Thomas Francis University - IMCS school

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by TeacherBelgium, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. Hello everyone,
    I'm a graduate in law and in management.
    Now I would like to study something that is a lighter version of psychology, without having to go through multiple years of extensive study again.

    I came across Thomas Francis University. They are a school from the International Metaphysical Church.
    The founder is Dr Dough Kelley.

    They offer degrees in para-anthropology. These contain a lot of psychological counseling.

    They also offer biblical studies and even degrees in cryptozoology and ufology.

    1 module takes between 14 and 35 hours to complete. A bachelor's degree consists of 5 modules. A master's degree is 7 more courses.
    A doctoral degree is completed by a dissertation which takes the form of answering a dozen of questions in an essay.

    Is this a degree mill?
    Can I legitimately offer parapsychological counseling after completing a doctoral degree at this university?

    They aren't regionally or nationally accredited but they have been accredited by IMPA (international metaphysical practitioners association).

    Between their graduates there were multiple verifiable testimonials from people who earned a doctoral degree in secular schooling systems and who still found the courses at TFU challenging according to their own words.

    Am I throwing money away here if I'm going for a doctoral degree with Thomas Francis University?

    They also give you ministerial credentials which can be used for visa application (religious work activities visa) in the future.

    Is one able to offer metaphysical counseling sessions at 50$/hour after a degree from this university?

    I'm hesitating between Thomas Francis University and the Internationa College Of Metaphysical Theology.

    University of Sedona also crossed my mind.

    Thoughts on Thomas Francis University?
    They charge 2700$ for the doctoral degree in para anthropology and I would have to complete 19 courses.
    Counting that a module takes between 14 and 35 hours, I could have a doctoral degree in 266 - 665 hours + the amount to complete the doctoral dissertation (approximately 20 hours).
  2. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member


    Well, seriously: I wouldn't. Really. I can imagine a lot, but a doctoral dissertation in 20 hours is just WRONG.

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  3. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Oh how nice.


    Well, this just keeps going deeper.


    Please tell me you're kidding and you aren't seriously thinking this school is even remotely legitimate?

    Does any of that sound like a real school to you?


    Here's the thing...

    There are many unlicensed counselors. In fact, I recently ran across a small practice that is purely pastoral counseling. No one there is licensed. It isn't a church. It's a PLLC with offices and a waiting room and everything. They even proudly offer to write you a receipt for flex spending accounts though acknowledge they don't accept insurance and your insurance almost certainly doesn't cover pastoral counseling. Different states have different rules about what you need a license for. Generally, you need a license to advertise yourself to the public as a regulated titled such as licensed psychologist. Some states regulate the title psycotherapist and others don't. Some states regulate the title psychoanalyst and others don't. So you need to work out what exactly you want to do and look for local regulations and find education the meets those needs.

    This is meaningless in terms of recognition.

    I recently took a MOOC that was challenging. That doesn't mean it is of equal academic rigor to a doctoral program.


    If you attempt to use ministerial credentials from an outfit like this to secure a visa you run a very real possibility of ending up deported, in prison or both. The U.S. is very liberal with what it considers a religion. Anyone can start a religion at any time. No need for incorporation, even. For a religious work activities visa, however, the expectation is you are coming to this country to know...religious work. So, teaching in an affiliated school or preaching in a pulpit. This "church" cannot offer that to you. Your only hope would be if you established a fully functioning metaphysical ministry in the U.S. and came to support it which, of course you can do, but then don't need these folks at all.

    Metaphysical Counseling is, to my knowledge, not regulated anywhere in the U.S. except likely for the one or two states that license pastoral counselors. You also have Colorado that allows anyone to be a Registered Psychotherapist if they take an ethics course. Anyone can do that with or without this degree. Most states don't regulat hypnotists so you can offer hypnotherapy with or without a degree for whatever fee you can trick people into paying. I think only one or two states license hypnotherapists and it's mainly a fee paid and certification that you aren't a registered sex offender. Not really a vigorous vetting process. Life coaches are also not licensed. Likewise spiritual guidance. No degree from anywhere is necessary for any of these things. This, of course, is the situation in the U.S. I have no idea of "metaphysical counseling" is legal wherever you are.

    To reiterate, these degrees do not qualify you to do anything in the U.S. that you can't already do without said "degrees."

    Both are equally worthless

    Of course it did.

    It's a waste and will not further any goal aside from vanity. Personally, I'd think it wiser of you to take that $2,700 to a casino or put it all on the lottery. At least then you have a chance of some positive outcome from having spent that money.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
    SteveFoerster and Mac Juli like this.
  4. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I've always agreed with Rich when he's communicated in the past that (paraphrasing, and I hope correctly) a degree/diploma mill is a place that awards degrees after a payment with no coursework. This doesn't appear to be that, BUT...

