ThB at SATS

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by labaptist, May 1, 2010.

  1. labaptist

    labaptist
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    I know that there are at least a couple of people on here with some experience with the seminary. The web site can be a little confusing for an American to understand (Though nowhere near as bad as Unisa!) I am curious about the Bachelor of Theology degree there and wondered if you could answer the following questions for me.

    1 I have High School equivalency diploma from passing the GED test. Would this satisfy SATS's entrance requirements? If not, what would I need to do in addition?

    2 How much writing is involved in the first year? Also do you get points off for using Americanized spelling instead of British type spelling, which it looks like they use in South Africa?
     
  2. Havensdad

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    This is adequate. There is no problem getting admitted with a GED.

    Every class I took, with the exception of Greek classes, involved extensive writing. As far as the Americanized spelling, I never received any demerits for this; however, it is easy to overcome, anyway. Microsoft Word has a British setting for it's spell checking and correction tool, which will adjust the words automatically as you type them. It's really not a big deal.
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    "For what it is worth!" response.

    To whomever may want to hear this opinion:

    If it were 30 years ago and I was about to embark on theological education with the system the way it is now I would:

    1. To to SATS and get the ThB degree in a heartbeat.

    2. It is challenging and has no extraneous work to be done.

    3. It is cheap, well reasonable anyway.

    4. Work can be done at your own speed.

    Reasons I would find it difficult is that:

    1. I am an oral learner and need the interaction with students and faculty.

    2. I am not very self motivated and needed the discipline of the "in class" schedule put on me by the prof.

    All in all, I would have to consider it. Other down sides; will other intuitions receive their degree for doing advance education in American schools?

    "That is all!" :thumbs:
     
  4. labaptist

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    Thats one of my concerns. I'm sure I could probably get into Liberty with such a degree, but then again they'll accept a degree from Andersonville. Also if one is looking for a church to pastor, I think an unaccredited school like Andersonville or Trinity would look better then a degree from SATS (people and other ministers being more familar with them.)
     
  5. Havensdad

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    Nope. SATS in the eyes of American institutions, is the equivalent of RA. The only downside is that you have to pay one of the foreign credential evaluators to evaluate the degree. For instance, all of the Big Six are accepting of SATS degrees, if they are evaluated. None of them will accept Andersonville or Trinity (or any other unnaccredited school), to my knowledge. The one exception to this, is New Orleans, who will accept some students from unnaccredited schools into Masters programs, IF they get a high enough score on the GRE.

    The acceptance of SATS, in nearly all cases, is universal. It is MUCH better than unnaccredited...
     
  6. TomVols

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    I think he's referring to church reaction to SA degrees, which in my experience has thus far been unfairly negative. However, it is what it is. A D.Min or PhD from an unaccredited seminary gets you farther than a doctorate from these schools.

    However, that's merely what I've seen lately. That will hopefully change as more people go the SA route and lend credibility to it as a legit means of earning terminal degrees.
     
  7. Havensdad

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    But Rhet is talking about getting your undergrad from SA, not your masters, or Doc...a wise decision. If you have a M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, or another well respected Seminary, no church cares where you received your undergrad from! If you have an undergrad from an unnaccredited Seminary, the possibility of attending one of these top Seminaries is OUT...and plenty of churches will turn their nose up at an unnaccredited degree..

    But by getting you undergrad from SA, you probably saved yourself upwards of 20 or 30 thousand dollars!
     
    #7 Havensdad, May 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2010
  8. TomVols

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    Some churches will care about your undergrad regardless. And if you get an undergrad at a lesser school, followed by a master's from a solid school (RA, NA or non), I think that evens out. Then again, who knows what search teams will do. Before it got derailed quickly, I posed a question about doctoral degrees and search teams in the general forum. One search team I know of recently ditched any minister's resume who had a research doctorate, saying it had no applicability for ministry.

    I'm not convinced having a BTh from SATS to be a wise move yet. The program has no liberal arts courses, so unless someone is automatically a gifted writer, there's no development in the undergrad years. No foundation courses in philosophy, logic, etc. that are indispensable. Then again, I'm not convinced their Master programs are the best route either. Just my opinion. I guess this is the one spot where I think American accreditors have a tad of a clue. :)
     
  9. Havensdad

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    I also strongly disagree with you here (from experience, by the way).

