Accelerated Ph.D. at Thomas Paine International College of Theology and New Thought

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by tadj, Aug 15, 2017.

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  1. tadj

    tadj New Member

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    I've recenty discovered the following educational institution: http://davejohnson419.wixsite.com/thomas-paine-college (Thomas Paine International College For Theology and New Thought)

    It is on the list of legal degree-granting religious institutions in the State of Florida (https://app2.fldoe.org/publicapps/cie/religious.asp)

    They offer a very quick path to a doctorate (six months to a year for completion of the courses plus dissertation). Does the state of Florida allow its exempt religious institutions to offer such low-content degrees at the doctoral level?

    Here is what they state on their website :

    "Like all other legitimate academic institutions of higher learning, a dissertation of some sort is required for your doctoral degree. One need not dread it. Here at the Thomas Paine International College for Theology and New Thought, the prerequisite dissertation along your doctoral journey is just 10 pages in length (and, yes, it is perfectly acceptable to count your cover page and your Reference Page). Thus, depending upon the volume of references so utilized, your overall body of text will be only seven or eight pages. This is one of the truest advantages of accelerated, online learning. We cut to the quick and get to the core." (see http://davejohnson419.wixsite.com/thomas-paine-college/about2-ck7n)
     
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Sounds a little bit too good to be true.
     
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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    I hope that "Website Design" isn't one of their degree offerings.
     
  4. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Apparently, yes. The only requirements:

    • The name of the institution must contain a religious modifier. (It does).
    • Must prepare students for a religious vocation or be in a specific program of study as outlined by the statute
    • The degree title must include a religious modifier. (It does - I think. Example given was Ph.D. [T] Doctor of Theology with a concentration in sustainable communities.)

    Source here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/rpt/2007-R-0023.htm

    Yes, these low content degrees appear to be "legal" to offer - and to award. But say, what are you intending to use it for? :shock:

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2017
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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    Their faculty list is absolutely priceless.
     
  6. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Member

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    So he can use the PhD to teach at Harvard...yea Bruce!!
     
  7. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

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    Well they do award the Ph.D., contrary to Florida law. But they call it a Ph.D.[T], so the T is what makes it religious. Thin ice, I think. Seven pages, with wide margins, is maybe 700 words, which looks like this:

    The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words ook like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this.The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this.The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. Or this. Or this. Or this. Or this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this.
    The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this.
    The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this.
    The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this.The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this.The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. Or this. Or this. Or this. Or this.The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. The school requires a doctoral dissertation of about 700 words minimum. What does seven hundred words look like. Like this. That’s it. Now I am a doctor.
     
  8. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

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    Among the 21 graduates they've had in12 years, all with the Ph.D., is Red Eagle Also Walks. A fine name. Dr. Red Eagle, I'd like you to meet Dr. Swift Eagle...
     
  9. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Member

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    Goodness...after 8 grueling years...still working on it and I could have had it all along...rats....
     
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    Yeah, but they have to be really, really good words.:indifferent:
     
  11. heirophant

    heirophant Member

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    The State of Florida doesn't put any governmental restrictions at all on exempt religious institutions, provided only that they clearly identify themselves as religious institutions and teach only religious subjects. See 1005.06(f) here.

    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

    Many of the 50 U.S. states have similar religious exemptions, based on America's Constitutional principle of separation of church and state. Courts have ruled that religious education is an integral part of the practice of religion and hence can't be regulated by government.

    So lots of little religious exempt schools are operating out of people's homes and out of church basements. Some of them are good-faith educational efforts and offer valuable education. (Which may or may not be substandard by conventional academic standards.) Others are flat-out degree-mills. In fact, religious-exempt religious schools are probably the most prolific category of degree mills in the United States.

    It's all entirely legal. This is one of the most obvious reasons why it's foolish to equate 'legal operation' with 'academic credibility'.

    But if a few of these exempt schools really are useful and are valuable educational institutions, how does a prospective student identify the occasional diamonds among all the broken pieces of glass? I'd say by looking first at the syllabus. What exactly are they teaching? Does it look like an appropriate university curriculum at the appropriate level? Second, by looking at the faculty list. Who is teaching the curriculum? Are they people you really want to study with? And finally by looking for whether the school has earned any recognition out in the relevant religious community and in religious academia more broadly. Do its people publish? Do more respected figures ever mention the school? Does the school collaborate or exchange faculty with better known schools? Has it won any grants and awards? Where are its graduates found and what are they doing?
     
  12. heirophant

    heirophant Member

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    The way I read it, I don't think that violates Florida law. The law, (1005.06(f)3 in the link below) does seem to allow exempt schools to award conventional 'Doctor of Philosophy' degrees, provided that title is followed by a religious modifier, such as 'Ph.D. in Theology'.

    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

    Our own California does seem to have a more restrictive degree nomenclature clause in its religious exemption: 94874 (e)(B)(5). California requires exempt schools to award degrees with a religious modifier in the degree title itself, such as Doctor of Theology instead of Ph.D. in Theology.

    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=94874.&lawCode=EDC
     
  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    It's crap, but it's legal crap.
     
  14. decimon

    decimon Active Member

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    I've never been religious and I must object to that.
     
  15. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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    The list of instructions that my wife left for me the first time I had the babies by myself for a weekend was longer than that. :lmao:
     
  16. newsongs

    newsongs Member

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    Heirophant, are the specific religiously exempt schools you consider useful and valuable? Thanks.
     
  17. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    The famous Dr. Swift Eagle is featured today in Off-Topic thread: Who Owns the Moon. (He does, apparently.) Dr Red Eagle Also Walks appears to be somewhat of a mystery man. I could find nothing out there under the full name Red Eagle Also Walks. I found one Dr. Red Eagle - no "also Walks." A legit MD associated with a large metro hospital. Lots of real estate listings on Red Eagle Walk in Atlanta GA.

    I'm thinking maybe Dr. Red Eagle Also Walks goes under a less-picturesque name most of the time. George Smith or something like that. Anybody know of him?

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2017
  18. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

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    As Bill Clinton may have said, it depends what you mean by "in." Is "Ph.D.[T]" the same as a "Ph.D. in Theology," and do either of them meet Florida's law? That's why we have lawyers and courts.
     

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