?
     
  18. dcorbett

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  19. mnw

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    Good article. [​IMG] Thanks for the link
     
  20. MRCoon

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    Pacific Baptist College (Pomona California) is fully accredited Bible College that offers Bachelor of Arts degrees vice Bachelor of Ministry degrees (like many other Bible Colleges). So you can have both a good accreditted Bible education...and trust me when I say this is a BIBLE college.

    Bachelor of Arts-Pastoral Studies
    Bachelor of Arts-Missions
    Bachelor of Arts-Church Education and Youth
    Bachelor of Science-Elementary Church Education
    Bachelor of Science-Secondary Church Education
    Associate of Arts-Bible
    Certificate of Bible Proficiency

    Next year they are expected to have Bachelor of Arts-Music and over the next couple of years they will be implementing a Masters' Program.

    So check them out @ Pacific Baptist College
     

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