    In every class that I have taken at Liberty, I have excelled at writing. My first class, I was required to submit my paper to a tutor for evaluation; he said it was the best he had ever seen. I had another professor sending students to me for advice on organizing and writing their papers. And I never had a single undergraduate writing class.

    Now, maybe you are saying "Yeah, but your just a gifted writer." Not so. I am a bit of an idiot, actually, and a scatterbrain to boot. The reason that I do well with writing assignments, is the training I received at SATS. Every class required very large (often 30 pages or more), writing assignments. Grading was tough, and papers were covered with red ink (figuratively speaking) at the end. Each professor would give suggestions on what not to do, and what to do. This "hands on" approach to gaining writing skill, helped me far more than the measly little English Composition class which is found at most American Universities. People learn best by doing.

    As far as the other, philosophy, logic, etc., most of this in our current environment is either spiritually damaging, at worse (I can not begin to count the number of men and woman who have had their faith left in shambles while taking "philosophy" classes), or at best, completely useless (why does a Pastor need to learn College level Algebra? That is just a ridiculous waste of time; to learn something that you will not possibly remember three years later). The fact is, the person's time is better spent learning Greek, Hebrew, Latin, etc., in order to have a stronger foundation for Master's level studies.

    And, of course, because of SATS I have a "leg up" on my peers. Most of the subjects that I take, I already have a working knowledge of; it allows me to spend time in the "deep end."

    Lastly, of course, it saved me probably somewhere around 20 to 30 thousand dollars.
     
  10. Havensdad

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    And I wanted to add...

    I disagree that a search committee would pay any attention to an undergrad degree, if that person had an M. Div. from an acceptable school (at least in the Southern Baptist circles I fly in, down here in S. Texas). An undergrad degree, if it was something notable (like a Bachelor's degree in Physics, or something) might impress the committee with your intelligence. But an unknown undergrad degree will not hurt you.
     
  11. TomVols

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    You wouldn't brag, would you :laugh: I'd simply say you're the exception and not the rule. Seminaries have remedial writing classes for their M.Div students for this reason. As an English Minor and former English teacher, it makes me shudder when I see the grammar, spelling, etc., from ministers.

    You just CAN'T give me an open door like this :laugh:
    You just made my point. In HS, I had to write extensively every day. I also did in college in my comp classes. You learn to write best by writing. There's just no replacement. You'll always improve as you go through your academic career, but you have to have a foundation.

    (1) Philosophy and logic strengthened my faith; (2) I learned how to refute those who disagree (1 Pet 3:15); (3) Learning things like math, etc., teaches you to think, a discipline lacking today. I don't think theologians need 12 hrs in math and I'm not saying 80 hours of liberal arts is necessary. However, for someone to have NO english, history, etc., makes me wonder about how rounded they are. Heck, you can at least get some sermon illustrations by having to read Hamlet, knowing about Tammany Hall, and what Salvador Dali was thinking (okay, scratch that last one). :laugh:

    This is the best argument for this degree. I had the same advantage coming from Bible college, essentially an undergrad seminary. I could go deeper in my studies right off the bat when compared to the guy with the BS in Engineering. But I still had to do English, Math, science, etc.

    I serve here in the "brain valley." There are more PhDs per capita here than anyplace in the nation. If I get up and know nothing about the laws of thermodynamics, have poor grammar, and cannot meaningfully interact with the culture, I'm dead. Done. Toast. It's easier to climb down the ladder when I talk to the 4th grade drop outs than it is to climb up the ladder if I have no background when the MBA drops by my office. That's my point and I'm sticking to it :)

    Look how far we've come. Right or wrong, there was a day when you couldn't be ordained if you didn't read Latin or Greek or Hebrew in the Baptist church. I'm not arguing for intellectual snobbery. I'm just saying we don't need to be dumb as fence posts. That market's covered.
     
  12. Havensdad

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    I don't disagree. But this is simply a matter of being informed. For instance, I have studied biology enough, on my own (because of my own interest in science), so that I was able to walk into a testing center, and pass the Biology GRE, with a high enough grade to get 24 credits from an accredited university. This did not require me to spend thousands of dollars.

    As ministers, our schooling should focus on our ministry. It is certainly good to read things such as Hamlet, or to study science. But this can be done without placing yourself under the possibly dangerous teaching of some liberal arts professor. Our time of interaction and deep study, should be reserved for the "things of God" so to speak.
     
