American Institute of Holistic Theology (AIHT)

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AAD, Aug 12, 2011.

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  1. AAD

    AAD New Member

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    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.

    AAD
     
  2. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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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 This may explain why programs like "healtheology" and "holistic childcare" have been replaced by programs like "holistic ministries" and "holistic health and spiritual care".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 a moderator: Aug 12, 2011
  3. AAD

    AAD New Member

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

    AAD
     
  4. Chip

    Chip 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. major56

    major56 Active Member

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    Location:
    Texas
    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

    American College of Healthcare Sciences: MS in Contemporary Alternative Medicine and several graduate certificates (DETC accredited)
    Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine - American College of Healthcare Sciences
     
  6. Yeshua

    Yeshua New Member

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    What about Trinity School of Natural Health?
     
  7. Mombo of 3

    Mombo of 3 New Member

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    Aiht

    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.
     
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    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.
     
  9. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks 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.
     
  10. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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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.
     
  11. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    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 :smile:
     
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  12. RFValve

    RFValve Active Member

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    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.
     
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  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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    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.

    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.

    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.
     
  14. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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    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.
     
  15. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    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.
     
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  16. RFValve

    RFValve Active Member

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    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.
     
  17. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    A PhD (from a recognized school) represents much learning, years of work and the summit of academic accomplishment. What do these "degrees" represent? :sad:

    J.
     
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  18. RFValve

    RFValve Active Member

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    They represent "I need to pay my bills". Bottom line, if all your competition has one, you need to get one just to remain in business.

    As most of these PhDs can be earned in two to three months and cost about 1K, the barriers of entry are low so many go into the spiritual guru business for its appeal of becoming a modern Budda. I you search linkedin, you will find tens of people making a living as inspirational speaker, life couch, wedding officiant, etc and most have a PhD some even two or three in different areas (e.g. spiritual counseling, coaching, etc).

    One of my teachers is a full time spiritual guru and he tells me that he is lucky if he can clear 25K a year, there are some tax break for spiritual gurus that are ordained ministers but 25K is not much. Again, a career choice that is not for those interested in money but the PhD or rev title seems to be the minimum requirement to be in this business.

    Again, regulations should restrict the use of a PhD and allow spiritual schools to grant DDs, Doctor of Metaphysics, etc but not PhDs to avoid the devaluation of this degree title.
     
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  19. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

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    They are all mills. LBU as well as the New Seminary in New York. I agree with you an the fact that they should not be offering the PhD or anything close. All you need to do is read the lies they tell in the accreditation page.

    New Seminary's Mill Speak...

    ACCREDITATION - The New SeminaryThe New Seminary

    LBU's Lies, they claim accreditation is from the government. Also they do not have the required ABHE disclaimer attached.

    Louisiana Baptist University & Theological Seminary

    The only role these schools play is to those who want to receive a degree the lazy way.

    If they are legit and don't have accreditation why not just say so?
     
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Active Member

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    Very biased opinion, a degree mill is a diploma that is given for little effort or purchased, you might say that the New SEminary is not RA accredited but it is not a mill based on the information provided.
    Master of Theology - The New SeminaryThe New Seminary

    "NOTE: THE NEW SEMINARY IS A RELIGIOUS EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION OPERATING IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND PURSUANT TO AN EXEMPTION GRANTED BY THE MARYLAND HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION WITHOUT A CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL FROM THE COMMISSION, AS SPECIFIED IN THE CODE OF MARYLAND REGULATIONS 13B.02.04."

    Some countries only recognize Regional Accredited programs from the US. According to your definition, NationsUniversity would be a mill in some countries where DEAC is not recognized but it is not. In Canada for example, most traditional Christian churches only accept RA or TRACs accredited degrees so NationsUniversity wouldn't be accepted but it is not a mill as it needs work to earn it.

    Some programs do not require accreditation mainly because they are meant to train people for religious positions. Most interfaith churches do not care about RA accreditation but about the reputation of the school and membership in the a World Alliance of Interfaith Clergy that is the main requirement to work in an interfaith church.


    A World Alliance of Interfaith Clergy | An Interfaith, Interspiritual Community *Linking Spirit and Service

    Try a DEAC accredited degree in a serious interfaith, mormon or Jewish church and see what happens.

    Faith based education is mainly non academic, you are not preparing to teach at the University level but to preach a particular faith that needs the approval of an organized faith institution.
     
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