University of Sedona Dissertation

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

  1. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    I don't know jack squat about HR, I was just stirring the pot a little. For all I know most of them just check to see if the appropriate degree box is ticked and then go back to playing Candy Crush.

    It's a lot less wacky that believing a dude walked on water. But I believe that dude, if it be right to call him a dude, walked on water just as easily as I just typed on this keyboard.
  2. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    As do I, and have absolutely no problem in doing so.

    I also believe that anyone who diminishes the issue of accreditation doesn't have all the facts.
  3. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I think people were not so much diminishing accreditation as contesting bcz's patently inaccurate statements about schools such as the Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary, WELS seminary and so on.

    Generally, one should choose an accredited school (certain religious schools are exceptions). I strenuously object to anyone offering degrees (religious or not) that do not meet generally held standards for that degree. People excuse many unaccredited substandard faith programs when what they are really excusing is laziness or inability to complete an accredited faith based program.

    Sedona's PhD dissertations should strike anyone as problematic.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2016
  4. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    I never said those schools were substandard, I don't even know what wes stands for. I merely believe that any should try to attain accreditation, if not, they should not offer degrees.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Now you do.... :smile:

    World Education Services: WES Credential Evaluation

  6. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    You know, if I ever move south, I'll be a UOC-USA member. My daughter was baptized in Florida by St. Sophia faculty member, and her baptismal certificate is signed by Met. Anthony (who is also St. Sophia's Rector). So, in case an annual General Synod would ever discuss spending money on accreditation for the seminary, I would be in favor of putting them into the clergy pension fund, or donating to IOCC for charitable activities. We are a canonical part of the global Orthodox Communion - that's recognition enough; accreditation is just a nice to have. On the other hand, since our clergy have exactly the same training as the Greeks and the Russians, I would insist they are handed exactly the same degree. Outsiders can go direct their own faith communities.
  7. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    Sorry I ment to type WELS Seminary.
  8. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Well stated!
  9. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    You can object all you want and someone criticize the UoS dissertation to death but the reality is that these degrees are legal. I checked and the state laws are very clear, as long as the PhD has a religious qualifier such as metaphysics, pastoral counseling, etc the school is exempted from a license and can grant a PhD.

    I believe this is a legal issue and should be brought to a legal discussion. I don't particular like this law but the fact is that one could display a UoS PhD as long as the religious qualifier is included (e.g. PhD in Spiritual Psychology).

    No one can prevent a UoS degree holder from displaying this degree except for those states where they have particular laws against it (e.g. Oregon),

    It is a complex matter and I agree that people are abusing these laws but one could legally counsel someone as a spiritual counselor and display the doctorate in a business card without any legal concern.

    UoS is clearly abusing this exemption law but I don't think the opinion of people from this board can really change anything as far as the legality of the degree.

    Again, I don't see Microsoft or Google running after graduates of UoS but I believe the market for these degrees are people looking for private practices and use legal titles that can deceive people in making them believe that the degree holder is a qualified psychologist or counselor.
  10. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Maybe there are. But I would say that the bulk of the customers are probably self-styled religious gurus who want to lend credibility to their rantings on their websites and on web forums.

    I've seen more than a handful of people with accredited degrees in pastoral counseling and divinity hang out a shingle and operate unlicensed "pastoral counseling" practices. Some states have tighter regulations than others when dealing with that sort of activity.

    But you can also just be a "life coach." For years psychologists and counselors who lost their licenses in New York fled to New Jersey and opened practices as psychoanalysts, a profession which is regulated in New York State but was not previously regulated in New Jersey.

    My point is that there are numerous ways to behave unethically in this space. The University of Sedona is of no consequence. They don't aid fraud in the mental health world any more than providers of accredited degrees that do not lead to licensure. And no one in higher ed is likely to take one of their graduates seriously. The only place where UofS (an abbreviation I prefer for my own alma mater) actually "matters" is in the whacky world of new age practitioners. Much like how the only people who care about a ThD from Trinity Seminary (Newburgh) tend to belong to a certain demographic of conservative Christian churches.

    If you don't like them then you can ignore them. But let's not inflate the damage they are inflicting upon the world (none).
  11. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Some of those people can be enormously harmful to your mental health. Once served as an elder with a pastor who ran a counseling service on the side, called it "Christian Counseling Service". The guy, once I got to know him, seemed to fit virtually every criterion for narcissistic personality disorder or sociopathy, he belonged in counseling himself, he had no business helping anyone with much of anything (except for drywall hanging, another sidelight of his in which he was genuinely competent), and here he was with a bachelor's in psychology and a master's in education (both RA) holding himself out as competent to counsel people on psychological and spiritual issues--akin to Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton speaking on ethics.

