Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by paynedaniel, May 8, 2002.
Does anyone know anything about the London Bible College? Thanks.
London Bible College is one of the most respected evangelical theological institutions in the UK. It has a strong faculty that is producing valuable research. It is validated by Brunel University, which means that the degrees a student earns through LBC are actually granted by Brunel. Brunel is a solid enough British university, yet certainly not among the more celebrated. In spite of this, LBC's reputation is sound enough to guarantee respect for its students.
London Bible College (LBC) is a highly respected evangelical institution. Historically, the school has boasted world renown faculty like Donald Guthrie, Ralph Martin, Peter Cotterell, and R. T. France.
I am currently in negotiations with the school regarding a PhD dissertation in the field of pneumatology. I chose LBC because many contemporary scholars share the sentiment of I. Howard Marshall (distinguished professor of New Testament exegesis at the University of Aberdeen) that LBC Vice-Principal Max Turner is the leading authority on pneumatology in the English-speaking world.
LBC enjoys an outstanding reputation, both past and present.
Welcome aboard! It's great to have you. I note that you are an alumnus of Northwestern in Roseville. My brother graduated from that institution, and works there presently.
Great to hear you are in negotiation with LBC. They are a bit more pricey than other institutions willing to offer limited-residency PhD opportunities. However, you are right in aiming for the school that offers you the best opportunity to interact with the highest-calibre scholar possible in your area of interest. I must admit that I often become concerned about some of the discussion that takes place here. The simple fact that an accredited institution offers one the opportunity to conduct predominantly distance-based research in one's field of interest at low cost doesn't necessarily make that a good option. Is it truly a reputable institution? Is your prospective research promoter truly an excellent, expert scholar in your field of interest? I am pleased to see you pursuing an opportunity that enables you to answer "yes" to both of these questions. Very wise!
By the way, I am near the completion of my MTh through Spurgeon's College in London. I am well familiarized with the reputation and role of LBC in the British community. At one point, I explored the possibility of continuing with PhD research through LBC, but found that it simply didn't offer what I'm specifically looking for.
Instead, I'm in the process of applying for a DTh in Practical Theology through the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. I am eager to have the opportunity to conduct research under the supervision of Jurgens Hendriks, a leading expert in the field of congregational development and strategic planning. He has demonstrated considerable enthusiasm toward my proposal. I anticipate meeting with him in Chicago in October. Stellenbosch will be a bit more pricey than some alternatives, and will require me to make annual visits to South Africa. Yet, unlike a car, I won't be in a position to trade my doctorate in in a few years; so, I want to make the best possible investment at this point in my life.
Again, welcome! I look forward to continued interaction with you here.
Thanks for the welcome!
I couldn't agree with you more regarding the selection of an educational institution. The chair of the New Testament department at my graduate alma mater asks all interviewees why they chose to do doctoral work where they did. If the prospective employee mentions convenience, cost, or anything else beside the fact that the school offered the best supervision for one's field of study, he or she is immediately taken off the short list.
In my opinion, one of the unfortunate things that results from the otherwise positive identification of questionable schools is the implied notion that legitimate recognition places all schools that enjoy such on an even plane. I think some here may be setting their standards too low if they're merely looking for a degree that is regionally accredited or meets generally accepted accrediting principles. As you've noted, they should be looking for the schools that offer the best education in their respective fields.
Of course, this assumes that the potential student is looking for the best possible education as well as a useful credential. From my perspective, when it comes to something as important as biblical and theological studies, quality of learning should be foremost in one's mind. I'd never go to a medical doctor who took the quickest and cheapest route to earning his or her degree; likewise, I'm incurably wary of people who look for the easiest path to biblical/theological credentials rather than pursuing the paths that will best prepare them to fulfill their callings with excellence.
I am very encouraged to hear that you chose the best school for your particular field in spite of increased cost and the need to travel. With folks like Vern Poythress at Westminster Theological Seminary, you'll be in good company as a Stellenbosch DTh. As you know, London Bible College (LBC) isn't exactly cheap, and the school requires some residency on the part of all doctoral students. In addition to meeting quarterly with my primary LBC advisor, I'll be meeting regularly with a secondary advisor in the US. The stateside scholar best suited to my particular topic is located in Texas and I live in Minnesota. Between flying to the UK and Texas, I'll be doing a considerable amount of travel throughout the duration of my studies so I can fulfill residency requirements and personally interact with the scholars overseeing my work. As a family man in full-time ministry this is hardly the most convenient route, but I'm not merely looking to add a few more letters behind my name. I want to receive the best education available, and make the best possible contribution to my chosen field. As you so aptly stated, the educational experience and credential you earn will be with you for life.
Of course, I understand that some people have genuine restrictions that won't allow them to make the decisions that we have made. However, I hope everyone exploring options for non-traditional education in our general field makes decisions based upon real--rather than conveniently imagined--limitations.
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