University of Sedona Dissertation

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

  1. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Here's the thread where we talked about the college President (and others, including a lawyer and law school faculty member who gained admission to a Christian law school with an unaccredited Th.B. from LBU).
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I would be interested in data on this that is less than a quarter century old. Otherwise, we're all just speculating here.
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    but, but, but, that's what we do.:yes(1)::no1::ugh1:
  4. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Here again, a few who "slid through the cracks" or "circumvented the system" are being used to support the purported utility of an unaccredited (or accredited by an accreditation mill such as ACI) degree. My hunch is that if the "powers that be" in these cases were taken to task over validation of such degrees, many/most of them would sing a different tune. There are and will always be exceptions to every rule, but this doesn't change the dynamics in general. For the unaccredited degree supporters, why did you guys earn accredited degrees? Why not go the route you defend, which is typically less expensive, less rigorous, less work involved (sometimes little to none)? Why not fill your personal resume/CV with a list of unaccredited entities?
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I don't think it makes one an "unaccredited degree supporter" to defend the freedom of those at religious institutions to do as seems best to them, any more than it makes one a supporter of beets to defend the freedom of others to grow them despite not personally eating them.

    But to answer your question, I did enroll in Swiss Management Center's PhD in Economics at one point, and since they're not institutionally accredited and that particular program was not covered by ACBSP it was an unaccredited program. I did so because I knew full well that the school was legitimate, and thought the program would meet my needs, and I withdrew only because I realized that I wasn't as much overlap as I initially expected between that program and my other interests.
  6. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    Thanks for pointing out this ...

    I don't think that he earned a doctorate, or am I wrong? Do you get awarded Phds without completing them?

    Is that a religiously exempt degree? Communications? I cant find where LBU even offers that degree.

    This guy clearly has some ethical problems. Funny how this is an example of a success story. LBU is not unaccredited by choice, they lost their bid for TRACS people might recall.
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    According to the LBU site (outstanding alumni) Dr. Milioni earned a Ph.D. in Leadership (not Communications) from LBU in 2013.

    Outstanding Alumni

    No. At least, not around here. A PhD (abd) here is not a completed degree. In Britain, I think you might be awarded a M. Phil degree or something similar, as a consolation prize for an unfinished Ph.D. that's not going to be completed. Not so, here.

    Just for info - not to change anyone's viewpoint.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2016
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    As John Bear pointed out, all degrees awarded by exempt institutions in Louisiana are considered "religious" degrees, even ones in decidedly non-religious areas (since God created the universe). Very convenient.
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2016
  10. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    If you are alleging that the attorney at Regent Law defrauded his law school then please just come out and say it. Because that's the only way he either "circumvented the system" or "slipped through the cracks." Or is it your contention that Dr. Melioni was hired as a President of an accredited college affiliated with the same denomination as LBU and that college simply "didn't notice" that LBU was unaccredited? There are numerous documented cases of Liberty U, Regent U, Luther Rice and a plethora of other fully accredited bible schools either hiring the graduates of unaccredited bible schools to teach on their faculty or admitting those persons to graduate programs on the basis of their unaccredited undergrad degrees.

    That isn't a "slipping through the cracks" situation. That's a handful of accredited institutions accepting those individuals with eyes wide open because the theology matters more to them than the imprimatur of a regional or even a faith based accreditor.

    I've been pretty clear with my position. I support the right, which has been enjoyed since our nation's founding, of religious schools to award religious degrees. The hypothetical I have presented ad nauseum is that if I form a denomination called Neuhausianism and I start the First Church of Neuhaus I should have the right to form the Neuhaus Theological Seminary to train my clergy. And since this country has permitted schools such as the fictional Neuhaus Theological Seminary to award degrees then I should have that right as well.

    That said, I do not think that a lot of these offerings constitute "religious" degrees. I do not think that a B.A. or a B.S. is "religious." But a B.Div., B.Min., B.R.S. or comparable most certainly is religious and is very clearly labeled as such. I realize that LBU isn't in that boat. Then again, they didn't come to me asking for permission. They went to the State of Louisiana and they comply with their guidelines not mine.

    To your question of why I have accredited degrees the answer, in light of the above, should be very obvious. I work in HR. A purely religious degree, accredited or otherwise, would not actually further my career goals and would likely have left me unable to enter my profession as easily as I did with an accredited secular degree.

    But you also assume that I've never utilized unaccredited study. This was a bold assumption on your part. I did, in fact, complete an unaccredited Licentiate in Sacred Theology (which my school later "upgraded" to a Master of Divinity after receiving state approval to award that degree). It is not listed in my signature, on my resume or on my LinkedIn profile for the simple reason that I am no longer affiliated with that denomination. Considering that degree means nothing outside of the denomination I see no reason to hold it out as a credential even though I certainly worked for it.

    But that doesn't have anything to do with accreditation. Even if that degree had been regionally accredited it was very clearly tied to a specific denomination which I no longer have a connection to. Publicly claiming an M.Div. that is so clearly identified with a denomination that I no longer identify with myself would be, in my opinion, an odd choice regardless of issues of accreditation. And even if I was still affiliated with that denomination I fail to see why I would reference it at all in secular circles (including my job and the LinkedIn profile I use for said job). There are others who disagree with that stance, of course. I once met a former Catholic priest who is now a staunch atheist who proudly proclaims his S.T.M. from the Angelicum. That degree is undeniably legitimate and would certainly be recognized as RA equivalent if he were to have it evaluated. But having a Masters in Sacred Theology from a very famous Catholic institution sort of implies that you are Catholic or have a strong interest in Catholic theology, at the very least. Instead, he works a fully secular job, practices no religion and doesn't believe in any of the things he earned a degree in.

