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  1. #1
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    Graduate Theological Foundation DMin in Conjunction with ARMC's CPE Program

    Graduate Theological Foundation offers a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral care via Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlington, NC. ARMC's program is ACPE accredited, offering CPE single units, advanced units, as well as one-year residencies--including stipend. All residency requirements are completed at ARMC, except for a few days at GTF at the beginning of the program. Course work is completed under the supervision of ARMC's chaplaincy department. The head of the chaplaincy department is a CPE (ACPE accredited) supervisor who has an earned GTF doctorate.

    www.gtfeducation.org

    www.gtfeducation.org/html/affiliations.html

    www.armc.com/home.htm

  2. #2
    Steve Levicoff is offline Registered User
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    Obviously the effort of one dude who happens to be a GTF grad.

    My guess is that neither the administration of ARMC nor the honchos at the legitimate ACPE know that he has affiliated the hospital with a degree mill (GTF) "accredited" by the ever-bogus ACI.

  3. #3
    PatsFan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Graduate Theological Foundation DMin in Conjunction with ARMC's CPE Program

    Originally posted by Russell
    Graduate Theological Foundation offers a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral care via Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlington, NC. ARMC's program is ACPE accredited, offering CPE single units, advanced units, as well as one-year residencies--including stipend. All residency requirements are completed at ARMC, except for a few days at GTF at the beginning of the program. Course work is completed under the supervision of ARMC's chaplaincy department. The head of the chaplaincy department is a CPE (ACPE accredited) supervisor who has an earned GTF doctorate.

    www.gtfeducation.org

    www.gtfeducation.org/html/affiliations.html

    www.armc.com/home.htm
    I'm not sure why you'd want to attend an unaccredited DMin program at GTF when there are so many accredited DMin programs with convenient modules and distance education options?
    BA, Nyack College
    MAR, Eastern Nazarene College
    MSW, University of Connecticut
    D.Min., Ashland Theological Seminary

  4. #4
    DesElms is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by Steve Levicoff
    Obviously the effort of one dude who happens to be a GTF grad.

    My guess is that neither the administration of ARMC nor the honchos at the legitimate ACPE know that he has affiliated the hospital with a degree mill (GTF) "accredited" by the ever-bogus ACI.
    I am learning to respect you less and less, Dr. Levicoff. Oh, don't get me wrong: I appreciate all your good works of the past; your books; your doctoral work; your opinions, even. All interesting and all worthy of taking very seriously. I have always been a fan... even though you rewarded that by once calling me "effete" in these fora, which I didn't appreciate, and for which you never apologized... making it clear that you're as arrogant as you are thoughtless and hurtful.

    What's really starting to grate is your smarmy, shot-from-the-hip remarks; colored by your tiring, tough-guy, gay trucker routine; and backed-up by little more than your laurels.

    Things -- other than you, that is -- change, Dr. Levicoff... or were you too distracted by all miles you're racking-up to notice? Sadly, however, your opinion never seems to change, even in the face of compelling, new evidence. For an educated man, that's a particularly ignorant way to behave. I presume it's because you don't want anything you've ever written in one of your books to ever become outdated. Or maybe it's because you're just a stubborn, bull-headed, bitter man with something to prove -- more to himself, I dare say, than to anyone else.

    I don't know if GTF is less-than-wonderful. I suspect it's not all it could be; and even I question its behavior and judgement in the past. I'm wary of it, too. But it's no mill. Let's just get that straight right here, right now. The word "mill" just doesn't come close to applying to it, and I'm not sure it ever did. The word "questionable," yes... obviously. I'm still checking GTF out for myself to determine just how we should view it around here... but I can assure you it's no "mill." And your wishing otherwise won't change that.

    I know that GTF is no longer doing any of the admittedly stupid things of its past; and now at least appears to be behaving in a completely honorable manner... and has been for some time.

    I know that all coursework it allows one to take pursuant to one of its degrees must be regionally accredited; and that the thesis and dissertation papers it requires are tough and rigorous.

    I know that I made an exhaustive list a while back, in another thread here, of the many respectable people with GTF degrees who are using them at regionally- and/or ATS-accredited institutions of higher learning (and in a raft of other very impressive places, including the bishop of one of my denomination's 65 synods, and a full professor at one of its ATS-accredited and regionally-accredited seminaries).

    I know that in that same thread I invited you, specifically, to chime-in and bring your wisdom to the discussion and to respond to some of the points I made there... some of which invited us to at least consider the possibility that maybe there's now more to GTF than meets the eye; and/or whether it's appropriate to continue to keep our collective knee on its chest even after it seems to have cleaned-up its act...

    ...and, of course, you didn't respond. You never respond, I've started to notice, when faced with compelling data which might tend to confute any point you've made either here or in one of your books. Oh, you might this time because I've so pissed you off here and if you're anything like that take-no-crap-from-anyone, macho, gay trucker that you bill yourself to be you'll need to verify that your testosterone's still working properly and you'll come back here with angry reply a blazin'. I can't wait.

