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  1. #1
    AAD
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    American Institute of Holistic Theology (AIHT)

    I ran across this 'school' while looking for course on natural healing and alternative medicine courses. I suspect that its slick literature and website may be the best of its offerings. When I have searched it here I get The American Institute of Naprapathic Medicine, or some such. Is this simply another incarnation of that 'school.' Otherwise it seems to be off the radar; does anyone know their 'story?'

    Thanks in advance to any who can help.

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  2. #2
    CalDog is offline Registered User
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    AIHT was reportedly founded in 1991 by the late Chester Yozwick. Their website address was registered in 1997; at that time, it was possible for schools without recognized accreditation to acquire .edu addresses.

    Yozwick is also known as the author of "How to Practice Nutritional Counseling Legally Without Being Guilty of Practicing Medicine Without a License".

    Their historic webpages, which can be reviewed at archive.org, indicate that AIHS formerly offered degrees in both religious and secular fields (the latter included "healtheology", "naturology", "parapsychic science" and "holistic childcare"). However, all of their current degree programs seem to have a religious focus; they all include words like "ministry", "theology", and "spiritual".

    This change may reflect a change in Alabama school licensing laws. Alabama (where AIHT is based) used to have very loose licensing standards; unaccredited Alabama schools like Breyer State could (and did) offer degrees in practically anything. Alabama has since tightened up their standards (forcing Breyer State to leave) -- but there is still an exemption for religious schools.

    So AIHT can still operate in Alabama without accreditation or state oversight -- as long as it only offers religious, "non-secular" programs. This may explain why programs like "healtheology" and "holistic childcare" have been replaced by programs like "holistic ministries" and "holistic health and spiritual care".
    Last edited by CalDog; 08-12-2011 at 02:45 PM.

  3. #3
    AAD
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    Thanks for your reply and the good information. Amazing how 'unwonderful schools' can survive.

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  4. #4
    Chip is offline Administrator
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    AIHT was originally based in Ohio. I think it was later bought by, or otherwise entered into some sort of marketing agreement, with the equally unwonderful Clayton College of Natural Health.

    Both had fraudulent accreditation.

    As far as I know, there are no good, quality, accredited distance-based programs focused on natural health and healing.

  5. #5
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    Georgian Court University: online Holistic Health courses (MSCHE accredited)
    Holistic Health: Online Courses

    MA in Holistic Health Studies (100% online currently being developed)
    Holistic Health: Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies
    Grad Certificate in Holistic Health (18 hours; 100% online)
    Holistic Health: Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies

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    Yeshua is offline Registered User
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    What about Trinity School of Natural Health?

  7. #7
    Mombo of 3 is offline Registered User
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    Aiht

    Quote Originally Posted by AAD View Post
    Thanks for your reply and the good information. Amazing how 'unwonderful schools' can survive.

    AAD
    Please dont judge a school solely on its website. Its like judging a book by its cover:immature and unreasonable.Look deeper.It is a fine school.

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  9. #8
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mombo of 3 View Post
    Please dont judge a school solely on its website. Its like judging a book by its cover:immature and unreasonable.Look deeper.It is a fine school.
    So if we can't use the website to make a judgement I'm sure you can tell us what makes it such a fine school.
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  10. #9
    Ted Heiks is offline Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member
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    If a book gets judged by its cover, it's the fault of the publisher for giving the book a bad cover.
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  11. #10
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    So AIHT has a decent little reputation in interfaith religious circles alongside the New Seminary in New York. I can't speak to their natural health programs. I wasn't aware they had any at this time. Most of their stuff is "metaphysics" or some weird combinations of quasi-religious subjects.

    Hard to say because their website appears to be down.

    So to me AIHT kind of falls into a similar bucket as LBU. It has some value to a small, but active, religious group. Academically the degrees have little value. And, unlike LBU, AIHT graduates don't seem to be well received by accredited counterparts even anecdotally. Of course, LBU has the advantage of there being other, accredited Baptist colleges. As there are no "interfaith" religious schools that are accredited by any recognized accreditor AIHT doesn't even have that potential in-road.

