Q & A For New Seminary and/or College Students

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who have an ear and interest:

    I would like to open the floor for questions to all who are either:

    Called to preach and would like to ask questions of those of us who are more experienced (notice I did not say old or older) concerning formal Bible training;

    Or those who are considering Bible College or Seminary;

    Or those who are considering "in house" church educations or degrees;

    Or those who are trying to figure out if they want "accredited" or "unaccredited" degree programs;

    Or how does one know the next step in the "call" is to go for formal Bible education;

    Or, any other pertinent issue concerning theological education for the novice or "full time Christian worker" to be.

    I know that UZThD, Broadus, Dr. Bob, myself as well as many others would be willing to share opinions and experience and insights personally gathered. These were gained over many years of trying to find and follow God's Will. I am confident that many of you who might want to know some of the pitfalls we have encountered.

    I thought this could be a "one stop-shopping" type of "Q & A." And we can let the direction of the thread do whatever it will.

    I may be wrong and if so the response will show it? But, I believe it to be a worthy endeavor.

    And fellow academics, do not hesitate to add to the discussions by your years of pastoral as well as academic experiences.

    Let's hear it!:thumbsup:

    sdg!

    rd
     
  2. John Ellwood Taylor

    John Ellwood Taylor
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    What to do w/ my unaccredited credits?

    Rhet,

    I have spoken to you in the past about my situation. I have 38 hours credit from Tyndale Bible Institute and Seminary in Ft. Worth (when Dr. Couch was still there).
    As well I have a two years worth of business school credits for my computer training ( I am a Unix systems Administrator).
    I have applied to Liberty to complete my B.A. and after evaluating my transcripts they have rejected all of my Tyndale work out of hand because it is unaccredited. This means well over a years worth of college/seminary level work (2 years Greek including exegesis classes) all for nothing academically. I would have to test out for a heavy $ price and cram for the tests to get out of OT, NT, and Theology 1 & 2. The Greek classes wouldn't even count, as there is no undergraduate equivalent.
    They'll allow you to get credit through a portfolio process but that big $ and not even guaranteed (they'll let you portfolio a power point class if you can prove you've used it at work, but solid equivalent academic work from an unaccredited school is rejected out of hand)

    The only options I see right now include Liberty never getting any of my money!
    Now that I am 35 years old I have begun considering trying to get into a seminary
    and get a B. Div. I know The Master's Seminary at Grace Community Church ( i.e. John MacArthur) allow this as an option for a small percentage of the enrollment. I believe Southern Evangelical in Charlotte has this option as well. But both would require moving.
    Right now I'm a little bummed out that I gone down the wrong path and am outside of the system :-(
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    Question?

    J. E. T.,

    I know you are "bummed out" just about now! I and others will pray for you as they run across the thread I am sure.

    In your condition, did I hear of see a question in there somewhere? I will operate as if I did!

    How far are you from Philadelphia? I would check with:

    http://www.pbu.edu/

    Philadelphia Bible College (university?) as it use to be, I am not sure what their name is now. I would think they would work with you on some level.

    Secondly, why do you want to go to seminary/Bible college? Are you called to preach? full-time Christian service? 2nd man position or what?

    Third, I would not despair age what education you have. You do have it whether or not you have academic credit for it or not.

    Fourth, stay prayed up and seeking the Lord. He has never left us without a word or way "through it all." It may seem dark but that is the place where He makes his glory know. So, be faithful in the lean times so you can praise him in the good times also.

    Please tell me some more, and fill in some blanks so me or one of my more esteemed colleagues can help you.

    We stand ready willing and able if you can give us some more information. If you need to "dump" or "unload" on someone, I have broad shoulders and I can take it so feel free!!!

    I think you know that I will help if I can.

    sdg!:praying:

    rd
     
  4. Plain Old Bill

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    Wow! When did Mal Couch leave Tyndale? Why did he leave?Are they still having legal trouble?Where did he go?I thought they were working in the direction of getting TRACS accreditation.What Happened?
     
  5. Plain Old Bill

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    Rhet , What is your opinion of Columbia Evangelical Seminary?
     
  6. John Ellwood Taylor

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    Not sure when he left, but it seems just recently according to their website: tyndale.edu
    It looks like he started a new church, Clifton Bible Church.

    I can't offer a why or an update on there 'degree' scandal. I do know that the training I received was excellent and most usefull (I translate all my New Testament passages when I teach/preach and can work from the original languages because of their training!)
     
  7. Martin

    Martin
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    Don't be bummed out. God will make a way for you to get where He wants you to go. Recall His words to Joshua...

    "Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." -Josh 1:7-9

    Would Masters or Southern give you credit for the work done at Tyndale?

    Have you looked at Moody Bible College? They have a BS in Biblical Studies degree that is offered via distance learning. I am not sure if they would accept any credits from Tyndale or not or work with you in some other way. Luther Rice University also has a BA in Religion degree program. Again while I don't know if LRU would accept your Tyndale credits or not, they might would at least work with you in some other way. I don't know if those are options you are open to, or that would work, but it can't hurt to check them out. I know neither MBI or LRU offer BDiv but those are two accredited schools that offer distance education undergraduate programs.