    Your most irresponsible kind of behavior is when you do things like just ignoring anything which may have happened since you once proffered an opinion and continuing to refer to institutions as "mills" even after they've either become candidates for proper (usually regional, but sometimes national) accreditation, and/or have actually obtained same. It's like you're stuck in the past and just can't make yourself admit that someone or something might have changed or tried to improve itself... or, heaven forbit, succeeded.

    The anger, mean-spiritedness and, yes, in my opinion, self-loathing that rides just below the surface with you is painfully apparent... and appalling. It's a dark cloud that hangs over whatever it is you have to say which might actually be useful, but which usefulness is tough to see because of the darkness that surrounds it. I think it's about time, Steve, that you finally forgave yourself for being gay so you can begin forgiving others for being whatever it is that you hate in them as much as whatever it is you hate in yourself.

    On Monday I'm going to make the phone calls necessary to check-out your allegation, Steve... and I'll report back here... and truthfully (which is more than I can say for some of the crap that sometimes comes from you around here). If you're right, then I'll apologize right here in front of God and everybody... which is more than you seem capable of doing. But if you're wrong, how 'bout you step-up like the big, tough, trash-talking, truckin' hunk of a gay, manly man that you so often remind us that you are, and admit that sometimes you over-do it... for reasons I'm not sure even you understand... or care to.'

    By the way, Steve... I would have made the above complain privately, but your arrogance apparently won't permit you to respond to PMs or emails that anyone sends you. Believe me, I've tried. Seems you're the same kind of jerk in private that you are in public. Why am I not surprised.

    Originally posted by PatsFan
    I'm not sure why you'd want to attend an unaccredited DMin program at GTF when there are so many accredited DMin programs with convenient modules and distance education options?
    Because they're all so damned theologically, politically and socially conservative. Getting a theological education (at least by distance learning) in this country that doesn't try to turn you into a Bush-admiring member of the religious right is virtually impossible! Of course there are liberal programs at liberal institutions (damned few, but there are some); but they're ATS-accredited and, therefore, require that a substantial portion of the degree coursework be on-campus, in residence. At least GTF allows for the possibility -- dare I say it -- of biblical inerrancy, for godsake. Good luck finding that in any of the TRACS- or ABHE-accredited programs.
    Last edited by DesElms; 07-23-2005 at 05:21 PM.
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  5. #5
    PatsFan is offline Registered User
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    Greg,
    I agree that one of the negative features of ATS schools is the residency requirement. There are a lot of ATS accredited DMin programs that provide convenient class schedules, but you may be right that conservative DMin programs are much more accomodating in regards to their schedule than other seminaries. Andover-Newton wants their DMin students on campus at least one day per week. Bangor Theological Seminary seems rather accomodating in their schedule.

    http://catalog.bts.edu/preview_progr...toid=6&poid=67

    Tom
    Last edited by PatsFan; 07-23-2005 at 07:43 PM.
    BA, Nyack College
    MAR, Eastern Nazarene College
    MSW, University of Connecticut
    D.Min., Ashland Theological Seminary

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by DesElms
    I am learning to respect you less and less, Dr. Levicoff..........you rewarded that by once calling me "effete" in these fora, which I didn't appreciate, and for which you never apologized.........making it clear that you're as arrogant as you are thoughtless and hurtful.........your smarmy, shot-from-the-hip remarks; colored by your tiring, tough-guy, gay trucker routine; and backed-up by little more than your laurels................if you're anything like that take-no-crap-from-anyone, macho, gay trucker that you bill yourself to be you'll need to verify that your testosterone's still working properly................The anger, mean-spiritedness and, yes, in my opinion, self-loathing that rides just below the surface with you is painfully apparent... and appalling. It's a dark cloud that hangs over whatever it is you have to say which might actually be useful, but which usefulness is tough to see because of the darkness that surrounds it. I think it's about time, Steve, that you finally forgave yourself for being gay so you can begin forgiving others for being whatever it is that you hate in them as much as whatever it is you hate in yourself.
    You are very observant, Gregg!

  7. #7
    uncle janko is offline member
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    some hon. Members: Oh! Oh!

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  9. #8
    DesElms is offline Registered User
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    Exclamation Clarification

    Someone emailed me and worried that what I wrote, above, might be wrongly perceived by some as a kind of gay bashing on my part. It simply was not.

    Anyone who truly knows me knows that I would never do that... in largest measure not so much because it's just not cool to do that (which, of course is true, but not the reason, in this case) but, rather, because I just don't have those kinds of feelings. Never did.

    For me to go beyond that statement and to start getting into all the evidence I could cite which clearly proves it would start sounding really lame... like when someone's trying to convince others that he's not prejudiced against blacks by saying inane things things like, "Some of my best friends are black," and really stupid, pathetic crap like that. So I'll not do it.

    Those who know me and are friends know what is the truth; and I could, quite frankly, pretty much care less what everyone else thinks...

