Bethany Divinity College & Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Phil310, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Phil310

    Phil310
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    Does anyone have any experience with Bethany Divinity College & Seminary? They appear conservative and thorough. I know they are not accredited. That is not an issue with me. I already have undergrad and grad accredited degrees. I'm looking for furthering my education without having to do any residential time (at least for now).

    Thanks for any help you might could give.:thumbs:

    www.bethanybc.edu

    Phil310:smilewinkgrin:
     
  2. Martin

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    If avoiding on-campus time is an issue may I suggest one of the following schools (all of which "are" accredited)...

    Temple Baptist Seminary: MA programs can be done off campus and their MDiv may require a few on-campus courses at the present time however they are working hard toward changing that.

    Luther Rice University: All of their MA/MDiv programs can be done off campus with no on-campus time.

    Liberty Theological Seminary: Most of their seminary programs, and they have some very interesting new programs, can be done off campus with no on-campus time.

    As for Bethany...I have known of them since the late 90s and, from what I have seen, I would not recommend them. Just my opinion others may disagree. If you are going to go to a non-accredited school why not look into Andersonville? However I would always suggest an accredited program over a non-accredited program. Options my friend, options. :thumbs:
     
  3. Phil310

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    Why would you recommend Andersonville over Bethany?
    Also, I should have been more specific. I am looking at the Doctorate level.

    Thanks.:thumbs:
     
  4. UZThD

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    #4 UZThD, Dec 16, 2006
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  5. Martin

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    ==Each of the schools I linked to has a DMin program online. They "will" require some on-campus time however if you hope to earn a degree from a respected institution of higher learning that is just something that you will have to do.

    You are in Texas? How about Dallas Theological Seminary's PhD or DMin programs? Or Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's PhD or DMin programs? I don't know why you would even consider Bethany when those options are around you. Not to mention the programs I mentioned. I really believe you are short changing yourself if you go with Bethany over any of those programs.
     
  6. Broadus

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    Martin,
    I am curious, also. Why would you recommend Andersonville over Bethany? I would recommend neither.

    Phil310,
    I agree with UZThD (as would Martin, I suspect). We do not know what lies ahead. If you are going to do a doctorate, make sure it is viewed as doctoral-level work. Having a DMin from Luther Rice and a PhD from SBTS, I see neither Bethany nor Andersonville's doctorates as approaching doctoral-level work.

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  7. Martin

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    ==I said that, "If you are going to go to a non-accredited school why not look into Andersonville?". I have said this before and it is hardly a glowing recommendation. Part of it, I must admit, is sarcasm, part of it is serious. Either way, as I said, "I would always suggest an accredited program over a non-accredited program".
     
  8. UZThD

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    #8 UZThD, Dec 16, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2006
  9. Plain Old Bill

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    About 2 years ago somebody here on the board had checked out Bethany. Seems they had applied for accreditation through TRACS which was denied. It seems the programs were acceptable to TRACS up to some of the Masters programs. The BIG problem they had was with NO language training and several other issues.

    They seem to carry some wieght with the KJV only crowd. They advertize in the Sword and other KJVO publications ,so I imagine that is where thier students come from.So if you were to use your degree from Bethany ,:godisgood: your sphere of influence would be within those circles.
     
  10. Phil310

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    Thanks, everyone, for your input. It was just what I was looking for.
    Yes...I'm in Texas and I would choose any of those institutions but when I begin my Doctoral work I will be in full-time Army Chaplaincy.
    I checked out Temple Baptist Seminary (TTU) and they are TRACS accredited and offer a D.Min with a Military Chaplain concentration. I'm very interested in that.
    I have also considered Gordon-Conwell Theologial Seminary. They offer many different tracks and the one I'm most interested in is Ministering in a Post-Modern World. Any insight on Gordon-Conwell.
    Right now I'm just investigating different schools and will no more when I settle into the military.

    Thanks again.:thumbs:
     
  11. Plain Old Bill

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    That puts a whole new light on things.When you get on base go to the Education center. They will be glad to help you.I don't know what programs they have now but when I was in the army they paid 3/4 of my tuition for any courses I took through any accredited schools.
     
  12. mjohnson7

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    Phil310, do I remember you saying once that your undergrad was from Liberty? I know Martin and others have mentioned this already, but Liberty has a D.Min. program....and another note....I believe their distance programs are at no cost to full-time military.

