Book Knowledge vs Experience

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Sapper Woody, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. Sapper Woody

    Sapper Woody
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    This is in response to the "Diploma Mill" thread. I didn't want to further add to the de-railment of the thread.

    It seems to me that what happened on that thread is that one person called another person out on the fact that he received "life credits". Then the person who was called out got overly defensive, and started saying that education was worthless when compared to experience, saying things like, "The average graduate today can't get up and preach a message without study." "The men of old didn't have formal education, and they were way better preachers than the graduates of today."

    Experience is invaluable. It takes experience to reach your fullest potential. However it also takes education. Education does not prepare you for the hardships of ministry. But experience does not broaden your horizons on the different aspects of God's word, or teach you anything about church polity.

    You can be a great preacher without any education. You can be a great preacher without any experience in a leadership role. But it takes both to round out the man; having one and not the other leaves a hole.

    The great men of God that were cited in the last thread were no less educated. It was stated time and time again that they were taught on the job, and that they also spent countless hours studying commentaries, etc. This is still education.

    Now, today's world does not place any more emphasis on education than the world did in the past. However, they place a greater emphasis on a degree. This is simply an accountability issue. In the past, someone could say, "I was taught by <insert great preacher>, or I studied the works of <insert great preacher>, and they would have been accepted. Nowadays, people want the proof that you have studied, as it is too easy to say that you've been taught, but harder to lie about it if you have a degree showing you've been taught.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. revmwc

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    First let me clarify since you say I got over defensive. Here is what was said that started it "You come along, and, not wanting to be upstaged, apply to an unnaccredited degree mill, who gives you a D.Min. for your "life experience." Is it equivalent? Absolutely not! First I never said it was toward a Doctorate and proved it out later that 19 hours were credited for life ecperince toward my BA degree.
    Your friend put in the EXTRA work to get a legitimate degree. You chose a quick path, and in effect are "lying," saying you did the same thing as your friend, when you didn't." So I was called a liar.
    Then I was called dishonest,
    "God will never lead us to do things which are dishonest...In the same way, it is dishonest to use life experience degrees to "double dip."

    To which I stated "I will not debate this any longer with you. As I don't like being called a SINNER and a LIAR so i will stop so there will be no more personal attacks on me."

    The denial came saying they weren't calling me a liar. Then someone else chimed in that I protested to much when I posted my work toward my degree followed whith someone else chiming in that I protested too much to which lead to the post whichbrought this on "started saying that education was worthless when compared to experience, saying things like, "The average graduate today can't get up and preach a message without study." "The men of old didn't have formal education, and they were way better preachers than the graduates of today."

    I also said that "Well when one is falsely accused of being a liar and deceiver I should have not commented and been as a lamb ging to slaughter.
    So forgive me for defending myself"

    This isn't the first time this has happened it is the first time I was called a dishonest liar to which I responded and should not have. It probaly won't be the last time it happens either.

    So you already know how I feel about the topic.

    Hope you don't get attacked here.
     
    #2 revmwc, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2011
  3. Havensdad

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    You need to go back and read. This was a hypothetical situation, that was presented to show WHY "life experience" credits were dishonest.

    No one called you a liar.

    Again, no one called you a liar. If I say "A person that says they have EARNED a degree, and has in fact not, is a liar," I am making a statement of fact, which is TRUE. I am not calling anyone anything.


    Most of the great preachers of old in fact had doctorates. Even the ones that didn't, such as Spurgeon, lamented their own lack of education, and frequently reminded everyone of how important it was. They did not act like their experience was superior.

    No one called you a liar. When a person intentionally says something that is not true, that is lying. Whether or not this applies to you, is between you and God.

    No one called you anything. Have you EARNED a degree? Do you claim to have a degree, when one was really given to you? Whether or not this is true of you, is between you and God. But having experience does not justify the gifting of a degree.
     
  4. Havensdad

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    You are exactly right. Just look at the number of "preachers" who claim degrees they have not earned. Some of these men INTENTIONALLY mislead others, buying degrees from degree mills, for which they did not have to work.

    An accredited degree is like a driver's license. I have heard a lot of 14 year olds say "I can drive," but then they get behind the wheel, and run the car into a tree. The driver's license is someone else, who has been given authority, saying "I confirm this person can drive." Degrees are the same thing.
     
  5. Sapper Woody

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    @ revmwc: It was not my intent to flame you at all in my post. My intention was to explain why I was not posting on the other thread, and give a background as to what I was talking about. If you feel that I was demeaning you, then you have my apologies. However, it is my opinion that you went overboard in defending yourself to the point of attacking everyone who has ever gotten a degree.

    For what it's worth, I believe that there is a certain amount of life experience that can be converted into certain college credits. Soul-winning / evangelism, or speech for example. But I also believe that there is much that formal education can teach you that you either cannot learn through life experience, or might learn improperly on your own.
     
  6. revmwc

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    No I didn't feel you demeaned me but I don't feel given the light of the in"sin"uation that if I claimed my degree because I received credit for life experience that I was dishonest and lieing. You were just explaining the situation and giving your opinon.

    The life credit went toward, outreach course credits, credits on visitation courses which had been performed within the frame work of ministerial position. I had to fill out forms and write a full page excerpt explaing that experience it wasn't just awarded I had to fill out and explain the experience. Which came in leading of those efforts as a pastor that is what was credited. The point made on the other thread is that NO credit should be given for any of it. I know of several public universities that give life credit toward ones degree also the University of Phoenix gives life credit, it is becoming common practice for many accredited schools today.
     