    ...that is, of course, beyond my simply wanting to state, here, for the record, so there will be no doubt, that there was nothing inherently anti-gay intended (or even unintended) in anything I wrote, above; and that I'm having trouble seeing why anyone who, upon careful reading of my above post, and knowing about past postings that have been made around here to which I refer, generally, therein, could ever come to such a ridiculous conclusion.

    That said, to those who thought I was gay bashing, my apologies. You misunderstood. Or... no, strike that. Rather, I didn't make myself clear. My bad.

    To those who understood what behavior was the true target of my words, good. I'm glad the message was not lost on you.
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  10. #9
    DesElms is offline Registered User
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    Cool Thought (or maybe hoped) I'd forgotten, didn't you?

    Originally posted by Steve Levicoff
    Obviously the effort of one dude who happens to be a GTF grad. My guess is that neither the administration of ARMC nor the honchos at the legitimate ACPE know that he has affiliated the hospital with a degree mill (GTF)...

    Originally posted by DesElms
    On Monday I'm going to make the phone calls necessary to check-out your allegation, Steve... and I'll report back here...
    It is Monday, 8/1/2005 as I write this... one week later than I had promised, above, that I would return here and post the results of my investigation. It took me until today to finally speak with those with whom I felt I needed to speak to get to the bottom of this issue. My apologies for the delay.

    In the printed, soft-bound, 191-page 2005/2006 Graduate Theological Foundation Program Bulletin, under the heading "Partnering Resources in Ministry Education (P.R.I.M.E.)" program, ARMC is listed as just one of nine (9) institutions/organizations/entities that participate in various GTF programs. There are several others listed elsewhere in the bulletin, but these are the ones, besides ARMC, that are in GTF's P.R.I.M.E. program: The Alexian Brothers Medical Center, the Association for Clinical Pastoral Supervision, the Hartford Family Institute, the Instituto Teológico Internacional de Puerto Rico, Lev Shomea, Palmetto Health, and the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy.

    From the GTF's 2005/2006 program bulletin, pages 135 thru 137:

    ALAMANCE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
    Burlington, North Carolina
    (D.Min. in Pastoral Counseling)


    Note: This relationaship allows a student to complete all of the degree residency in Burlington, NC, attending only the Orientation Session and Graduation at the Foundation in Indiana.

    Curriculum I (A) is designed for D.Min. students of the Graduate Theological Foundation who enroll in the Adjuct Staff Program at Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlingon, NC. The program is psychodynamic in its orientation and is designed to assist persons in their pursuit of state licensure or certification as a Pastoral Counselor as well as for the purpose of integrating psychological theory and pastoral theology. This is a graduate educational program which includes four academic semesters at the Alamance Regional Medical Center, a clinical counseling placement in the Burlington community, and the completion of a Doctor of Ministry project.

    The Adjunct Staff Program Design: This two year curriculum consists of four consecutive six-month "residency sessions" at ARMC. A collegial and professional atmosphere prevails as students participate in Graduate Seminars, Clinical Case Conferences and Individual Supervisory Conferences focused upon their reading, research, and practice in pastoral care. The educational setting provides a context for praxis. Class meets for one three-hour session per week, with both a seminar and a clinical case conference included within this time period. Each week this is followed by a clinical issues seminar when students, staff and faculty in the Pastoral Care Department of the Medical Center come together for a time of discussion around relevant clinical topics. Individual supervision is provided for the counseling work done at one of the placement agencies in the community. Additional individual supervision can be obtained by contracting with one of the faculty members in the Pasoral Care Department of ARMC.

    Prerequisites
    • one unit of Clinical Pastoral Ecuation (or equivalent clinical education /experience)
    • a minimum of five years experience in ministry
    • acceptance by the Graduate Theological Foundation into its program of studies for the Doctor of Ministry Degree in Pastoral Counseling
    • graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelors degree
    • graduation from an accredited seminary or divinity school with a seminary/graduate degree (MDiv, MTh, etc.)
    • a completed application for this course of study, and payment of an application fee of $25.00
    • an admissions interview with a faculty committee
    Clinical Context and Curriculum: Clinically, the student serves as a staff chaplain with other local clergy in the Adjunct Staff Program at ARMC. The student serves as the chaplain-on-call for a minimum of one 24-hour period each month. There is also the possibility of concurrent units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).

    Also, the D.Min. curriculum runs parallel to the Adjunct Staff Training Program and consists of four consecutive six-month practica. The elements of each practicum include weekly Graduate Seminars and regular individual supervisory conferences in which students and faculty make presentations on selected topics. Each practicum culuminates with the student's completion and presentation of a response paper.

    Practicum I introduces the student to the history of pastoral care and counseling . Practicum II explores themes in pastoral theology as informed by the student's own heritage. During Practicum III the student selects and begins to develop the topic of his/her D.Min. project. Finally in Practicum IV study is concentrated in one's selected area of specialty. The student's research and study will enrich, and be integrated with, his/her developing skill in pastoral care.


