University of Sedona Dissertation

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

  1. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    You do not need a degree to join any faith I know of. Now to be employed you might/do, but very rarely is it allowed (main stream) to be from an unaccredited school.

    Its not the churches using the titles, its the people who want to work in them that do. Most people are not aware of accreditation and most churches want you to at min hold a bachelors and the normal is a M.Div. These people that hire pastors are volunteers/ elders and most know very little of fake degrees. I would say most would be upset if they later found out that a pastor used a fake degree to gain employment.
  2. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    And again, for UOC-USA, St. Sophia is a PREFERRED choice. Over RA/ATS St. Vlad's, St. Tikhon's or greek Holy Trinity, or NYSBOR Holy Trinity - Jordanville, and by far over any non-Pravoslav school no matter how accredited. Similarly, Christ the Saviour Seminary in PA is the preferred seminary for ACROD. I'm willing to bet this is like this for many legitimate but small-ish churches in the USA, like some continuous Anglican groups. These schools are indispensable for their jurisdictions, but will always be too small to be accredited.
  3. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Why unaccredited is equal to fake? Why religion is equal to bible knowledge?
    I don't agree that all unaccredited religious degrees are fake, if a person wants to train for a ministerial credential that is not available at a traditional school, why do you tag it as a fake?

    This thread was originated by the University of Sedona that teaches metaphysics. The Sedona ministerial credential does not include Bible courses. You are assuming that any religious school requires bible training but in the case of metaphysics, this is not the case.
    You are also assuming that a ministerial credential should take many years. In Canada, most Christian non-denominational churches licenses require only two years of training for a ministerial license and it does not have to be from a regional accredited school but it can be from a recognized bible college. If I want to become a minister in Canada at a non denominational church, why should I invest thousands of dollars and seven years of training when one thousand and two years of training might be enough for my objective?

    Yes, there are some people out there that take PhDs at metaphysical schools because they want to deceive people with it and I agree that this is unethical.
    I do agree that University of Sedona grants PhD titles in order to attract students so in a way they are also engaging in unethical practices as they are granting a degree that can be abused as a PhD in religious psychology.

    The University of Sedona is not the only metaphysics school, there are hundreds around the world and most do not grant PhDs. Most metaphysical schools only grant ordination certificates or at the most a doctor of metaphysical science but not PhDs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2016
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, but if I decided to take a MDiv in Ufology because I want to learn how UFOs influenced the bible and why they come to save the earth in order to enhance my faith. Why should I be tagged as a fake and lazy because I did not want to take a traditional Christian MDiv at a regional accredited University?
    It seems that one should be ashamed of wanting to learn something at a unaccredited school. Forgive us if we don't want to pay thousands of dollars to learn something for personal development.
  5. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    Once more, why do you need the M Div to learn? If you want to learn feel free to do it, why do you need a professional title?
  6. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    This is not really true that they are the preferred school. They think that but the other accredited schools say other wise. Also there are much smaller schools then them that are a accredited.
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I don't think anyone here is opposed to learning something new, probably not so much when it comes to unaccredited schools, it's just when someone tries to make an unaccredited degree into something it's not that it becomes a problem.
  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    If my church (e.g. raelian church) has an online ordination program that I follow that comes with a M.Div, why should I be tagged as a lazy and a fake because of this?

    I followed probably tens of religious courses in metaphysics, theology, parapsychology in the last 20 years and it happens that one of these schools granted me a Masters degree. Do I need it? No, but why should I be considered in fault because something that I wanted to learn comes with it?

    I realize that students like yourself feel that people like me that take unaccredited religious programs are devaluing the religious degrees but the fact is that some religious programs come with the credential even if you don't want it.
    The University of Sedona is a perfect example, one must get a BS or MS in order to become a metaphysical minister. One might not want the degree but it happens that the ordination comes with it, you have the option of not disclosing the degree which is my case but I should not be tagged as lazy and fake because my choice.
  9. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    There is a reason you do this, and you're wise in doing so.
  10. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is true that it is the preferred school for the UOC-USA. It is the denomination's official school. This isn't a marketing ploy on their part. Call the UOC-USA and talk to their vocation director, he will recommend you apply to St. Sophia's.

    And, considering they pump out less than 10 graduates per year, I would like you to identify the smaller canonically recognized Eastern Orthodox seminaries which are accredited.

    Please, manufacture a few more facts without any evidence and then lecture us about ethics, you're getting very good at it.
  11. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    However, if I were part of a religious group that utilized unaccredited study I would, of course, participate as I felt was appropriate and be proud of my credentials within the context of that group.

