Columbia Evangelical Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Paul1611, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Paul1611

    Paul1611
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    I keep seeing Columbia Evangelical Seminary pop up in some of the posts about unaccredited schools. I went to their home page and did a little research, but just wanted to know what some of you here on the Board thought about them. Would you consider it a good school? Would you recommend it to someone who was unable to to afford an accredited school? Any input would be great. Thanks.
     
  2. Rhetorician

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    Paul Reply

    Hey Paul,

    I hope you are well.

    I am one of the profs and/or tutors. I think they have a good program for what they do. Their graduates have gone on to do grad work at other RA and ATS schools. Check out the testimonials.

    I would be glad to talk to you about it some more in private if you want? Josh Walston would also be glad to answer any questions that you might have.

    You can go there to the web page and see my ugly mug and blurb if you want.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  3. Paul1611

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    Rhet, good to hear from you. I am going to look more at their web page when ever I get some more time today. I have quite a few questions, and if I cant find it on their web page I will take you up on your offer and see if you cant answer some questions for me. Thanks
     
  4. Rhetorician

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    Paul Follow Up

    Paul,

    Just a short note of follow up. If you did not infer from the web page, their program is set up along the South African or English models. It is this way even on the BS/BA degrees.

    You work with a mentor of your choosing. Usually you would want to find one who has an expertise that you also want to have. You and s/he "sit down" together and talk about it. The student, with the help of the prof/mentor (I believe) work out the details of the syllabus around the guidelines the school has. Then you strike out with the tutor with you all the way; directing readings, talking to you via all means several times per week, send the papers to him/her for grades, etc. et al. The closest thing I can tell that it compares to is the "reading for a degree" model of the English system of grad education alluded to above in my post.

    For the record: because of my specialties, no one has ever chosen me to work with them. But, I hope to be used somewhere along the way.

    I really think it is a viable alternative to the "diploma mills." I know that if I ever have a student that wants to work with me I will work them like a "gov'ment mule!" It is my job to see that you get your money's worth!!!:laugh:

    So let me know if I can be of further help!

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
    #4 Rhetorician, Aug 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2007
  5. Broadus

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    What kind of oversight is there in the program. A mentor can have wonderful credentials and yet be fairly inept in guiding a student through the process, don't you think? I've taken courses under bona fide PhD's who were too lenient or who had quit growing themselves.

    Bill
     
  6. TCGreek

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    1. Before I did a bit of research on the accreditation issue, I thought CES was just another one of those "diploma mills." But I will gladly recommend CES.

    2. I like their approach. It's somewhat different from the American model.

    3. But think about all the scholars that we have come to admire so much. A host of them go to Europe to do their doctorates, which model is different from the American.

    4. Dr. Ray Anderson is a mentor of mine and he got his PhD from University of Edinburgh in Scotlnad and he was telling what he had to do to get it. It's not the American approach. But those guys are geniune, first rank scholars (Carson, Mounce, Grudem, etc).

    5. But I will gladly recommend CES over LBU, though I have heard some good things from them.
     
  7. Paul1611

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    So let me see if I have this right. In all reality they dont "teach" you anything, they simply give you a mentor who helps guide you in the right direction as you study out certian topics for yourself. So instead of having a professor telling you what is right and what is wrong, you have to research it and study it out and come to your own conclusions. I noticed that they have mentors from a number of different denominations. Since I am Baptist I guess it would be better for me to find a mentor who was a Baptist. Also, what exactly is the role of the mentor. I mean I know that he would help with the syllabus and reading material, but is there any other way that he would be involved?
     
  8. Paul1611

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    Rhet,
    Could you give me a brief description of how you would mentor a student. How much time would you be able to put into your student and exactly in what ways would you be mentoring him.
     
  9. Martin

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    ==Yes, I would recommend it. The format of that school, however, is somewhat different than others. I think it is more of a mentor/independent study/research format. However since it is not accredited it is unlikely that accredited schools would honor degrees/credits from CES.

