Unaccredited Religious degree

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Randell1234, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. OutsideTheBox

    OutsideTheBox New Member

    Just for comparison in legal terms my $29.99 Doctor of Metaphysics degree has the same legal standing in most cases as a Princeton Theological Seminary Doctorate in the US since both are religious and therefore First Amendment protected. Hell by getting the title Reverend Doctor and can use that as my title even without a degree.

    So what is the point if one gets an unaccredited degree if you feel you want to do religious things for your faith you will just do it, why do you need a piece of paper. I have mine more for fun than anything else to support the ULC (modesto) and be able to use the title "Doctor" if I want to. I usually use the simple title Cleric myself however.
  2. falseteacher

    falseteacher Member

    I agree with your assessment
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    So did DEAC, at least to some degree, I guess. After a long, long time (about six years IIRC) Nations was accredited. Obviously, Nations did not seek accreditation simply as a means to increase prices, so here's at least one exception . . .

    I think my compliments are justified and I had to give Nations its due. Why? Because I think it's true. Also, I thought I should make up for once posting some uncomplimentary remarks about actions of the school's management -- not about academic matters. I made pointed remarks about the management, because they hadn't seen a particular roadblock coming in the Accreditation process - and I really thought they should have. (I realize there is no reason why Nations should care what I think.) In time, they got around the roadblock and I regret the fact that my remarks upset a couple of DI posters who were supportive of the school. Ego trip by me - totally. I'm sorry.

    Falseteacher: Not all unaccredited schools are bad - or so I believe. Not all accredited schools are good. And vice-versa. Today's unaccredited school may well be tomorrow's accredited school. The reverse applies there, as well.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  4. falseteacher

    falseteacher Member

    This is what I have been trying to explain I wasn't clear in my delivery in this forum. I remember South Florida Bible College and Seminary was unaccredited now they accredited just like BH Carroll Theological Institute. They were on the list as diploma mills.
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Of course that's true. Very little in life is 100% absolutely true/false. But saying that doesn't mean that any given unaccredited school is a member of that very small minority of unaccredited schools that has adequate quality. Saying " I've been to both accredited and unaccredited schools so I know . . . ." is ridiculous. I mean talk about a lack of objectivity. Anyone who uses this argument has a clear bias and much to gain by maintaining that their unaccredited degree is of high quality. We've heard this from people who have degree mill degrees for years . . . "I worked really hard for that degree..." It's absurd to use that argument. If some Bible School in Florida was unaccredited and is now accredited that means absolutely nothing about any other school and their current accredited status has no bearing on the degrees that were earned prior to the accreditation. You can only hope that no one ever checks the dates. Are there exceptions to the rule? Of course there are but the objective fact is that an unaccredited school has done nothing to demonstrate the quality of their programs. My own opinion is that the vast majority of unaccredited schools are substandard and they remain unaccredited primarily because the schools know they're substandard.
  6. cofflehack

    cofflehack Member

    I very well agree that entering into ministry will depend on the church.
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'll accept most of what you say, Kizmet. And I still believe in all what I said is true. (I have to, even if nobody else does.) I want people to know (most already do) that I, personally, have no unaccredited credentials whatsoever - therefore I get no personal advantage from giving points to unaccredited schools. Like a fool, perhaps, I do it for nothing. :) As far as remaining unaccredited for a long time "because the schools know they're substandard" consider DEAC-accredited California Southern U. - which operated for nearly 30 years as unaccredited Southern California University for Professional Studies. I doubt if they remained unaccredited for such a long period "because they knew they were substandard." Then again, you DID say "the majority." Based on observation, I'll accept that as true in numerous instances.

    As far as "you can only hope that no one ever checks the dates," I think the best procedure is this: be totally up-front and let people know your degree was obtained prior to accreditation. You'll at least get points for honesty and avoid the potential embarrassment of being "found out." Honesty is usually much less of a deal-breaker than dishonesty.