    I happen to know of a church in Florida that very strongly encourages all of its members to participate in its 4 year part-time B.Min. program. Each year earns you a new credential (certificate, diploma, etc) before ultimately awarding you a Bachelor of Ministry. I have a family member who attends and she says that it's pretty much expected that everyone sign up for the program and complete, at a minimum, the first year.

    Now, that program happens to be accredited by TRACS. But it wasn't always. And TRACS itself is fairly new to the accreditation game having only been recognized in 1991 (and, even then, in a controversial move). So, yes, there are indeed faith groups that push internal education programs heavily.

    The question is what are you doing with the degree? Are you using it fraudulently? Because, again, a B.Min. has very limited utility, even if it came from a school with bulletproof accreditation, in the secular job market. The only possible situation where my having an M.Div. listed on my resume would help me find would would be if I was applying for an HR position at a religious seminary, bible school or a very large and very clearly religious organization. That's pretty much it.

    And, as we've seen, if I had an M.Div. from LBU and wanted to apply for a job at Liberty University, it would be rather unlikely that Liberty would point a finger and accuse me of being dishonest with them for having an unaccredited degree. They might not admit me to their doctoral program but the institution itself has a view toward LBU grads that strongly favors theology over accreditation.

    And, as an HR professional, I very clearly see a difference between a person using a degree from a known mill like Almeda from someone who claims a degree that is religious from a small bible school. The intent behind someone with a B.Min. from a small place in rural wherever that operates under religious exemption is very different from the accountant with the MBA he paid $500 for. Very different.
  12. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    OK now your just miss reading what I said. There are some tiny schools that hold accreditation. I did not say smaller UOC-USA seminarys that do. And there are so fine Ukrainian seminarys that hold accreditation as well that would disagree st Sophia is the only way to go. Ethics lol? Holding a unaccredited degree, refusing to say where from and then waiting so long to disclose it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2016
  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    OK, that's fine. List out the tiny schools that are accredited and graduate 10 or fewer people each year.

    OK, name them. Please list the "fine" Ukrainian seminaries which are as acceptable to the UOC-USA as their own official seminary.

    I don't need to "disclose it" this isn't an inside stock transaction. Nor are you entitled to know anything more about it. Please tell me what ethical system requires me to tell you about every educational endeavor I've ever undertaken.

    And yes, I do think you "lol" when it comes to ethics. You have consistently manufactured facts and then deflected when people have confronted you about them all while sitting on a cloud proclaiming that the President of an accredited seminary, a law school professor and, essentially, almost every Ukrainian Orthodox priest in the United States is an unethical fraud because you've latched onto a position with such vigor that you refuse to consider even moderating your stance.

    At this point I'm pretty sure you're willing to label Billy Graham* a liar and a fraud rather than just admit that the situation is more nuanced than you first presented.

    *Billy Graham attended Bob Jones University in 1936 many years before it was accredited by TRACS and continued his studies at the Florida Bible Institute many years before it was accredited by ABHE. Though he does have an accredited B.A. in Anthropology from Wheaton College
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Seriously? You're being completely ridiculous to say that. Better to swallow your pride and admit to yourself that you took too strong a position.
  15. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I would tend to agree Steve. Plus b4cz28's stand against a seminary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is ridiculous, flies in the face of logic and education facts. I think he made a universal statement and then allowed no flexibility when facts contradicted it. So, he doubled down. You have much to learn grasshopper.
  16. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    UOCUSA has exactly two people who have faculties to ordain clergy: Met. Anthony and Bp. Daniel. As you can plainly see, they are also senior administration of the seminary. Nuff said.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That's because the very concept of DL is rooted in accreditation matters. First, there was the dearth of accredited DL options, then we saw the rise of alternatives to the RA system (like DEAC). Finally, the internet and World Wide Web brought the availability of foreign degree programs. In all of this are a number of yet-to-be resolved issues and a whole lot of misunderstanding about the subject, inversely correlated with the level of anger injected into the argument, of course.

    When it comes to DL, accreditation will matter until it is replaced.
  18. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I think that's a lovely notion that isn't particularly well rooted in reality.

    Accreditation will matter to whom?

    In another thread you pointed out that our industry doesn't particularly care about accreditation. And you've also pointed out that a simple LinkedIn search reveals that many diploma mill alumni have found work (some at large and impressive firms).

    We're seeing a shift in hiring as we enter into a skills crunch. There was a time when a degree in "stuff" meant that you could find any number of entry level jobs that, a few years earlier, didn't require an education at all.