    Have you checked out Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's undergraduate school? They offer several BA degrees.

    I hope that helps you in some small way.

    Btw, Rhetorician gives very sound advice (Philadelphia Bible University).
     
    #7 Martin, Jul 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2006
  8. John Ellwood Taylor

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    Rhet, et al.,

    Thanks in advance for offering your guidance and counsel.

    I was saved in 1992 at the age of 21. I did my training through Tyndale by extension from '94 to June of '96. I have taught Sunday School and week-night Bible studies since then. I have provided pulpit supply in the area since the fall of '97 including a two year interim gig at a small (15 adults) church that just ended recently December of 2005). I was licensed to preach by my local congregation (North Ten Mile Baptist) in May of 2004 and am pursuing ordination now.

    I feel called to a pastoral ministry, equipped (had my OT, NT, theology, Greek, and expository preaching classes through Tyndale), and have been serving as such formally and informally.

    I am comfortable in serving in a church because of my training and experience however, recently there has been talk of forming a local Bible institute and I have realized that without academic credentials my ability to contribute to this ministry would be limited.

    Ideally, I would like to have at least a Master's of some sort to 'be qualified' to teach. While any and all training, including an M. Div. at a GOOD seminary would be beneficial, I can and do continue to serve locally in the church but would like to be prepared and in a position to do more should the opportunity arise.

    I am not really 'bummed out'. As I said I do continue to serve my Lord and Savior with great joy. My only fretting is over the fact that much valuable training is being rejected out of hand by Liberty because it was outside of the system. With my wife continuing her college education and my daughter entering her junior year of high school (with two brothers 5 and 8 years behind her) it is a daunting task to even begin to eat the 'degree' elephant even one bite at a time, let alone if over a years worth of education is being rejected for transfer credit!

    I guess my most direct question is other than a tenacious pleading with Liberty to accept at least some of these credits, what are my options to pursue an accredited undergraduate degree. At this point it could be in anything. I just want to be in a position to enter seminary! Though I loath the thought of entering the local university to get a Liberal Studies B.A. I am even considering that!

    Again, thanks in advance.
     
  9. Rhetorician

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    P O B Response

    POB,

    I don't know if you have been to the web page of Columbia Evangelical Seminary or not, but I think enough of them to be one of their profs or mentors. My ugly mug is there listed among all of the others.

    J. E. T.,

    This might be a viable option for you, CES that is. James White has his doctorate from there. James is the one who has debated Dave Hunt over Calvinism. They have had accredited seminaries take their BA/BS degrees on academic probation. It is rather expensive so you might want to check it out. Talk to the dean. It has taken quite a few hits on the "talking head" type boards. I am convinced enough to have thrown my lot with the brother though!

    It is based on the "study with a mentor" degree. It is very rigorous. Go there and check it out. I would be happy to have you study with me if what I do and have fits your needs.

    It may be just what you need. If not, I really do think I would check out Luther Rice in Atlanta. It is currently working towards some sort of accreditation I think and their grads also are taken in by other schools on academic probation for a semester or two so they can see that you can do the work. And knowing most people's circumstances, it may be the best way to balance b/t price and availability.

    Feel free to email and we can talk person-to-person in more detail if you desire?

    sdg!:thumbsup:

    rd
     
  10. Rhetorician

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    J E T Advice

    J. E. T.,

    I would check out Martin's advice on Moody and Luther Rice where he gave the links above. It sounds like, especially the Moody program, may be custom built just for folk like you.

    And one major thing about these two programs is, they are both reputable for the long-term. They are both tried, true, and trusted. They will both be there tomorrow. And the are both ministry based!

    If I was where you have described yourself to be, I think I would look seriously at those two options. $ may be another issue? But "where God guides--God provides!"

    Check both of those out with a serious look!

    By-the-by, I do not mean for this to turn into a "mutual admiration society" :laugh: between Martin and me. We have just been engaged in these sort of discussions for a while now!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  11. Paul33

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    I went to an unaccredited Baptist Bible College in the early 80s, transfered 46 credits to BJU, then transfered 70 credits from BJU and the 46 from NBBC to Grace College Winona Lake, an accredited college. Then TEDS accepted BJU credits for advanced standing!

    So . . . .

    You need to find the school that is credible and will accept your work from Tyndale. LRS and Moody seem like the right place to look.
     
  12. Plain Old Bill

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    I did go to thier site earlier.I noticed with a few exceptions that I have already read most of the books they are using for text books and a lot more. By the way I'm just taking a breaK from calvins institutes this week.Hey it seems like two or three people are doeing the writing here.Sometimes I get the feeling Calvin is trying to write to the layman,cleric, and acedamian all in the same two or three paragraphs.Does he read that way to you?:wavey:
     
  13. El_Guero

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    More like not - their web account was suspended

    I went to: www.columbiaseminary.edu

    And saw:
    I pray their financial difficulties do not affect salaries. If they are let us know to be praying for you.
     
