Are all ua degrees, mills?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by PrTeacher10, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. PrTeacher10

    PrTeacher10
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure what to think after reading some of the posts.

    Are all ua degrees diploma mills?

    What about Columbia Evangelical Seminary? By reading the board I see that Rhet does some work here. I would like his thoughts.

    Are there any more that you wouldn't consider degree mills?

    Is there any pride in having a degree that is UA?



    I do not have an UA degree. I have three, fully accredited diplomas. With that being said I do not look down on others who hold UA degrees. In fact, some of the best preachers I have heard go this route because they are looking for pulpit help.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Havensdad

    Havensdad
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,382
    Likes Received:
    0
    Absolutely not. A degree mill is an institution that requires little or no work for a degree. There are lots of great UA schools...there are a lot more bad ones.

    No, CES is NOT a mill...
     
  3. PrTeacher10

    PrTeacher10
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Then why is there so much negativity in getting an ua degree?

    Of course, there are many disadvantages; but for the pastor, who is already a pastor, not wanting to spend thousands of dollars on a program.....he shouldn't be looked down upon for choosing the ua route.

    Yeah, Yeah I understand how this could be problematic but considering my small town in which a full-time minister is a rare thing, going the ua is ideal for the pastor wanting a Biblical education, whose job and financial situation couldn't pay off a $40,000 plus loan debt.

    Could I get a list of the top 5??? ua degree.
     
  4. Havensdad

    Havensdad
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,382
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some of it is academic snobbery. A lot of it, is that there are a LOT of REALLY bad unaccredited schools and a LOT of mills...

    True, as long as he picks a LEGITIMATE school. If the school claims to offer a BA degree, that degree should by and large take at least 2-4 years to complete. Classes should have substantial research/writing requirements, proctored tests (even if it is just a church member proctoring for you), etc.

    Technically, there are plenty of accredited schools that offer degrees for much less than 40,000. There are a several institutions that offer accredited degrees for 50 to 100 dollars per credit, which would only add up to 4500 to 9,000 dollars for a M.Div, or 12,000 for a BA. Even a school like New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, which is both Regionally accredited AND ATS accredited, will run an individual around 15000 for the ENTIRE M.Div. (5000 per year, if done in 3 years).

    In fact, there are UA organizations which are even more expensive than their accredited counterparts.

    Online, or Brick and Mortar? I am assuming since you infer you are in a place of service, you are looking for an online school?

    That being the case, the only two I can personally recommend...

    http://www.rbseminary.org

    http://www.nationsu.org (this is non-denominational, but affiliated with the Church of Christ...FYI)

    Now, if you want a cheap, Accredited degree, then I would recommend:

    http://www.satsonline.org/
     
  5. RG2

    RG2
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think this is the most of it. For every 1 or two good UA schools there's about 10-20 really bad ones.

    However now in the age of the for-profit schools there's a lot of accredited schools that are really bad as well.

    When you have an accredited school there's a sense, though I'm not quite sure about the reality sometimes, that there's outside accountability.

    And as Havens dad said there are plenty of schools that won't cost you $40,000 for a degree. It all depends on the school. In my personal research I've seen a school charge $2200 for a course (3 hours), and another charge $2200 for a semester of 15 hours. Both schools are regionally accredited Baptist universities.
     
  6. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hello Preacher Teacher 10,

    You have well observed and well said that I am a BB member and CES mentor. And I proud of both>

    CES catches it on the chin unduly from those who do not have a direct understanding of the program. I have mentored and am mentoring at present. Students "write their own curriculum." But it is up to the prof / mentor to "advise and consent" with them on each and every class, to set up the syllabus for each class that meet the strictest of guidelines of the school.

    This is absolutely no 'cake walk." That is why Dr. Walston picks some of the very best out there to be mentors. Present company excluded of course. But it has been my delight to work with students there. And on occasion students will pick course work that the prof / mentor may not be up to speed concerning or a bit outside of their expertise. But that gives both the motivation to work through the material ahead of the student in order to direct their studies.

    I like the European model. If I was a pastor, or wanting to study in a particular area, or could not move my family in order to attend university for a ministry degree I would certainly consider CES. Go to the web page and look around, look at the track record of the mentors, then get back to me with more dialogue if you want to do so. You will get your money's worth I am sure.

    Also, it may be worth noting, the grads have been accepted into some good schools on "academic probation" and have gone on to do good work while there.