    Tuition and fees:

    Payable to GTF: Tuition for the Graduate Theological Foundation portion of the program ($5,500.00) is payable directly to GTF. One half ($2,750.00) is payable at the time of the GTF orientation session, and the balance ($2,750.00) is payable two months prior to the Doctoral Presentation and Graduation. The cost of books will be in addition to tuition.

    Payable to ARMC: Tuition Tuition for the Curriculum I (A) portion of the program is payable directly to ARMC. One fourth is payable on the first day of each six-month "residency session." The cost of books will be in addition to tuition.

    The student may consult the faculty about a monthly payment plan for ARMC tuition. In cases of financial need, tuition grants may be available, or the student may contract to provide additional adjunct staff services following completion of this program as a means of repaying all, or a portion of, ARMC tuition.

    For more information on the curriculum outlinesd above, contact:

    Carla Lang, M.Div., M.A.
    Director of the D.Min. Program
    Department of Pastoral Care, ARMC
    Post Office Box 202
    Burlington, NC 27216
    (336) 538-7475
    FAX: (336) 538-7436



    Dr. Levicoff charged, in essence, that some single GTF graduate and renegade ARMC employee was, acting entirely on his/her own, somehow using ARMC's name in vain and trading falsely on its imprimatur by running a GTF DMin program that pretty much only s/he and GTF knew about. By the above, one could reason that Carla Lang might be said "renegade" I'm not saying she is, mind you... in fact, far from it. I'm just saying that by Levicoff's reasoning, and based on the contents of GTF's program bulletin, she could be the logical suspect. So, to eliminate any possibility of being misled by, possibly, the very person to which Levicoff refers, I bypassed Ms Lang altogether and went straight to her boss at ARMC: Dr. David Franzen, Director of ARMC's Department of Pastoral Services.

    Dr. Levicoff charged, in essence, that GTF's affiliation with ARMC would be news to ARMC administration/management. When I called him on the phone today, Dr. Franzen, a decided member of ARMC's administration/management (whom, to my pleasant surprise, turns out to be a pastor in my denomination), was, in a word, stunned by the allegation.

    "Nothing could be further from the truth," he said firmly, then proceeded to describe the program in somewhat greater detail, pointing-out that the GTF DMin program is an essential component of ARMC's CPE program, which is fully accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), a USDE-approved accreditor. He added that graduation from the GTF DMin program both qualifies the graduate for state licensure as a Pastoral Counselor, as well as qualifies him/her for "Fellow" level membership in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

    Dr. Levicoff charged, in essence, that GTF's involvement with ARMC in a D.Min program there would be news to "honchos at the legitimate ACPE." When I spoke with her on the phone today, ACPE Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, Agnes Barry, a decided "honcho" at the legitimate ACPE, couldn't believe her ears.

    "Oh, that's ridiculous," Barry said of Levicoff's allegation, adding, in no uncertain terms, that ACPE is well aware of Dr. Franzen's CPE program and its GTF affiliation; that Franzen's work at ARMC had been fully approved/accredited by ACPE in either 2003 or 2004 (she couldn't remember off the top of her head, but was willing to look it up for me if I wanted her to... which gracious offer I declined); and she had nothing but unqualified praise for Dr. Franzen and his program...

    ...and, it seemed, unqualified disdain for anyone who would cast aspersions thereon.

    I suppose I could have also called (and verified with) the president of ARMC and/or ACPE -- or maybe even God -- but enough, it seemed to me, was enough.

    So, Dr. Levicoff, are you going to step up and take responsibility for your recklessness... or do we have nothing but your continued silence (and future similar recklessness) to look forward to?
    Gregg L. DesElms
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  11. #10
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    Why didn't you inquire into their ACI accreditation? Terminating this realtionship will benefit GTF.

  12. #11
    DesElms is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by Jimmy Clifton
    Why didn't you inquire into their ACI accreditation? Terminating this realtionship will benefit GTF.
    GTF has no relationship with ACI. I've got its current program bulletin right in front of me. Its accreditation information begins on page 4 and runs onto page 5. Neither ACI nor any other bogus accreditor is anywhere in sight.

    My understanding is that one would have to go back several years' worth of GTF program bulletins in order to find ACI listed there. That means that ACI is a thing of GTF's past... which begs the question: How long do we keep our knee on the chest of an institution even after it has stopped doing that which offends us; and even in the face of incontrovertible evidence that its programs are rigorous and legitimate, even if unaccredited?

    And remember, please, that that question come from someone (that would be me, just in case the reader's lost) who is on record here many times as saying that people should usually only take seriously institutions and/or programs that are accredited by a USDE- and/or CHEA-approved agency; whose belief in and recommendation of institutions and/or programs that are so accredited -- and to the complete exclusion, in most cases, of those which are not -- is clear and unambiguous here (and anywhere else I've written about such subjects); and who waivers in that opinion only for unusual programs, such as those that are unaccredited, but which are state approved such that those who complete them are then eligible for one or another form of state professional licensure.