    Even some of those who are well-meaning, unlike my (thankfully) former pastor colleague can be dangerous if they treat the Bible like a scientific manual on mental health and treatment methods. God may decide to heal someone by divine intervention, but the idea that a self-styled spiritual counselor can offer complete mental health services to one with a chemical imbalance can be extremely dangerous. Spiritual counseling is fine and may in fact deal with a number of mental issues, but just as the Bible is not a manual for automotive repair, it's not a manual for mental health. (by the way, I'm a Christian, not a skeptic, just skeptical of those who think because they claim to follow God, they automatically have a pat answer to every problem--it's not that simple).
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2016
  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify, when I said:

    I was referring to the University of Sedona, not people who decide they're going to pretend to be qualified mental health practitioners.

    As FTFaculty has noted, it isn't a good game for amateurs. Heck, there are people with proper credentials who do damage (often unintentionally).

    My point was just that the University of Sedona does not appear to be in the business of providing fraudulent mental health credentials. Do some people misuse their "education" from this school? Possibly. But people misuse accredited degrees like that as well. It has little to do with accreditation and rigor and more to do with the fact that some people think that theological training gives you a roadmap to fixing all of a person's woes. And some people are just outright frauds.

    Trying to conflate the issues of unlicensed practitioners and a few new agey folks who want PhDs in metaphysics is a stretch.

    And, lest I be accused of harboring diploma mill sympathies, let me reiterate that if there were a reasonably priced accreditation (thus discounting RA) solution for non-Christian and non-Orthodox Jewish theological and philosophical programs I would have less sympathy for unaccredited religious exempt programs.

    If there was a USDOE recognized organization, on par with TRACS, that approved programs for non-denominational faith groups, Buddhists, Hindus, liberal Christians, basically all of the faith groups not already covered by faith based accreditors, heck, I think unaccredited schools would be completely out of excuses. But such a remedy does not exist. And until it does I'm not going to get worked up about schools like USedona unless they do something really egregious like start straight up selling medical degrees.
  13. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    I understand, however, legality denotes neither integrity or ethics.
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I think it might be a bit more complicated than that. The first is the fact that the title matters. If you use "Spiritual Counselor" that may be true in some places but not others. These things are controlled by state laws and they're not all the same. For example, we've had conversation here where it's been said that even someone with a RA PhD in something like Developmental Psychology doesn't allow someone to call themselves a "Psychologist" as this term is reserved for people with degrees in Clinical or Counseling Psychology. Is that true everywhere? Probably not but I guess it's true in some places. Another element of that same issue is simply, "Do you need a degree a anything in order to refer to yourself as a Spiritual Counselor? I'm guessing that in most places the answer is no. I could print up a bunch of business cards that describe me as a "Weather Analyst" but that doesn't mean I have a degree in Meteorology, Atmosphere Science or anything remotely related. I just like talking about the weather.
  15. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    Lets also note you hold an unaccredited degree, its in your interest to allow these kind of people to operate.

    Yes in fact if you are a Christian and your pastor has a substandard education chances are he's not teaching you correctly.

    If someone who is untrained is doing counseling, the damaging could be deadly.
    Could you imagine a someone going to one of these Andersonville grads with a "license" to council? Scary
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I believe you - he was real, but he also seems like a perfect subject for a horror-novel - or maybe a couple of episodes for a major TV crime show. Can't wait for it to come out! Best-seller! :smile:


    PS - I once wrote a story about a drywall-hanger and blues musician who had a couple of strangulations on his CV. Strength in his hands, etc. Never published...
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2016
  17. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    The guy is definitely movie or TV villain material, a septuagenarian with big biceps and fit like a 30 year old athlete, a powerful physical presence, something like Hannibal Lecter, except less dangerous to one's physical health but also less forthright, with a sweet on the outside/sadistic on the inside vibe.

    So you write the story about the sociopathic pastor/counselor/drywall hanger and we'll sell it to Hollywood. His real name's Pastor Ed, sounds about right for our purposes.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well ... maybe. As long as he doesn't find out... :smile:

  19. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Please, explain to me, specifically, how it is in my interest.

    I signed up for a non-degree program, a degree was awarded after I left the denomination. I don't claim the degree. I don't use the degree. Neither you nor anyone else in the world (aside from the issuing authority) would know I had it had I not told you in the course of this thread. So, please outline for me which of my interests are served by any portion of this conversation.
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Sorry, this one made me laugh. I confess that I bought a Doctor of Elvis degree from the University of Graceland at ebay.

    I live in such a shame after this because every time I do my Elvis impersonation, I know I am not a real Doctor of Elvis and a fake.

    It is my quest in life to get acceptance of this degree by posting in degree info that religious doctorates are real, Elvis degrees are considered religious degrees as they are meant to worship the God of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley.

    Now that you found me out, you can expose me to the world and will not be able to sign as DE my business cards as an impersonator.

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