The Effect of Sub-Par Degrees.

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Brice, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. Brice

    Brice
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    0
    In another thread some very important questions were raised. To summarize the questions, what effect will Sub-Par degrees from LBU. ATS, Etc. have on the pastorate and various other aspects of ministry?

    Please see Paid's post for some more important questions raised.

    God Bless.

    In my conservative estimation, there are at least 15-25,000 people out there with degrees from less than wonderful seminaries. Additionally, these seminaries are turning out more graduates with low-grade doctorates at an alarming rate. How does this affect the quality of ministry in our churches? How much good Bible exposition and preaching are the people getting? How does this affect the credibility of people with reputable doctorates since the commoners are oblivous to where their pastor got his degree? However, it shows when Dr. Snodgrass slaughters the Queen's English. The academic world may have reason to look askance toward theological degrees. Is there a way to police ourselves? </font>[/QUOTE]
     
  2. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think we'll all vote for good scholarship and rigorous standards. Quality education is needed. We should all emphasize this as much as possible, and teach the next generation to be as rigorous as possible.

    That said, the problem is nothing new. D. L. Moody slaughtered the English language, and Billy Sunday did acrobatics and shadow boxing on the platform, yet God did great works through them. J. Vernon McGee taught greek at seminary, yet used words like "gooder" and refered to a D.D. as a "dumb dog degree." Yet God has done a tremendous work with his ministry. On the other hand, there may be more problems created by uneducated ministers than by people like Moody, Sunday, and McGee.

    So we certainly want to keep our standards high. But keep in mind that the ministry has always been plagued by people who don't know what they're talking about. Just don't fall into the trap of "degree pride" and think that somehow our quality education is going to save the church. It won't. Over the centuries, just as many major problems have been created by people with quality PhDs than by uneducated backwoods preachers.
     
  3. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    The obvious result is a subpar education. Less apparant results may be a subpar contribution, and maybe even some damage, to a person's longterm profession, calling, field, or ministry.

    I'm sure a few will argue the unimportance of a postgraduate education in the ministry. Yes, I agree that, in the end, beef is beef, but chuck roast is not filet mignon.
     
  4. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    However, on the other side of the coin, I know someone who I'll leave unnamed, who teaches Greek, and is used as a reference by some reputable sources, who does not have a degree.

    Sometimes, there is too much emphasis on degrees, to the point that people are more interested in whether you have a degree than what you know. I know someone who has a Masters from DTS who knows almost no Greek.

    I do agree, however, that some places are completely fraudulent.
     
  5. Brice

    Brice
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don’t think anyone would dispute the fact that there are some great people in ministry with little education. That being said, what about the picture as a whole? How will this affect the overall picture? As Paid asked, how do we regulate it? What permanent problems will it cause? Will it cause any problems? Etc. This is certainly an important question because these are issues that could dictate the direction of an entire faith. God bless and I look forward to hearing some more opinions.
     
  6. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, based on the way it's regulated now, I'm sure there are some things that could be improved, but who would we choose to regulate it? Look at the Catholic church and the way it's regulated.
     
  7. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just take a close look at the disciples who turned the world upside down with their preaching. It was a mixed bag of learned and ignorant wasn't it? Any man who has the Spirit can be used of God to do great things. That should not, however, be an excuse for laziness or unwillingness to train. When the opportunity arises, a called man or woman, should get whatever training he or she can. It makes for more opportunities to serve. It also gives confidence to the congregation that he was disciplined enough to train for the work.
     
  8. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agreed. However, I think too many congregations place too much emphasis on a diploma in many cases. To take a secular example, Isaac Asimov received some degrees because he taught himself a subject, then started writing text books on the subject, so the college decided they should give him a diploma to give him credence. He was probably one of the smartest men in the 20th century, and had many, many degrees, but I think (don't quote me on this) that he only "earned" one of them.

    This emphasis on the diploma comes from the world, not from God. There's nothing wrong with a good formal education. However, there are many ignorant men who are well-educated (formally) and many wise men who are self taught or informally educated. The latter ones will often be overlooked.

    As a result, diplomas from questionable institutions are often favored over quality individuals.
     
  9. paidagogos

    paidagogos
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    0
    From an Asimov FAQ at http://www.asimovonline.com/asimov_FAQ.html#non-literary6:

    "Asimov began his formal education in the New York Public School system in 1925 at PS182, and transferred to PS202 when the family moved in 1928. He continued on to East New York Junior High School 149 in September 1930, where he was placed in the rapid advance course, and graduated in June 1932. He entered tenth grade at Boys High School in the fall, and graduated in the spring of 1935. After attending City College for only a few days, he switched to the Brooklyn campus of Seth Low Junior College, which provided him with a scholarship of one hundred dollars. The college closed after his freshman year, so he continued at the parent institution, Columbia University, at the Morningside Heights campus. He graduated from Columbia with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1939. After his applications to all five New York City medical schools were rejected, he applied for the master's program in chemistry at Columbia. After he was rejected for the master's program, he convinced the department committee to accept him on probation. After one year the probation was lifted, and he earned his M.A. in Chemistry in 1941. He continued on at Columbia in a Ph.D. program, and after the gap in his research that lasted from 1942 through 1946 (due to his wartime job and his army), he earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry in May 1948."

    IMHO, Asimov was a great popularizer rather than a great thinker. He had a tremendous imagination and was an exciting communicator but he had few original ideas such Bucky Fuller did. Fuller, on the other hand, was an original thinker, inventor and innovator. He did not have a college degree.
     
  10. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes. He earned one PhD. How many did he have when he died?
     
  11. paidagogos

    paidagogos
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    0
    How would you feel if you discovered that your physican had his degree from a medical degree mill in Hong Kong? What about your pastor? Is he any less important?
     
  12. paidagogos

    paidagogos
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    0
    No one is arguing that a sheepskin makes the man. However, no one can convincingly argue, IHMO, that a bogus degree or second-rate degree enhances the man.

    In other words, I would take any day the honest, faithful pastor without pretense to any degree over the under-educated pastor sporting a bogus degree.

    IMHO, the drive for academic recognition is purely pride and vanity. I think Jesus touched on this matter several times. See Matthew 23:7-12; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 11:43, 20:46-47 and Luke 14:7-11.
     
  13. Circuitrider

    Circuitrider
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/circuitrider2.JPG>

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wonder if John R. Rice's horse was more qualified for ministry after he got his Doctor's degree from HAC? :D I know the deposit he left on the platform was worth something! :eek:
     
  14. BrianH

    BrianH
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    For what it is worth, the doctoral program in CE at LBU is substantially harder than either of my two secular RA graduate degrees....I cannot make a judgement about ATS, TRACS, or any of those school because I have never attended them. Just a FYI
     
  15. mioque

    mioque
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Messages:
    3,899
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ironically, throughout much of it's history the education most of the priests received was downright lousy.
     
  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,219
    Likes Received:
    194
    Actally, "General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur III," otherwise known as "Mac," was a very smart horse. The D. H. S. (Doctor of Horse Sense) that he got at HAC only recognized Mac's brilliance as a full blooded Tennessee Walking Horse. However, Mac's pungent comment on that platform on the dilution of meaning in honorary degrees is worth noting for posterity.

    And by the way, the gentleman from the SOTL who arranged the trip without Dr. Rice's knowledge got in big trouble upon returning to Murfreesboro. Nobody, but nobody was allowed to ride Mac but John R., let alone transport him across anywhere. And that is the rest of the story! [​IMG]

    From one who knew Mac and admired him and actually rode next to him--but never on him--a time or two. ;)
     

Share This Page

Loading...