  13. Rhetorician

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    Point of Clarification Please

    Gentlemen,

    I know most of you know this. But the ThB in the English system of education is NOT focused on the Liberal Arts/Studies like the American BA/BS. For the record.

    It is the "horse of a different color" if you will? So let us compare apples to apples and not oranges to apples.

    My two cents worth!

    "That is all!" :thumbsup:
     
  14. TomVols

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    I don't disagree with that. But you can't eat food not on the table. Thus, my belief that we shouldn't get too myopic. This same argument gets extrapolated into M.Div programs all the time. "No theology, ethics, church history and languages" they say. "Let them learn that on their own." Well, that's all fine and good, but it doesn't happen. Neither does what you're suggesting.

    Glad you were able to Clep that many biology credits. Why did you want that many in the first place? Are you trying to make my six hours look inferior? :tongue3:


    I don't disagree that schooling should focus on the theological. I think it's a bromide to suggest that only dangerous liberal arts professors exist. I learned philosophy from an evangelical youth minister (who had a PhD). Biology from a PhD/ThD. And I also took secular college courses in history, arts, physics and astronomy. Did they say things I disagreed with? Yes. Did it help me? Of course. News flash: the world doesn't agree with us and we needn't be shocked. The best of all worlds is to hear it all from an evangelical perspective. And I did later (some courses were redundant). But I'm the better off for it. The minister who beleives there's no value in studying God's creation acts in Physics, Astronomy, Biology, or man's interaction with his own sinfulness in literature, etc., is shortchanging himself and his people. I'm not saying the minister should be a literary critic or scientist. But he should be versed enough to not have to shrink back. I agree wholeheartedly that our deep study as you put it should be for theological disciplines. But it's a bifurcation to say we have to choose only Grudem and shut out Dostoyevsky in college.

    I know. And this is in large measure due to the fact that before one would earn a ThB, one would already be exposed to most of what we would consider a liberal arts core in America. Kinda shameful when you think about how poor our secondary education system is.
     
  15. Havensdad

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    This is not true. Every pastor I know has interests outside of the ministry. For my pastor, it's biology (specifically snakes/reptile...YUCK!). Another that I know likes Philosophy. I know another that studies classic literature.

    Sorry, but my Human pride will not let this go. These were not CLEP tests. This was a subject GRE (like they give to people who have studied for four years in the subject, for entrance into Master's programs). These were not lower level, but upper level credits. WAY harder than any CLEP...:tongue3:

    There is value in getting other points of view. But it should be AFTER a solid grounding in theology, Biblical knowledge, and Church History. In other words, this can all be done after a person finishes their ministerial degrees.

    People always say "they need a knowledge of these other subjects..." But the fact is, they do not NEED them. History is rife with people who have had their faith destroyed by education, particularly liberal education. Think of Crawford Howell Toy, of Lottie Moon fame. How much better for him if he had never engaged the "intellectuals.."

    He does not need college level knowledge of these subjects. Simply being well read will suffice. Regardless of your own experiences, the vast majority of Liberal Arts teachers are at best determinedly secular, and at worse, frothing at the mouth with their hatred of God. This is not the proper place for a young man, who has not yet truly grounded himself in theology and doctrine. IF such studies are going to take place, they need to happen AFTER the M.Div...not before it.

    I do not think this is true at all. None of the people I know from SA seem to have a superior knowledge of these subjects. The reasoning is just that, you should be studying what you are studying; not wasting your time with something that has nothing to do with your field.
     
  16. TomVols

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    Again, I think this is the exception and not the rule. In a senior undergrad capstone class where I assisted recently, one assignment was that students break into groups and discuss specifically how their liberal arts courses help their ministry. They had to give a 5 minute talk each. Of the 8 in my group, only 1 said they'd continue to engage disciplines outside the ministry field after graduation. This is pretty typical - and kind of sad. One arrogantly said his "English courses was a waste of time." Exactly. :tongue3:

    Every minister I know has an interest outside ministry. Bass fishing and golf aren't liberal arts :tongue3:
    My mistake, sorry. Were you considering graduate study in biology or med school?

