Has anyone taken courses at Ames or Nations U?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Randell1234, Sep 23, 2008.

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  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    I don't know if Dennis Ruhl still posts on this board, but he does have his MRS in Church History from NationsUniversity. He posts over at degreeboard.
     
  3. JNelson467

    JNelson467 New Member


    Hello Randell

    I have taken the Ames Bible Diploma program which is through Amesbible.org and really enjoyed it.

    I also have completed only 4 courses with NationsU in the MA program and I will tell you now, they are definitely challenging and consist of much study and knowledge to complete one of their courses. I have been enrolled with them for a year and have only completed I believe 4 courses and 1 test in another course. Most courses consist of both essay and exams. NationsU seems to be making vast improvements on their site and testing etc. which is nice to see.

    For personal enrichment, both have good course material and you will definitely learn alot.
     
  4. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I was trying to figure out why Dr. Steve Levicoff wrote here, last November, "yes, [Nations University] is quite clearly a mill - no bout adoubt it..."

    The Chancellor is the only person whose credentials are provided on the site, and among many other degrees, he has a D.Admin. from the dreadful "The International University." The faculty list is "not available" without special permission. They said last December that they are about to pursue recognized accreditation.
     
  5. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    I think Steve is off on this one.

    I'm pretty sure that Steve is off on this one. Note that the school is "tuition free" - a first for any "mill" I've ever heard. The chancellor is well known and active in Christian education. With the exception of an honorary degree of questionable origins, his credentials are from regionally accredited schools (and ATS - the gold standard in theological schools). I'm famiiliar with the background of several of the faculty members - these aren't cranks, but rather Christian educators that are trying to providee education for the other half of the world that can't afford $30k tuition bills.

    Regards - Andy

     
  6. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    Well , the certificate program is free, but there is a charge (although a small one) for the degree program. Ames is accredited by the "accreditation mill" WWAC, which isn't recognized by anybody.
     
  7. ageofknowledge

    ageofknowledge New Member

    Yes I am almost finished with Nation University's Masters of Divinity program. It has taken me almost two years and I have learned a great deal from it. They have hired a consulting firm to assist them through preparing to file for DETC certification and should appear on the DETC site as having applied sometime in 2010. I recommend them.
     
  8. Havensdad

    Havensdad New Member

    Not only did I take classes at Nations University, I was also admitted to Liberty University's Master of Divinity program with it. I just completed my first semester at Liberty: I took a full 15 credit course load, and finished my first semester at Liberty with a perfect 4.0: I just received an e-mail stating that I am on the Deans List.

    John mentioned the faculty: I am not sure where they are getting their information.

    http://www.nationsu.org/site/index.php/academics/faculty/standing-faculty

    http://www.nationsu.org/site/index.php/academics/faculty/consulting-faculty

    http://www.nationsu.org/site/index.php/academics/faculty/contributing-faculty


    A year ago, Nations University was rigorous, but lacking in some areas. Now, I would state that Nations U is equal to their accredited counterparts.
     
  9. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Nations U. has been hinting for several years that they will soon be applying to DETC, but they have yet to turn up on DETC's list of new applicants.

    http://www.detc.org/new_applicants.html

    I don't know if that's due to their having had to make wholesale changes in order to meet accreditation standards, or whether it's because Nations depends a great deal on volunteer labor in order to get things done.

    My own impression is that while Nations might be a fine source of courses for personal interest, it's more problematic when it comes to degree utility in academic or professional settings.

    Successfully acquiring DETC accreditation would be a good step forward for them.
     
  10. BrandeX

    BrandeX New Member

    From the Sep and Dec student Newsletters:
     
  11. Havensdad

    Havensdad New Member

    They have indeed had to make changes. Some of these were curriculum changes, but from what I have seen, most have to do with administrative practices, degree designs, and etc. There is much more to accreditation than just rigorous coursework.
     
  12. ageofknowledge

    ageofknowledge New Member

    Nations University is now listed as a new applicant on the DETC website.
     
