Golden State School of Theology

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by pallen, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. pallen

    pallen New Member


    Let me tell you a little about my goals - I am not interested in an accredited degree, because I am doing it for personal enrichment and not for any type of job. I do want a degree at the end though, so there is something to work toward. I would like the learning/dollar ratio to be as high as possible. I have considered SA schools, but they seem like a big hassle.

    So, my question is to all those (is there anyone other than Jimmy Clifton?) that have studied at GSST - did you gain a lot of knowledge during your time there? From what I've seen (from quite a few of the course study guides) the work consists of mostly reading a book, filling in answers, and writing a lot of reports. I have not done distance learning before, and am not sure if that is how it always is. At any rate, did you find you learned a lot this way?

    The other school I was seriously considering was Louisianna Baptist University. I have heard good things about it and it seems like it might be better than GSST, but it also costs roughly twice as much for the same degree (though still cheap).

    Please, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Patrick Allen
  2. jerryclick

    jerryclick New Member

    When you get into unaccredited degrees, the best advice is walk carefully. Some schools, particularly religious ones, MAY offer excellent training in Theology, or preparation for the Ministry. The lower end of that spectrum is where a bulldog was awarded a Ph.D.
    Only YOU know what will really fit your educational needs.
  3. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    So long as you're sure that a degree will meet your present and future needs, then go for it.
  4. thomaskolter

    thomaskolter New Member

    I would try the ULC SEMINARY they offer two religious degrees and requires around 15 courses for the Dr. of Ministry. They also offer a Master of Ministry that is less work. But the only Dr. graduate took around 3 years to complete so is not easy but not on par with a more traditional graduate degree. On the plus side it is not very expensive and with the message board "suggested" debates seems to be a good effort. And all the courses they offer require written capstone essays and its not a bad effort. As far as I know the DD course cannot be taken for credit either- I suggest get ordained for free and then seek a degree there.

    Courses cover traditional religion, druidism, Wicca, spiritual development and they are adding courses all the time. Don't let the churches main site get you although affiliated this is a serious attempt by the ULC faithful to offer a useful degree. And fully legal in most areas since its strictly a religious degree.
  5. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    I believe the best unaccredited degrees in theology in terms of high quality and low cost are offered by NationsUniversity:

    They offer extensive religious coursework leading to bachelors and masters degrees to students around the world. To finance this mission, they ask students in the USA to pay a $100 registration fee per year of enrollment. These credits can be transferred to the accredited Lipscomb University in Nashville, and possibly other accredited, sympathetic schools.

    My affliation with the school is that I have offered extremely minor financial support for a few years to students studying from Vietnam.

    Please tell them Dave Wagner sent you, if you request additional information.

  6. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Walk away, don't do it.

    Unaccredited degrees perceived as unethical and in many instances bogus, deceptive etc.

    It's kind of suspicious and in the field of theology one has to be a person of high integrity, truthful and I think with academic degree of recognized standing, I think that TRACS and others are Christian so if you are looking for theology in other or multi religious studies then maybe a DL school overseas if you are in USA.

    Unaccredited degree is really most of the time sub standard or of unknown standard and you can learn from reading books in library.

    Once you made your mind to study for degree then I recommend
    go for accredited degree only, you will ave a grater sense of satisfaction and real achievement that will not overshadow or put in question your integrity.

    Why deal with the stigma and suspicion?

    My 2c

  7. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    That, of course, would depend upon whether your religion stressed integrity is one of its values.
  8. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Totally agree, and integrity is for all of us to strive to be people of integrity but a religious doctors of theology more so in my opinion.

    Its more of do what they teach not what they do because I have to work harder on this one.

  9. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Yes, yes, indeed, because the Christian religion teaches honesty and integrity as being among their value, it follows that Christian ministers ought to have honesty and integrity. But what I was getting at is that (if it hasn't already been done) a person interested in doing so could create his own religion and have it celebrate dishonesty as one of the chief values and then his seminary could teach his church's MDiv's and ThD's how to be dishonest and lacking in integrity.
  10. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    We have to be careful to not imply that unaccredited means lack of integrity.

    Most of the church degrees are not seen as Academic in the true sense, so unless someone goes out of the way to imply otherwise, there is no integrity issue. If no work required then don't say you worked for it.

    Some church degrees I saw online, seem to even put the term 'life experience' on the degree. This means the person cannot misrepresent the paper.
  11. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    This is incorrect. Sure, there are misinformed people who don't understand accreditation who might think this, but most people are not so prejudiced, especially mature Christians.

  12. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Did you see anywhere in my post where I said that unaccredited degrees equal a lack of integrity?
  13. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying this is necessarily a correct perception, just that it is a common one.

  14. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Other than some company recruiters, higher education faculty and readers of this board, I'm not so sure it is a common perception.

  15. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Do you intend to tell anyone else about your degree?

    If the answer is 'no', and if this thing is just a private ego-booster, you might want to rethink things a little bit. Do you really have to have a degree? Perhaps you should reformulate your goals so that growing in theological understanding is first and foremost, and any degrees that you receive along the way are just frosting on the cake. Theology, simply by its nature, seems more like a journey than a destination (at least for human beings in this life).

    If the answer is 'yes', you need to be precise about who you intend to tell, and why. If you intend to reveal the degree in a particular church context, then you need to inquire into how that church (and its membership) react to the school, or at least to the kind of school that you anticipate attending. Churches occasionally have close connections to unaccredited schools, but typically that's particular churches and particular schools. Nation's University might be an example of that.

    I won't comment on GSST. I will say that if you redirect your attention more towards the educational journey and less towards some final degree conclusion, you'll probably discover that many fascinating non-degree options open up to you as well.

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