    I don't disagree that a grounding should be first. I do disagree that it must come after the formal preparation. What if you read Nietzche after your M.Div and have questions? Or Dawkins? Or Rust? Little late then. Because I had to read these types early on, I could bounce them off of solid men who could help me understand them.
    "Need" is a loaded word. You can argue one doesn't need any of this, liberal arts, theology or otherwise, but the more you get the better you are. Jerry Vines, Al Mohler, Paige....I could go on for pages (get it?) of those who suggest the liberal arts are indispensable for the minister. I think that's begging the question to suggest that history is filled with people whose education was allegedly destroyed due to liberal arts courses. How many more have been aided?

    And As for CH Toy, he was famous besides just Lottie! And he didn't go off the tracks because he had to take Chemistry or read Tolstoy (there's no evidence he did either, is there?) - it was his German theological education that no doubt led him astray.
    Again, I think this is a red-herring. College level knowledge doesn't require expert knowledge, but rather exposure. All of us can likely name a subject matter we developed a liking for only after we took coursework in the matter.
    This may be true. So what do we do with our Christian 18-19 year olds who go off to state U? Must they eschew any course in science, for instance? They need a grounding before they get there. If they end up at Christian U, we should be fine....one would hope...but still have the grounding. The beginning theological student has some grounding necessary before entry as well. To say someone should have basic undergraduate knowledge only after the M.Div just doesn't make sense. After a knowledge of truth sufficient to combat error can be gained even by HS youth...and should be. I'm helping develop a curriculum right now for the youth that is basically a HS course in systematic theology. It can be done.
    I know it to be true in the British model. Some colleagues who went to their equivalent of HS end up at almost a Freshman or Soph level in American post-secondary world. And what you're saying doesn't follow. How does the fact that they're studying what they're studying mean they don't necessariliy have an exposure to a broad education curriculum? And you and I will just have to fundamentally disagree that English grammar, logic, etc. is of no use to the minister.

    Suffice to say I believe a good exposure to the general education of a liberal arts core is helpful to the minister and to an undergrad theological education, and you disagree. I don't think at this point we're going to break new ground :)
     
  17. PilgrimPastor

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    Amen. I am doing the same thing for kids in the church.
     
  18. Havensdad

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    Sure it can. But a High School level Systematic Theology, is no match for a Phd level professors criticism's...

    Tell me, to all who think Liberal Arts(stuff like Algebra, and English Lit), should be studied at the forefront of a ministers education...which medical doctor would you choose in the following scenario?

    #1 This doctor eschewed all other classes, except the ones that applied to his field. Rather than taking English literature classes, Philosophy classes etc., he received permission to take extra classes on human anatomy, diseases, etc. ALL of the classes he took, related directly to his field. Even in his spare time, he was consumed with nothing other than making sick people better, and he studied nothing else.

    #2 This doctor took only the minimum field specific classes requisite to earn his degree. Instead of studying anatomy in his spare time, he is interested in Hamlet and Macbeth. He likes looking at the stars.

    Which doctor would you rather to be operating on your children? I know, for me, I would choose doctor #1.

    The most common phrase I hear in these discussions, is we "need to be well rounded people." But people say this, without realizing that this expression comes from New Age philosophy. As Christians, I don't think we are called to be "well rounded." I think that we are called to be "single minded."
     
  19. TomVols

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    The truth of God's Word kicks the butt of any sophistry. Doesn't matter where the truth comes from or from where the sophistry comes from.
    Unnecessary bifurcation, and straw man to boot. But I'll play along: the standard MD contains no liberal arts courses, much like a JD or M.Div or MBA. So your analogy doesn't apply.
    More straw. Funny that Boyce, Broadus, Warfield, etc., all knew logic, philosophy, etc. It didn't harm their single-mindedness. And they were well ahead of new-age, so you're reaching.

    The thread is hopelessly off topic now. And I helped make it so. My apologies to all.

    By the by, I was genuinely interested in your reasons for the biology GRE. Did you consider med school or further study in a related field?
     
  20. Havensdad

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    But you have to earn a BA in Biology first, before your admitted to the MD program...

    The logic and Philosophy they learned, was a far cry from the secular garbage taught in most Universities today. Christianity saturated and influenced society, in a way, that it no longer does. This includes the study of these subjects.

    :laugh:

    I was worried about having liberal arts credits (Graduate schools, a handful, anyway, can be oh so snobby about you having liberal arts credits for admission). Several Undergraduate schools will award a huge number of credits for a high score on a Subject GRE. I have always been interested in science, and knew I could do well on the test...so I took it.
     

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