Anyone want the skinny on Newburgh Theological Seminary?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by SBCMan, May 19, 2004.

  1. tai10031981

    tai10031981 New Member


    I am not now or ever have been in any way affiliated with Newburgh. what I find interesting about the criticism of Newburgh seems to be from those who are making a critique from a distance based on what, their paradigm of going to a traditional educational institution paying many thousands of dollars and if something does not fit their model it is somehow illegitimate - I suggest the critiques may be more of a reflection of ego and conformity to one's beliefs and could, as a result, be devoid of reason; if I may share a personal story to illustrate my point; many years ago I went to a University in the town I live in - it is a state university fully accredited - I already had one degree but wanted to transfer in and get a Computer Science degree but noticed all of the CS related courses available in the evening did not count towards the CS degree; so, I went in and talked to the Chair.I explained I was a bit miffed and wondered what the deal was - I was married with small 3-children and was working full-time to support my family, and wanted to do my degree at night - his response was, if I wanted to be a serious student and pursue a CS degree at his university then I would quit my day job and go to school full-time during the day, e.g., ego and conformity to one's beliefs.

    Much of the criticism I read on this site targeted at Newburgh reminds me of that chair's mindset - my way or the highway; instead i would suggest thinking like this, does the school offer value for its product or service? Is the school meeting a need in the community? Does it do a good job at preparing the student for their field/endeavor ? Asking if there is some kind of accreditation is a legitimate question to ask, and if there is none that does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with the school, it simply means if it is not accredited; remember, accreditation is really only so a school can get government money, other than that it is only a reasonable bench-mark one can use to make a decision but it is not an end all be all.

    These are the kinds of questions we should be endeavoring to answer, not denigrating the school and then list one's degrees or certs as they somehow make you the final word/authority.
    Kasi likes this.
  2. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    I think at one point when someone looked at NTS, they (NTS) used pop religion books as texts. In others words, popular works by Swindoll and others may be great but they are not theology texts. If they are offering degrees then they should meet the generally accepted standards for that degree.
    Kasi likes this.
  3. LGFlood

    LGFlood New Member

    I saw that this thread was resurrected (no pun intended) and I tried to avoid making a comment. No really, I tried. I've heard all of the reasons why Christian schools are unaccredited (i.e. separation of church and state, ad nauseum). However, I will say only this. There is nothing at all sinful about accreditation. Frankly, I am tired of these types of unaccredited institutions with inferior academic requirements contributing to the stereotype that all Christian schools are inferior. There are indeed unaccredited schools that offer quality programs (Nations comes to mind). Nevertheless, NTS isn't one of them. To recommend one of their programs for someone looking to enter full-time ministry would be to provide a gross disservice to the congregation who would hire one of their graduates. Of course, that's just my opinion. I'm off to bed!
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    newbie joins board for the sole purpose of resurrecting a three years dormant thread for the sole purpose of singing the praises of his favorite degree mill
  5. LGFlood

    LGFlood New Member

    Frankly, and I failed to mention this in my previous post, but his entire experience with the professor that he provided sounded extremely suspect. I don't know of any professor that would advise a father with three children to quit his job in order to take classes during the day, but perhaps that type of ignorance really does exist.
  6. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Hello tai, and welcome to the forum.

    DI posters, for the most part, do not list their degrees/certs to impress those who have none or to somehow project that they are the final word/authority on a given issue. Rather, it is to establish the fact that after experiencing many academic "dangers, toils & snares," that is, they have experienced the rigor/substance of legitimate academic studies, they now have insight and guidance for others. Some posters (myself included) have experienced the deception of less-than-wonderful "schools" and worthless "accreditation." You will find little sympathy (if any) here regarding schools such as NTS and myriad other entities (notice I didn't say academic institutions) of this ilk. If a degree has no utility it matters little whether it was earned on campus, during the day, night classes, at-a-distance, etc. Without legitimate accreditation a degree has little to no utility.