    If a person wants a degree in natural health there are, at this time, some perfectly fine NA and RA online options out there. There is no need to fall for another Clayton. If you are hell bent on being an interfaith minister then you should just incorporate a church and call yourself an interfaith minister. It would be much cheaper than shelling out the $6 - $9k that these seminaries charge for functionally useless credentials.

    This, again, is one of those situations where I feel like schools could avoid a whole lot of ill will if they would just stop awarding degrees and stick to diplomas and certificates. And further proof that schools operating under religious exemption (AIHT is on Florida's exemption list) should not be allowed to award the PhD. Make them stick to the Th.D. or the D.D. or something new altogether. The Ph.D. should not be considered a "religious degree" for exempt schools, IMHO.
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  12. #11
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    ...I feel like schools could avoid a whole lot of ill will if they would just stop awarding degrees and stick to diplomas and certificates.
    Yes - I hear you. But there is a limit to what people will pay schools for a cert. or diploma. There is NO limit to greed.

    J.

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    Last edited by Johann; 12-13-2016 at 02:47 PM.

  13. #12
    RFValve is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    Yes - I hear you. But there is a limit to what people will pay schools for a cert. or diploma. There is NO limit to greed.

    J.

    50 Shades of Greed
    I agree, most people that join interfaith, metaphysics, etc programs have no intention to practice as ministers but just like the idea to hold a PhD for little money and effort.
    Most interfaith and metaphysical minister positions are unpaid and on a volunteer basis. These programs would have very few students if the PhD was not an option.

    Some people also get these degrees to be able to practice psychology and medicine without a license. In Canada, ministers of religion can provide spiritual counsel and healing so a ministerial credential could be a ticket to become a spiritual psychologist and health care practitioner without lengthy training.

    Also, the PhD can help someone to deceive people by displaying something like "John Doe PhD(Met. Psychology ) licensed pastoral counselor". This could make someone believe that the person in question holds a PhD in Psychology that took 10 years of training and it is a licensed psychologists when most likely took a 3 month PhD that lead to a ministerial credential and became an ordained minister in an internet based church.
    Last edited by RFValve; 12-13-2016 at 10:13 PM.

  14. #13
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFValve View Post
    I agree, most people that join interfaith, metaphysics, etc programs have no intention to practice as ministers but just like the idea to hold a PhD for little money and effort.
    Most interfaith and metaphysical minister positions are unpaid and on a volunteer basis. These programs would have very few students if the PhD was not an option.
    I've seen the career path attract many wedding officiants more than anything else. Also have seen a bunch work in chaplaincy roles. But there is typically a difference between someone who signs up for a quick ordination from the Universal Life Church and someone who pays $9k for ordination through a place like New Seminary.

    Some people also get these degrees to be able to practice psychology and medicine without a license. In Canada, ministers of religion can provide spiritual counsel and healing so a ministerial credential could be a ticket to become a spiritual psychologist and health care practitioner without lengthy training.
    If you want to practice psychology without a license you can do so without a fake degree. Whether you have a pretend PhD or not you're still operating without a license. But the laws surrounding counseling are not nearly as robust as those surrounding medicine. There are plenty of gaps in licensing laws where a person can operate without fear of legal repercussions. It's pretty clear when an unlicensed dentist is operating. There is one dental board per state. The jurisdiction is very clear. In many states mental health professionals are licensed by separate boards. Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors, Substance Abuse Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists and Psychologists all have their own regulatory boards. It makes jurisdictional issues much murkier. The nuances of each license doesn't typically impact the practice of any of the above if the scope of their practice is only providing counseling .

    In most states you don't need a license to do "pastoral counseling ." But you also don't need a license to be a life coach. The latter allows you to do the exact same sort of thing while dropping any pretense of religious cover.

    As for practicing medicine without a license there are plenty who do exactly that with accredited credentials. We have chiropractors claiming to treat asthma. We have naturopaths ordering lab tests and then "prescribing" flower remedies. If you aren't an M.D./D.O. then you cannot practice medicine, period. But there exists quite a wide grey area of nutritional and lifestyle "consulting" that, to most, would constitute practicing medicine without a license. But in the eyes of the law just a few key phrases omitted from your website can spare you that trouble in most cases.