    My point - absolutely nothing in the accredited/unaccredited argument is carved in stone. There are always exceptions - and exceptions to the exceptions. Fewer and fewer as time goes on, perhaps -- but they exist.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    That's the funny part, because I think that is exactly why they remained unaccredited for so long. Ultimately they got accredited, right around the time it became required by the state of California. Coincidence that they pulled their act together rather than go out of business? Or did it just take them 30 years to save up their pennies to pay for the necessary upgrades?
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    No - that wasn't it. The doors opened (as SCUPS) in 1978. It became California Southern in 2007 and was DEAC (at the time, DETC) accredited in 2010. It is now WASC accredited - so it has gone from unaccredited to NA and now RA. There were still many unaccredited universities operating legally in California in 2007 - and there are quite a few today, but they have to accredit soon. The new act requiring specific accreditation deadlines wasn't even on the horizon back in 2007 - or 2010.

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    No. There was a change in ownership in 2007. The new ownership (also owned North Central U., RA school in AZ) felt they needed accreditation to accomplish what they had in mind for their new acquisition - renamed California Southern U. So they made some changes, dropping some doctoral programs, etc. and successfully qualified for DETC accreditation. They had the pennies, for sure!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    (1) I said before that an accreditor sometimes giveth - and taketh away. I'm sure most of us can think of schools that have been unaccredited, then earned and subsequently lost accreditation. One such school sticks in my mind - University of Atlanta. It was originally known as Barrington U. - unaccredited and with some reputation as a mill. It was bought and rebranded under the name U. of Atlanta. At that time, it was unaccredited and operating under an Alabama license - not in Atlanta GA, despite its name. Fast forward to 2008 - U. of Atlanta received accreditation from (then) DETC. In 2013 it resigned its DETC accreditation. It then acquired accreditation from the British firm ASIC, (now dropped, it would appear) and its web-page says U. of Atlanta is applying for Regional Accreditation by one or more CHEA-recognized agencies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Atlanta

    (2) One of the exceptions to my claim that "not all unaccredited schools are bad": 99% of all unaccredited schools that teach health-related programs, plus unaccredited schools that teach counselling in any form - including "religious" or "spiritual" counselling, that often strays into non-religious areas and affords the possibility of charlatanism or other forms of victimization. I'd even make some exceptions here. For example there are California Psychology schools that were State-approved and grads could write licensing exams. Article (and list) here: https://www.credentialwatch.org/non/california_approved.shtml

    (3) Re: Kizmet's remark about how we always hear "but I worked so hard for my unaccredited degree." Do we ever! It's anything from the absolute truth to a disgraceful lie, depending on the school and the student. In the case of Nations. I'll believe it. People in the old days said "wow - do we ever have to write a lot." Newer grads of the accredited school say the same thing. Some things don't change, I guess.

    The thing is: Working hard does not transform a degree into one from an accredited school. The school - and your degree - are what they are - always. Nothing to do with how hard you worked.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  13. Michigan68

    Michigan68 Active Member


    I agree with what you mentioned.

    I do not understand the direction of UoA with accreditation. They are a Premier Institution on the ASIC site, but zero mention of it on the UoA site. Bizarre school.

    I am amazed at schools that had DETC/DEAC status like UoA and Cleveland Institute of Electronics and let it slip away. Boggles the mind.

  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Michael - I'm not sure that either school just "let it slip away." I think perhaps CIE might have been a situation in which the school realized there wasn't going to be much chance of keeping the accreditation. IIRC, the remedies required of them were very extensive - in a number of areas and may truly have been beyond the school's reach, so they voluntarily relinquished accreditation - a better choice than not volunteering, as I see it. As far as I know, the school is still operating - but no degrees. That's my interpretation, anyway. With U. of Atlanta, I was surprised to find out that, as you mentioned, it's still on ASIC's current list. The lack of mention on the website may have something to do with an ongoing app. for US recognized accreditation (as the school claims it is doing) or some other reason, I don't know what.

