University of Sedona Dissertation

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Garp, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    New age theology is a pretty niche market. I can't imagine many RA offerings exist for it. It would be too expensive to start a school like this and pursue RA accreditation. After RA, the options are pretty much limited to DEAC or, perhaps, NYSBOR if the school is located in New York.

    Were there an option for accreditation that was low cost without sacrificing the QA function I think we'd see legitimate schools crop up in this space. But there are none. So, unfortunately, folks like this end up getting much more attention than they otherwise would.
  2. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    And, from what I can discern from scanning the dissertations, perhaps not a market teeming with sparkling scholarship.
  3. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    That is an understatement! I suspect that the fact they are proud enough to post these means it is honest ignorance. They have no clue that what they have done is not doctoral level research (possibly an undergrad research paper?). The fact that the school is consistently producing this level of work means faculty may have no idea either.
  4. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    I'm still confused as to why some of you believe it's ok to use substandard degrees in theology for religious reasons. I do not like the idea of someone with a crap degree helping couples on marriage and other issues. There is no reason religious schools are not held to the same standerds. If your not accredited then you can issue no degrees, that's the way it should be.
  5. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    While I don't personally think that the U. of Sedona is particularly credible, I've always liked the U. of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles. It covers similar territory: 'consciousness studies', Western esotericism, unconventional religiosity etc.

    University of Philosophical Research | A Contemporary Wisdom Academy | Philosophy, Psychology, Culture and Religion | Online M.A. and B.A. Degree Programs

    They were California-approved for many years, and more recently adopted a DL format and successfully sought accreditation from DEAC.

    One of their cool features is their long-established physical (not online) research library. Karl Jung studied here when he was researching alchemy. If you ever suddenly need a grimoire, this is where you should go.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2016
  6. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Do you know what it takes to be ordained? Do you know how you can get the ability to legally officiate weddings? Aside from the numerous on,I've ordination options, all you have to do in most cases is form a non-profit religious corporation and ordain yourself.

    For $150 I can form the First Church of Neuhaus and proclaim myself a pastor. And boom, there you go, I can officiate weddings, I can counsel any couple who cares to come to me, that's it.

    Degrees are not required to be clergy. Degrees are sometimes required for certain denominational affiliation. But lots of people just start their own church/ministry and they aren't required to have even graduated from high school.
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Actually, so have I. And I was pleased when they took the shot at DEAC accreditation. I have an interest in Transpersonal Psychology and the work of Ken Wilber. I'll also add that there is an RA alternative in that field, Sofia University,

    Sofia University
  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    There appear to be a number of peer reviewed journals which focus on spirituality. And a quick perusal of these show that there are articles being published on shamanism and other modern practices of some of the lesser mainstream spiritual disciplines. So the scholarship is, indeed there. I think it a bit unfair to look at one hack website and use that to make a blanket statement of an entire field of study.

    It would be like looking at the 30 page dissertations of an unaccredited bible college and deciding that the field of Christian theology had no meaningful scholarship. This is just a smaller segment. And it's a segment without the benefit of its own universities. So it's out there you just have to look a little harder.
  9. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Rice University in Texas offers this religious studies doctoral concentration in 'Gnosticism, Esotericism, Mysticism':

    And just like the 17th century, when religiously heterodox people like Spinoza sheltered in the relatively tolerant Netherlands, that country offers several degree programs in Western Esotericism today.

    The University of Groningen offers this masters degree, taught entirely in English:

    Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism | Master's degree programmes | Programmes | Education | University of Groningen

    And the U. of Amsterdam has a similar MA program:

    Theology and Religious Studies: Western Esotericism - Universiteit van Amsterdam

    None of these are DL, as far as I know. Given the taught masters programs, I would guess that doctoral supervision is available in these areas at these schools.

    And here's a scholarly organization, the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism

    ESSWE | European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism - About
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2016
  10. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I didn't mean to imply that there are no programs in esoteric subjects. I was simply stating that there are no U.S. universities that are , as standalone institutions, universities built around this particular philosophy. There are Catholic universities. And, not surprisingly, Catholic theological scholarship emerges from those universities in greater quantity than a Catholic studies program at a non-Catholic university.
  11. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Hi Neuhaus. I was just trying to agree with you that this kind of thing can be a legitimate subject of study by giving a few examples from what seem to me to be fairly prestigious universities. As you wrote: "So the scholarship is indeed there." It's very unusual to find programs like these though. The Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes' sciences religieuses section is another high-profile one that I can think of. And yes, Kizmet's Sofia University and San Francisco's CIIS would have to added to the list too, I guess. Along with DEAC's UPR, that's about it.