    Also, if I may ask you a question....did you get your M.Div. from the BMA Seminary or the M.A.R. with an additional 12 hours to fulfill military requirements?
    One more....I have read quite a bit online about the chaplaincy cadidate programs (for full-time seminary students), do you have any more personal info on that program? Thanks!

    Matt
     
  13. Phil310

    Phil310
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    I'm sorry I'll not be much help here. I don't have any CC experience other than the MEPS physical and swearing in. I will be going to the Chaplain Officers Basic Course this next Summer. Are you considering the Chaplaincy?
    Hope this helps.
     
  14. mjohnson7

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    Phil310,

    I have considered the chaplaincy....though it isn't something we have an answer on yet. I am most interested in the candidate program because I don't have my MDiv yet and it would kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.....get into the chaplaincy and acquire the MDiv without going into debt the rest of my life.

    If you have any personal advice or observations, I would love to hear them. You can PM me if you like.

    God bless,

    Matt
     
  15. Phil310

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    If you don't mind committing your first few years with the Reserves then you should take advantage of the tuition assistance. They will pay up to $250 per credit hour but you must commit to four years of Reserve time, if I remember correctly.

    Anyway, I chose not to take advantage of the tuition assistance because I know I am to go in full-time and I'm already 40 (I'll be 41 when I actually begin to serve) and I can't afford time in the Reserves.

    Keep me posted on what you're called to do. I know the Army, as well as all of the branches of service, need good and solid chaplains.:thumbsup:
     
  16. Dr.Tim

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    bethany

    Ok, I am going to post a reply but I cannot promise that I will be back to answer anything as i am extremely busy. I havent posted in a long time.
    My problem with Bethany was that they are extremely strict with following their formats in turning in reports. Yeah, most seminaries are. I have to agree with what was said.. that the Bachelors and Masters programs are up-to-level with other schools. The masters classes that I took at New Orleans were about the same as some of the classes at Bethany. The doctoral paper I was required to write turned out to be over 250 pages and was single-spaced. Sure, some of it was not a full page, being outlines and doctrinal points. Still, it took me nearly a year of probably 5 or 6 hours per day to get the disseration finished. Since half of the work you do is off-campus and half is on-campus, half of the work is strictly from reading a book and listening to the lectures on cassette. I couldnt listen to the lectures due to my deafness but I was able to do the work regardless.
    Trust me, you will not get through Bethany any easier than anyone else. You type out all the questions and type the answers, you do things the LONG way and because of it, you learn. It aint that bad. I learned a good bit and that was after taking Bachelors and Masters classes in New Orleans. y'all take care.
     
  17. Phil310

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    Thank you, Dr. Tim, for sharing your experience. I'm still undecided as to where I'll go for my doctorate. I've got another year of MDiv studies. But I have emailed Dr. Warden and asked a couple of questions. I'm awaiting his reply.
    Christ's peace, my brother, and Merry Christmas!
     
  18. UZThD

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    prepared?

    Dr. Tim (or whomever):

    I am all for one doing what he/she can to learn Bib/Theol. Yet, IMO, the study of Christian Theology is deserving of the most rigorous efforts one can muster. Our study of God's Word deserves our best. At the doc level it must be very rigorous. It is with this conviction that I raise these issues:

    Bethany of Dothan, with no Biblical language prereq, offers a 32 hr Doctorate in Theology said to enable one to teach Bible [I assume at College/Sem level not SS] and a PhD in Religion of 64 hrs also w-no language prereq, said to prepare one to do research [I assume rigorous research].

    Would the curriculum of either or both of these docs prepare one to understand and interact with moderately simple exegetical problems as is posed by Burk when he insists, contra NT Wright, that Phil 2:6 ascribes to Christ form of God but not equality with God because of the usage of the articulated infinitive in the construction: verb, art infin, object, complement rendering isa non anaphoric (he claims)? Or, an easier one Wallace in his grammar argues the same because of harpagmos.

    I have in my course on Trinitarianism this winter a student now finishing his sixth course in Greek in his MTS. I assure you that he can deal with Burk's hypothesis. But could a grad of BOTH the Dothan DTS/PhD do as well as this one who is not yet even done with his masters at our little school?? If not, how is the Dothan doc doc work?

    If 'yes,' which courses do that. If 'no' how are these doctoral programs more rigorous than many MDivs??

