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  1. #1
    boydston is offline Registered User
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    Oxford Graduate School

    Please, I would appreciate your assesment of the strengths and weaknesses of Oxford Graduate School in Crystal Springs (Dayton), Tennessee. Thanks!
    Brad Boydston
    [URL=http://boydston.us]boydston.us[/URL]

  2. #2
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    Glenn Wagner, senior pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte, NC, earned his Ph.D. at OGS.

  3. #3
    mrw142 is offline Registered User
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    Strength: great name

    Weakness: it's not THE Oxford

  4. #4
    boydston is offline Registered User
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    Re: Oxford Graduate School

    Since there isn't a major rush with information I think I will interject my thoughts to see if I can draw anyone out (I would like to hear some other perspectives on this).

    I like OGS because:
    1. It is designed for accessibility.
    2. The costs are reasonable.
    3. They have been around for awhile -- nearly 25 years.
    4. They are attempting to fill a niche which involves the integration of Christian theology with social application.
    5. They don't offer 45 different degrees but are focused on two.
    6. I know a few of their graduates and they are quality people.
    7. They are at least pursuing some kind of accreditation.
    8. I think that people are actually getting an education through their programs. This isn't a degree mill or a second rate correspondence school.
    9. They have a campus -- which suggests stability.
    10. The faculty looks diverse and qualified to teach in their areas.

    There are a few things about OGS that bother me:
    1. The name. It's too confusing. As mentioned by someone else, you would always be saying, "No, not that one."
    2. It's too much of an attempt to clone the English Oxford -- culturally -- and institutionally with a structure that mimics the English version. You can admire the English Oxford and borrow liberally from the culture without looking like a bad copy.
    3. Where are the graduates? Do a websearch on the school and you'll find that only a few grads are in academics. And it's not clear in most cases that their OGS education contributed to their positions.
    4. What's with the DPhil nomenclature? Too much like that other Oxford.
    5. I sense that the school doesn't have a strong institutional focus. The website is a lot better than before but still a bit flimsy. A few years ago I received information from them that was low quality photocopying. All of the institutional presentations are off a bit for a school that is developing scholars to address the issues of the culture.
    6. Why has accreditation been such a hard thing for them? It has taken them 25 years to advance to candidacy -- with TRACS! I suspect that the issue is more than just the fact that they are based on the "Critical Path Method" rather than the "American Performance Evaluation Review Technique". It has to do with the schools inability to interface with the accrediting agencies. Why is that?

    In spite of the fact that there is room for significant improvement, I like the school. They are genuine educators -- although they march to the beat of their own drummer. For someone who isn't worried about getting a doctorate to land a teaching job at an RA or ATS accredited school -- for someone interested in research for the sake of making a contribution -- OGS could be a good choice.
    Last edited by boydston; 08-24-2004 at 10:17 PM.
    Brad Boydston
    [URL=http://boydston.us]boydston.us[/URL]

  5. #5
    mrw142 is offline Registered User
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    I apologize for my flip answer, I understand you're trying to get honest information--and yet, you seemed to take it quite well.

    However, it seems as if in answering with a gut reaction and a stab at humor, I veered into the primary objection to such institutions--the use of deception. Any time I see a lesser-known school with a name strikingly similar to a world-reknowned university, my antenna prick up and I wonder who they're trying to fool. Columbia, Madison, Cambridge--and of course, Oxford--are all names of non-traditional institutions that seem named with the intent of subtle--not so subtle?--deception. That alone is a knock-out in my estimation.

  6. #6
    boydston is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by mrw142
    I apologize for my flip answer, I understand you're trying to get honest information--and yet, you seemed to take it quite well.
    No need to apologize. I just figured it was the kind of thing a U of A grad might say (*grin* -- Go Sun Devils!). And your assesment is right on the money!