    Different strokes, I suppose.

    But were I to go out and join some other religious group tomorrow, decided to pursue ordination or ministerial service in said group and the clearest avenue to do such as to receive an unaccredited degree from their seminary, would I do it? Of course I would. But unless I did it in my retirement I would maintain the same line between my professional and personal life.
  11. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    It isn't an example of a success story. It was merely evidence that your statement about accredited seminaries hiring people with unaccredited degrees was false.

    And Nations lost numerous bids at DEAC accreditation. That fact, much like your statement about LBU and TRACS, is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. Listen, we're all entitled to a view of how the world should work. You shared your's. People disagreed with you. I am not out to change your mind. You believe as you do. I believe as I do. However, when you begin presenting false facts to support your position you probably shouldn't be so shocked when people begin calling you out on it. That isn't because everyone else is a "diploma mill lover." But you're advocating for, as Steve put it, throwing the baby out with the bath water.
  12. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Point of clarification Neuhaus, we don't know that Nations lost numerous bids. We do know it took a while. The poster from Nations said their curriculum was solid through out the process and not at issue. We do not know whether they even came up for an actual vote before they were approved. They did apparently withdraw a couple of times. Once some problem with them dropping the ball on a state regulatory issue before they came up for a vote and had to withdraw.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2016
  13. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    Funny thing is I knew you must hold a unaccredited degree. If you don't mind me asking, what school did you attended?
  14. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I don't "hold" an unaccredited degree. As far as I am concerned my degree stayed behind when I dropped membership in that particular group. And even if you consider that I am forever marked with that degree and I do not have it in my power to distance myself from it, the only degrees I claim, publicly or privately, were earned from accredited institutions.

    The school I attended does not have a website so I highly doubt you've had any exposure to it. Beyond that, I have shared as much information about the school and the denomination which sponsors it as I am willing to.
  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    "Hold" is just a Commonwealth English term for having a degree. I don't think it was meant to suggest you can't later disclaim a degree you've earned.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Oh, my.

    BTW, it doesn't work that way.
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Well, it also doesn't work that a licentiates gets upgraded to a Masters degree. And, typically, if you earn a degree in "sacred theology" it doesn't later get changed to "divinity."

    As far as I'm concerned, I signed up for an Ordination program where the end credential was an STL, a credential which I don't believe to even exist in the US degree system outside of the few schools that offer a JCL for Roman Catholic canon lawyers.

    So, aside from the fact that I left that denomination behind, I can't say that I agree with having said "upgrade" forced upon me. I never signed up for an M.Div. I never completed coursework toward an M.Div. one was handed me years after I left the denomination altogether because the school was "upgrading" the credentials of all alumni of the program.

    But I'm also unclear as to why a degree, accredited or not, should be an indelible mark. A school can rescind a degree I should have the same right to renounce my claim to it (and any benefits thereto.

    Oh, and I also have a D.D. From the Universal Life Church that I bought when I was still in high school, half out of ignorance and half out of curiosity, which I keep around as a novelty. So, I suppose you have me there, I indeed have TWO unaccredited religious degrees!
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree with your reasoning. This board is a bit obsessed with accreditation matters. I don't think people cares much in the real world if you have a MDiv from an unaccredited school when you go to church as long as the church recognizes the qualification. I attend a spiritual non denomination church and people giving service use the title reverend but never bothered to ask them where they got their degree (if they have any), the point is that the church recognized their qualification and they are preaching a faith with it.

    As you, I completed a metaphysics qualification from a metaphysics church for personal reasons but never put it in a resume. I was happy I completed the qualification as it helps me in my daily life but who cares that was not granted by a regional accredited school.

    If I become a raelian and get a MSc in Ufology so I can practice this faith, why should I care if the degree is accredited if all I want is to practice a faith.

    Again, if I use the doctorate or masters in my resume for a regular job in order to deceive prospect employers that I have traditional education, this can be considered unethical but if all I want is to practice a faith, who cares if the school is accredited as long as the qualification is recognized by the religious institution that I want to belong to.

    If people is so bothered because a church uses academic titles such as doctor, master or bachelor, I would propose that a church uses non academic titles such as minister, bishops, deacon, etc in their diplomas in order to avoid confusion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2016
  19. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    Its not the accreditation we are obsessed with. Yet that seems to be ok when it does not pertain to religion? Anyways my point is a well educated person can properly understand the bible in a way that a uneducated person can not. It takes years of study that is almost unachievable without a well structured program. I get it, yall hold unaccredited degrees and of course you think its ok. Its not! Some people work there butts of to earn real degrees. I am lumping all these programs together I know, you both probably went to the best unaccredited school around so this does not apply to your school right? People keep inserting these false arguments into this conversation, if I wanted to stat the Church of Neuhaus or the Church of Ufology who are you to stop me from practicing my faith? No one wants to stop you from practicing any faith, if you want to do it go for it! Why do you need a degree to do that? Why earn a degree? Can we cut the BS and admit that people want the prestige that goes along with the title and if we banned degree titles for unaccredited schools and they had to only issue certificates and diplomas people would stop going to most of these schools.
  20. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Much as you said, within the context of who officiates at any given church and what their credentials might be, I really don't care. If it's good enough for those people then it's ok with me. To the extent that I belong to an organized religion I recognize that many, maybe even most, Buddhist teachers have no credentials that might be recognized as meaning anything to most people. And that's ok with me too. As for your practice of the raelian faith, I guess I'd only want to point out that you really don't need a MSc in anything in order to participate in that (your) religion just as you don't need an MDiv or any other degree to practice any of the Christian denominations.

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