    In GTF's case, I asked the knee-on-the-chest question, and other similar questions, back in April, in this thread. At that time, Jimmy, you seemed impressed with GTF... or, more accurately, one of its graduates. It's only fair of me to add to that that in said thread you allowed for the possibility that that might not have been so much because of the quality of GTF but, rather, because of the quality of the degree holder himself... ala the Machiavelli quote that one sees in my signature here.

    By the way, having now cited that Machiavelli quote, I want to clarify to the universe that I do not include it in my signature for the same reason that many pro-diploma mill knuckleheads cite it in posts in these and other fora; or that a less-than-wonderful institution out there has it at the top of all its web pages. A student's being exceptional and, therefore, achieving almost in spite of his degree, does not make it okay for said degree to have been purchased from a diploma mill. That was never the reason I proffered the quote, nor the reason Machiavelli authored and/or uttered it.
    Last edited by DesElms; 08-01-2005 at 09:03 PM.
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  13. #12
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    Originally posted by DesElms
    ...My understanding is that one would have to go back several years' worth of GTF program bulletins in order to find ACI listed there. That means that ACI is a thing of GTF's past... which begs the question: How long do we keep our knee on the chest of an institution even after it has stopped doing that which offends us...At that time, Jimmy, you seemed impressed with GTF... or, more accurately, one of its graduates...
    Well DesElms, I certainly stand corrected. I do not see any mention of ACI on their site. It was there last time I viewed the site.

    Yes, I was and am still impressed with one of its graduates.

    I see GTF has radically changed its web site and they appear to have aligned themselves with some very highly regarded and reputable organizations.

    Thank you for the groundwork!

  14. #13
    BillDayson is offline Registered User
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    Re: Thought (or maybe hoped) I'd forgotten, didn't you?

    You sure are passionate about the Graduate Theological Foundation, Greg. And it seems awfully important to you what Steve Levicoff thinks about it.

    I mean, there are several unaccredited schools that I like too (GTF isn't really one of them) and as long as I think that my own reasons are sound, then I don't really care a whole lot what you, Steve or the rest of Degreeinfo think.

    But if for some reason it's important to change Steve's opinion, then launching into rants and insulting him probably isn't going to do the trick. That's just terrible rhetoric. If you want to win opponents over to your side, you have to make them want to agree with you.

    Originally posted by DesElms
    Dr. Levicoff charged, in essence, that GTF's affiliation with ARMC would be news to ARMC administration/management. When I called him on the phone today, Dr. Franzen, a decided member of ARMC's administration/management (whom, to my pleasant surprise, turns out to be a pastor in my denomination, was, in a word, stunned by the allegation. "Nothing could be further from the truth," he said firmly, then proceeded to describe the program in somewhat greater detail, pointing-out that the GTF DMin program is an essential component of ARMC's CPE program, which is fully accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), a USDE-approved accreditor.
    So are you (or Franzen) suggesting that ACPE accredits GTF (or at least a particular GTF degree program)?

    The ARMC website's search function generated two pages containing the word "theological", but neither of them was about GTF. A search for the word "pastoral" generated eleven hits, but once again none of them seemed to be about this GTF program (or any ARMC pastoral counseling programs for that matter). Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place or something, but ARMC's website certainly doesn't seem to place much emphasis on this pastoral education stuff.

    I am curious about the position of pastoral counseling in the larger ARMC scheme of things. Apparently this is a rather new private hospital that opened in 1995. I don't know if it has any denominational ties. So does it have paid clergymen on staff, does it invite local clergymen to come in to minister to patients, or what? What is Dr. Franzen's function exactly?

    One possibility is that these GTF activities are the direct activities of the hospital itself. But another possibility is that they are the activities of some of the local clergymen (perhaps led by Franzen himself), with the hospital serving as host.

    So Steve's suspicion seems to still be alive and kicking.

    Dr. Levicoff charged, in essence, that GTF's involvement with ARMC in a D.Min program there would be news to "honchos at the legitimate ACPE." When I spoke with her on the phone today, ACPE Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, Agnes Barry, a decided "honcho" at the legitimate ACPE, couldn't believe her ears.

    "Oh, that's ridiculous," Barry said of Levicoff's allegation, adding, in no uncertain terms, that ACPE is well aware of Dr. Franzen's CPE program and its GTF affiliation; that Franzen's work at ARMC had been fully approved/accredited by ACPE in either 2003 or 2004 (she couldn't remember off the top of her head, but was willing to look it up for me if I wanted her to... which gracious offer I declined); and she had nothing but unqualified praise for Dr. Franzen and his program...

    ...and, it seemed, unqualified disdain for anyone who would cast aspersions thereon.
    You seem to be suggesting to us that ACPE endorses GTF, whether formally or informally. But I'd kind of like to hear that stated directly and not elliptically.

