Log College and Seminary

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Garp, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Of course, there IS an Orthodox education program that was ran as a Certificate for years; none other than the original St. Stephen's Course from Antiochian House of Studies. It's the pioneering correspondence course; they offer a top-up MTh from University of Balamand (accredited in Lebanon). It seems like they, too, are entering the degree-granting game and now offer a PhD, as well as applying for accreditation from ATS (ambitious!). https://tahos.org/
    For an Orthodox learner, I see no reason not to choose St. Stephen's. St. Sophia remains a top choice for a handful of people who want to be ordained in Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA. St. Stephen's had two goals: Deaconate formation and training of converting clergy, both for the Antiochoian Archdiocese (which incidentally is known for admitting converting clergy, and whole congregations - including into their Western Rite Vicariate). They seem to broaden their mission. Good stuff, can't go wrong.
  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I certainly never said someone shouldn't choose a program like St Stephen's. In fact, I've said the opposite. That the St. Stephen's Course is a certificate and not a degree (though, they do have an M.A. option for that program) does not distract with accreditation issues and not being a masters has hardly detracted from the prestige of the program. I have seen full time faculty at non-Orthodox schools list it among their education alongside their academic degrees. It's a very good course. My point is that I wish the trend was more toward St Stephen's type programming and less toward rushing out to pour even more degrees into the market.
  3. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I blame the Council of Trent. In the West, priest are expected to have degrees. Even in Antiochian Archdiocese, if I'm not mistaken, a MDiv or equivalent is expected from priesthood candidate. St. Stephens is originally a diaconate formation program (hence the name - after St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr), which was also utilized to train convert pastors (who already had an MDiv) for Orthodox priesthood. Great, great program, and giant respect to the Antiochians and late Met. Philip. I'd wager few people in Ortho world regard a St. Stephen's Diploma as lesser-than St. Sophia's online MA. However, St. Sophia's is a seminary; it doesn't HAVE to demonstrate parity with the big boys by granting degrees, but it's completely understandable why they would WANT to.

    I have to chuckle at the idea UOCUSA is "pouring degrees into the market". Yeah, a giant tsunami of approximately four graduates per annum. You give them way too much credit, with all the giant due respect to Vladykas Anthony and Daniel and all their effort.
  4. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    As Iwas down a rabbit hole for the other Sophia (Holy Sophia Coptic Orthodox) I discovered that a surprising number of Coptic priests do not have religious degrees. All that I found were college educated but in different fields. Their religious training was separate and many appeared to be bi-vocational despite them working in established parishes. No a criticism, mind you. It was just interesting.

    Yes and no.

    I never said pouring graduates into the market. I said pouring degrees into the market. There's a difference as I'm using the term. I'm not talking about the number of people who claim a degree from a school. I am talking about the degree being offered in the first place. St Sophia was always my go-to "Yes! Look at this completely legitimate religious school offering an unaccredited STL!" that now, I can't really do because they switched to Masters. They compete with, as you say, St. Tikhon's and St. Vladimir's, in many ways except the latter two can offer student loans and financial aid.

    Religious degrees, I feel, are one of the few instances where there really is no serious issue over NA accreditation. The "gold standard" for acceptance for many is whether you can be a chaplain for the federal government (BOP, VA, Armed Forces etc). An NA degree qualifies you just fine. Even the Graduate Theological Foundation, unaccredited, offers a D.Min, which meets the educational requirements for VA chaplains. It's a different world than secular degrees, for better or worse.

    Of course, no one really gets into a huff over St Sophia. They do sometimes get into a huff over LBU. The issue is, I imagine, in part how many people they graduate. But deeper than that is the fact that one is awarding secular credentials it probably shouldn't be awarding and the other is not. We have accreditation because there is a standard at what it means to hold a B.S. in Accounting or even Communications. It's harder to say that there is a minimum standard for theological education because theology is, well, made up. Nothing stops me from creating a full and fanciful religion right this second. It enjoys the same legal protection as any other church. Religious accreditors set minimum academic standards but even that line can get blurry when the theology in question deviates, even slightly, from the aim of any of those accreditors.

    It's an interesting area.
  5. Asymptote

    Asymptote New Member

    If I recall correctly, didn’t this school offer a D.D. in Puritan Studies years ago? Now they offer a D.Th. (Or is it Th.D.?) in Puritan Studies, and another such doctorate in church history.

    As we approach Thanksgiving in the USA, an interest in the theology of the Pilgrims is kindled somewhat. I wonder if Log College would welcome non-adherents into one of these programs when said non-adherents had a genuine historical interest in the history of their religion (especially as it shaped America)?

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