    You can consider this an "AMEN" from ole Rhet!

    Let me know if this does not answer all of your questions or concerns and we can talk some more? OK?

    "That is all!"
     
  7. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    This post raise two rather good points and should be commended. :thumbs:

    This ratio is about correct.

    Yep, I agree here too. However, I don't know how many of these fly-by-night for-profits are accredited regionally. They shirk accreditation pretty badly and claim "academic freedom" while saddling their students with high levels of student loans and not really offering them a usable degree.
     
  8. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    See above, not all but you've got to go out of your way to prove it imho.

    And he has provided you with some great insight. I don't know enough about CES to comment effectively.

    Depends on what you want it for imho. I got this guy I know who is a pastor in the area. He has gone to four unaccredited schools (which I would consider all to be diploma mills) and gotten his undergrad, MDiv, MA, and a DMin from this school. He demands to be called "Doctor" but is a blooming idiot. He isn't a good case study for UA schools.

    However, I do know a couple of guys who went to UA schools that are doing really good things and are committed, lifelong learners. They work diligently and create a good context for ministry. One of them mentioned that he got his UA degree because he wanted to be able to have something in a specific area of study without all the rigmarole that accredited schools make you go through. As usual, it all depends on the student.

    Depends on what you want to do with it. Recently we were hiring for a staff position and got a ton of resumes for it. After culling out the ones that didn't make sense, weren't formatted well, had no obvious desire to minister, and such we had a good group of candidates. Several of whom had UA degrees listed in their educational field. After another culling process, this one based on experience and vision for the position we had a smaller selection but one that needed an additional working over. One of my jobs in this process was going through the candidates and making brief notes concerning their educational credentials. So I did. Several of the candidates had UA degrees and I noted the schools and some info. In the end our task force went with a guy who had only a Bachelors but was looking to move into MDiv work. His experience and vision for the position were outstanding and set him a part. The second leading candidate had two UA masters degrees and an accredited undergrad. So sometimes it has a bearing and sometimes not.

    It all depends on what you want to do. Always gets me flustered when I talk to some guy who has it in his head he can go and get a ton of UA degrees and then get higher by a local college. Ain't gonna happen.

    One of the things about UA and accredited schools that does have an impact on you as a student is the nature of the faculty. I've met very nice people at UA schools who aren't worth two cents as scholars. They only work in a specific discipline and are only familiar with one view of beliefs. One of the benefits, or accountability pieces, of an accredited school is the faculty who should, emphasis on should, be more apt to handle a variety of viewpoints. That's a big deal to me. :)
     
  9. mcdirector

    mcdirector
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    8,292
    Likes Received:
    10
    At least some of them buy accredited but failing schools. They have been allowed in the past to keep the accreditation that the school had. This doesn't, however, explain ongoing accreditation which is a mystery to me.

    A friend of mine got an MBA from Phoenix. It had no GRE requirement and the hours were considerably less than those required by any MBA offered at the NC colleges I looked at. She also spent 10x the $$ on her masters than I did on mine.
     
  10. revmwc

    revmwc
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,037
    Likes Received:
    69
    If CES is not considered a degree mill is because thay are an affiliate school of the the ABHE? Louisiana Baptist is Also an affiliate school of the ABHE are they a diploma mill? They have been issuing degrees since 1973 first as Baptist Christian College and now a Louisiana Baptist University. Their courses run $98 a semester hour.

    They also show:

    LBU is chartered by the State of Louisiana Board of Regents.

    LBU is an approved school of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. (BBFI)

    LBU is a member school of the Association of Christian Schools International. (ACSI)


    Founded in 1973

    A pioneer in distance education

    LBU has one of the largest selection of courses; over 250 courses in Bible, Education, Counseling and Communications.

    LBU offers five educational disciplines:

    School of Biblical Studies
    School of Communications
    School of Counseling
    School of Christian Education
    Theological Seminary

    What do you see them as?
     
    #10 revmwc, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2012
  11. revmwc

    revmwc
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,037
    Likes Received:
    69
    Here are the requirements by ABHE to become an affiliate school:

    ABHE Affiliate status is available to credible institutions of biblical higher education seeking to benefit from ready access to ABHE services and networking but presently lacking either readiness or inclination to seek ABHE accreditation.


