Bethany Bible College and Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Martin, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    Does anyone know anything about Bethany Bible College and Seminary?

    Certainly I am not planning to attend this school, it is unaccredited, but I am just curious if anyone knows anything about it.

    Martin.
     
  2. Dr.Tim

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    Bethany was an apprentice for accreditation a while back but they were put in a spot.... they either had to drop their Ph.D and Th.D. programs and keep their Doctorate of Ministry and Doctor of Biblical Studies or drop the entire accreditation process. Since most of their doctoral students preferred the PhD and ThD they decided to keep it and give up on being accredited. That's the last I heard.
     
  3. PatsFan

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    It's a shame that Bethany didn't stay the course. I've heard that Trinity (Indiana) dropped their PhD programs because of RA candidacy. I wonder if the marketability of doctoral degees becomes the reason many unaccredited seminaries stay that way. I think it will be interesting to see what happens when DETC receives a green light to start accrediting doctoral degrees.
     
  4. Dr.Tim

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    Yes it is a shame. A friend of mine from the SBC had joined Bethany in 1990 and told me that they work you hard, that even though some of the courses,,they use a book in the answer is right there for you,, it is still a lot of work and they are strict with how the work is done with the margins and so forth.. turabian style stuff.

    I was with Bethany for short time and just needed 22 hours for a masters and had already done a dissertation from the other seminary, but I wouldnt say its a "degree mill".
     
  5. PatsFan

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    It certainly doesn't appear to be a degree mill. Their DMin programs seem to require a fair amount of work. Their department chairs have accredited degrees and they get good press in "Walston's Guide to Christian Distance Learning."
     
  6. UZThD

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    ===


    Of course, Walston has a doc from Bethany which he seldom lists. Wonder why?
     
  7. PatsFan

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  8. UZThD

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    IMO Bethany should not offer docs in anything except praxis. Its faculty is unqualified, IMO, to do more.

    BTW, were one to search the archives of degreeinfo.com on this school, one would find that at one time Bethany gave a ThM/PhD to a person who denied (at that time) the Trinity and who further did curriculum work for Bethany!

    That discussion at DI, in which both the Bethany grad and I were participants, was extensive and revealing and , I think, resulted in the removal of that person's name from the faculty roster.

    IMO a good theological school knows the theological convictions of those who get advanced degrees from it!
     
  9. Nord

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    This may be a point for debate. Idealy yes, but like anywhere else it is entirely possible for someone to mask these beliefs in order to comply with the doctrine of the school they are desiring to graduate from. Please note that I am in no way implying that the person you are talking about did that. Also, it is possible that aas long as the person adequately defended his positions & completed requirements, he still qualified for the degree.

    Remember Steve Levicoff taught at Biblical Seminary (??) while being gay. Was not something he publicized but if I recall he once posted on degree info that he divulged that to the Administration after being concerned about covering that fact up and knowing that there were a certain percentage of the students he was teaching that were gay and confused by the issue of their faith versus orientation. He wanted to be open about being a gay Christian. Again, please understand that I have concerns with Steve's claims to be a good fundmantalist while
    using the sexual innuendo he did and language but that is between him and God. After divulging hs orientation he amicably parted company with the seminary.

    As for Bethany, I think they once tried for TRACS accreditation and could not make it. Schumaker tried to explain this once on degreeinfo but as I recall I felt he was trying to make TRACS requirements seem so far out of reach for a distance learning/residential school. I did not feel that his explanation fit with my understanding of their procedures. I suspect there were other problems that caused them to be unable to comply. Shumaker did note that (if accurate) TRACS officals were not very considerate.

    North
     
  10. Dr.Tim

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    I know of Levicoff. Some of his language bothers me, of course.
    There were some problems with trying to become accredited. For one, you must have a considerable amount of library to offer students if you are claiming to be both On- and Off-campus system. The library listed was the public library and even though it is of sufficient size in terms of books, it is a general library and its amount of books on theology/etc is small.
    They were an "apprentice for accreditation" in the early 90's. You worked VERY hard to get a degree from there in the courses you took. The only thing I would say may have even given it the slightest accusation of "degree mill" was the way they gave out credits to perspective students. They didn't offer me much in the way of "life experience" and I had to teach at a high school for one year, and then a University for one year and have all the necessary papers signed to prove i did teach there for the entire school year. One course I remember was taking was class on Romans and recall the 200 questions we had to answer from Phillips' commentary on Romans. Took a long time to do it.
    Sure, some of the answers are staring you right in the face, but you had to read and of course once you read and then typed in the answer, you learned. Not a bad experience for me really.
     
  11. UZThD

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  12. UZThD

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    There were some problems with trying to become accredited. For one, you must have a considerable amount of library to offer students

    ==


    To become TRACS accredited a school must also have a qualified faculty. TRACS defines that as the faculty in general having accredited docs in the area of instruction of grad courses. But Bethany has , according to the website, NO ONE with an accredited doc in Bible or in Systematic Theology. So, Bethany could not attain TRACS accreditation to offer grad degrees in Bible/Theology irregardless of a library.

    ==


    You worked VERY hard to get a degree from there in the courses you took.... . One course I remember was taking was class on Romans and recall the 200 questions we had to answer from Phillips' commentary on Romans. Took a long time to do it.
    Sure, some of the answers are staring you right in the face, but you had to read and of course once you read and then typed in the answer, you learned.

