Covington Theological Seminary ??

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Jabbezzz, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. Jabbezzz

    Jabbezzz
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    Anyone had experience with Covington Theological Seminary in Rossville, GA? If so, does CTS offer substantive programs of study?

    Thanks
     
  2. Broadus

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    I know of Covington only by reputation, and that is not too positive. Its reputation is not that of having substantive programs of study.

    If you are interested in engaging in recognized and accredited work, I would recommend your looking at Luther Rice Seminary in Lithonia, GA [http://www.lrs.edu]. LRS is accredited by TRACS, which is itself recognized by both the U. S. Dept. of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accredition as a legitimate accrediting agency. BTW, not all accrediting agencies are legitimate. Some are merely set up by the school(s) represented to provide the appearance of legitimacy.

    The degrees offered by LRS are the BA in Religion; Master of Arts in Ministry with concentrations in Leadership, Discipleship Counseling, and Christian Studies; Master of Divinity; and Doctor of Ministry.

    I have experience with both LRS and more traditional formal education, having earned an M.Div. (1985) and D.Min. (1992) from Luther Rice, as well as a Ph.D. in Church History (2003) from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
     
  3. Trotter

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    LINK---&gt;Covington Theological Seminary

    Covington is mainly by mail, although they do offer extension classes in several places here in the South.

    The curriculum is basically reading. Each subject has a book which you read, take a test on, and send back in.

    I know a couple of people who are taking Covington classes right now. I like their selection of books they use for their classes, but I don't feel that it would serve as well as a classroom school would.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  4. Broadus

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    Covington is accredited by the Accrediting Commission International, an outfit exposed by Dr. John Bear at http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/dm3.html . Dr. Bear is one of the best guides to non-traditional education. His books are available at amazon.com.

    For Covington itself, read the third post in the following thread: http://www.degreeinfo.com/static/forum_archive/1/1354/thread_1354_page_2.html (This forum, it seems, is no longer active. You can read the entire thread by replacing "page_2" in the address with "page_1." The thread was started by a degree recipient of Covington to discourage others from making the same mistake he did.). The more I read about Covington, the more I encourage people to look elsewhere.
     
  5. Broadus

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    BTW, Covington's website is at http://www.covingtonseminary.org . (Thanks, Trotter, for pointing us to it, but you had one extra little "n" in "covington").

    Bill
     
  6. Trotter

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    Bill,

    Hey, we can't all be perfect...my wife already has the lock on that position!

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  7. Broadus

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    Lol---she doesn't visit Baptist Board, right?
     
  8. Trotter

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    Thakfully, no. I have tried to get her interested, but she thinks all I do on here is fight.

    What she doesn't realize is that there are a lot of forums besides the BV/T one.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  9. poodle78

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    I have had experience with Covington Theological Seminary. I graduated from there in July with a Doctor of Ministry degree. I will tell you my experience, but first I would like to address other information posted in this thread.

    1. John Bear, of Bear's Guide fame, does not evaluate Bible colleges of Seminaries. He says this in the front of his guide.

    2. In a recent edition of Bear's Guide (maybe the latest, I don't remember), a review is given of Century University, also accredited by ACI. The reader is led to believe that association with ACI is Bear's only black mark on Century. Perhaps it is possible to be associated with ACI and be okay otherwise. I believe Andersonville is accredited by ACI as well.

    3. The thread referred to on the degreeinfo board is one where Covington is called a degree mill simply because it is unaccredited. I encourage you to read this to see for yourself.

    Now...to Covington. Covington uses some of the best-known texts in its classes. I showed two of them to my pastor (a MidAmerican grad) who said that these were among the most highly respected books in that particular field.

    The exams, or workbooks, consist of questions designed to go along with the texts. They are not short. The shortest one I did was about 20 pages and the longest was about 70 pages. They are open-book, and unproctored. This format was used by California Coast University until they applied for accreditation with DETC, if I remember correctly.

    I took 9 courses at 4 hrs credit each. No life-experience credit was given. Let me say that again. No life-experience credit was given. There was no language requirement for the D. Min., but I believe there is one for the ThD.

    Weaknesses: Yes, they are accredited by ACI. I have no idea why. Legally, Covington is a religious-exempt school.

    Secondly, they consider a Doctor of Ministry a first professional degree and do not require a dissertation or final project of any kind. I don't think any other school does this.

