ASIC accreditation as a stepping stone for seminaries for obscure religions

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Pastor Lincoln, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. I want some thoughts on this. Would ASIC accreditation be good as a stepping stone for seminaries for obscure religions? Like a hypothetical pagan seminary. There are zero accreditation agencies for religions of this type.


    17 Credit Hours at Christian Leadership Institute.
  2. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    No. There are plenty of national accreditation organizations that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. After that, then the school can work toward regional accreditation.
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Agreed. There are faith-based National accreditors for schools teaching that the Earth is 6,000 years old. Based on that, I can't see why regular pagans should have any trouble whatsoever. Fundamental, hard-line Satanists? Well, that's a whole other thing - perhaps.

    Now, an RA Pagan Seminary? Wow, that would be something!
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  4. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    No. (I just agreed with Sanantone!! Now if I ever agreed with Kizmet, I'd start to be really scared.)

    The thing is, even "obscure religions" presumably still have intellectual content, even if it's unfamiliar to Christians (or whatever the mainstream religion happens to be). That content, doctrinal, theological, historical and philosophical, still needs to be taught well.

    I'm just not convinced that ASIC accreditation is good indication of academic credibility. I'm influenced much more by the content of syllabi, by faculty lists, by publications, by reputation among professionals in the field in question, by collaborations and by grants and awards won.

    We actually had a big argument about just this sort of issue in the past. See my remarks in this thread, starting with page #3.
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I do feel for the more obscure religions. They don't have a whole lot of NA options. Still, they have NA options. ASIC accreditation has a purpose and that purpose is not the same thing as US based educational accreditation. Whether you consider that good or bad or misleading is another topic. ASIC doesn't do what DEAC, for example, does. So no, it isn't a stepping stone to anything and these days can diminish the school's credibility if they are degree granting and clinging to ASIC as their only form of institutional accreditation (since it isn't that).

    The biggest obstacle is cost. DEAC accreditation costs money. And more obscure religions don't have enough potential students to fuel that sort of push. I get it. And it sucks. At the same time, these obscure religions don't necessarily need their own degrees. They can also partner with existing schools to offer certificates or coursework. Most don't, however, instead opting to form doctoral mills.

    There are plenty of things a school could do as a stepping stone to becoming a fully accredited degree awarding institution. I just haven't seen many schools actually doing that because it's easier to just award religious exemption degrees and charge tuition.
  6. Thank you for the input on this subject. I was just curious. I know that the respectable pagan school Cherry Hill Seminary is working towards accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. I know that the metaphysical seminaries- University of Philosophical Research and the Holmes Institute have accreditation through DEAC. Considering the replies, I do agree with you all.
  7. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    We're delighted that you agree. Now, let's talk about the fact that you are going to hell, where you will burn in the eternal lake of fire and brimstone.

    All together now . . .

  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I'd probably add Atlantic University to the DEAC/not a seminary but maybe sort of list.

    I hadn't heard that CHS was pursuing DEAC accreditation. I've heard of them and I've respected that they don't do the normal religious exempt equivocation over accreditation that we see very often. From their FAQ page:

    They reference requirements of their "accreditation process" which, I assume, is the DEAC process you're referring to. I'm glad to see they aren't touting their application as a selling point. Best of luck to them.
  9. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I'm curious. Are you ordained through Christian Leadership Institute while being a practicing pagan? Or, are pagan schools just something that interests you?
  10. Actually, I just earned a few certifications. Not actually ordained through the Christian Leadership Institute. I am a Pagan and the concept of a Pagan seminary does interest me.
  11. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    ASIC has held the rep of accrediting damn near anybody with a pulse. The DEAC has gotten tighter and more stringent over the years, even more so since their new Director came into the fold (and that's a good thing), so I have little faith a program like that would get the nod there. Some of the more "out there" programs the DEAC has are essentially grandfathered programs that have stayed in good standing. Would those programs make it in as first-timers today? I highly doubt it.
  12. A regionally accredited pagan seminary would probably take another 30 years to happen. A nationally accredited pagan seminary could happen in the next 10 years. I am far from being an expert on accreditation however. I am not sure if I am accurate on what I said.
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I believe the estimate is about 10 years to gain regional accreditation. Northeast Lakeview is a community college, and it took nine years for it to gain candidacy status. A year later, they were fully accredited. However, this school had problems, so it may be possible to gain accreditation a few years faster.

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