    So, Dr. Levicoff, are you going to step up and take responsibility for your recklessness... or do we have nothing but your continued silence (and future similar recklessness) to look forward to?
    Steve just expressed his personal skepticism about GTF. I wouldn't necessarily call that reckless. It might actually be prudent. If his failure to embrace GTF offends you, just shrug it off and move on.

  15. #14
    DesElms is offline Registered User
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    Post Part 1 of 2

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    You sure are passionate about the Graduate Theological Foundation, Greg.
    It's "Gregg"... three Gs, not in a row, Bil.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    And it seems awfully important to you what Steve Levicoff thinks about it.

    [...]

    ...if for some reason it's important to change Steve's opinion, then launching into rants and insulting him probably isn't going to do the trick.
    Whatever on earth would make you think that's my objective? I stopped caring about what Steve Levicoff thought a long time ago... back when he called me "effete" and characterized the kinds of things I was saying in the thread where he did so as something I wouldn't have the courage to say to the face of "a gay trucker with a PhD" such as himself. It is Levicoff who puts these things at issue, not me. I just finally got sick of it. And that comes from someone who was very supportive of him for a long time... and could be again, if he simply started acting responsibly and showing a little respect to those who certainly deserve as much respect as has he clearly thinks that he does.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    That's just terrible rhetoric.
    Oh, give me a freakin' break. We're not talking about some fragile flower here. We're talking about Steve "Bust-yer-balls" Levicoff... one of the most (when he wants to be, and/or when he wants to use it as a weapon) abrasive, obnoxious, arrogant, smarmy, disrespectful, flip, intentionally-hurtful SOBs who ever double-clutched a big rig... or bragged that he had while being gay. He quietly circles the DI campfire out where the its light falls off to shadow, then opportunistically swoops in when least expected to take an often unwarranted pot shot at someone or something before retreating back into said shadows, where he refuses to respond to those who either take issue with his words or merely seek understanding... even privately. Asking Levicoff in a PM or an email -- even nicely -- for clarification, or understanding, or acknowledgement of an extension of the olive branch, or whatever content one wishes to take offline with him so it will be embarrassing for neither party as things are amicably worked out is met with classic, arrogant, Levicoffian silence ala, "The Great Levicoff has spoken... and need speak no more."

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    If you want to win opponents over to your side, you have to make them want to agree with you.
    We're not talking about a debate, here. I'm not trying to win anyone over to an opinion that, nevertheless, remains as debatable after said winning as it was before. I'm trying to get to the truth; to get it right. Remember the character Denzel Washington played in the 1996 movie "Courage Under Fire"? Sitting on a Washington, DC park bench near the reflecting pool, Lt. Col Nathaniel Sterling (played by Washington) was asked by Washington Post reporter Tony Gartner (played by Scott Glenn) why he even cared whether Captain Karen Emma Walden (played by Meg Ryan) got (posthumously) the Medal of Honor.

    Sterling's answer to Gartner was, itself, a question: "When you write a story, you want to make sure it's right, don't you?"

    Getting Walden's story right and determining if she really and truly deserved to get that award was his only goal. He didn't care what his boss or his wife or anyone else thought about it or him for doing so. The truth is all he was after, and it was its own reward.

    Getting GTF's story right -- and not winning friends and influencing people ala some weekend Dale Carnegie course -- is my objective. You don't see honor in just getting it right, no matter what anyone thinks; or that truth can be its own reward?

    There are two institutions that get talked about alot around here in fairly negative ways. One is GTF, and the other is Trinity Bible College and Theological Seminary ("Trinity Newburgh," as many call it). I have no connection with either of them. And if either of them were, today, behaving in any way millishly you can betherass that I'd be on 'em like ugly on ape! I absolutely understand what these two institutions did in the past which has earned them the ire of so many here -- including me. But I guess I hold such silly notions as rehabilitation, renewal... maybe even grace... in higher esteem than many around here.

    Leading the pack in anti-GTF and anti-Trinity rhetoric is Steve Levicoff. When speaking of those institutions' past, it's probably deserved. But he doesn't even bother to find out what is the current situation. Or, worse, he simply ignores it. That wouldn't bother me so much except that he's earned himself a position in the anti-diploma/degree-mill-universe that gives him and what he says a kind of nihil obstat that, when used recklessly by not bothering to find out the current facts can lead to grossly misleading misinformation and unfairness.

    Is there, alas, nothing these institutions can say or do that will finally cause the hold outs around here to relent in their derision of these places on account of their admittedly misguided pasts?

    Even the imminence of Trinity's regional accreditation has not caused certain people around here to budge from their open and unapologetic disdain for the place; or to stop citing transgressions of its past as if they were still relevant (or at least as relevant) today (as they were then).

    And for those same folks around here, it seems that no amount of cleaning-up its act will ever earn GTF so much as an acknowledgement either for its having done so, or for the objectively rigorous and legitimate credentials it grants... and appears to have always granted, even back when its marketing methods and other attempts at appearing credible were, seemingly and admittedly, a bit millish.

