SBC Colleges w/Grad Schools of Religion

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Rhetorician

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    Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye!

    There was a time when the SBC did things in a particularly good way. One of them was to keep the theological and grad school for religion and missions and theological education separated. The state colleges/universities did the bachelors degrees and the seminaries did all the grad schools.

    But now, especially in the state schools that maintain ties with the SBC, they have formed "grad schools of religion" or some such. And the seminaries have formed colleges. Go figure?!

    What think ye? Should there be an overlap? Should each stick to the thing they each do best, even now when the SBC "mission's dollar" and "attendance" and "baptisms" are down and the SBC seems in decline?

    What think ye? Too many schools for the population of the SBC?

    I would like to hear some lively feedback and or even critique?

    "That is all!" :smilewinkgrin:
     
    #1 Rhetorician, Dec 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2009
  2. Revmitchell

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    I am lost. How can you have to many and what is the issue with having both a college and a Seminary?
     
  3. Havensdad

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    Considering the horribly secular mindset of most Non-Christian Colleges and Universities, I think not only is the seminaries having their own Undergrad Institutions a good idea, I think it is absolutely essential!

    Why would you want your young man who is going into the ministry, to study secular subjects for 4 years underneath the care of people who openly mock and ridicule Christ?
     
  4. Martin

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    ==I agree 100%. During my undergrad years I made the mistake of taking Old Testament Introduction at a secular university. The professor was a nice old man, but he denied inspiration and claimed that Jonathan and David were homosexual lovers. He got an earful from the class on that, but he did not back down. Christian young people who want to earn "religion" degrees need to attend a Christian university/college.



    ==I reject the notion of "secular" verses "religious" subjects. While I understand your point, God created history, science, and theology. The problem is not the disciplines, the problem is the approach certain professors/instructors take. If a person knows God has called them into the ministry then they should attend a Christian college or university.

    Personally, I like the program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Their undergraduate school, The College at Southeastern. All students major in "Christian studies" and then select a second major in English, History, Humanities, Missions, Music, Pastoral Ministry, or Theology. They can even select from various minors. This allows students to get more than a "Bible college" degree. They leave the University educated in Scripture and another field of study that will impact their career. If I was 18 (again) I would attend Southeastern (Christian Studies and History) and then earn a MA in History from Liberty. I know that is now impossible, but I can dream! :thumbs:

    College at Southeastern
     
  5. Mr. E

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    Somewhat of a similar experience.

    Good day all,
    I have had some experience with this dilemma in a secular college, as well. I am presently pursuing a B.Sc in Religion at Liberty and am in my Junior year. I transfered 60 credits from a secular college into the program. The secular Biology and History classes presented a completely secular view without any room for a Christian perspective. As a matter of fact, students were asked not to present "religious opinions" in the Biology class. To my benefit, Liberty accepted these transfer credits to fulfill degree requirements, but did deviate from credit transfer for a secular- based New Testament Survey class.

    Liberty accepted transfer of the NT class, but it was applied to elective credits as an Anthropology elective. It is interesting to note that the professor in the secular based NT class had a Phd from TIU (TEDS) and was a well respected evangelical educator. I had wondered why Liberty was stringent on this particular class transfer until I finished the NT Survey class at Liberty. The content and approach were drastically different. Why? Because of the restraints placed upon religion in secular education.

    While God has created all things, some do not accept this truth and it places some interesting challenges in the world of academia. If one desires to pursue a career in ministry or an education in Religion, there is no suitable alternative than obtaining it from a Christian institution.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    Gotta keep those FTEs up.

    Kinda hard to put declining enrollment to death in a big ceremony and then turn around the next year and be truthful before the convention on the state of a school when the funding request comes due.

    I'm not a fan of the expansions. I believe that we had a good system in place. The Baptist state colleges/universities were responsible for educating our in-state students. They offered a good spread of degrees and some graduate level, non-religion degrees which helped. The 6 "regional" seminaries then took the called out ones and offered graduate and post-graduate degrees for ministry. It was a good system.