    ... From what you said, the school sounds like it could be substandard, but I can't see the coursework or setup to make a final judgement. That said, the 20 hour dissertation sounds like a complete joke, as well as some of the degree majors being offered. Then you have to take into account that the school is not accredited by a USDE recognized accreditor, although if you're in the metaphysics field accreditation probably doesn't matter to you outside of being accredited by metaphysics accreditors that metaphysical practitioners respect. AFAIK, there are no metaphysics degree programs that are under recognized accreditation in the United States, but if someone is aware of one please post it.

    Bottom line, outside of the metaphysics field, none of this will look good.

    If you're looking for something formally accredited, it's not a Doctorate but it's a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology ----> , it will still be considered "out there" but not as much. Maybe you can round that out with an accredited Doctorate in EcoPsychology ---->
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Not to quibble but...

    There actually IS a metaphysics field. It's a discipline of philosophy and there are serious academics at respected institutions who study and teach metaphysics.

    Then there's "metaphysics" used as a general catch-all term for anything vaguely spiritual or new agey. This might carry some weight if you're hanging around the local Wiccan bookstore. Within the actual field that deals with metaphysics it would be regarded as something in between laughable and worthy of pity.

    To further quibble, I've seen all of our esteemed posters here, I believe, reference that it is entirely possible to put in work for a diploma mill degree and that this does not make it more legitimate.

    No coursework is obviously the mark of a mill. But woefully substandard coursework taught by unqualified faculty is as well.
  6. So, maybe that is asking too much especially since I'm just a random guy who has been here for a day but I'm still going to ask in case anyone wants to do it to help me.

    At Thomas Francis University you can take a free course to ''test-drive'' the degree.
    Could an experienced person here take such a free course there and assess whether it's a degree mill or not?

    The dissertation consists of reviewing what you learned. This concerns me. A normal dissertation consists of 50000 words that need to be orally defended in front of a jury of experts.

    Kind regards,
  7. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I agree. If I gave off an impression to the contrary it wasn't intentional.

    That's interesting. Admittedly, I've never looked too deeply into philosophy, but given what it is I can see how it would share a connection. Most of my encounters with what would be considered traditional philosophy came through psychology programs where it was taught as an early foundation for the field, particularly Greek philosophy.

    You have a good point. I remember a school called "Must" or something like that. Apparently, the coursework amount was enormous but the catch is that it was so enormous it was impossible to finish, and that was the whole intent of the "school", keep you in and paying forever, and you never get a degree.

    Personally, I would run from the school the OP is asking about. The only reason my radar is a little less aggressive with a program like this is because people who are in the kind of metaphysics fold that the OP is in are going to go to schools like University of Sedona and others that aren't formally accredited by recognized accreditors, and they generally undertake coursework most people outside of that would probably frown on. Still, that 20 hour dissertation is a little too hard to overlook as a red flag even if one doesn't treat the field as seriously as other more recognizable fields. That's not quite as bad as the old American College of Metaphysical Theology's 10-page "thesis" requirement, but both are completely laughable crap, lol.
  8. I can confirm that this a degree mill.
    I have taken a free course, have not studied nor read any of the material provided, went to the quiz and passed their exam.
    The questions were so ridiculous that even a five year old can pass the test.
    A scam.
  9. This is the course material. Prices for courses range between 75$ and 125$. So ridiculous.

    Attached Files:

  10. Part 2 of the course material:

    Attached Files:

  11. Oh and then we have their '' quiz ''

    If you complete 5 of these modules you get a bachelor's degree. Like seriously? What was I even thinking when I thought this to be a serious college? This is nothing more than a creditcard for the fake doctor Doug Kelley.

    Attached Files:

  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Well Hallelujah, Jaffar.

    There are far better options out there. If looking for a US School look for one that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the US Department of Education.
  13. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Well, that's weird. Like half of my last post disappeared. I guess someone got offended, or it was a glitch. I was just mentioning how there is one side of metaphysics that takes a philosophical approach to it, and another side that takes a spiritual-esoteric-mystical approach to it. The latter tends to get ridiculed.
  14. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Hey, I know it was years ago now, but what was the name of that book on Metaphysics you were telling me about? The author had a Spanish name I believe?
  15. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Yes. Easy question.
    Offer parapsychological counceling? Sure, though whether this can be used in the same sentence as "legitimately" is up for debate. Offer in a way that implies your "doctorate" makes you qualified? Nope.
  16. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    You're probably thinking of Jose Ortega y Gasset. I'm not sure about the title because the book I remember doesn't look like any of the ones I see during a web search. At the time, I didn't know how deep his background was with philosophy. Back then, I was interested in learning about metaphysics from the mystical side and took everything under the term as part of the same thing.
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  17. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member


    Hard stuff is "Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics That Will Be Able to Present Itself as a Science" from Immanuel Kant. It is about metascience, as you might guess from the title, and was mandatory in my high school philosophy course. Not easy, but can definetly be recommended!!