    Now we're seeing unemployed business admin majors. We're seeing people with bachelor's degrees in economics working in call centers.

    Some employers in some industries are cool with the whole liberal arts concept and the idea of hiring a well rounded person for an organizational fit all the while accepting the notion that the employee and the company will grow together in terms of skills and ability. However, those companies typically aren't paying very much at all. However, if you want to work at Enterprise Rental Cars they love hiring college grads with zero skills, making them wear ties and teaching them how to operate within their business model.

    But the best jobs are going to people with skills. And companies are having such a hard time finding those relevant skills that they, frankly, don't give a damn about degrees. It's the reason why Google and Facebook are willing to hire people in the middle of their college studies and lure them away from graduation. They want people who have skills.

    Employers are now looking at things that don't involve accreditation at all. Employees are using MOOCs to demonstrate their interest in new areas, to build those desirable skills. Ten years ago, those same employees might have signed up for a Masters. But we have watered down Masters programs proliferating. Having a Masters in Analytics might just mean you only took 10 classes which encompassed your initial introduction to analytics and ended with, at best, a study up to the intermediate level of the discipline.

    And then some guy with a B.A. in English Lit, who has been building up his R and Python programming chops via free courses on Coursera swoops in and wins the interview.

    So who, exactly, does accreditation matter to in this discussion of DL? By your own admission it isn't HR, it isn't most hiring managers. It matters to us, to an extent. But beyond these boards it's largely a thought experiment that is wrought with caveats and nuance.

    Regional Accreditation matters. RA or the highway, right? Well, except for the Rockefeller University and Sloan Kettering PhDs whose institutions were accredited solely by the NYS Board of Regents. I guess they'll have to settle for working on the faculty of the Ivy League medical schools that employ so many of their graduates because moving to Canada may not be an option open to them with WES taking the RA or the highway approach.

    Accreditation matters in religious education. Except, of course, for the many times when it simply doesn't. Those are the occasions where accreditation affords very little utility. Get an M.Div. from a seminary affiliated with the Unification Church and walk into a Catholic diocese and yell "OK, I have an M.Div, ordain me!" and see how far it takes you. And you can sit there sniveling and crying, "But,'s regionally accredited AND accredited by ATS!" as you're laughed out of the building.

    Accreditation is a good measure. And it does validate a certain baseline of quality. But it's purpose in the U.S. is access to Title IV funds. That's it. It's kind of like how your social security number is just an account number for social security benefits. The fact that your doctor, employer, the military and the IRS love using it as an identifier is great, but that isn't the purpose of the number.

    And with so many schools now causing people to scratch their heads and question what it means for a school to be "legitimate" or have "quality" curriculum people are now looking and meaningfully asking whether accreditation does all of the things it never intended to do but people simply accepted blindly. And you know what? It's a good question to have. It's a fine time to ask why, if you wanted to start a college tomorrow, you should have to shell out mega bucks for multiple site visits paying for the hotel, business class airfare and meals of a team of people to pour through your records. It's a fine time to ask how effective that system is when accreditors like ACICS apparently put their seal on programs that are decades out of date. It's a fine time to see how much of a consumer protection it is when schools like UofP are charging you through the nose for a degree you'll be paying off for the rest of your life.

    We don't actually need degrees. We need knowledge and skills. Degrees were a fine way of validating that you had both, for a good long while. At least, that was the perception. But people's minds are changing. And there may come a time when a degree from the kind hearted and unaccredited bible college down the road carries more weight than one from the regionally accredited for-profit college. Some would argue we're already there.
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    This can be the case for professional education but in my opinion it does not stand for religious education. It is really your church or religious institution that can tell what is accepted or not. If I belong to a Ufologist religion, my church would want me to take a MDiv or any other program that relates to Ufology and it won't accept any catholic, protestant or evangelist MDiv no matter how accredited is.

    Most of the metaphysics schools that I attended required me to take courses from scratch and they never accepted previous education no matter how accredited it was. This justified with the principle that they were teaching a faith within a church and their programs were unique for that faith.

    Yes, there is an obsession to take only accredited programs in this board but many times this won't matter for you to reach your objective.

    Bottom line is that religious degrees should not use traditional titles in order to avoid confusion. The problem in this board is that if you hold a degree designation that is not blessed by a particular agency, you are a fake and lazy because you are holding a qualification that you don't deserve to hold.

    Education should be able to meet one's objective, accreditation should not be the final goal but should be able to serve our goal.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2016
  20. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    I would like to say that I have no problems with any school doing as they please, I just believe they should not use traditional degree titles unless they are accredited.

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