    One reason lots of seminaries started to offer undergrad degrees is that it can be a bit of a cash-cow for the school. They only have to expand their staff slighty (and can use many of their existing doctoral students at a low cost) to offer a degree that charges nearly three to four times the credit hour of the graduate degrees. Financially it was a winner (sort of like with the proliferation of executive or weekend MBAs at colleges.) It also increased their attendance. For some of our valiant seminary leadership these two issues overrode the historical distinictive.

    The state sponsored colleges/universities then responded by offering their own graduate degrees. The cycle continues there.

    I don't counsel my students or parishioners to attend the same school from college through doctoral. It is academic inbreeding. The point of education is to be exposed to variety of teachers and perspectives so the student can discover their footing. Simply creating assimilated carbon copies of ourselves isn't education...its multiplication.

    It doesn't make much sense to me to have students who spend upwards of 10+ years at the same school (figure 4 for undergrad, 3 for grad, 3 for doctoral seminars.) You just end up having the same conversations with the same professors who, regardless of their academic stature, have a limited scope of expertise. Why not "kick our kids out of the nest" academically and force them into other conversations with other professors. This adds depth and breadth to the learning process. I can tell you for certain that I have benefitted immensely from being exposed to dozens of educators from my specialization courses in undergraduate through to post-graduate. Each one had a different perspective, different tools, different reading list, different focus.

    The current system is, imho, symptomatic of the larger issue in western evangelicalism...chaos. You do this so we one up you then you one up us and ad infinitum. My undergraduate alma mater actually has a plan in place for someone to go from preschool through PhD and never leave the campus of that school. That scares me to death and after interacting with several people who followed that plan I see the evidence of an intellectually shallow, academically myopic individual. They are terrific people wth a passion for Christ, but in academic terms they just aren't cutting the mustard. Their perspective is exactly that of the school's founder and not well developed beyond that.

    The best thinkers, academics, scholars, etc that I have encountered in my brief time on this side of eternity have been the ones who took time to get a diversified education from a number of schools. They took time to sit in a ThM seminar with a liberal theologian. They took time to sit in the secular humanist biology class and hear how we came from apes. They took time to sit in a MDiv class with a progressive
    dispensationalist. They took all this time and were exposed to the opportunity for growth and maturation.

    Editted to add: btw, I challenge my students and parishioners to go into the secular biology classes, to go into the state universities, and take up the task of engaging with these professors. To take up the task of informing your mind and listening to movement of the Holy Spirit and challenge the teaching trend with love, respect, and honesty. Western evangelicalism is about 50 miles wide and 1 inch deep because we have a "bomb-shelter" mentality. The Christian worldview is the most intellectually rigorous and reprovable position available. The fact that our churches have failed to equip their students with the system and self-educational processes to understand, review, and refute contrary views is a dangerous thing. We need our Christian students in these places. Let them bring back their questions. Let the clergy, the pastor-theologians take up those challenges and answer them with vigor. We don't need to create cloisters for ourselves. We need to be out there. (Now there is a time and a place for this in an undergraduate and graduate education...particularly in seminary studies imho)

    The people who have gone from womb to tomb in the same academic institution (of family of institutions) just don't have the same depth and breadth. Just my two cents. :)

    As for the proliferation of colleges and universities...meh. I'm a free market guy. The market will eventually shake out and we'll see the sudden explosion in academic institutions take a leveling off after another decade or so. We're in a weird time honestly. Our western society has made the college degree the standard for life. I think that is a bad thing. But the market (academics) have responded by opening new institutions. Sooner or later that trend will level off. The schools will slow and being to shut. What will be even more interesting is what happens when Congress and the IRS realize there is about $15 to $20 billion in untaxed monies floating around the academic world. That will be interesting.