    Affiliate status may be awarded to institutions upon documentation that they meet the following Criteria/Conditions of Eligibility:

    Agreement with the ABHE Tenets of Faith
    Evidence that the institution is operating legally within the parameters of the particular province/state relative to faith-based post secondary institutions
    Recognition (corporate identity) as a non-profit organization
    Presence of a publicly stated/board approved mission statement that has a biblical/ministry formation focus
    Commitment to offer education at a post secondary level
    Curricular offerings, degrees, and institutional nomenclature consistent with North American higher educational norms
    Human, educational, and financial resources commensurate with institutional mission and curricular offerings
    Minimum of a two-year history with an identifiable external governing board, administration, faculty, and student body
    A letter of reference from an administrator/faculty member of an ABHE member institution or from an ABHE professional staff person affirming the institution's integrity, credibility, and compatibility with ABHE's purpose and values



    Affiliation requires Commitment to accurate disclosure of accredited status:

    An affiliate institution must not portray itself, verbally or in print, as an accredited member of ABHE
    An affiliate institution must not claim accreditation through an agency lacking recognition by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditations
    Affiliate institutions must use the following disclosure statement: [Institution Name] is an affiliate institution of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. As such, it participates in and contributes to collegial and professional development activities of the Association. Affiliate status does not, however, constitute, imply, or presume ABHE accredited status at present or in the future.
    Affiliate institutions must notify the ABHE office promptly regarding any changes in directory information (i.e., website, mailing address, instructional location(s), leadership)
    Submission of annual affiliate dues; institutions whose annual dues are more than 60 days delinquent will be dropped from the affiliate roster.
    Institutions that have been dropped from affiliate status may seek reinstatement after 3 years.


    Which would mena both CES and LBU would have to meet the same standards for affiliation. Yet in a previous post most of you said LBU would be considered a diploma mill and yet CES is not what is the difference? They both met the same standards under the ABHE and both could be accredited by the ABHE if they wished.
     
    #11 revmwc, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2012
  12. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    Higher education is very complex in the United States, and degree mills take advantage of this. There are US Department of Education accredited higher learning institutions that are not worth one penny. There are some very good unaccredited schools.

    Of course, as all of you know, seminary, theology and divinity degrees are a seperate catagory from secular degrees. Experienced pastors know what is legitimate and what is not.

    Here is an example of a scam degree mill that offers a Doctorate in Theology, and a Masters of Theology and Divinity, based on life experience. Send in several hundred dollars, a resume, and you will receive a degree, transcript, and an 800 number phone service to verify your degree. These places even have their own accrediting institutions.

    http://almedauniversity.org/graduate/phd-programs.html
     
  13. RG2

    RG2
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    I saw a PBS deal about for-profit schools and they talked about investors specifically targeting smaller struggling schools that were already had their regional accreditation. Accreditation stays with the institution not who is in charge of it. So basically they were buying small colleges that already had their RA, then turned them into online institutions and marketed them by saying "Oh we have the same accreditation as Harvard or Stanford or Yale, so we're just as good." Anyway I say all this to just say that it doesn't depend on the accreditation, you just need to make sure the school is reputable.
     
  14. revmwc

    revmwc
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,037
    Likes Received:
    69
    How do you judge one a scam degree?

    If someone works through workbooks, reads text book to get the answers. Takes a test with a person watching to confirm they used no notes or text book? Is that enough to not qualify as a scam dgree mill? Or if one sits and listens to cd's and takes notes for 21 hours a week, takes the test as assigned without the notes and then upon completion of the notes taking the final is that a scam degree mill? And most test have 50 to 60 questions, t - f, matching and multiple choice is that not good enough? What do you see as not rigorous work?

    Where is the line drawn where do you determine it?
     
  15. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Often the same way the Supreme Court defines pornography...
     
  16. seekingthetruth

    seekingthetruth
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    Andersonville Theological Seminary has been recommended to me. I am not wanting to study to be a pastor or any other church vocation. I just want to learn more about the bible.

    Are any of you familiar with ATS and is it credible or just a mill?

    john
     
  17. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    RG2 also mentioned this, and it is a good point. These for-profit schools are dubious at best and a blight on the higher educational system in general.

    Phoenix is a good example to use, they charge absurd amounts for a degree that is seen as less valuable in the workforce than other schools. One of the guys I'm discipling in a small group has his MBA from Harvard and is the head of HR for a corporation based in our area. We were talking about degrees while waiting for another guy and I was really interested in hearing his take on these things as it relates to his world and my world.

