"Court Upholds Autonomy for Seminaries — Will Decision Help Diploma Mills Too?"

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by xgoddessx, Sep 5, 2007.

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  1. xgoddessx

    xgoddessx New Member

    by Scott Jaschik

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/09/04/texas

    "The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state could not require seminaries to meet certain standards as a condition of calling themselves seminaries and awarding certain degrees. The court ruled that the state regulation amounted to a violation of the religious freedom of three seminaries that challenged the regulations.

    “A secular educator’s meat may be a religious educator’s poison, and vice versa. Standards that improve the quality of secular education while impairing sectarian education discriminate against religion,” said the decision.

    While the decision was praised by the seminaries, others worry that it will give diploma mills a new way to evade state authority. The regulations in question in Texas — which apply to secular private education as well, and which were not challenged in that regard by the suit or the court — were part of a broad strategy to make it difficult for diploma mills to operate.

    The decision means that “any person who creates any church can issue any degree in what sounds like a religious subject,” said Alan Contreras, administrator of the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, and a leading expert on state regulation of colleges. “Any employer must now assume that unaccredited seminary degrees issued in Texas are diploma-mill degrees unless the school can prove otherwise, and accept the potential liability of hiring such a person.”

    Sigh.
     
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    I understand why you sigh, and I don't like scaminaries much either. But the alternative here is government regulation of seminaries, which is patently unconstitutional, not to mention scary and wrong.

    I find it interesting that Contreras seems to be complaining when he says, "Any employer must now assume that unaccredited seminary degrees issued in Texas are diploma-mill degrees unless the school can prove otherwise, and accept the potential liability of hiring such a person." Why shouldn't employers take responsibility for double checking the credentials of prospective employees? And besides, people should already be wary of unaccredited institutions, religious or otherwise. That's why there's accreditation in the first place.

    -=Steve=-
     
  3. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    ah... religious freedom... amazing what can be done in the name of the Church, isn't it? :eek:
     
  4. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    In California the Universal Life Chuch offers a variety of doctoral degrees from $29 to $100. They also offer ordinations.
    http://www.ulc.net/index.php?page=shop
    I have no problems with unacredited religous degree unless it is a scam.
     
  5. Casey

    Casey New Member

    It's also amazing what cannot be done in the name of religious freedom.

    A school district's policy of permitting student-led, student-initiated prayer before football games was held to be unconstitutional (in violation of the Establishment Clause of U.S. Const. amend. I). See Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2007
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    The potential employer could also do a little research to see if the school is legitimate or not.
     

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