South African Theological Seminary

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by stringfellow hawke, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. stringfellow hawke

    stringfellow hawke New Member

    Hello, I've read earlier posts on SATS so I understand that it's accredited (equal to US) and pretty solid. I'm wondering if anyone has any real experience in the US finding Pastoral work with this degree. If I tried to get a Pastorship at a small Bible church with a SATS degree would they scoff at it? Thoughts?
  2. stringfellow hawke

    stringfellow hawke New Member

    anyone? Any SATS feedback from someone who's done it?
  3. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    SATS holds the same accreditation as the Univ of South Africa, Univ of Pretoria, and all the major South African universities. Their degrees have been evaluated by credential evaluating agencies in the USA and found to be equivalent to the same degrees awarded by regionally accredited USA schools.
  4. JGD

    JGD New Member

    I second RAM's response -- they are a legit school and have been well known as such for some time.

    However, the question as to whether you'll get pastoral work with a SATS degree has at least as much to do with the opinions within your denomination as it does with the schools legitimacy. This is taken from the SATS FAQ and is relevant to your question:

    "Does my denomination recognise the SATS qualification?
    There are a number of denominations currently enrolling students at SATS for their theological studies. You will need to contact the head of your denomination in order to find out if the SATS degree is sufficient for their denominational requirements. SATS does not ordain ministers."
    -- found that here: FAQs | About Us | Frequently Asked Questions | SATS

    If I were you, I would speak to practising pastors in your local religious community and, if possible, somebody higher up in the hierarchy who may have insight on the recognition of degrees from different schools.

    Sadly, I suspect some ministers are better served by far more educationally suspect unaccredited seminaries at home than they are by legitimate theological colleges abroad. But hey, that's life.

    If you were purely looking for an education, or a degree with utility in the workplace / academic settings, SATS would be a fine choice. The 'foreign degree' stigma -- that is, why would someone get a degree from over the water? -- shouldn't be too bad with SATS, because S.A has decent educational standards and English is widely used as a first language in that country.
  5. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Reality Check

    SATS is a joke.

    The notion that you would be a qualified pastor with a degree earned totally by distance is also a joke.

    But I'd love to be at your interview for a pastoral position when the committee asks, "How much time did you spend on campus? And could you describe your pastoral internship for us?"

    FWIW, if one uses the NIFI Criteria (look it up), SATS comes across as a degree mill. And the people that would tend to defend it are (1) those who have been connected with it in one way or another, and (2) those for whom the ultimate criteria for selecting a school are words like cheap, fast, and easy.

    Finally, of one wants a pastorate at a "small Bible church" and thinks it can be pulled off with a SATS degree, it shows that the person is familiar neither with SATS nor with small Bible churches. And any church that would hire a SATS graduate based solely on that degree would deserve what they get.
  6. JGD

    JGD New Member

    Levicoff, could you provide a link to your NIFI criteria? The only link I can find is to your own tripod site which seems to be broken.

    I have no in depth knowledge of (let alone stake in) SATS, but I'm curious as to what you're basing your assessment on. They have accreditation in their home country and pass credential evaluation in the USA. Further, from anecdotal evidence, the general opinion seems to be that academic rigour's alright there.

    See here:

    And from what I can see, an undergraduate degree takes 3 years. This is standard, in UK and Europe at least. Course Descriptions | Students | About Us | SATS
  7. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    First off, I am not qualified to state whether SATS is or isn't a religious degree mill. Ok, now that the formalities are out of the way...

    NIFI is a term that you coined e.g. "Name it and frame it" in a book that you wrote about religious degree mills. It's also discussed on Wikipedia. lol

    So far, the only thing indicating that SATS is a religious degree mill is from the book that you (Steve Levicoff) wrote. But conversely, you hate distance or online learning and have described it in the past as a spawn of Satan. Subsequently, are you saying that SATS is a degree mill because:
    (1) it is online or
    (2) it's not properly accredited or
    (3) it's too easy or
    (4) a combination of all of the above?