  14. Rhetorician

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    For the Record!!! (FTR)!

    Gentlemen & Gentle Ladies;

    & Plain Old Bill,

    This is just a personal report concerning my affiliation with the Columbia Evangelical Seminary:

    I am and have been on the web page of the Columbia Evangelical Seminary for the last couple of years as a faculty mentor/prof. I believe in what Josh (the President of Columbia) is doing. It is also known by all that frequent the BB that my heart is to impart to the younger generation some small bit of wisdom and experience that I may have. That is, I am interested in helping young ministers and ministers-to-be acquire quality theological education in order to be equipped for the Lord's service in whatever venue that will best help them.

    When Plain Old Bill mentioned his report on CES I had no idea of their present status. I might say that I personally am as surprised as well as concerned at this latest development of CES' financial issues. I pray for them.

    It might be interesting for you to know; I have never been chosen by any student to be a mentor during my tenure as mentor for CES.

    This has been posted FYI!:thumbs:

    sdg!

    rd
     
  15. Plain Old Bill

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    Well Rhet, if I did go to Columbia, I would choose you to be my mentor. I know you are qualified, diligent,and kind. I also know you would take a personal interest :thumbs: in seeing that I would recieve the best possible education.
     
  16. Plain Old Bill

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    I think before I assumed something was wrong with CES financially I would ask them. It could well be they no longer wish to use the service of this particular web site provider or it could just be an oversite or dispute about billing. There are several possibilities.

    In the meantime because I have read most of thier textbooks, in my opinion that speaks well of them,just in my case it would be redundant.

    Rhet I gue:wavey: ss you missed my remark about Calvin. It seems to me when reading the "Institutes" like there are two or three people doing the writing.Do you get that feeling?
     
  17. Rhetorician

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    Calvin's Institutes

    P. O. B.,

    I have just worked through Calvin's Institutes this past spring semester. I am also a mentor for the online Founder's Ministerial Academy. They used the lecture notes of Dr. Timothy George who is an SBC Baptist with somewhat of a reputation as an author, writer, educator, and founding dean of the Beeson Divinity School attached to Samford University in Birmingham. You could call it the "Seventh Southern Baptist Seminary" if you wish.

    In George's notes that go along with the readings, he said that the Institutes were written over about a 20-25 year period of time. They were written as tracts as was done at the time and they went through 3 or 4 or more editions.

    My "educated guess" is that this would give somewhat of an account as to why and at certain times seem a bit disjointed. It must be remembered, must it not, that these great historic writings just like the Scriptures were produced in time and space. And we tend to separate them from those things like time, culture, history, war, personal mind of the writer, language, and such. When the documents are studied in their historical milieu then a better picture and understanding can be had.

    P. O. B., let me suggest that you listen, along with your readings, to the set of free lectures that I found while I was teaching/mentoring the Institutes from the Covenant Seminary. You will find them at the following link. They are great and give much added insight into the ethos and pathos of Calvin as he wrote them.

    http://www.covenantseminary.edu/worldwide/en/CH523/CH523.asp

    They are very helpful and have a truly "presbyterian flavor" to them. So they must be considered by trying to jettison your (our) Baptistic presuppositions.

    Enjoy!

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  18. Joseph M. Smith

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    Quite right!! And as differences in style and apparent audience show up in the Biblical materials, things like the documentary source theory of the Pentateuch and the Q theory related to the Gospels are developed to explain them. No one should take these theories as proven or definitive, but they do recognize, as you have said, that different minds, personalities, and circumstances will affect the way any given material is expressed.
     
  19. El_Guero

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    Bill

    I think a careful study of Calvin would show that most of what you see as disjoint, matters of style, language, and translation.

    Calvin was stylistically a logician - and he was pretty darn good at that. Logical writing sometimes does not seem to be logical at first reading.

    There was some major editing (five major editions) as he added to his tome. By the time he finished it was about 5 times larger than the original.

    I hear that the more modern translations are better, but I have worked through most of Beveridge. In places, Beveridge's translation is difficult to read.

    Have fun.
     
  20. UZThD

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    ===

    John:

    Some schools , possibly, would allow you to enter a MDiv program as a mature student without further undergrad work. Certainly, some schools will accept some credit for completed UA coursework if that coursework were rigorous.

    If you have trouble finding elsewhere such opportunuities, please feel free to contact Carl Peel,our admissions officer, at: [email protected]

    It is our policy to accept Hebrew/Greek from some UA schools at FULL value(our MDiv requires six courses in each language) and other coursework at 2/3! Our accreditation is through TRACS and we are a teaching site of Faith/Tacoma.

    Blessings,

    Bill Grover
    Director of Distance Education
    Faith Seminary/Salem
     

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