    Basically he said anyone walking in with degrees from schools like Phoenix aren't taken too seriously. If two candidates for a mid-level executive position showed up and had similar experience (that is his primary qualifier), similar vision, and similar type degrees but one had their stuff from a state school and another from somewhere like Phoenix the hand would get tipped to the state school before a final round.

    Another thing that he said which was interesting is that his company requires a writing sample from all candidates that make it to the final round of interviews. He said that if you have a decision to make between two people who look and sound great the writing sample usually makes the choice obvious. (Though he said not everyone follows this rule) He always recommends hiring the better writer.

    Maybe that is a qualifier. Education is at its most developed level something with many intrinsic realities that aren't codified well in process but ultimately become evident when interacting with people.

    Anyhoo...long answer...the for-profit schools are not a positive thing in my experience.
     
  18. revmwc

    revmwc
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,037
    Likes Received:
    69
    Statement of a boss to an employee who accomplished his degree,
    "shows your dedication to learn and to be able to assimilate the knowledge" some see it as this when one is graded on courses.
     
  19. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    We are starting to reach a tipping point on this as a nation. The cost of education, any education, has exploded over the past three decades. It is increasing at a rate faster than inflation or normal GDP growth. Schools are charging ridiculous sums of money for a degree that is neglible at best in some circumstances. Then we have the impending student loan bubble...that is really scary.

    Many places in higher education are not providing a product that is credible. Too many students, saddling themselves with debt and no real expectation of finding a reasonable return on their "investment" are starting to rethink education. Do you really need a four year degree to run a retail store? What about a gym? Or a car dealership? Too often they leave college, struggle to find a job, and when they do they end up having to take time to actually get trained for their work. It's just not making much sense for a lot of people.

    If you took the money you'd spend on education and invested it and then went and got actual experience doing something for those four years you'd be doing better (even if you made up your degree...cuz who actually checks these things) than 90% of graduates once they were out. (I know, the ethics thing does matter.)

    Yep, see my above point.

    Interesting add on, I guess. I was meeting with a couple who are going through a tough time last week and they said they had been going to see another pastor for a while but didn't feel their experience was very good. (I knew the other pastor, but didn't mention anything) In interacting with me for our session they both said they had more confidence in their marriage after that short time than after 5 weeks of seeing the other pastor. They asked me how I had been able to isolate and talk with them about their true troubles. I mentioned it was because of the comprehensiveness of my degrees. The other pastor has two diploma mill degrees and an ordination from a .org website. Clearly (and I'm not puffing myself here) the benefit for this couple was someone who knew how to handle their situation because they had been thoroughly exposed to counseling by submitting themselves to the rigor of a system.

    I wonder if we took ministry as seriously as we took surgery if this conversation would even be happening...;)
     
  20. revmwc

    revmwc
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,037
    Likes Received:
    69
    State which you feel is a diploma mill and which is a valid degree:

    School “A”
    Assesses the student:
    1. taking all credits from other institutions and crediting as courses allow
    2. Requires the student to begin classes and then will assess their work experience by means of Resume and/or clept testing
    3. Courses will be by independent study with work sent via email to the instructor and required to come to campus for 2 examinations.
    4. School is accredited by a US Dept. of education approved agency

    School “B”
    Assesses Student:
    1. taking all credits from other institutions and crediting as courses allow
    2. Tells student exactly how many hours are required before enrollment
    3. Student must submit 6 each 2 page hand written documents to receive 16 course hours for life experience
    4. Courses will be taken at home by means of a 300+ question syllabus with questions from the textbook. Reading through the chapters of the book to find the answers.
    5. During the course of studying the workbook 10 1 to 3 page papers are to written and submitted for grading. 25% of the course grade
    6. Workbook sent to the school for grading which counts for 25% of the course grade.
    7. Workbook received back and student studies for the final examine which remains sealed until taken. 50% of course grade.
    8. School is not accredited.

    School “C”
    Assesses student:
    1. taking all credits from other institutions and crediting as courses allow
    2. Student knows course hours required
    3. Student begins classes when CD’s are received sitting for 3 to 4 hours 4 to 5 nights a week taking notes.
    4. As instructed test are taken without notes and submitted for grading, courses average 2 test over a 10 course session. All test are 50 + t-f, matching, fill in the blank and write a paragraph, some contain all the above.
    5. School is not accredited by a U.S. Govt or regionally recognized organization but is accredited by an institution that accredits many schools.

    Which would you find as a diploma mill and why?
     

Share This Page

Loading...