    P.S. -- Dr. Levicoff, you never answered my question in a different thread (here), but that's ok. No worries.
  8. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

  9. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    Sir, more is expected of you. You have marketed yourself as an expert in online and distance education. Are you an expert? Your writing is so inflammatory it makes one concludes that you are trying very hard to be relevant. SAT may be a joke but it is not a degree mill – a degree mill is not a matter of an opinion - a joke is.
  10. stringfellow hawke

    stringfellow hawke New Member

    Steve, I appreciate your candor but why are you on a site like this when your thoughts about online schools are so obviously virulent? This attitude seems more in step with 1999 than 2014... I could take your thoughts more seriously if you had some firsthand information of someone being rejected from a position due to an online degree but it seems like you really just want it to be the early 90's again.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2014
  11. BlackBird

    BlackBird Member

    Steve is an authority

    Dr. Levicoff, or as I used to call him, Lord Levicoff, is a legitimate authority on the subject of Distance Ed. He has written on it and is a strong believer of it, if... it is legitimate. He would be, other than Dr. John Bear, the next best word on legitimacy of a school. Oh yes, he is brash in his style. But he is the real thing.
  12. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    His statement that online universities are the spawn of Satan was very surprising. Is this a new revelation?
  13. BlackBird

    BlackBird Member

    Not sure what he meant because he holds two degrees from online schools. Maybe he meant it is a fertile ground for abuse and deceit.

    I wonder what Steve is up to these days. He gave up writing and academia for being a truck driver. Is he alive? Anyone know? I used to love tangling with him. Good guy.
  14. BlackBird

    BlackBird Member

  15. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    I generally don't post these days, although I continue to monitor the boards. More in the "Whatever Happened to Steve Levicoff?" thread.

    Nonetheless, a point of clarification is in order here... I do not hold any online degrees myself. I would think that all three of the schools from which I graduated now offer online degrees, but at the time I earned my degrees none of them had online offerings - they did not yet exist.

    Now, a myriad of traditional colleges and universities have online offerings, including degrees that may be earned totally online. Would I enroll in any of them? Hell, no. But that, in part, is because I remember the good old days before these canned, rote, blasé, dumbed-down programs existed. :naughty:

    Nice to see you, BlackBird.
  16. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    That sounds like an indictment of the entire online educational system.

    Many online classes are definitely rote, if you look at them from the perspective of the instructor who must deliver them, but they are certainly new to students who are taking them for the first time. Conversely, are in-resident degrees immune from being "canned, rote, blasé and dumbed-down"?

    The horse and buggy was fine in the 19th Century and the combustible engine should have never replaced it. The en masse production of automobiles has completely restructured the travel industry. The combustible engine changed the travel industry.

    Traveling to B&M universities for degrees was fine in the 20th Century and online degrees should have never been allowed. The en masse acceptance of online degrees is completely restructuring educational methodologies. Online degrees are changing the educational system.
  17. BlackBird

    BlackBird Member


    Nice to see you, Lord Levicoff! I don't assume you'll answer so I'll address the public instead. Feel free to respond, Steve, if you desire.

    It seems that Steve makes a distinction between "Online" and "Distance." If so, then he did not attend an online school but rather, what I would have called "correspondence schools" with some residency (Union Institute and U. of Norwhich?). It appears that Steve is down on all online institutions? I assume that maybe I misunderstand him. Someone help me here, please. I do think there are some great "Online" schools" with great "Online teaching" with great "Online rigor."

    So, go at it. Deliver me from my ways of error.
  18. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    What's wrong with SATS?
  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Apparently, at least according to NACES members and AACRAO, nothing at all.
  20. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    I’ve lifted this from another thread since it’s a precursor to what’s below, and you had accused me of avoiding the question you asked about, for all intent and purpose, my salvation.

    You’re quite correct: I am avoiding it, for three reasons. First, it’s none of your business. If I believe what you believe, you’re preaching to the converted. If I do not believe what you believe, you’re wasting your time and time trying to preach, although I’m happy to aid in your evangelistic efforts by having quoted it here in full. Second, if we ever meet for breakfast we can share our respective faith doctrines and even a word or two of prayer. But this is a higher education forum, and I find cross-evangelism irrelevant to the venue. Finally, I’m reminded of when Francis Schaeffer, a brilliant apologist and debater (even if he was a VanTilian presuppositionalist), was asked why he no longer engaged in debates. Because, he replied, it’s not charitable. ‘Nuff said.

    Except that I’m delighted you can lift weights and type at the same time. Most people who type on the internet with one hand are, I have been told, simultaneously engaged in something other than lifting weights.

    Again, me, or me again, as it were, nice try. But you’re still trying to bait me in a debate, and frankly, mon cher, I don’t give a hoot. Nothing personal.

    (Don’t get the wrong impression, people. While I don’t recall me again very well, I do recollect that he is one of the legit guys around here, and I think his sig line is hysterical. I just don’t get into debating. If I express an opinion that you disagree with, get over it.)

    Suffice to say that I happen to agree with your irrelevant observations. The mediocre online model is here to stay and will continue to grow, whether or not I like it. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. In fact, I neither like nor hate it. I simply can’t be bother with it.

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