    Additionally, how can a seminary which has no faculty in Bib/Theol with accredited docs in Bib/Theol, which has avoided itself such rigor, provide rigorous teaching and supervison of work genuinely done at ThDs and PhD levels? Curiously , in comparison, on our faculty roster of about eight profs all but two have accredited PhDs/ThDs...one of those two has an accredited DMin. Yet, we offer at the Salem site NO docs at all..don't feel ready to.!

    But, if it is rigorously disgenuine, why call it doc work? Is the purpose of some at Dothan to really learn or just to be called "Dr."?

    Is rigor really to be defined by having to type both questions AND answers or is it not much, much more?

    I do appreciate Dr. S's openess in pastoring a Full Gospel Church, however.
     
    #18 UZThD, Dec 24, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2006
  19. Dr.Tim

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    bethany..

    Good points UZThD. I am sure there are some who merely went through schools like Bethany only to get the label "Dr" for whatever reasons. I know personally several who have gone from ZERO college credits to doctorate in other schools in a matter of 3 or 4 years.
    I agree with you also that Bethany's doctoral program would be less difficult than the traditional Bible College and their lack of religious language requirement is also a huge setback, if you will. As for me, I took languages at the first seminary I attended and therefore it was not something that I lacked, but then, as you say, something that was not needed for Bethany. I wouldnt claim that Bethany is as good as Dallas or Southwest in Fort Worth. I am not making that claim. If a person is going to ATTEND school somewhere, Bethany is not the place. I was in a bad spot.. had been unfairly stripped of some credits by the second college I attended and was a mere 20 hours away from Masters degree completion. At the same time, I was working in three different churches down south and there was NO WAY I could possibly attend school again. So, in such cases, Bethany is not a bad idea. Truth is, though, now MANY schools are beginning to set up on-line classes and Bethany is being one-upped by Luther Rice and others.
    I just wanted to learn. I thought the mission courses from Bethany were better than those at New Orleans and I thought also that the seminars provided on campus at Bethany were on par with the rest of the schools.
    God bless all of you.
     
  20. UZThD

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    Dr. Tim

    Thanks for your response. When it comes to praxis as Missiology, then IMO, though not in the opinion of accreditors, experience goes a long way toward qualifying professors. So, a prof with an unaccredited, or no, doc teaching a course as "church planting" bothers me not.

    [in our little school, 'preaching,' however, follows some acquistion of the languages in our program]

    I also realize that Bethany's position on the KJV might affect Bethany's doctoral prereqs and curriculum. But by not requiring the Biblical languages as prereqs, Bethany, IMO, is placing severe limitations on the efficacy of its class and research learning.

    It is ironic, is it not, that a Bethany PhD grad would be by the Bethany learning, less equipped to exposit Scripture and research issues than would an MDiv grad of many seminaries?

    I wonder how the Bethany program even prepares one to use common tools of study or to address questions commonly discussed in the literature: eg, eschatologically, does Paul's regular use of 'peri de' require us to suppose that in 1 Thess 5:1 he, by that phrase , is changing the subject away from the Rapture?

    Then, without language, I suppose, the interpretation of Scripture at a doctoral level, relies on what "authorities" say and on what one's denomination believes, rather than on what Paul writes! I know that Greek experts disagree too, [ as Feinberg vs. Geisler on that very grammaticism], but at least the equipped student can reach tentative conclusions based on his own work.

    And that, Bethany's lack, of course, establishes the context for the slippery slope concern I have: Martin here, may or may not, be aware that that there is a "Liberty" which gives docs in Bible/Theology for the reading of six books!

    If, therefore, it is OK for Bethany to award doctoral degrees in Bible/ Theology for much less learning in Bible/Theology than many a MDiv grad acquires, then does it then follow that it is OK for that Liberty to give doc degrees for much less work than Bethany requires?

    There is another "school" which gives a doc in Theology based on "experience" (and $595). Where shall it end?

    Where is the bar of what constitutes genuine doctoral work to be set?

    I pine away, you see, for more standardization in higher Christian education..not necessarily of curricula or time, but of expectations. I taught public secondary school for 36 years. Here we use "bench marks" to indicate what, eg, an 8th grade grad should be able to do in Math. IMO, benchmarks could and should be applied to Christian education.

    But where are the required benchmarks for our grad studies in THE MOST IMPORTANT subject matter there is, and if an 8th grader should meet his benchmarks, how much more should grads of doctoral programs ?

    Should what constitutes real rigor be as widely contested as are the many doctrines which divide Christendom?

    Thanks again,

    Bill
     
    #20 UZThD, Dec 25, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2006

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