DMin at Liberty University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by sanantone, Oct 8, 2021.

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  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Someone on the other forum was looking for cheap doctoral programs, and I could have sworn that Liberty University had stricter admissions standards for their DMin. I also thought they would get even stricter after earning ATS accreditation. It turns out they only require an ecclesiastical endorsement or a current church position and 18 graduate-level credits related to biblical, theology, or ministry studies. For the culminating project, you can choose between a thesis and a portfolio.

    https://www.liberty.edu/online/divinity/doctoral/dmin/
     
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  2. Asymptote

    Asymptote Active Member

    How exactly does their acceptance of transfer credits work for this program?
     
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Typical Liberty. Lowering the standards so they can prey on as much students as possible. The change must have been recent because the admission requirements for the D.Min. were:

    PROGRAM SPECIFIC ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
    In addition to the general admission procedures, applicants to the Doctor of Ministry degree program must meet the following specific requirements:
    1. A Master of Divinity degree, or its equivalent*, from an appropriately accredited theological seminary with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above (on a 4.00 scale).
    2. Professional vita showing three years of experience in full-time ministry after receiving the Master of Divinity degree. This experience must be pastoral in nature (pastor, assistant pastor, youth pastor, missionary, etc.)
    and must be connected to a church body. Exceptions to this must be approved by the Dean.
    3. A current place of ministry where the student can successfully carry out a ministry-related project. International students who file under the I-20 may be allowed to complete their residency course work without
    this requirement. However, they must complete their thesis project in the context of a full-time ministry.
    4. Two recommenders’ contact information for two recommendations from colleagues in the ministry.
    5. Ecclesiastical Endorsement indicating the agreement of the church (or employing organization) with the applicant’s participation in the Doctor of Ministry program.
    6. A detailed Statement of Purpose for pursuing the program.
    7. School of Divinity Questionnaire
    8. TOEFL Scores for students who speak English as a second language (score of 600 paper-based test; 250 computer-based test, 80 internet-based test).
    *Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Equivalency:
    Students who have not completed a M.Div. degree may meet the M.Div. admission requirement by completing the following
    requirements
    * 72 accredited graduate hours (in any graduate discipline)
    * Accredited seminary degree
    * 9 hours in graduate-level Bible / Theology
    * 9 hours in graduate-level Apologetics / Church History / Church Ministries / Evangelism / Discipleship / Global
    Studies / Homiletics / Leadership

    Note: An applicant to the Doctor of Ministry program who is within 6 credits of meeting the M.Div. equivalency, may be admitted to take the remaining equivalent master’s level credit hours within the D.Min. program. These classes must be taken and passed before any doctoral level classes are taken, and all other published admission requirements for the program must be met.
     
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  4. Courcelles

    Courcelles Active Member

    Isn’t Liberty pretty good at accepting NA credits/degrees? I know little about reasons this wouldn’t work theologically, but could NationsU be a cheap way to pick up those requirements, particularly for those with more secular masters who found their way into ministry?
     
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  5. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I knew I wasn't misremembering things. I remember seeing those requirements, so I was surprised to see that they were all gone when someone asked which doctoral programs in ministry or theology were cheapest. You can test out of 18 graduate credits with their ICE exams if you don't already have them. As long as you have that ecclesiastical endorsement, you're in.

    I also don't remember there being a portfolio option for the DMin, but I don't think this is as controversial. Emory only requires a short research project; I read some that were only 30-something pages.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2021
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  6. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I would expect that they would only accept doctoral-level courses that are comparable to what's in the curriculum.

    Yes, they accept NA degrees. You could potentially complete a graduate certificate at Nations University and qualify for admission.
     
  7. Asymptote

    Asymptote Active Member

    Is this degree program meant only for certain denominations, or can any tradition, including Catholic or Orthodox, participate?
     
  8. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    I don't think that it's meant for any and all denominations. They would probably take your money if you're Catholic or Orthodox, but I doubt you can actually tailor your degree as you can at some other schools. You'd probably wind up having to do doctoral work on Baptist/Evangelical theology. I would look for a school offering a specifically Catholic or Orthodox degree instead of Liberty.
     