    My bottom line point is that any defects in the U. of Sedona shouldn't be attributed to the fact that it addresses unconventional religiosity. They are the result of it not addressing unconventional religiosity well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2016
  12. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    I don't like the idea of someone even with an accredited graduate theology degree or two presuming the ability to counsel the wife and me on our marriage. Gaining a shaky grasp of Koine Greek, learning about theological perspectives over the centuries, and going through a canned, formulaic family counseling course or two is not going to adequately prepare anyone for making decisions about the complexities of a marriage. I'd rather listen to a friend who's farther along in a marriage that some self-proclaimed spiritual guide. (and I am no skeptic by a country mile, I'm a Christian)
  13. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    I was just being Mr. Snark.
  14. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    I get what you're saying. I know lots of people with little or no education and that's fine. Most know the bible basics. But a well educated clergy can offer so much more. My pastor holds a M Div and has a level of knowledge I can only dream to achieve. I would stack a DTS or Houston Grad up against any lay pastor or unaccredited degree holder any day. Passion is a wonderful thing, passion + education is a beautiful thing.
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    These are great programs but the issue is that is hard to justify the investment when you are studying something for personal development.
    The university of Sedona BSc is about 400 dlls and the PhD is under two thousand. The time investment is low also.

    I am sure that most people doing this type of degrees are not doing it for money besides the few that are trying to deceive people with PhDs in religious Psychology.

    There are tons of schools offering certificates or diplomas in Metaphysics but University of Sedona is attracting students because they are granting PhDs for the same money and effort than a certificate or diploma.

    University of Sedona is clearly abusing the exemption laws but I am sure it won't take long before authorities start preventing this type of schools to grant PhDs and restrict them to religious designations (e.g. DD)
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm not so sure. I just did a VERY brief search and found, as I expected, plenty of "exempt" unaccredited religious schools, issuing low-cost PhDs, some well-known to require comparatively little work. If Sedona were declared not "exempt" for religious reasons, how does it make any sense that the school could be restricted to religious doctor-titles?

    Restricting ALL those unaccredited "exempt" religious schools to non-PhD doctorates? Now, THAT'd be an uphill fight....

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2016
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't be against it - but it could prove horrendously costly -- and what real good would such an action do, even if successful?

    I like our way (Canada). Religious school? All the diplomas, certificates, awards you like. Degrees? you have to qualify, just as a secular school does - and we have fine religious schools that have done just that.
    Some readers here don't like that approach -- but I'm fine with it and it works... and I think 20-odd US States don't allow unaccredited religious degrees either, so it's not so strange as some people say...

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2016
  18. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    Its true many states already restrict what these schools can do. Its funny when you talk about limiting the others ones people start freaking out and saying its not right. People just don't get it, it cheapens everyone's degrees. Someone please tell where it grants religious freedoms to issues Phds in the constitution, if our founders were alive they'd be pissed. As of now they are just rolling over in their graves.
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Indeed. For any number of reasons, including substandard or milled education/degrees of all kinds. But PhDs weren't awarded in the U.S. in their day. Not until 1861. First three recipients (at Yale, btw.) were Eugene Schuyler, Arthur Williams Wright and James Morris Whiton. Says so here :smile:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
  20. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    At the risk of boring everyone, I teach this stuff. Answer is: "It depends". The federal government shouldn't have such powers unless they can fit it within some specifically enumerated right or something that can be extrapolated from one. Maybe interstate commerce? Maybe, maybe not. As for states, they have plenary powers and can regulate just about anything they want, so long as not in conflict with the feds or preempted thereby (though preemption wasn't a part of the original Constitution, just a common law doctrine that's developed...though the common law system predates our Constitution by centuries, so hard to argue it's not legitimate, though of course, not everything that is done in the name of the common law is legitimate, which would surely be your valid point). So, the states ought to be able to set up whatever accreditation regime they want, according to the language of the 10th Amendment, but the feds, not necessarily; as for private accrediting agencies, they're protected by the Constitution, not limited by it. I know, I know, snore.

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