Andersonville Theological Seminary Respected Throughout the Christian World

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Garp, Jun 13, 2022.

  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think it's very problematic to say "gee, I wish we hadn't said that, now let's move on," and expect everyone to go along with that. I only read a brief account of BJU, but that seems to be basically what they've done, more than once.

    This is taken from the Wiki. Some (not directed at you, Garp) will discredit the source automatically, but I'm sure this incident is recorded many places and can be verified:

    " Also during the 2000 Republican primary campaign in South Carolina, Richard Hand, a BJU professor, spread a false e-mail rumor that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate child. The McCains have an adopted daughter from Bangladesh, and later push polling also implied that the child was biracial,"

    How in Hades does any organization "move on" from that? Not that they have any reason to care what I think - but that is: that they don't - ever. People who do /say this sort of thing leave a lasting, very nasty legacy. Their deeds live on.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  2. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    I recall when that occurred. If the behavior of a single faculty member represents the whole, every institution's reputation would be impugned. I don't think that BJU just said "let's move on" as BJU apologized for its racist policies in the past and implemented significant structural and even theological changes. BJU said regarding its policy:

    RoscoeB likes this.
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    "We failed to accurately represent the Lord and to fulfill the commandment to love others as ourselves. For these failures we are profoundly sorry. Though no known antagonism toward minorities or expressions of racism on a personal level have ever been tolerated on our campus, we allowed institutional policies to remain in place that were racially hurtful."

    Oh... they said "sorry" so everything's OK now, then? :rolleyes:
  4. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    Johann, that is a transparent mischaracterization.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Possibly so - not that I care. This is not a college essay and you're not my professor. I stand by it, unwashed, unshaven, unshriven and unrepentant. It reflects the exact way I feel, regardless of what you choose to call it.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  6. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    I believe even at the time the interracial dating ban was in place they were actively recruiting minorities with scholarships and continue to do so as far as I know.

    In Andersonville's case, they have significant numbers of African American students. Admittedly, that means dollars. I imagine many would be appalled about the founder's attitudes. Not sure how they feel about the name Andersonville but on those issues they (and students and alumni that have issues with it) have the economic clout to make them change it. They just have to exercise that muscle.

    Andersonville of course doesn't have the stature or credibility of BJU and national press probably would not be interested but the owners need the brand to remain viable. It is unfortunate the issue is there but it is of their own making and they need to take ownership and pivot (in a way that maintains coherence with stated spiritual beliefs and integrity)
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  7. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    I would also think that there are a number of issues with successfully obtaining accreditation. BJU did it and obtained both national and regional accreditation. They were undoubtedly light years ahead in terms of standards but we're also able to overcome the interracial dating ban.

    Andersonville must be able to address their past sub standard education. They of course can do that by hiring credible faculty, upgrading course standards, systems and requirements, and saying to an accreditor that they are now demonstrably on par with accredited schools.

    I don't know what accreditors standards are in regards to things like what amounts to racist items in curriculum. My guess is you would need to demonstrate it was not pervasive, didn't impact equity, and that it had been dealt with (we don't teach that anymore). Having the name of a rather horrible Confederate prison (concentration) camp as your seminary name might not be convincing. Do accreditors take institutional names into account?
    Michael Burgos and RoscoeB like this.
  8. Michigan68

    Michigan68 Active Member


    I live close to a town called Andersonville. It was named after the Anderson families who settled that area.
  9. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    That was also the case with many German concentration camps whose name was associated with the town. Unfortunate linking. However, Andersonville Prison Camp located near Andersonville is now an Historic site. Why choose the name Andersonville for a Seminary. People living there are aware of the Confederate Prison Camp known for human rights abuses and the death rate. Andersonville Theological Seminary isn't even located in Andersonville. If I recall it is in Camille Georgia and was never located in Andersonville. I get the Confederate pride thing but would common sense not have dictated a different name? Apparently not. Considering the founder's views on interracial dating (which may not be connected) it just leaves one wondering.
    RoscoeB likes this.
  10. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Michael Burgos, you seem like you have enough on the ball to benefit them in terms of their program design and offerings. Have you thought about advising them as an alumnus? Could even be the basis for a doctoral project.
  11. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    I don't think so. It was a waste of time and an unpleasant experience.
  12. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Suddenly, I thought of Andersonville as a Yugo of education trying to become a basic Fiat 500. I suppose the question is how great the gap between the two and the technical skills available to turn them into a better sub compact.

Share This Page