    Another perplexing item: I don't know how true the story is, but University of Atlanta was mentioned in an article about Axact, the Pakistani diploma mill with 300+ fake schools. U. of A. was never on the Axact fake schools list, but Axact told a victim it was the school from which he would receive a Doctorate. This victim had paid Axact 250,000 UAE dirhams ($68, 060 US) for fake degrees and attestation etc.

    A quote: “Towards the end, they told me that they will be transferring all my credits to the University of Atlanta. They said the university has offices in Emirates Towers’ 41st floor..." Whole article here:


    The Axact rep may well have been lying (were his lips moving?) but it raised my eyebrow anyway. I'm guessing no such diploma was ever issued.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Forgot to mention: I don't think U. of A. can be accused of "just letting its DETC accreditation slip away" either. From the U. of A. Wiki:

    "In early 2012, the University of Atlanta's accreditor, the Distance Education and Training Council DETC, announced that the school had stopped enrolling new students and that University of Atlanta resigned its accreditation on June 30, 2013."

    Whole thing here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Atlanta

    So - an orderly, planned teach-out starting in 2012 and allowing the accreditation to expire in 2013. Sounds like a considered decision. I don't remember reading anything from DETC re: any specific reasons from their end.
  16. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    When I was still in the Navy I, with my commander's consent and his personal credit card, purchased a degree from instantdegrees.com. Actually, to be fair, we purchased two. We did this because a large number of people were requesting to add degrees to their personnel records particularly as they put in applications for Officer Candidate School or prepared for their Chief (E-7) boards. I had raised the concern that some of the schools presented did not appear to have any legitimate accreditation. We received a bachelors degree from Buxton University. But we also got an associates from Pacific University through the same site (I think, it might have been a similar name to instant degrees).

    Buxton was concerning but easily refuted. There was no record of Buxton being a legitimate university, requests like that would be fairly easy to reject. The Pacific University one was frightening, however, because that is a real school in Oregon. We contacted Pacific who confirmed first that the transcript and diploma issued were fraudulent. At their request, we sent them copies of everything as they wished to pursue legal action to stop their name from being dragged through the mud. The transcripts looked good. They even came with verification through a provided fax number.

    I mention this because issuing, essentially, forged degrees is not new to the degree for sale market. So I'm not sure that I necessarily believe U of Atlanta was guilty of something just because Axact said anything.

    That said, UAtlanta is a prime example of the worst case scenario for a degree pursuit. You go to a fully accredited school. They drop or lose their accreditation and then continue to transact business in ways that are, well, a bit sketchy looking. There's some dignity in a having a degree from a closed school. There's nothing but bad things that can come from your school going rogue and potentially implicating itself in a degree scam. I would be shocked, truly shocked, if U Atlanta ever became accredited by a recognized US accreditor again in the future. Shady founder. Shady history. Shady behavior since dropping accreditation. And the real victims of the school are those who earned degrees while the school was DEAC accredited.
    Johann likes this.
  17. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    There's also a whole crop of Nursing schools in the great state of Florida, which were gifted by the Florida Senate with extremely lack oversight, and graduates can write NCLEX. Some of them have obscure NA accreditation, some are totally unaccredited. Many of them are predatory for-profits with lousy exam passage rates, but the course of study they offer is not mill-like. Also, they are not online.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Neither am I, for two reasons:

    (1) How do you know when an Axact rep. is lying? His lips are moving.
    (2) This is the only article I've ever been able to find that links U. of Atlanta in any way with Axact. That in itself is cause for doubt. Now, if someone can find me two or three more . . .

    For me, it'd be a bit of a jolt, but I'd survive. The Information Superhighway is littered with accounts of schools that have done bad, or even very bad things and still become accredited. Sometimes, they have done those bad things right up to the date of accreditation. We'll see.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well, didn't I hear that Betsy DeVos is raising ACICS from the dust? ... :)
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

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