    #6 revmwc, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2011
  7. revmwc

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    Never Mind. I will not side track this thread, the first of my post better explained why I was seen as overly defensive. From that point on I intend to answer the thread and have.
     
    #7 revmwc, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2011
  8. Siberian

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    There is a reason why we customarily include an experience section AND an education section in our resumes. Both are important and they are very different from each other.

    Most pulpit committees prefer a candidate with both (speaking very generally, of course). A pastoral candidate with an M.Div. but no experience will have similar difficulties securing a pulpit as one with only a B.A. and several years of successful pastoral experience (though the latter might have an advantage with many search committees).
     
  9. michael-acts17:11

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    It seems to me that a person could have 50yrs of experience and yet have never grown beyond his narrow field of experience. I think most pastors would benefit from returning to college every few years to be challenged beyond their experience. Besides, in what do most of them have experience? Public speaking. We don't need more smooth talking public speakers; we need more men with the gift of teaching who are able to expound on the Word beyond the most basic of doctrines.

    A person may have a lifetime of experience but never have been challenged in what he believes. However, the man with no formal education who studies the Word in depth with a goal of understanding God's Word to the exclusion of his own experiences will be much wiser than the educated man who is educated in public speaking & defending denominational doctrine. Then again, how can a preacher know how to properly interpret Scripture if he has never been taught proper hermeneutic principles & rules?
     
  10. TomVols

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    Whether or not life experience credits are valid is a valid topic of discussion. However, this thread 's OP included personal posts that were deemed questionable and in violation of BB policy, and the thread quickly rehashed some of the harshness that contributed to the demise of the original thread.

    Thus, if you wish to discuss the merits of educational achievements based on life experience credit, be our guest. But leave the personal stuff out.
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    Just my $.02, but experience (regardless of genuineness of service, etc) should never be part of an academic degree in terms of credits. One of my alma maters does this and it devalues the degree I earned.

    I am very glad for people who work long years, serve long years, etc but just as someone mentioned above, there's a reason education and experience are listed separately on a resume. I have no doubt that many people have benefitted from their experience, and likewise from their education. Yet the two serve different purposes.

    I wonder if the tables are turned how it looks? Say I am a 25 year old fresh MBA graduate. I show up at your job and get a high level supervisory role and all the organizational power because my eduation equals, say, 20 years on the job. Then in 10 years I retire with full pension, benefits, and move on to another career. Now I don't have the actual experience, but my education equals my placement.

    I wonder what that looks like...:)
     
  12. TomVols

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    Interesting you bring up an MBA. I know RA/MA MBA programs that offer life experience credit (usually capped at say 3-6 hours).
     
  13. Sapper Woody

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    I can tell you exactly how that looks. In the Army, an officer fresh from college with a four year degree is placed in charge of a Platoon, or about 36 men. He is paid roughly $2700/mo base pay. An enlisted man, working in the Army for four years, (assuming he made his E5) makes roughly $2500/mo base pay.

    Three years later (7 years in for the enlisted, 3 for the officer), and the enlisted is possibly an E7 making $3500/mo in charge of a platoon (36 men), but more likely an E6 making $3000/mo, in charge of a squad (9 men). In that same three years, the officer is now an O3, making $4500/mo, and is either on staff working for a Colonel/General or in charge of a Company (roughly 120-200 men).

    As you see, the officer with 4 years of schooling and 3 years experience is making at least $1000/mo more than the enlisted with 7 years experience. He is also placed in a position of much greater responsibility because of his education.

    By the way, I am not complaining. I love my job. Just wanted to say what it's like to have someone placed because of education. (Also, their degree doesn't even have to be in military science. I had a female officer whose degree was in physical health and education.)
     
  14. Rhetorician

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    S W Response from Rhetorician

    Hello S W,

    I am not sure you and I have talked before. But I think you and I are going to be friends.

    Your military example I thought was just about the best application for this subject matter that could have been used. And there is no "padding" of a resume with either academic or experiential credentials in the military.

    Good job! Carry on! :applause:

    "That is all!"
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Have you gone through or reviewed Military academy training?
     
  16. PilgrimPastor

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    That's a great way to put it. The Degree itself is not a guarantee of much, in and of itself, it is what it represents, the "stamp of approval" if you will. This is why it matters where you earn a degree, because it speaks to who placed that stamp on you. I don't know how many times I have Dr. Gary Habermas when teaching apologetics or preaching apologetically in the church where I serve.
     
  17. TomVols

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    To (sort of) provide another view:

    Now, I'm between churches and doing interims and the like, so I work at a bank. I have a doctorate from seminary (so Master's and Bachelor's also), I am 6 hours shy of an MBA which will be completed in the next year, and I have four undergraduate certificates in business. My starting salary was just a few hundred higher than what someone with a high school diploma has, and my MBA and other work is not factored in. It may help in one spot or another, but it's useless in terms of salary. This is common. It's also common with churches. I have numerous examples I could give.

    Again, just my .03 (what with all the education, it's got to be worth more somewhere) :tongue3:
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    School teachers are given pay based on many factors

    1. Base BA/BS degree and salary for the position
    2. Added salary for "x" years of experience (usually 5 year increments
    3. Added salary bumps for "x" credits of applicable grad work; further major bump with earning the higher degree

    So a new grad from UW starts teaching at $40k + tons of perks

    After, say, 10 years and 18 more credits (halfway to MS/MA) she would be doing the EXACT SAME JOB but getting $60k

    School districts reward education, degrees, added credits but also reward years of experience.

    A church should do the same for its pastor. Give tangible monetary reward for education AND experience.
     

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