    Hope that helps. I'm actually pretty passionate about this one. :)
     
    #6 preachinjesus, Dec 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2009
  7. GBC Pastor

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    What SBC affiliated colleges have formed "grad schools of religion?" Maybe I'm out of the loop, but I was not aware of any.
     
  8. TomVols

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    Baylor, Gardner Webb, Campbellsville, Campbell.....just off the top of my head.

    More to come....
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    Is Baylor ( a most ungodly school) still considered SBC?

    Never mind I see the BGCT props them up
     
  10. Paul33

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    The seminaries may be starting colleges because the state SBC colleges are predominantly liberal. The colleges may be starting seminaries and graduate schools because the big six are predominantly conservative.

    What think ye?
     
  11. TomVols

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    Technically, only a few colleges are SBC, and those are the ones like Boyce at SBTS, Southeastern at SEBTS, etc. Baylor is not SBC, it's BGCT as you say. Carson-Newman is TBC, etc. These colleges are supported by state conventions that happen to be supporters of the CP.

    Samford also has a grad school, btw.
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    Well they are still listed here
     
  13. TomVols

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    Read your link:
     
  14. TomVols

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    Okay, I'll spill the beans:

    I have misgivings and I have some warmth for colleges having grad schools.

    One college administrator told me frankly that, if the SBC seminaries were going after undergrads, the state baptist schools should go after grad students since the customer base is somewhat limited (summarizing there). I know that the reason the SB seminaries started the colleges was concern over the theological direction of many state schools after the moderates decided to take their battle to the state level. Essentially, this has economic, political, and theological underpinnings. The state schools started some of their grad programs for the same reason.

    I've always thought a BA in Religion grad and particularly a BA grad from one of our Bible colleges was wasting time doing the standard M.Div, MCM, or MRE. It's too redundant. These folks would be better served by doing other MA/MS/ThM work. But the door to doctoral programs would likely be shut since the seminaries controlled these. What if these schools could offer doctoral work for these graduates? That would be problematic with accreditors, though perhaps useful.

    I fear that some of these schools are squandering an opportunity to offer unique programs for ministry preparation. Maybe I'm wrong.
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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    Baylor is only very nominally a "BGCT school." It is essentially an independent private institution.

    In 1991, Baylor changed its charter (in an underhanded conspiracy) to wrest itself away from the BGCT. Today, only a small amount of funding goes to Baylor and the BGCT only has a few trustee appointments, not enough to make much of a difference.

    The BGCT does not "prop them up."
     
  16. PreacherTeacher

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    When did this thread become a "Baylor bashing" forum? I wish that Herb Reynolds did not have to do what he did in 1990, but I was a student at the time, and was glad that he did. In the 1980's, the BGCT meeting was becoming a huge fight for control, and Baylor was the jewel being fought over. Once Dr. Herb took Baylor off of the table, the side trying to take over the BGCT stopped trying so hard. Now, they've picked up their marbles and gone home. I'm happy that Herbert Reynolds is the name on my degree, and not some of the alternatives...

    The SBC seminaries are running undergrad colleges for money, as well as the padding of enrollment numbers. The universities are running grad schools and seminaries for much of the same. Neither side trusts the other.

    I miss the days when both sides of the SBC could sit down and play nice with each other. Now, they rarely sit down together at all.
     
  17. Revmitchell

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    Having trustees and sending support make my point regardless if you like the amount and number of trustees or not.
     
  18. TomVols

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    I disagree. If the trustee numbers are nominal and the funding is nominal, the "propping up" cannot be anything other than the same. Conversely, if the trustees are predominately from one entity, and the funding is from the same, then it's much more of a direct relationship.

    One KY Baptist college has an out of state trustee from Ohio. Does that make the school an Ohio Baptist college? Of course not.
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    Nominally propping up is still propping up nominally or otherwise.
     
  20. TomVols

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    Can something be nominally propped up :laugh:
     

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