    I'm not saying that it should be OK to practice medicine without a license. But medical licensing is fairly new in this country compared with others. So, in many ways, it is still a wild west-like frontier where the next quack cure can be legally offered with only a standard herbal supplement disclaimer. So the religious exemption PhDs aren't the problem in that world though they are definitely a symptom.

    Also, the PhD can help someone to deceive people by displaying something like "John Doe PhD(Met. Psychology) licensed pastoral counselor". This could make someone believe that the person in question holds a PhD in Psychology that took 10 years of training and it is a licensed psychologists when most likely took a 3 month PhD that lead to a ministerial credential and became an ordained minister in an internet based church.
    The consumers of mental health services do not typically look at post-nominals. If they do they are hardly the primary source of information. Many providers have private certifications which they also list after their name (Certified Sex Therapist or CST, for example). Most people don't look at line one for qualification. They look at the second line of the business card which says "Licensed Psychologist " or "Licensed Psychoanalyst" etc. Far more often they aren't looking at marketing material at all. They are looking at the provider on their insurance company's website to see who they have in-network.

    Discipline of mental health professionals is public record. I review it pretty regularly (a weird hobby of mine that kind of goes back to when we read the NJP and court-martial results weekly in the Navy). I have not seen a single mental health practitioner in the last three years disciplined for misleading marketing . So I'm not saying that misleading marketing isn't an issue but I don't think it is on the scale that some people on this forum afford it.

    Consumers, in general, are ignorant. Even with an abundance of information literally available at one's fingertips I've heard people at my doctor's office insist on seeing the practitioner who is an MD (as opposed to the two DOs) because they want a "real" doctor. I've met people who insist that their Optometrist performed their LASIK surgery. And in mental health it is even worse. People routinely mix up Psychologist /Psychiatrist. Many have no concept of the difference between an LMFT or an LMHC. An employee of the non-profit where my wife works regularly refers to the internship she did as part of her MSW grad work as her "residency" (despite the fact that her school calls it an internship).

    I'm all about a good conspiracy theory. But this constant trope of people with bogus PhDs deceiving the public into thinking htey are psychologists by virtue of using the post-nominal "PhD" is built on the assumption that the public actually makes that association. Some do. Most don't.
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  15. #14
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    Yes - I hear you. But there is a limit to what people will pay schools for a cert. or diploma. There is NO limit to greed.

    J.

    50 Shades of Greed
    Greed? Well, if you are hawking snake oil for cash then I agree. For the bulk of these people I'd say it has more to do with vanity. And vanity plays like this can be harmless. If one's desire is only to be called "Doctor" at their country club then, well, whatever. Enjoy your address labels.

    When you start trying to commit fraud with it then you've crossed another line.
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  17. #15
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    Greed? Well, if you are hawking snake oil for cash then I agree. For the bulk of these people I'd say it has more to do with vanity....
    My point was that there's no limit to greed of the schools - so they hawk worthless degrees instead of cheaper diplomas or certificates. Nothing to do with greed of the buyer - in most cases. For most of them - more of a stupidity thing.

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 12-14-2016 at 02:39 PM.

  18. #16
    RFValve is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    And vanity plays like this can be harmless. If one's desire is only to be called "Doctor" at their country club then, well, whatever. Enjoy your address labels.

    .
    I frequent courses at Yoga and Spiritual centers here in Canada and about 90% of the instructors display a PhD or at the very least a Rev title. If you are in the religious business, it seems that a PhD title is a must to get some business. Most instructors get very little money for their teachings so my guess is that most have unaccredited PhDs from places like Sedona.

    There is a market for these PhDs, people need to see some kind of credential to pay for a course so the unaccredited PhD plays a role here. I don't think is vanity but necessity in this case. If 90% of instructors put a PhD in their bios, you will look kind of lame with a certificate in metaphysics if your goal is to attract students.

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