Where Is Our Confidence?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by TCGreek, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Dear fellow Baptists,

    I have been reading several articles on accreditations and seminaries; some points are good and some are not so good. All in all, the discussions have proven the point of our fallen nature.

    Some think that accreditation, RA or NA, is the best thing to ever happen to mankind. Some think that accreditation was directly or indirectly a working of God. Some think that if you don't have an accredited degree that something is seriously wrong.

    Yet, no serious discussion of God is included. God is the one who decides how a person is to be used in ministry. God is the one who calls people into ministry. Remember, God is not concern about "big" names and where you went to school (as important to us those things might seem), as long as you are TRUE TO HIS WORD. Accreditation is not the issue; God is.

    I was shocked to read that the ministry of proven men have been questioned because they have unaccredited degrees before their alma maters became accredited or remained unaccredited. Again, God is the one who uses people in ministry. He calls those who are snubbed by the world and deemed less honorable; remember that.

    Accreditation does not ensure a successful ministry. Being an honorable vessel before God, does. But if you can afford an accredited degree, then go for it.

    I had the privilege of attending both accredited and unaccredited schools for graduate work, and honestly speaking and fair better than the other. In fact, the unaccredited Greek department was much better than the accredited. I left the accredited and went to the unaccredited to complete my Greek studies. The professor at the accredited have his Ph.D in OT from Hebrew Union and took about 18hrs of Greek to allow him to teach Greek. But the professor at the unaccredited school got his Ph.D in classics from Vanderbilt and was far superior to the other professor.

    I do think that a person should look for good professors and good schools as long as they do not bankrupt themselves and go into all sorts of financial crises to "impress." And I do agree that accredited schools ensure quality education, but as you all know, that is not always the case. Neither am I saying that unaccredited is the way to go. I think a person should decide that with God and with his or her family, not the opinions of others.
     
    #1 TCGreek, Jan 31, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2007
  2. Rufus_1611

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    Those are some excellent points TC.
     
  3. Martin

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    ==First I disagree with you when you say "no serious discussion of God is included", that is simply wrong. Most Christians, like myself, who believe in the importance of accreditation do so because we believe God wants His children/servants to have the best preparation for the ministry possible. Accreditation is one part of the quality puzzle. Its not the whole picture but it is certainly part of the picture. Second, and following up on that point, accreditation is not about a big name school (etc) it is about a certain standard of academic quality. Is it fool proof? No, but it is the system we have so we are required to work within it.

    ==Who are these "proven men" you are refering to? What schools? I wonder if the problem is not just the lack of accreditation but the quality of the school. Keep in mind that there are many low quality, unaccredited, distance learning "seminaries" out there. They are called degree mills and they are a real problem. On the other hand there are some great nonaccredited schools out there. There are many ministers out there who graduated from good non-accredited schools (like Bob Jones Univ., Columbia Evangelical, etc) who are doing just fine. I think of Charles Stanley as an example. When he, and others, graduated from Luther Rice it was unaccredited.

    ==No it does not, no degree ensures anything like that. However accreditation is part of quality control. It also means that the student can transfer credits/degrees to other accredited schools and get certain forms of federal aide. No matter how good an unaccredited degree program is, and there are some good ones out there, there are still downsides to earning a graduate degree from an unaccredited school. Just look at this from a practical standpoint for a second. Think about James White for a second. He has earned accredited degrees from several schools. This includes a MA from Fuller Seminary. However because he has two degrees from Columbia Evangelical, a perfectly good distance learning school that happens to be unaccredited, he has to defend himself all the time. There are whole websites out there about how White "lied about his education", etc. If White had earned degrees from an accredited school he could have avoided that. Not saying that he made the wrong choice or anything like that (clearly he has been very well trained). I have seen the same type websites about John Ankerberg. I am simply pointing out how an unaccredited degree, even a quality one, can cause a person trouble.

    ==I agree with everything you said in this paragraph. Mainly the bold.
     
    #3 Martin, Jan 31, 2007
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  4. TCGreek

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    Martin, I think we are generally saying the same thing. Yes, I agree that accreditation is a form of control on quality education. But let's not forget that the transfer of credits from one accredited school to another is how the system works.

    I say SHAME on the man or woman who goes to a degree mill and just pays for a degree or do minimal work. We all know of those who are obsessed with titles, hence the emergence of "real degree mills." Degree mills are out to make quick money and so if you are in for a quick degree you are a perfect candidate. I say SHAME on both.

    But then there are those who want a quality education but can't afford it. And rather than expense themselves they choose schools that though unaccredited allow them to pursue some meaningful studies at a low cost. But the delimma comes when they want to good into academia, which requires accredited degrees. So a person must know what he or she is getting into, because it prove to be difficult. Again, that is how the system works.

    Remember, I am all for accreditation, but it must be from good schools. Even with accredited schools, you are going to get what you pay for. One of my professors at the graduate level got his Th.D from Harvard, but as you know, Harvard is as liberal in respect the Bible as you going to get. OUR CONFIDENCE MUST BE IN GOD.
     
  5. Martin

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    :thumbs: I agree.

    ==Again, I agree. That is why I always advise people to seek accredited degrees at the graduate level if at all possible (distance or oncampus). The accredited degree will usually open up more doors than an unaccredited degree (even if quality).

    ==Yea, I don't think I would go to Harvard to learn the Bible/Theology. At the end of the day you are 100% correct our trust MUST be in the Lord. Apart from Him we can do NOTHING. Apart from Him we can get our BA at Wheaton, our ThM at Dallas, and our PhD at Southern and still end up living on the streets! So our trust and dependency must always be 100% upon the Lord. In our society that can be tough but it is what we must learn to do.
     
  6. TCGreek

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    I say a big AMEN.
     

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