Why is ATS seen as Superior?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by untangled, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. untangled

    untangled
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    Hey Brothers,

    Today I was thinking about this. I believe in accreditation. However, why do alot of these Christian seminaries call non ATS accredited M.Div's junk?

    I've seen a few really good programs that were not ATS accredited. Namely, BBC and Seminary, LBTS and others. Some churches (alot these days) are screaming ATS or nothing. Why is that?

    I'm glad I pastor a church that does not care if my degree is going to be ATS accredited or not.

    Don't get me wrong, accreditation is good but people are killing me with this ATS stuff.

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  2. TCassidy

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    I don't know of anyone who thinks M.Divs. from accredited Seminaries not accredited by the Association of Theological Schools are "junk."

    Of the schools you mentioned, Liberty is accredited by TRACS and BBC is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

    TRACS, ATS, and ABHE all meet exactly the same Department of Education requirements. Those who say one type of accreditation is better than another, or that regional is better than national, are like the KJVOs. What they really mean is "my accredited school is better than your accredited school, so ha, ha, ha." It is simply ignorance of the accreditation process.
     
  3. Broadus

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    I haven't heard of any evangelical seminary calling non-ATS but regionally-accredited seminaries "junk." Do you have some examples?

    Bill
     
  4. untangled

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    There have been 3 seminaries that have said that non ATS accredited degrees were not suitable to enter their programs. Off the top of my head Regent, GCTS and I can't remember the other one. Been told a few times by people at those seminaries that non ATS accredited degrees are not acceptable, period.

    I've got a while until I finish my M.Div but I'm wanting to see what kind of options are open for some post graduate training.
     
  5. TCassidy

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    Except that GCTS is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Does that mean they don't accept their own degrees to enter their program? :D
     
  6. sovgrace79

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    My application with GCTS is pending right now. However, I know of people with undergrad degrees from a non-ATS school that got in there.

    Accreditation is important. Some schools do not like other schools that do not have regional accreditation. I've found this as I've tried to transfer credits and get into different degree programs other than theology.

    I understand the need for accreditation, but it is disappointing that so many schools give people a hard time about national vs. regional accreditation.
     
  7. StefanM

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    ATS doesn't accredit undergraduate education. The problem is having a non-ATS master's while trying to get into a doctoral program.
     
  8. Broadus

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    G-C's website states than an ATS-accredited MDiv or its equivalent is required to enter its DMin program. That's not an issue with SBC seminaries. I know of students from RA-only accredited institutions who entered the PhD programs at SBTS.

    How does G-C justify its requirement, or is it sometimes waived? It smacks of institution snobbery to me.

    Bill
     
  9. PatsFan

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    I had a similar experience with GCTS, as well. They wouldn't consider my non-ATS graduate theological courses I took for an MAR for MDiv equivalency for admittance to their DMin program. SBC seminaries--like Bill said above-- and Ashland Seminary were receptive, however. Every seminary interprets MDiv equivalency differently and attribute their decisions to ATS regs. Some seminaries told me I met MDiv equivalency, another said I needed 2 more courses and still another that I needed 4 classes.

    Untangled, you'll see that there are a number of good evangelical seminaries that will honor your non-ATS MDiv.

    [ September 23, 2005, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: PatsFan ]
     
  10. PatsFan

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    Just curious, Brooks. Have you decided whether or not to go to SEBTS?
     
  11. untangled

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    Hey Pat,

    Well, I was at SEBTS doing the online courses and was going to move there but could not find a job. The job placement office was a joke there. No offense meant but they were wierd in their policies. before they could truly help me get a job near campus I would have had to move up there with my family. Hmmm??? Does not make sense.

    They said most people step out in faith. However, they are usually men that can stand and work any job. I cannot stand for over 45 minutes at a time now due to the deterioration of my discs in my spine. If I could work warehouse work or something I would have loved to have stepped out and taken the first thing I could find but stepping out in faith does not mean blind faith. I had to quit my Emergency Services position because of my back as well. Its an insult "you need to have faith". If they could have given me some help I would have loved to have stayed there.

    I'm back at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary now. Doing the distance program, full time pastoral ministry.
     
  12. Martin

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    ==Not that it is evangelical, it is not, but Duke Divinity told me the same thing in a email:

    "We only accept transfer credit from ATS accredited seminaries" -Admissions Dept, email dated 2/2/05

    Regent, in a email dated 1/26/05 stated directly that they do not require ATS accreditation:

    "We can accept credits from seminaries that have a regional accreditation"

    The only stipulation was that those courses "are compatible with" Regent courses. However Regent will not admit a person into their PhD/Church History program unless that person has a MDiv. A MA in Theology or Religion and a MA in history will not work (a bit strange to me). However if I have only learned ONE thing in my examination of seminaries it is this: Never assume anything and always verify because many things are not as they seem. :D

    Martin.
     