    ===


    Romans IS a truly wonderful Book. I took it too at Western Seminary under De Young. That is, I took Exegesis of the Pauline Soteriological Literature." One year it was Romans and the next was Galatians.

    One difference between the schools , aside of course from the academic qualifications of the profs (De Young is ThD in NT from DTS) is in the method of study.

    I note that Bethany requires little Greek and yet defines its Bible courses' goal to produce the ability to do 'exegetical' studies. Some might think that too ambitious a goal at grad level studies w-out recourse to the original languages. North may recall a DI discussion with a certain Jason , a Bethany PhD in Bible student, who insisted that Strong's Concordance was quite up to doing doc level research in lexics!

    When I studied Romans we were required to read it aloud and translate it from the Greek . We also used exegetical commentaries as Cranfield's.

    Yes, I know that Bethany says that Greek has not much importance as it all now is translated. But, I think, scholarly works as Cranfield on Romans are best utilized by those with a little Greek.

    So, if Cranfield writes,

    "kai me astenesas te pistei of D* G )r. and may be explained as a dative of respect (see BDF, 197)

    then we taught by De Young understood (else, of course, we were graded down). Cranfield is around 1400 pages of such and he is one of the three commentaries we used.


    In the 1980s DeYoung invited DA Carson to lecture in Exegetics (unfortunately that was before my enrollment). But the essence of those lectures is Carson's fine little book Exegetical Fallacies.

    Therein Carson says re Romans that in hamartesomen hoti ouch hupoi nomon the subjunctive is retained and that this a rhetorical device . De Young's students had best grasp that.

    Also re Romans De Young in his good book on Homosexuality well argues lexically the meanings of such as physei Ioudaioi, kata physin, aschemosyne and other terms related to the Pauline tenet on sexuality. To do so, requires the abitity to utilize such as TDNT which requires Greek.

    Unfortunately for Bethany's expressed view on the need for Greek, the truth is, one is much more able to exegete with it than without it.


    But 200 questions from Philips...imagine that [​IMG] !
     
  13. paidagogos

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    After reading the several posts on this thread, I think an observation and a conclusion is in order. It is true that Bethany is no degree mill because it requires a substantial amount of work. This is commendable in that its students are learning something worthwhile. The folks at Bethany are sincere, honest folks who have the best of intentions. They are not con men looking for a fast buck.

    On the other hand, one must realize that grad degrees are not more of the same. For example, one can successfully take and ace undergraduate courses in accredited schools until kingdom come without meriting a grad degree. Accumulating more hours at the undergraduate level does not carry one toward an advanced degree. In other words, instruction and learning at the graduate level is, at least theoretically, on a higher plane than undergraduate learning. Even writing a lengthy thesis, if it is not of sufficient rigor and quality, is not worthy of a graduate qualification.

    Whereas the Bethany courses do possess good content and demand much work, they do not necessarily qualify one for advanced academic recognition. There are fatal weaknesses, IMHO, at Bethany in the curriculum, the expectations, the rigor, and the faculty qualifications. (Note: The library problem is a marginal issue that can be effectively addressed by having access to a good university/seminary library near a student’s resident and interlibrary loan privileges.) Even though Bethany cannot rightly be called a degree mill, its degrees are severely inflated. IMHO, they could offer a legitimate Bible institute diploma or Bible college degree along with certificates. The rub is that, like the Pharisees, we love to be called, “Doctor, Doctor.”
    [​IMG]
     
  14. UZThD

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    ===

    I agree.
     
  15. Nord

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    When I hear people down play Greek, I am always amused. It reminds me once of arguing with someone on another forum about the issue of divorced pastors and how there are alternative reading of the passage (husband of one wife). I quoted from someone's doctoral dissertation and the issue of interpretation of the Greek. I swear someone said something to the effect that is did not matter what the dissertationof the Greek said, his KJV said.....
    Well.......someone who gradauted from the Harold Camping school of biblical reasoning.

    North
     
  16. UZThD

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    um...North, old chum, I doubledog dare you to post that on on the Baptist Bible study forum here and say "attention Carl."
    :rolleyes:

    (No, don't, Carl has turned out to be an OK guy)
     
  17. PatsFan

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    [QUOTE
    Well.......someone who gradauted from the Harold Camping school of biblical reasoning.
    [/QUOTE]

    Harold Camping? I thought he skipped town in 1994?
     
  18. paidagogos

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    Is this a caricature? Are you sure that you understood what the guy was saying? Perhaps he was saying that since he did not know Greek, the dissertation held no validity for him. He could not read and understand the arguments from the Greek. However, he could read and understand the KJV so that was the authority for him. For guys who don’t read Greek, who are they to believe?
     
  19. Plain Old Bill

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    This whole discussion brings a question to my mind.It is a human charactaristic to find fault.If you were to become the President of Bethany how would you fix the PhD and ThD programs?
    The first thing I would do is require 2 years of greek at the undergraduate level.The next thing I would do is add 2 more years of greek at the masters level along with 2 years of hebrew and I have'nt even looked at thier catalogue for years.
     
  20. UZThD

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    I'd get more qualified profs. If money were a prob, I'd find some old duffers like me who're retired and would give time freely.
     

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