    Goodlord, it's no wonder DI's foes so often play the "RA or no way" card; and routinely accuse us, here and elsewhere, of such pig-headed closed-mindedness. In our denials we pay lip service to a willingness to accord unaccredited institutions some legitimacy and respectability despite their lack of USDE- and/or CHEA-approved countenance; but when push comes to shove, not even GTF -- or the soon-to-be regionally-accredited Trinity -- can get a freakin' break here. Not even a little one.

    Yes, I'm interested in seeing GTF regarded with fairness and given its due here. Passionate? Hardly. Let's not overstate things, okay? This thread is dramatic enough. But it's just irresponsible -- ne, reckless -- to call GTF a mill. Period. Its graduates, with their GTF credentials as requisite, are routinely accepted into regionally- and ATS-accredited doctoral programs; and are routinely hired on account of their GTF credentials into positions of great responsibility at regionally- and ATS-accredited colleges, universities and seminaries. No mill -- or even "less-than-wonderful" institution -- can so boast.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    So are you (or Franzen) suggesting that ACPE accredits GTF (or at least a particular GTF degree program)?
    No. ACPE only accredits CPE programs. GTF's DMin in Pastoral Counseling in association with ARMC's CPE program is not, itself, a CPE program. ARMC's just happens to have the GTF DMin in Pastoral Counseling as one of its optional components, with ACPE's knowledge and blessing. GTF is not trying to make some kind of back door claim of accreditation.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    The ARMC website's search function generated two pages containing the word "theological", but neither of them was about GTF. A search for the word "pastoral" generated eleven hits, but once again none of them seemed to be about this GTF program (or any ARMC pastoral counseling programs for that matter). Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place or something, but ARMC's website certainly doesn't seem to place much emphasis on this pastoral education stuff.
    ARMC's web site is godawful. You can't see that? It lists departments in its phone directory -- including its Department of Pastoral Services -- which it doesn't list under "Departments" in its site map. One is able to find forgotten, no-longer-linked-to web pages on it using Google which its own search engine can't find. I could go on and on.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    I am curious about the position of pastoral counseling in the larger ARMC scheme of things.
    Pastoral counseling is almost never a huge component of any secular institution's "scheme of things." It's pastoral counseling , for godsake... let's not lose our perspective, here. Even medical institutions with church ownership sometimes give short shrift to their pastoral care departments. It is a forward- and outside-the-box thinking institution -- especially if its secular -- that truly knows how to give pastoral counseling its due in the master "scheme of things." I don't understand, exactly. Are you asking if ARMC's Department of Pastoral Care is a real department, and/or whether its staff has keys to the joint?

    Continued in next post...
    Last edited by DesElms; 08-02-2005 at 01:58 PM.

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  17. #15
    DesElms is offline Registered User
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    Post Part 2 of 2

    ...continued from previous post.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    Apparently this is a rather new private hospital that opened in 1995. I don't know if it has any denominational ties.
    It is apparently secular, with no denominational ties.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    So does it have paid clergymen on staff, does it invite local clergymen to come in to minister to patients, or what?
    I wish I'd known these questions when I bothered Dr. Franzen yesterday. I most certainly would have asked them. All I can tell you is what he either said, or what what he said suggested. I'm unwilling to bother him again just to satisfy the Doubting Thomasism in this thread. We, at DI, should be ever-mindful of the fact that there is a whole world out there that couldn't give a rat's ass what any of us think.

    Yes, it most definitely has paid clergy on staff. It also has an Adjunct Staff program. I'm not clear on how or if the adjuncts are paid. I'm guessing they are. Most CPE programs pay at least something to those going through them because of the useful clinical pastoral care that the institution's patients get, notwithstanding that their getting of it is simutaneously the giver's training in it. I'm guessing that ARMC is no different than any other CPE provider in that regard. I suppose I could research it if you'd like to write me a check for my time. Since this is non-technical, I'll be happy to only bill you $80/hour for it. Where can I send the invoice?

    According to Franzen, ARMC's program -- in which GTF students are deeply involved as part of their coursework and practica -- includes being a staff chaplain at ARMC, as well as performing pastoral counseling duties in a nearby homeless shelter, a rape crisis center, a HUD housing project, a battered women's shelter, and an in-patient placement and behavioral medical unit. Read more about those programs in this ARMC-issued press release.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    What is Dr. Franzen's function exactly?
    I gave Dr. Franzen's title and, by it, his function, in my posting here yesterday. All staff and adjunct staff chaplains report to him. He, in turn, reports to ARMC's Executive Vice President of Operations . He is a full-time ARMC employee, if that's what you're asking, and not just some guy to whom ARMC is donating office space. His department has real employees, all of whom are on ARMC's payroll. They even have phones and desks and everything.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    One possibility is that these GTF activities are the direct activities of the hospital itself. But another possibility is that they are the activities of some of the local clergymen (perhaps led by Franzen himself), with the hospital serving as host.
    Oy.