    From their website:
    "Columbia Evangelical Seminary is not accredited. However, as stated above, if you do not absolutely need a degree from an accredited school, why spend the extra money earning one when a degree from a non-accredited school may serve your purposes just as well?"

    http://www.columbiaseminary.edu/
     
  10. Rhetorician

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    Paul Reponse

    Hey Paul,

    Sorry I have not gotten back to you. I had to speak at a church w/o a pastor today, got a book deal working, counseling a couple who want me to marry them, and about to teach a Christian Ethics course for a local university. And all of that and I am off and out of school for the summer. I don't know how you fold do it "who have a real job?":laugh:

    You saw my disclaimer above I hope.

    This is the way I have understood what Josh, the president, said:

    1. A student would choose a mentor. This would take several "phone interviews" or emails I am sure. There would have to be a good fit; more than just academically. It would have to be doctrinally and philosophy of ministry wise also I would think. Unless the person wanted to study outside of his/her tradition to be challenged, which, by the way I strongly recommend.

    2. Of course, the degree program would have to be discussed. The students academic background, maturity level, and a host of other issues would come to play here.

    3. I am sure there would be a "learning curve" for both the student as well as the mentor.

    4. Then the particular course/degree would have to be laid out.

    5. The student would more or less write their own syllabus. But, it would be under the watchful eye of the president and mentor with powers of veto.

    6. On the Master's level there would probably have to be at least 2000-3000 pp. of readings.

    7. Probably a mid-term and final-exams that were proctored by a local person, possibly the pastor who would vouchsafe the testing procedure.

    8. Maybe 2 or 3 critical books reviews acquainting the student with various major scholars, issues, thoughts, in their chosen fields.

    9. There would be a final paper of from 15-20 pp. in Turabian style. They have their own style guide to supplement Turabian if I remember correctly. This is where CES would stand out. Their writing requirements are as stringent as any school I have attended. They are sticklers on grammar, sentence, structure, logical progression of argument and such. The writing requirements are where they really stand out, IMHO!

    They are absolutely, positively, and not in any way a "diploma mill." The mentors know to hold their students "feet to the fire" so that they will not be considered a diploma mill.

    I am sure I am missing some details in the overall, but that is how I think the process would move along.

    You really do need to talk to Josh if you are making serious inquiries. I would be happy to work with you if you need what I got?:laugh:

    Let me know of any "additions, corrections, or deletions."

    To answer your question: I would put in all of the amount of time required to help the student to muddle through or excel. I would truly be his or her mentor in all respects where I am able.

    FYI!

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  11. TCGreek

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    1. But there are a list of a number of their grads who have been accepted at RA/ATS schools?

    2. Isn't your statement a little bit overstated?
     
  12. TCGreek

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    1. I think you have presented an airtight argument for CES.

    2. But here's a question that I have for all accreditation buffs: Is there are place in ministry training for schools like, CES, LBU, Bethany or even Andersonville?

    3. Do not misunderstand me: I think it would be a serious mistake for someone who has a doctorate from say Andersonville to think that he is on the same level as someone with a doctorate from Southern Seminary.
     
  13. Paul1611

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    Rhet,
    Would you happen to know how many students are currently enrolled?
     
  14. Rhetorician

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    Paul Reponse

    Paul,

    I really do not. But I do know that I talked to Josh not long ago on another issue and he was very busy with admin and his own students at that time.

    I am sorry that I cannot help here. I would contact him either by email, "snail-mail," or phone. He is more than willing to help you.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  15. UZThD

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    My feelings about CES are mixed:

    The two or three times I spoke with Rick Walston, he seemed above board and sincere. Yet,

    re Bethany: I don't know why in his guide (which I now have lost) he called Bethany of Dothan a good school. If it is good, then why doesn't he list his degree from Bethany which I understand he has.

    I understand that Walston's dissertation must be OK since the SA uni approved it and Saqa approved the uni. And I confess I should probably not reference it now as I have not a hard copy and as the product no longer is online for inspection as it once was, but I still do not not get how his dissertation on gifts of the Spirit could be in NT, since the dissertation(relying on memory of exhaustive discussions on degreeinfo now) used such very elemental tools of research (as Vine's for the lexicon) and did not interact with the more complex issues (as the identification of the prophets in Eph 2). It did not interact either with notable cognate dissertations as Grudems or the cessationists viewpoint as expressed in academic journals as Bibliotheca Sacra. One might expect more of an academic, but I understand that Walston has expressed that he intended his "research" to be read by the average Christian. So, everyone must decide for himself if such a caveat is good reason for poor research.