    However, it seems as if in answering with a gut reaction and a stab at humor, I veered into the primary objection to such institutions--the use of deception. Any time I see a lesser-known school with a name strikingly similar to a world-reknowned university, my antenna prick up and I wonder who they're trying to fool. Columbia, Madison, Cambridge--and of course, Oxford--are all names of non-traditional institutions that seem named with the intent of subtle--not so subtle?--deception. That alone is a knock-out in my estimation.
    That was my initial reaction, too. Who are these guys trying to fool? The more I've looked at them, though, the more I'm convinced that in this case it has nothing to do with fooling anyone -- it is more of a misguided attempt to clone the English approach of Oxford. However, I suspect that many people (most?) will read the situation as you did. If they are smart they will change the name of the school. Perhaps someone from there might even be reading this not-so-subtle-hint.
    Last edited by boydston; 08-25-2004 at 10:04 AM.
    Brad Boydston
    [URL=http://boydston.us]boydston.us[/URL]

  7. #7
    mrw142 is offline Registered User
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    The more I've looked at them, though, the more I'm convinced that in this case it has nothing to do with fooling anyone -- it is more of a misguided attempt to clone the English approach of Oxford.
    _____________________________________________


    I suppose if you're going to imitate anybody, it might as well be the best.

    A Sun Devil, eh? Well, I'll give you this much: you've got a better football team than the U of A and a better MBA program; the Carey school's on the way up, I considered them for an online MBA , they're ranked a few notches above UMass, but in the end, I just couldn't bring myself to do it--my blood bleeds red and blue, it just doesn't mix well with that Maroon and gold!

    Best to you!

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  9. #8
    uncle janko is offline member
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    What next? Stellenbosch-on-the-Suwanee?

  10. #9
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    Originally posted by mrw142
    The more I've looked at them, though, the more I'm convinced that in this case it has nothing to do with fooling anyone -- it is more of a misguided attempt to clone the English approach of Oxford.
    I agree.....I do not think there is any attempt to fool anyone. It is more like a group of anglophiles.

    A quick scan of their programs make them appear substantial. They are not inexpensive and they have a residency.

    A surface look would indicate that someone going there would probably get a susbantial academic workout.

    I agree with what has been said about the name. I don't want to go through life saying "Oxford" and when the eyes get wide saying "no not that one...the one in Tennessee".

    North

  11. #10
    uncle janko is offline member
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    Cool

    Better to go through life saying, "No, not Trinity in Deerfield...the one in Indiana that used to be in Toledo."

  12. #11
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    Originally posted by uncle janko
    Better to go through life saying, "No, not Trinity in Deerfield...the one in Indiana that used to be in Toledo."
    Actually, one way or the other there are too many Trinity's. When I first moved to the states I told a clergyman that I was intending to go to Trinity. He asked which one and I was honestly astounded. I meant *THE* Trinity in Toronto Ontario (High Church Anglican Seminary that would have friendly fights with the evaneglical Anglican Wycliife (??). Never occurred to me that there was another one.

    North

  13. #12
    uncle janko is offline member
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    Fairweather Blues

    Sure, but nobody who's familiar with TC Toronto will have heard of Newburgh, and vice versa.

    Hey hey ho ho Spikes along the O-hi-o?

    Naah.

    Rorate caeli desuper, et Newburgh pluat justum?

    Nope.

    "...with the cross of Jesus, down behind the door."*

    There ya go.



    *About all I recall of one of my old hymn parodies, "Onward Low Church Soldiers". Look; you had your misspent youth, and I had mine. Lucky you.

    Janko the Hymnographer

  14. #13
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    One former Trinity (High Church) student (Ontario) told me that students from Wycliffe (Low church) walked up the street to Trinity one day and stole the censure. Ahh those wild and crazy seminarians.

    North

  15. #14
    uncle janko is offline member
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    Censer. Nobody censures anything in Anglicanism anymore.

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  17. #15
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    Originally posted by uncle janko
    Censer. Nobody censures anything in Anglicanism anymore.
    True :D

    North

  18. #16
    rodgerbailey is offline Registered User
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    Update:

    I am now attending Oxford Graduate School. I thought I would add some updates to this thread.

    It seems that the school was named after the educational model the school was founded on. For that reason the DPhil was chosen as the degree. They are considering a student option of DPhil or PhD (I personally prefer the correction of the school location to a question about a degree somehow based on "Dr. Phil").

    When the school was founded, their "market" was the preparation of missionaries and accreditation was not a priority for them. Now they are fully accredited by TRACS.

    Someone mentioned an "academic workout" and I can agree to that at OGS. The curriculum for the school is intensely focused on research in the social sciences and applying Christian values to social issues. The current motto is, "I am a world changer." In the last couple of months, they have produced a promo video which emphasizes that motto.
    [B][I]Rodger Bailey, MS[/I][/B]

    Attending a distance learning grad school in Tennessee.

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