    Now, concerning NTS, look at the academic requirements for a PhD (found on the NTS website) and compare them to a PhD at any given legitimately accredited school. A PhD can be obtained from NTS for reading 6 books, writing a 10 page review for each book, then, writing a 60 page dissertation with as little as 20 sources in the bibliography. This is not PhD level academics. If a school wants to prepare persons for ministry, that is commendable. Let them offer certificates or diplomas. But to award PhD degrees for this type of work is misleading at best and deceptive at worst.

    Concerning accreditation, the vast majority of unaccredited religious schools misrepresent the reason they are not legitimately accredited. To state they are not accredited because it allows them to operate freely without government interference in terms of doctrine, theology, etc., is blatantly false.
  7. LGFlood

    LGFlood New Member

    Hear, Hear! This is definitely one of my pet peeves. Someone in ministry should earn their doctorate the same way every one else does. It took me four years for my B.S., will be a total of three years for my M.Div. and after waiting a few years, will take me an additional four years for my D.Min. (I realize Ph.D's can take longer but you get my drift.) Furthermore, I have read on the NTS website how they tout the academic achievements of the faculty, yet fail to provide names and the institutions they attended. This is also a red flag with mills.
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I note the address of this "home of the $2595 Doctorate" is on Ruffian Lane.
    Is this somehow significant, perhaps? :smile:

    Yep - "thieves do break in and steal," as the Bible says. Nowadays, they can do it by Internet.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2013
  9. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    The Lane of Ruffians, coupled with NTS's proximity to the Newburgh/Evansville region and indirect (perhaps?) relationship with the Green River Triad (Trinity College of the Bible/Master's Divinity/Newburgh Theological), could indeed be significant, Johann.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I am somewhat familiar with that "triad" - and of course I've also heard of the Asian gangs called "triads." Interestingly, Trinity Newburgh once had a "validation" agreement with Uni. of Wales - a subject currently under discussion in another thread.

    It is perhaps significant that the U. of Wales "validation" scheme - involving around 240 schools, with almost no oversight - fell apart, soon after the discovery that U. Wales was "validating" the degrees of Trinity Newburgh - an unaccredited institution.

    The result: end of U. of Wales as we knew it - and of course the "validations."

  11. LGFlood

    LGFlood New Member

    Yes, but I believe the validation with Trinity College and Seminary was with the University of Liverpool, though they are no longer touting that. They have also apparently given up on obtaining NA.
  12. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Yes, it was Liverpool. One could pay a $225 validation fee and have the beautiful glossy UoL sticker added to one's diploma. As Lance has noted, this relationship is no longer intact. A similar one with Christ Church also went by the wayside.
  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Trinity had been validated by both the University of Liverpool and the University of Wales.
  14. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    But Wales had no beautiful glossy sticker. :smile:
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes - Trinity Newburgh, the Seminary of the Yellow Stickers, has been flogged to death and suffered multiple resurrections in all the fora.

    (1) Yellow "Liverpool Stickers."
    (2) Canterbury "Endorsement"
    (3) Failed attempt at RA
    (4) Uni. of Wales "validation"
    (5) Failed attempt at NA

    I may have the order wrong. Why would I want to keep it in my head? Darn it, Ted! :jester: IIRC, there's a poem about all this somewhere on the forum. This is old stuff, guys!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2013
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Just to show I read your stuff, Lance - it was Liverpool - Canterbury - Failed RA - Wales - Failed NA. :smile:

  17. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    And the sad thing is that at one time Trinity (Newburgh) had the potential to become a respected institution (notice I said potential). Most all the faculty had solid RA/ATS credentials (with the exception of a few within the administration). Trinity appeared to be making substantive changes per the rigor/requirements of its programs. They dropped the PhD (which I'm sure was one of the more lucrative programs) and appeared to be on the verge of NCA approval. Then...
  18. frkurt

    frkurt New Member

    Hi - sorry to dredge things up from the past. Is Newburgh Theological Seminary a respectable place now? I saw someone recently using the doctorate from Newburgh as a credential in an academic setting, and I wondered about it, since I've read/heard so much over the years that would lead to me to suspect that a Newburgh degree would not be an acceptable credential to be touting. Just wondering, really. Thanks.
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    OK, that's nicely teed-up for Levicoff once he wakes up from his nap.
  20. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member


    Um, no.


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