  13. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    I know this is an older post but I talked to Mac Lynn on the phone the other day. I am on my last class for my BRS. When I asked about how the DETC thing is going he told me it is a long, long way off they just dont have the money to move fast and it will take them a whole bunch longer then other schools. So those who think it will happen in the next year or so may be off.
     
  14. BrandeX

    BrandeX New Member

    Good to hear. :) My BRS studies are slow, and completion will be a long time in the coming.
     
  15. telefax

    telefax New Member

    Almost two years? How many semester hours is their M.Div.?
     
  16. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    I heard it was hard.
     
  17. BrandeX

    BrandeX New Member

    Course lengths are standard. 4 year bachelors and 2 year masters. You get up to 10 years to complete the bachelor degree, but I don't know about the masters.
     
  18. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    Why is there an extra education level when it comes to religious studies? You got, BRS, MRS, M.Div and the Doctorial degrees.
     
  19. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    There are lots of religions and many different kinds of religious degrees that sometimes have different purposes.

    The MDiv - DMin is a professional ministerial degree sequence. The MDiv takes somewhat longer to earn than a conventional masters degree and requires more units. It typically emphasizes practical ministerial skills more than religious scholarship. Many Christian denominations require that applicants to the clergy have MDivs. The DMin seems to me to be an optional follow-on to that.

    I'm not familiar with the MRS degree. (Is there a DRS?) I don't think that these are very common, in the United States at least.

    The MA - PhD is the more common sequence in American academic religious studies. These programs are designed to produce academic scholars for universities and similar institutions, not to train students in the skills of practicing clergymen. Some of these programs can be quite sectarian when offered by denominational schools, but many others, particularly at secular universities, will apply the methods of philosophy, literary studies and the social sciences to the phenomenon of religion, taking a more detached and sometimes unorthodox approach to the subject. (Contemporary academia tends to favor the radical new interpretation over the quiet defense of tradition.)

    There's a ThM - DTh sequence as well, that seems to be pretty much unique to Christian theology. It seems to be an academic as opposed to practical sequence, similar to the MA - PhD but perhaps more sectarian in tone, designed to produce seminary faculty perhaps. Sometimes it's only open to people with clergy training. That would add an addtional MDiv step.

    There are also more specialized Bible studies sequences that are popular with theologically conservative Protestants.

    The Catholics are fond of specialized masters degrees for their clergymen and religious in subjects like formative spirituality. Many earn specialized pastoral counseling masters degrees.

    When we turn our attention to non-Christian religions, we often kind of jump the academic rails entirely. The idea of training religious specialists in universities and then awarding them university-style degrees is most highly developed among Christians. Other religions have their own religious-education institutional structures. The Muslims have their Madrasahs, the Orthodox Jews their Yeshivas and the Buddhists their monastic educational arrangements. Some of these have historically resembled universities and some predate the rise of medieval Western universities. But some of them, such as the Buddhist monastery-universities, have placed strong emphases in places like meditation practice that Western universities wouldn't recognize. Some have educational ranks, syllabi, exams and diplomas, often very demanding ones, but they aren't comparable one-to-one with the typical Western degree sequences.

    That's created some confusion over here in the United States when non-Christian religions have imported their educational arrangments into a country that thinks of advanced religious education almost exclusively in terms of academic degrees. Non-Christians have had to decide whether they need or want to award academic degrees at all, and if so what kind of degrees from what kind of institutions. Which bangs them up against the university accreditors and their existing expectations, who were created to assess very different kinds of schools from very different historical traditions.

    It's all in flux right now, everyone adapting, which is one of the things that greatly interests me.
     
  20. telefax

    telefax New Member

    I'll take your word for it, but it would be unfortunate if they described a two-year program using M.Div. nomenclature. M.Div. credit totals vary slightly at different universities/seminaries, but the standard is three years. Then again, is it really better to have a three-year M.Div. that a student can blow through in two years?

    Especially a student with an unrelated undergraduate degree?

     

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