    From what I can tell, it's mostly the former, with maybe a tiny touch of... well... not really the latter, as you've worded it, but, rather, something peripherally close enough thereto that the word "host" is probably not inaccurate in this case. ARMC has an ACPE-accredited CPE program that would exist whether or not GTF students were there. GTF students, as nearly as I can tell, merely become part of that ARMC CPE program. In other words, in any given day's worth of ARMC CPE-program-related activities, some of those doing them are GTF students, and some are not, with the casual observer unable to tell which is which. It's just that the GTF students have to do some extra GTF-only stuff, too. The ARMC CPE stuff, combined with the GTF-only stuff, is the GTF "DMin in Pastoral Counseling " program.

    So, in that sense, I guess it can be fairly said that ARMC is sort of hosting GTF's "DMin in Pastoral Counseling " program. But there's no surprise there. That's pretty much all of GTF's programs work. GTF itself doesn't teach any classes. It manages a program of study which the student goes out and gets for himself/herself, based on what s/he and his/her GTF advisor agree that s/he should go out and do. All of said coursework must be accredited by a USDE- and/or CHEA-approved accreditor... preferably a regional accreditor, though other USDE- and/or CHEA-approved accreditors will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Then there are the required papers along the way, along with whatever thesis, dissertation and/or practica are also agreed to between the student and his/her GTF advisor.

    In the case of the GTF DMin in Pastoral Counseling at ARMC, the ARMC CPE program is the coursework. GTF students must, additionally, submit periodic papers regarding said coursework; and they must engage in the practica (as an adjunct staff chaplain, for example; and/or in the aforementioned homeless shelter, or the battered women's shelter, etc.) alongside said coursework. There is also a DMin project that the GTF student must propose and then complete that regular ARMC CPE students needn't do.

    It is also worthy of note that, according to Franzen, GTF doesn't actually do much in the way of processing the GTF admissions paperwork or make the decisions about who will be admitted into the GTF "DMin in Pastoral Counseling " program. ARMC does most of that, with, apparently, only peripheral involvement from GTF staff. In fact, ARMC nearly completely administers the entire GTF program itself, with only the relatively small ongoing involvement of anyone in South Bend. Mind you, he's not saying that GTF is so uninvolved that one could wonder what the point of even calling it a GTF program would be; and he's not saying that GTF doesn't earn its $5,500; but he's just saying that alot of what GTF normally does for its programs that aren't part of its P.R.I.M.E. program, ARMC does, leaving GTF will less to do than it would normally be doing if it weren't one of GTF's P.R.I.M.E. programs. He would not discuss how much, therefore, of the $5,500 that GTF collects ends-up back in ARMC's coffers, but it's reasonable to assume that some not-insignificant part does.

    Are you starting to get the picture now?

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    So Steve's suspicion seems to still be alive and kicking.
    In your mind only, Mr. Unreasonable Reach. Franzen isn't the one who brought the GTF program to ARMC. The guy who did that died in 2002, so we can't ask him precisely what he had in mind. At the time, he (the now-dead guy) was in the position that Franzen now holds; and he (the same now-dead guy) hired Franzen to do the job that Carla Lang is now doing. Apparently when the now-dead guy died, Franzen moved into his job, and Carla Lang moved into Franzen's job, reporting to Franzen. All three of them were (and two still are) on ARMC's full-time payroll. Do you really think ARMC would pay Carla Lang to administer the GTF program if it didn't have the institution's cooperation and blessing? And don't you think that part of GTF's $5,500 goes back to ARMC? This is obviously a revenue source for ARMC, too. Just how far into the realm of outrageous possibility are you willing to wander to keep lit the lamp of unreasonable skepticism?

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    You seem to be suggesting to us that ACPE endorses GTF, whether formally or informally. But I'd kind of like to hear that stated directly and not elliptically.
    Fine. Dr. John Curren (I believe that's how his name is spelled) is ARMC's Executive Vice President of Operations ; and is Franzen's boss. Curren's on vacation this week, but I just left him a voicemail message. Hopefully, I'll be able to talk to him, and report back here, on Monday or Tuesday. By the way, are you going to be reimbursing me for all these phone calls? Maybe you and Levicoff can split it. Doubting Thomasism has a price, you know... or at least should.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    Steve just expressed his personal skepticism about GTF. I wouldn't necessarily call that reckless.
    I believe I've just covered the inaccuracy of that, above.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    It might actually be prudent.
    Skepticism about any unaccredited program or institution -- including GTF -- is prudent. You'll get no argument from me on that. But, like all things, said skepticism must be reasonable.

    Originally posted by BillDayson
    If his failure to embrace GTF offends you, just shrug it off and move on.
    It is not his failure -- or yours -- to embrace GTF that offends me. What does offend me, however, I believe I've already adequately covered herein... along with why I won't be moving on from this subject until it's finally resolved.
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  18. #16
    oxpecker is offline Registered User
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    Why do all that work for a degree from a mill?

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