Liberty DBA vs Cumberlands PhD/DBA

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by devninja89, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. devninja89

    devninja89 New Member


    I am looking for a doctoral program to take my educational accomplishments to the next level. My goal with this doctorate is to be able to teach online. I am not sure I would teach full time, it may be something I do in addition to my day job as an ERP consultant.

    I would like to keep the cost of this below 50k, so that limits my options, and I am currently considering Liberty and University of the Cumberlands.

    My concerns with Liberty

    The school obviously has some controversy attached to it and is known for being very conservative in its views. I am not conservative nor particularly religious, but the religious aspect to some of the courses is not offputting to me. My main concern is how it might be perceived by others as it does carry connotations that I worry may hinder me when attempting to utilize the degree.

    My concerns with Cumberlands

    The school is regionally accredited, but only holds IACBE accreditation for its business degrees. Liberty, while not AACSB, at least has ACBSP accreditation.

    My second concern with Cumberlands is that I came across some articles on degreeinfo and on the internet which make the claim that this place is a visa haven and the quality of instruction suffers due to that. To me, that also paints the university in a bad light. Still, it is probably more low key than liberty.

    Both options are very affordable and I want to be cost conscious and make sure I get a positive ROI, I just have the above concerns.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    I'd be interested to know whether there are any employers who can articulate the difference between IACBE and ACBSP, much less actually care about it.

    I think the "visa haven" thing is way overblown. They didn't do anything wrong, and it certainly hasn't had anything to do with the quality of instruction in their doctoral programs.

    As for being neither conservative nor religious, for what it's worth there was no religious content in the doctoral coursework at Cumberlands.
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Even though a university/college's school of business has national accreditation, all programs may not be accredited as is the case with Cumberlands. The DBA and the Ph.D. in BA is not listed as an accredited program on the IACBE website. That aside, I'd go with Cumberlands if I was in your shoes and is concerned about the conservative views. I can tell you this, all of Liberty courses are taught from a Christian worldview and you are required to incorporate the Bible in almost every piece of written work. As Steve said, Cumberland doesn't have that in their doctoral courses. I wasn't a big fan or Liberty and still not a big fan but I like it enough to be pursuing my studies there. I am no conservative Christian but I identify as a Baptist with liberal views. However, I like the support and the faith-based encouragement I get from everyone. Oh, and I can't leave out the 25% tuition discount :) haha! All the best with your decision.
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Business schools have programmatic accreditation. National accreditation is something entirely different, a category of institutional accreditation.
  5. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    If you plan on teaching online then I would venture to say that the programmatic accreditation is not as big of a deal. This is obviously dependent on how “prestigious” the university is. I am currently 5 courses away from finishing my MBA at an AACSB-Accredited program and in a similar situation as you. In the real world of employment, accreditation means very little whereas I would like to teach so I am deciding do I pursue a PhD at an AACSB or an ACBSP?
  6. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Bear in mind that there are no online AACSB accredited Ph.D. or DBA in the U.S. You would need to attend your program on campus if you want to pursue an AACSB doctoral program.
    JoshD likes this.
  7. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    100% correct. The only online PhD or DBA programs are ACBSP-Accredited or not even accredited.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  8. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Yes, that's true. Remember that only 5% of business schools worldwide, according to the AACSB, have achieved this programmatic accreditation. Therefore, I would imagine that most of the universities in the U.S. wouldn't be hell-bent on having only AACSB Ph.D.s as faculty members. No doubt the Ivy Leagues and other top research universities will require an AACSB Ph.D. or possibly a DBA. Some AACSB schools that aren't ranked as tier 1 will sometimes list in their job postings that an AACSB accredited doctorate is preferred. Sometimes no mention of AACSB in the degree requirements even if the school describes itself as an AACSB accredited school in the job posting. Remember too that there is a shortage of people with terminal degrees in business, according to the AACSB and that's why they have the post-doctoral bridge program. Some schools will even accept Ph.D.s in Management, Organizational Leadership, Strategic Leadership, etc. for business faculty. Those fields usually don't require AACSB accreditation because they aren't strictly business or accounting which AACSB is known to accredit. If your ambition is not to teach at a research-intensive, nationally known university, then I wouldn't be too concerned about AACSB. If you haven't been doing so already, I'd encourage you to visit HigherEdJobs and view the various business faculty listings to get a feel for the most commonly required degrees and accreditation(s).
    JoshD likes this.
  9. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    This is great information! I finish my MBA from an AACSB-Accredited program in the Summer 2019. The issue I am running into is that so many ACBSP doctoral programs are from for-profit and I would rather do non-profit.
  10. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    You're right and some of the non-profits that do have ACBSP were formerly for-profits or simply don't have any programmatic accreditation at the doctoral level including Liberty.

    Non-profit (formerly for-profit)
    Argosy - ACBSP DBA
    Keiser - ACBSP DBA
    Grand Canyon - ACBSP DBA

    Non-profit (doctorate has programmatic accreditation)
    Wilmington - IACBE DBA

    Non-profit (doctorate has no programmatic accreditation)
    Saint Leo
    Baker College
    California Baptist
    Hampton University
    Johnson & Wales
    JoshD likes this.
  11. ELI1

    ELI1 New Member

    I have an undergraduate degree in Business Administration (accounting) from a Christian University. I will finish my MBA in Finance in August 2020 AACSB. I am exploring a completely online DBA program with a Finance emphasis. I can only find Liberty.
    My AACSB professor told me to get a phd from an AACSB institution if I want to teach. My Christian U professor thinks Liberty is great. I think my question is if I only want to teach full time at a Christian University, will Liberty cut it? Can I also an adjunct at a secular university or cc with a Liberty DBA? Thank you
  12. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I don't think you'll problem with find a teaching job with Liberty's DBA; however, don't expect high pay teaching job. Although Liberty University is a good school, but there are many have better reputation.
  13. ELI1

    ELI1 New Member

    Thank you, TEKMAN. You pointed out 2 things:
    1) Don't expect high pay teaching job.
    Is it a generalization for teaching at a Christian University? I know that teaching at a Christian university gets paid less than a state U.
    2) For the reputation, what is the impression on a Liberty degree in Christian Higher Ed?

    Thank you
  14. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    1) You are correct in that you should not expect a high paying teaching job with a DBA from Liberty. However, there are exceptions to everything and it has happened.

    2) In Christian Higher Education, I am sure that Liberty has a decent reputation. I am sure others would know more. Hopefully Chris will chime in more on that because I believe he is pursuing his PhD in CJ with Liberty.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  15. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Liberty is consistently ranked among the most conservative Christian school in the U.S. I don't see why it wouldn't be viewed favorably by a Christian HEI. I know of someone who will be defending their dissertation in a few weeks and graduate in May with their Ed.D. from Liberty. They said they were drilled for over an hour in a job interview about their decision to pursue their doctorate at Liberty. Anyway, they were offered the position. I'm sure people will question one's decision to attend Liberty, especially those who are very liberal in their views. Funny thing, there's nothing conservative about my worldview. However, Liberty was an affordable option, and my #1 reason for pursuing this degree is personal. So, I could care less about what employers or anyone else think.
    JoshD likes this.
  16. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    For an AACSB DBA I would go with Grenoble. While you would have to go to France one time for a few days, the rest of the program is available within the US.
  17. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    This by itself would be enough for me to never consider this school.
    JoshD likes this.
  18. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    It would be enough for me to never consider that job.

    Realistically, it was one of the reasons I didn't choose Liberty.
    SteveFoerster and JoshD like this.

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