  13. Martin

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    TCassidy,

    You said:
    Of the schools you mentioned, Liberty is accredited by TRACS and BBC is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

    ==Liberty is also accredited by SACS.

    ___________________________

    You said:
    TRACS, ATS, and ABHE all meet exactly the same Department of Education requirements. Those who say one type of accreditation is better than another, or that regional is better than national, are like the KJVOs. What they really mean is "my accredited school is better than your accredited school, so ha, ha, ha." It is simply ignorance of the accreditation process.

    ==This, of course, is 100% true. However there are many self proclaimed "educators" in Christian seminaries who either don't understand that or just refuse to accept that. It is like Distance Learning/Online Learning. While other fields are growing and taking advantage of modern educational tools many seminaries are working as hard as they can to avoid such modern educational methods. In fact I have seen some seminaries seemingly go out of their way to look down upon distance learning and make their degrees as difficult as possible for working adults to earn. It makes no sense and, in part, I blame ATS for this. The church of Jesus Christ can benefit, greatly, from distance learning for many reasons. However these people will do everything they can, within their out-dated thinking, to keep such benefits out of the church (or limit them). It is very, very sad. However the future looks good. These people will retire, move to other professions, or change their view. I predict that within ten years all major seminaries will offer at least one full degree via online/distance learning. I think Trinity (College of the Bible and Theological Seminary) gaining RA will give seminary online/distance learning a boost. Liberty's program is growing, as is the programs of Luther Rice, Southern Evangelical, and Regent University.

    Martin.
     
  14. El_Guero

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    I don't know, but ATS accredits some distance learning and disapproves of other DL.
     
  15. El_Guero

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    Brooks,

    When I checked out SEBTS, we(*) were told that they did not want us to work while in seminary. One of the men said that he did not feel that his wife should work, and another said that he would want at least a part time ministry position. We were told that a part time ministry position would be discouraged.

    I have been told, by those that 'should know', that my experience must have been accidental, or as one person said, "Surely, you don't remember what they said."


    (*) the group I was with during our tour of the campus.
     
  16. untangled

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    My wife would have never made enough. They were truly insulting with the "step out in faith" comments after explaining to them I have trouble standing. I guess it doesn't matter now. I'm where God wants me. My plans of SE were ruined though. Oh, well. [​IMG]

    Academians just kill me. "don't work", well everyone needs to work.
     
  17. Squire Robertsson

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    I'm glad I went to a school (MBBC) that didn't mind if a student took four years to do his two (an M.A. Bible) because he was married and working a "secular" job or pastoring a church. On the undergrad side, I graduated with men who took six years to do their four because they had to work. But then, as I recall the story, MBBC's founder, B.M. Cedarholm worked his way though college on the docks of the Railway Express Agency.
     
  18. UZThD

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    When I spent my four years at Western I also taught school fulltime. I'm sure my grades would have been better had I not worked, but I worked so that my family could eat. IMO God approved of this condition of my schooling.

    Bill
     
  19. Martin

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    El_Guero:


    Hi, you said:
    When I checked out SEBTS, we(*) were told that they did not want us to work while in seminary.

    ==I attended Southeastern for one year a few years back (before transfering to Liberty). I never heard anyone make such a statement, however, it does not surprise me that such statements are being made. As I said in another reply in this thread. It seems that many seminaries are working on making their degrees harder to earn for working adults (no/very limited distance/online education, no night/weekend programs, discouraging part time students, etc). That is the opposite of the worldly programs and Universities. They are doing all they can to make their programs more accessable to working adults. This picture is out of focus, it should be the other way around!

    How does Southeastern expect a married man to attend school full time and support his wife and children? Are they suppose to take out a loan and go into debt in order to attend seminary? I hope not! The whole thing is backwards. [​IMG]

    _________________________________________

    You said:
    One of the men said that he did not feel that his wife should work, and another said that he would want at least a part time ministry position. We were told that a part time ministry position would be discouraged.

    ==That is very, very sad and unBiblical. The disciples did ministry work while they were with Jesus. Paul had a secular (tent making) job on the side. Southeastern needs to rethink their policy on this.

    ___________________________________________

    In Christ,
    Martin.
     
  20. mcdirector

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    We've had several pastors working full time at our church while finishing up their MDivs at Southeastern.
     

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