    You don't say what field of ministry you are in. At the time I enrolled in Covington, they were the only school I could find that offered distance degrees in the field of church music ministry. Christian Leadership University offered a degree in Worhip Studies, but they are charismatic and I am a Baptist. Since I enrolled, Masters Divinity School has added a Doctor of Biblical Studies with an Interdisciplinary major that can have a music/worship concentration, and Logos will be re-adding their music degree in the near future. So, for me, this wasn't just a choice, but what seemed to be my only choice at the time.

    During graduation, I was impressed by the staff of Covington and would recommend them to you if you determined that such a degree would meet your needs now and in the future.
     
  10. poodle78

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  11. Jabbezzz

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    Interesting, P78, thank you.............
     
  12. Martin

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    My pastor has a Masters and Doctors degree from Covington. He is a great pastor and Bible teacher. I think, however, that has more to do with his personal study (etc). He did attend Mid-America and earned a diploma (or something like that) as well. He only did the Covington route because that was all he could pay for and, I believe, at that time there were not many good distance options open to him (as there would be today). He does not boast of his degrees. I think, though I would NEVER question him on this, that he understands the value of his degrees from Covington is not really high. He does not call himself "Dr" or anything like that. The way he is, though, even if he had a PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary I doubt he would call himself "Dr". He is a Godly man, who loves the Lord and studies His Word. At the end of the day that is all that really matters. For pastors it is their love for the Lord, their love for His Word, their love for people, and their teaching abilities that matter, not their degrees.

    Sure some churches/denominations required certain degrees, but I have always disagreed with that policy. However I realize such a policy is the real world and is not likely to change anytime soon (if ever). Pastors are not seminary, university, or college professors. In those careers degrees do matter. However those things do not measure up to being a Godly person or pastor. I am in school to teach a the University/College/Seminary level. However, even when all my degrees are done, I will still consider a Godly pastor in a church of maybe fifteen members, who has never attended any Bible College (much less a seminary) way more important than me (not as a person, but in position).

    I have Covington's catalog. To me it looks a bit cheap. I am thinking you pay the money, read a book or two, write a paper, take a test, and get a grade. No lectures on tape, video, or dvd. No online interaction between students and professors. I am sure people learn when they attend Covington, but graduate school should involve more.

    For small time pastors who would like a degree I would say Andersonville is a better choice.

    Just my two-cents worth.
    Martin.
     
  13. poodle78

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  14. Broadus

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    Poodle78,

    I certainly do not intend to offend, but doing a doctorate in a year at 15-20 hours per week? That seems a bit quick.

    One of the problems I have with certain non-accredited (or accredited by non-certified agencies) institutions is that the person in the pew often thinks his minister's degree is more than it really is. I would be more comfortable if Andersonville and Covington offered biblical studies diplomas instead of master and doctoral degrees. Their requirements are really much, much less than what one typically does in an accredited institution.

    Bill
     
  15. poodle78

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    Not if you consider that no dissertation or final project was required for the D. Min. As I said before, I think that is a weakness in the process.

    P.S. I did more credit hours than that in my first undergraduate year at Furman!
     
  16. Broadus

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    Poodle78,

    I appreciate your candor concerning Covington's requirements (or lack of them).

    A few years ago Covington had a professor at their Savannah, Georgia, campus who had dropped out of the M.Div. program at SEBTS. I know, because I was in class with him at SEBTS's Augusta, Georgia, extension, and he couldn't handle the requirements. I think he subsequently got his master's degree at Covington and then taught for them.

    Of course, quality students sometimes gain degrees from places such as Covington, doing more work than is required. Many enter such institutions not understanding the implications of such issues as accreditation and don't recognize the difference in their requirements and those of other institutions.

    Bill
     
  17. poodle78

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    Not at all. To be quite honest, I feel as though I have missed out on something by not having done a dissertation or final project. But as I said before, at the time I enrolled there were precious few options for a music/worship doctorate at a distance. I am now waiting for Logos to begin offering their music doctorate again. I am also giving a lot (and I do mean a lot) of consideration to Masters Divinity School's DBS in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentration in music and worship.

    How are things in Clinton this evening? My wife is from there and I think her cousin attends Cornerstone.
     
  18. Jabbezzz

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    No earned doctorate is completely above board without requiring a dissertation, final project or thesis of some kind. This is inherent in the doctoral process.
     
  19. poodle78

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    Colorado Technical University offers the PhD with no dissertation or final project. They require 6 smaller projects over the course of 3 years.

    There may be others.
     
  20. Jabbezzz

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    The 6 smaller projects comprise the capstone of the doctoral degree. Six small projects = one large one. Therefore, the capstone is indeed required, only in smaller increments.
     

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