Assemblies of God Resolution Regarding Questionable Credentials

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by RAM PhD, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    The Assemblies of God denomination passed the following resolution regarding academic credentials. This is a commendable.

    Resolution 9 – Integrity in Educational Credentials

    WHEREAS, There is a growing proliferation of unaccredited independent organizations, including fraudulent diploma mills, offering inadequate unreliable education supposedly qualifying people as ministers of the church, all while marketing their education and degrees as equivalent to those offered by fully accredited reputable institutions; and

    WHEREAS, The independent Pentecostal/charismatic movement in particular is increasingly permeated by these dubious educational entities with their deficient degrees, unbiblical teachings, and deceptive practices, all of which are freely marketed to our own ministers and churches; and

    Full Resolution Here:

    Resolution 9 - Integrity in Educational Credentials
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I particularly like this part:

    "Intentional refusal to comply with this ethical standard for educational credentials constitutes perpetrating a fraud upon the church and the world..."

    There are some other churches out there that might do well to adopt this approach.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2014
  3. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Every church would do well to adopt this approach. (imho)
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Indeed. But many do, already. I was "preaching" to the ones that don't. :smile:

  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Right quick: from what school did Jesus' apostles get their D.Mins? (Acts 4:13)

    Not that the the Bible has anything to do with church.... :smoker:
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    They didn't get any such degrees of course. Peter and John did speak with the authority Jesus gave them - and that part of Scripture relates that the local authorities gave them a night in jail for doing so - and a warning, which they, in their sincerity, saw fit to defy.

    But that was then - this is now. And a lot of water - carrying with it many fraudulent credentials - has gone under the bridge, since. The Bible tells us what happened then. And that's certainly relevant and important to the Christian religion today. Although it is still very important, 2,000 years later, a whole host of other, newer, things are also important.

    Genuine credentials are one of them.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2014
  7. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    If they held earned doctorates, you can rest assured they were legitimate. Acts 2:22 states, in the NIV, that "Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God." :)
  8. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    (1 Cor 1:19)

    Forgive me for hijacking yet another thread. Or don't forgive me, I'm gonna do it anyway :nana:

    The requirements for those leading the congregation are spelled out clearly in the scriptures (Titus 1:7-8, for example), and college degrees are not among them. In fact, formal education as a requirement goes against the very spirit of what the congregation is for and for what purpose leaders are chosen (Acts 10:34,35). The lowliest, least educated are as qualified as the greatest, most educated, so long as they are mature with respect to how they understand and teach the scriptures, love God and the congregation, and behave in their day-to-day lives. - Matthew 11:25
  9. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    "Approved" is what most translations say save the Weymouth New Testament which says accredited.
    The Latin word is adprobatum and Greek apodedeigmenon which interprets more closely to prove what kind of person someone is. [B-Greek] Acts 2:22

    Accredit contains the latin word cred which comes from to believe or be believable wherein approved by God in the Greek sense means it is the real thing! I feel like the Dad From, My Big Fat Greek Wedding but that's my guess anyway.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2014
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    The "accredited vs. approved" translation issue has been discussed before in Degree-fora. Most go with the "approved by God" interpretation.

    Yes, Delta - very good guess. "Accredit" contains the root for "believe." Accrediting something (e.g. a school) means to lend credence to it, i.e. pronounce it credible - something one can believe in, or trust.

    Then there are the US religious schools that claim to be "accredited by God." IIRC, one "Bishop" of such a school even had the temerity to publish an Apostolic Succession on the schools' web-page, that began with St. Peter and ended with his less-than-illustrious self! :sad:

    I'm certainly not arguing with the Scriptural quote about formal education not being necessary, to preach. Who am I to argue?

    But I will say that 2,000 years ago, there was not the degree of edu-fraud that exists today. I think bogus diplomas go back to the Middle Ages, but I hardly think it was something to worry about in Biblical times.

    It's one thing to be honest about one's level of formal education, and quite another to flaunt phony degrees. If a church today wishes to waive any or all educational requirements for ministerial candidates, they can do so - I guess. The problem occurs if they appoint dishonest people claiming bogus degrees, etc. that aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

    So I still say -- good on the churches that insist on "real" qualifications - those that have educational requirements, anyway.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2014
  11. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Think again. The Roman Empire issued "military diplomas" during the first Century AD. And the Romans were clearly concerned about the possibility of fraud, because the diplomas were specifically designed to prevent it:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2014
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thanks, CalDog. A part of history that I didn't know.

    Obviously, you are correct about the concern re: faking papers, from Roman Times - but these are army discharges and citizenship papers. I was thinking more on the lines of fake academic qualifications - particularly degrees. In Europe, the rise of Universities was pretty much a medieval creature - and schools have to exist for there to be fake degrees.

    I somehow doubt if fake Sanhedrin certificates etc. were much of a problem in Jesus' time --- but I could be wrong, I guess. :smile:

    Your account gives a new and interesting light. There was concern about fake diplomas, it seems, hundreds of years before the first University degree, as we know it today. Thanks again.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2014
  13. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    The Sanhedrin were Most likely Priests from the priestly tribe of Levi. In other words, their credentials came from a blood line not a certificate!
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    You're absolutely right, of course, Delta -- but you know what I mean. I was just groping in thin air for some semblance of an academic qualification from Biblical days -- and the Sanhedrin did meet for discussion, somewhat like a school. IIRC, in the Bible, at about age 12, Jesus impressed the men of the Sanhedrin with His learning. Obviously, the similarity to a school is not nearly as strong as I thought it might be - and I messed up completely.

    Oh well, another opportunity to make a complete fool of myself! I don't like to miss one. :smile:

    Come to think of it, same with the Kohanim - they were blood-line and I guess they didn't issue certificates, either. :smile:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2014
  15. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    There have been more than a few schools who claimed to be accredited by Jesus.
  16. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    So.... THEIR OWN unaccredited schools are acceptable, but other independent schools are "spurious"? Seems kind of hoity toity.
  17. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    Not at all! You are not a fool! It's just an interesting topic and I don't believe there are many experts out there as evidenced by the countless philosophies "accredited/approved" or otherwise!
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Delta. I appreciate that. And yes, it is an interesting topic. And I don't believe there are many experts out there, either. I certainly can't claim to be one. :smile:

  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think it just comes down to this: AOG's own unaccredited schools teach 100% according to AOG beliefs -- other schools may teach according to different beliefs. I can't see anything wrong with that kind of thinking. It's self-preservation.

    I like our system in Canada -- though I'm not pointing any fingers at the US system. It's your country, do as you see fit. Here, any religious organization or school can teach according to its beliefs. It can issue diplomas and certificates as it wishes. But if a religious school wishes to offer degrees, it must qualify and get a charter - like any other degree-granting school here in Canada.

    Result: All religious schools here teach according to their beliefs and can issue diplomas/certificates according to their own standards. We also have excellent-quality schools that confer religious degrees. And we don't generally tolerate any schools, religious or secular, that try issuing substandard, milled or unauthorized degrees. Works for me.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2014
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    To sum up, it looks to me like AOG is accepting:

    (1) Known, good credentials (accredited)
    (2) Credentials from those unaccredited schools they have control over. They get to say what's taught.

    All others need not apply -- seems fair to me, considering their operating environment.


Share This Page