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    For the record, I completed courses at this school. This is a religious based degree that has no academic value. Mainly, great option for personal interest if you want to learn about a particular metaphysics subject but it is not meant for professional use.

    It is not totally useless and has some particular uses.
    If you are interested in pastoral counselling, the program has value in the sense that you can get insurance as a pastoral counselor as you get an ordination certificate from their church. Many insurance firms will provide insurance if you show an ordination certificate. Some associations also would accept a metaphysical degree for membership as spiritual or pastoral counselling.

    Another use for this degree is natural medicine, not naturopathy but naturotherapist. As most of the naturothepary degrees are not accredited and online, you can get this degree to become a member of some alternative medicine association and get access to insurance and practice certificate.

    You can also chose to become a metaphysical minister with their qualifications.

    You are not going to get approval of religious non accredited degree in this forum. Most people here are biased against any type of non accredited degree. However, in practice, if you are going to practice as a metaphysical minister, pastoral counselor, naturotherapist, the reality is that almost 100% of the people have unaccredited degrees because the idea to pay $50 K for an accredited doctorate so you can make less than 10K as a metaphysical minister, pastoral counsellor or naturotherapist on the side is just ridiculous. There are some accredited schools such as California Institute of Integral Studies that offer similar accredited PhDs but most transpersonal, consciousness, etc PhDs end working as counsellors in private practice, Yoga instructors, Life Coaches, etc or other professions that are not regulated and can be done with no PhD or with an unaccredited degree.

    Now, not all metaphysical ministers or related professions make little money but most do it for personal interest and little money.

    Some some people already have an accredited Masters degree in a related field (e.g. Religious studies) and get the PhD from a religious school just to boost a profile. You can legally use the PhD in a business card but I don't think any professional job would take it seriously. This is for the typical wedding officiant that puts a PhD in front of their name just to attract customers.

    Here people will crucify you if you put PhD in your business card with a non accredited religious business card but in practice, about 100% of the people that I know that practice as spiritual counselors, yoga instructors, transpersonal counsellors, etc have unaccredited doctorates. Again, if you are going to make 10K a year as a yoga instructor, you are not going to pay 50K for a RA accredited degree just to please people in this forum. It just makes no sense.

    If you are really not interested in using the PhD title are just care about knowledge, most of the metaphysical knowledge is available for free or little money at places like udemy. So you can get the same knowledge by taking udemy or similar places for less than few hundred.
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Metaphysical Counselling would be considered part of life coach, spiritual counselling or natural medicine coach. Psychotherapy is different, these are a set of psychological techniques such as CBT that are meant to provide psychological treatments.
    Metaphysical Counselling normally fits in the naturotherapy field that uses natural means (e.g. meditations, hypnotherapy,etc). to prevent physical illness.

    Again, most spiritual counselors, metaphysical counselors, etc have unaccredited degrees.

    As for visa as a minister to the US or Canada, the main rule is a church with a certain number of members, charity status and other criteria such as time in business and physical location.
    You cannot automatically dismiss the church in question just because it is metaphysical as they might have enough members or meet other criteria.

    I personally have helped people to fill Visa application for Canada ministerial visas for a church that is also non traditional new age type and it worked because the church met the requirements in terms of members, physical location, charity status, etc. I don't have experience with US visas but I cannot think is so different so you cannot automatically dismiss the church in question just because you don't like it.
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Parapsychological Counselling is really a fancy work for psychic. Many people practice as psychics, this is a non regulated field and the degree is not required but many people get it just to boost a profile.

    In general, Parapsychology has nothing to do with counselling as it is a subfield of psychology that is meant to do research about paranormal phenomena. So I agree that the degree is misleading as you cannot claim parapsychological counselling qualifications for something that is really non recognized.

    I have respect for people that chose any path they want in life including becoming professional psychics but I agree that it is non ethical to promote yourself with a credential that does not qualify for this.

    In the UK, you have shamanistic certifications when we all known that these are aboriginal Indian traditions that cannot be learned the same way you get a Microsoft certification.

    Again, people are free to earn a living any way the want but I agree that using terms such as Quantum Physics Doctor, Parapsychologial Therapist, etc is totally misleading.

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