    IMO, examples of a few CES grads getting into accredited schools is like saying, if you want to be really successful, then go to CES because James White is successful and he went to CES.

    The test of utility I think is not what a few can do, but what what is the common experience and expectation. The fact is, an accredited seminary may accept a number of admiisions who have no degrees at all!

    Why does CES not list instead a number of RA schools that are committed to accepting CES grads? Wouldn't that be better proof of CES' utility?

    I really like the academic qualifications of the mentors that Walston hires. That shows I think that Walston seeks quality in his school.

    But I have come to think that equally important is the interaction in quantity and quality between the student and the mentor. Per class or subject, just how much energy and time do the mentors give the individuals under their care?

    Seems like I read once on the CES website that the expectation should be that a mentor will spend six or so hours on an indiviual class and student. Were this so, is that time sufficient to tutor such subjects as systematic theology, church history, language, and others? In my small experience, it takes 6 hours just to evaluate a single student product of 20-30 pages and to provide efficient feedback and suggestions. But maybe I'm just very slow and inefficient.

    I appreciate the dated inspections I made of the CES pages because Walston up front explains accreditation and CES' lack of that. But CES has been around quite a good time and was formerly called something else. So, if CES is good, why not seek some form of accreditation?

    If it cannot get RA, then how about some form of NA? What specifically about CES prevents it from getting accreditation at least by a NA?

    As it is, or was last time I looked, and I understand the situation, even the Oregon Degree Authorization, and Oregon is just across the river from CES, will not allow grads of CES to use their degrees in connection with employment. I should have look that up again, as my looking was, perhaps, five years ago. Perhaps now CES grads can do that.

    The Distance Education guru, Steve Levicoff, who now posts on degreediscussion, had really bad comments about CES is his book NIFI, Steve has told me in forum discussions. I don't agree with a lot that Levicoff writes, but I don't think all of his comments could have been off-target, and I wonder if they any of them still are fitting. Interested parties might query Steve at degreediscussion.

    But despite all this nay saying, I would recommend CES, certainly over Slidell , Andersonville, and the like, to any individual who is sure that an accredited degree is not needed. BUt, I doubt that we all know what we may need in the future. I would not claim to know even what tomorrow brings.

    Forgive any stepping on toes please,

    Bill G
     
    #15 UZThD, Aug 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2007
  16. Paul1611

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    Rhet,
    I e-mailed CES and they say they have about 65-70 students currently enrolled. Thanks.
     
  17. Rhetorician

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    UZ ThD Reply

    Hey Bill,

    It is very true that CES is NOT for everyone. But there does seem to be a place for them in the marketplace. I would encourage any and all who would like to attend there to take their education into their own hands. Investigate it and all others for that matter; then make the choice that is right for you.

    I still believe in it enough that my name is on the web page for all to see. I do happen to believe that it is comparable to what Liberty is doing on the Masters level and may even excel over it. (I have a friend locally who has taught/teaches in the Liberty masters' program and I myself have taught in the Bachelor's level Religion program).

    This is all FYI!

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  18. UZThD

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    No school is for everyone, so, I'm not sure how to respond to that insight or how it adds anything to the issues.

    But good folk come here to be advised by something more than "go investigate."

    So, wouldn't it be helpful to give here a list of RA grad schools that will without restrictions or conditions , [ie, not on "a trial basis," not on the same basis schools right along accept people with NO degree at all] accept CES grads?
     
    #18 UZThD, Aug 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2007
  19. Plain Old Bill

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    Uz, I think that is a good Idea. Why don't you ask them to do that. With 65-70 students each paying about $100 a month this school is ready for the world of high finance especially after it pays it's mentors. I think they should also offer a graduate course in money management.:godisgood:
     
  20. UZThD

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    =====

    CES more rigorous than Liberty.

    Hmm. That is an interesting comparison ,and I cannot at this time provide evidence against that. I certainly believe it possible that a UA school may teach better than a RA/NA school.

    Further, I know that you would not suggest what you do without having substantial reasons to do so!! I would like very much to learn these reasons in detail.

    You have occasioned by your CES vs Liberty a real opportunity to test that possibility of one UA school excelling one RA/NA school.

    Let's do it.

    So, please layout your reasons why you think the masters at Liberty may require less than the master's at CES.

    Thanks,

    Bill G
     

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