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  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    It certainly not for everyone. Here is the questionnaire that you'd have to answer during the admissions process:

    Questionnaire
    Please choose whether you agree or disagree with the following statements*:
    Agree Disagree
    1. ____ _____ I am a member in good standing with a local church. Please specify the name and
    address of the church:
    _____________________________________________________________________
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Pastor’s Name: _________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________
    2. ____ _____ The 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament are the only
    inspired books of Divine Revelation that are the completed canon of Scripture.
    3. ____ _____ The Godhead exists as one God and three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
    4. ____ _____ God the Father was never a man, just as man will never become a god.
    5. ____ _____ Salvation is by grace through faith alone in Jesus’ finished work on Calvary.
    6. ____ _____ Jesus was miraculously conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
    7. ____ _____ Jesus Christ is uniquely the only Son of God the Father. Satan is not His brother.
    8. ____ _____ Satan was created, not born, and is a spirit-being who rebelled against God.
    9. ____ _____ Adam and Eve were created, not born. Human sin and death issue from their fall.
    10. ____ _____Ancient American tribes should not be equated with the lost tribes of Israel.
    11. ____ _____Jesus Christ rose physically and bodily from the dead. He is coming again.
    12. ____ _____The Bible is the only written true revelation from God and other religious books
    (e.g., Koran, Book of Mormon) are not.
    *While a disagreement does not automatically prohibit a student from being admitted, most, if not all, of the
    questions are considered to be in agreement with basic, Orthodox Christianity. Moreover, the programs
    within LBTS are considered “vocational programs,” which means that since LBTS puts their “stamp of
    approval” on each student they admit and graduate, they reserve the right to ensure that their students meet
    what it considers to be basic, Christian principles of Scripture.
    * If you disagree with a statement, please attach to this questionnaire a rationale as to why you
    disagree.
     
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  10. tadj

    tadj Active Member

    There's a lot of statements that would target Mormonism in that quiestionnaire; the point about the brotherhood of Jesus and Satan, the one about Ancient American Tribes, God the Father never being a man, the Book of Mormon, etc. As for Catholics and Orthodox, the smaller canon of scipture and Reformation solas (faith alone) might be an obstacle.
     
  11. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Aha. Thank you tadj. This stuff is waaaay outside my lane but I thought it looked like a method of excluding Mormonism. I think that's interesting because there seems to be some doubt as to whether Christians in general consider Mormonism to be a type of Christianity. I'm interested in Liberty as an institution. They seem to be pretty heavily American Christian but they ALSO are quite capable of achieving and maintaining all necessary accreditation standards. They are business-like about it. That's a complement.
     
  12. Conservative orthodox Christians view the LDS church (i.e., the Mormons) as a theological cult. The questions don't merely identify the LDS, they're designed to identify general agreement with credal orthodoxy.
     
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  13. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Walter Martin’s Kingdom of the Cults used to be a heavily referenced book on how evangelicals and baptists typically viewed different religions and variations of Protestant Christianity, such as Mormonism. Granted, it is dated and was certainly a Baptist perspective… and by an author who had been attacked for having questionable degree credentials.
     
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  14. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    It's not just exclusionary towards Mormons. It also specifically excludes Catholics and Orthodox Christians based on #2 and possibly #12. https://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Heb-Xn-Bibles.htm
     
  15. Kingdom of the Cults was certainly not a "Baptist perspective" but a broadly evangelical one. You won't find any baptistic distinctives therein, in all of the editions. Regarding Martin's doctoral degree, do you mean unaccredited (then anyhow since the school in question has gained accreditation) = questionable?
     
  16. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Walter was ordained as a baptist minister, no? Never delved far into his degree background, just knew there was controversy over the accreditation status of the school at the time.
     
  17. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    He completed all his coursework for his PhD at New York University and was ABD. He then completed his doctorate at what was to become California Coast University. It wasn't accredited at the time but of course did become accredited.

    His doctorate was mostly controversial because it was a perceived flaw by opponents of his Apologetics work (which labelled various entities like Mormons and Word of Faith types as cults). Using a page out of Logical Fallacies 101 they attacked that aspect. Probably would be less controversial today because the school became accredited.

    It is not unlike James White (doctorate from Columbia Evangelical Seminary). Mormons and others go after the school rather than or in addition to attempting to take down his arguments. They have the famous picture of an early location of CES, they refer to him as 'Dr.' White or righteously exclaim that they can't call him "Dr." in good conscience. White is now working on a doctorate from a South African university in textual criticism.

    The issue is a known risk with unaccredited degrees. You may graduate from a top quality unaccredited school but it is potential cannon fodder if it is unaccredited. People don't go into much depth to analyze it. If I recall correctly, there was a time Columbia Pacific had status with California that California claimed was equivalent to accreditation, later it was an approved and legal degree and if awarded within certain dates remains so. Even so, if you have a CPU degree people will scoff and mentioned the State investigation and the list of deficiencies and lump your degree in with it.
     
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  18. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Divorce Policy at Clarks Summit University (PA).

    "Faculty positions in the School of Theology and Baptist Bible Seminary are typically filled by those with pastoral credentials or extensive local church leadership experience. Because those who teach in these schools model a pastoral style of teaching the Word of God and/or directly mentor students toward vocational ministry, we require that they have never been divorced nor married to someone who has been divorced."
     
  19. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Well, that's more liberal than the Catholics...
     
  20. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    How so?
     

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