Volunteer Adjunct Lecturers Needed

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by Larry McDowell, Apr 4, 2020.

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  1. Larry McDowell

    Larry McDowell New Member

    I am Dean of McDowell Bible College. We are seeking volunteers with a masters degree or PhD in fields related to our degrees below who are willing to give some time to develop PowerPoint with video and audio lectures for even one class or to be an instructor for a class giving feedback to students and grading any exams and assignments as they go through a course. We are a new distance learning school providing 16 FREE degrees and certificates for Christians who are looking to train for ministry, biblical studies, leadership and administration, or information systems management. Our standards are as high as most colleges and universities, we are just new and have not met the threshold for serious accreditation yet. However, with the standards we have, we will in the next two years. Our courses are demanding and rewarding for any new career in the above fields. Please go to our website and take a look, I think you will find our school one that you can be proud of if you become a volunteer faculty member there. We exist off of donations and volunteer staff and qualified faculty, so we depend on people just like you. We serve disadvantaged Christian students around the world. Send your resume to
    (links removed by Moderator)
    Thanks.

    God Bless!
    Larry McDowell
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2020
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This statement--the last sentence--is irresponsible. It is also contrary to accreditors' expectations that schools pursuing accreditation NOT make forward-looking statements that imply accreditation is on the way. Please stop doing that.

    Your website says this about accreditation: "McDowell Bible College (MBC) is a private, nonprofit institution incorporated in the State of Alabama not aligned with any other institution public or private. It is recognized by the National Bible College Association as an accredited educational institution meeting their standards for certification and accreditation."

    This is misleading and you should remove it. There is no disclaimer that the "National Bible College Association" is not a recognized accreditor which, in turn, means your school is NOT accredited at all, as far as that concept goes in higher education. The The National Bible College Association does not make it clear on their website that they are NOT a recognized accreditor, that their accreditation has no meaning in higher education.

    Shall I go on? Oh, okay, thanks.

    The Dean does not list his degrees. At all. The school's website lists no faculty members. You can't go around awarding master's degrees without a graduate faculty.

    Four master's degree programs are offered, along with diploma and certificate programs. Again, no faculty listed.

    About admissions to the graduate programs: All of our master's degrees require a four-year degree of at least 120 semester hours on any major, with a 2.5 (C+) grade point average for all previous college work, or a 2.0 (C) grade point average with probation and to earn a 2.5 in all future work.

    This is odd, since it is customary for graduate students to maintain a 3.0 average during a probationary admissions period, as well as an overall 3.0 to graduate.

    Lots and lots of courses are listed. They all seem to have 1-sentence descriptions like this one for "BIB5901-Mark": Study of the Gospel of Mark. Okay, but there must be more to it than that. The textbook is TBA, but I suspect the Bible will be required reading, but what do I know?

    I could go on, but what's the point? The accreditation issue is the major problem here. The rest of the website looks like someone's outline of what a bible college will be, not an actual one. Until the misleading accreditation matter is cleared up, I don't see how anyone in good conscience could contribute to this enterprise.

    (There is a book on Amazon called "Alabama Slim - It All Started in Korea" by a Larry J. McDowell. Sort of a Forrest Gump clone. Same guy?)
     
  3. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    I would enjoy watching a new movie on Forrest Gump meeting the original Alabama Slim, Iceberg Slim.
     
  4. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    Rich,

    A question for you. Clearly, an academic discussion must include a diversity of views... that is the basis of intellectual progress and freedom of speech. However, how do we treat certain schools that are focused on discussions from another era? For example, is there a legitimate academic course on climatology that includes rain dancing (i.e. not as an element of history or sociology but science). I think it is an interesting area of tension.
     
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I really don't understand your question. I'm not trying to be impolite and dismiss it. I can't figure out what you're asking. Perhaps stated another way?

    None of my criticisms had to do with the purpose of the school nor its subject matter. It was more about defrauding consumers.
     
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Mr. McDowell previously posted a blatant ad for his new "school" and it was deleted by me. I also sent Mr. McDowell a warning about not advertising on our site and his post above is an indication to me that he does not intend to adhere to our Terms Of Service. As a result, I banned him. I had a little corona-fueled attitude and now he's gone. I think I'm going to kill that link in his post too. I feel a little better now.
     
  7. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    It's disappointing if he has blatantly disregarded warnings.
     
  8. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    I guess that is my question, is there a point where the purpose of a school and its subject matter should be out of bounds for an academic degree?
     
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  10. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    Actually, I would be OK with Bowling Industry Management but may question Christian Bowling Industry Management :)
     
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    You didn't direct this to me but I'm going to answer anyway...

    I think it is completely reasonable for a school to say "Listen, we teach religion. We know our religion better than any body accredited by the USDOE so we aren't going through that process." If I start the First National Church of Neuhaus then who better to teach Neuhausian theology than me?

    The kicker is that if that is my position, then I should find a method of conferral which does not evoke academic wording. There is no reason for my Neuhausian priests to require an M.Div. I decide when they are ready to be ordained. There is no shame in my awarding diplomas or certificates. This is done, for example by the Christian Community (a specific denomination by that name founded by Rudolf Steiner), they have a full time residential program for their clergy. It takes 2-3 years, full time study. At the end, if approved, you get ordained. No degree is conferred. Part of the reason for that could well be that their training program is located within the state of New York and we don't have a religious exemption.

    If you want to award academic degrees then you are saying, in essence, not only are you well equipped to teach your specific theology but you are doing so in accordance with academic standards which transcend your theological beliefs. ATS can accredit a Roman Catholic seminary and an Anabaptist seminary equally because they are not giving their imprimatur to the theology but to the academic standards of the institutions.

    So all of these claims that "we're accredited by Jesus Christ" or how accreditation is, somehow, rendering unto Caesar that which is God's or whatever the argument is is ridiculous. You're free to believe what you want. Free to practice what you want. Free to teach what you want. The issue comes into play with awarding credentials that have a secular meaning even when awarded in religious subjects because the rigor that goes into that degree, and the management of the school, should be the same whether your major is religion or biology.
     
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's interesting that you describe degrees as "credentials that have a secular meaning" when they were a development of religious institutions in the first place. They're centuries old and have no trademark, so let people and institutions do as they see fit.
     
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Ahh, on that I have an opinion.

    Religion can be studied academically from a host of perspectives. You can look at its history, mythology, sociology, economics, business, arts and culture, and who-knows-what-else. Any of this can be considered a legitimate line of inquiry.

    But when the contents of a particular religious text is taught as revealed truth, and that everything else stems from that very basic precept, you've moved from studying religion academically to studying only within its bounds and requirements. Trying to determine the historical existence of Jesus is one thing; requiring that I accept something he supposedly said because it is in the Bible is quite another. Studying the concept of heaven vs. teaching that when you die you go to heaven and you use the New Testament as your source. Et cetera.

    Writing the script to Monty Python and the Holy Grail is not worthy of a doctorate. But writing a thesis about the movie apparently is.
     
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Candlepins are a Northeast phenomenon. I've done it once (in Massachusetts), but being a lifelong devotee of tenpins, I found it uninteresting with no nuance. Throw it hard, straight, with no loft, and hope. In tenpin bowling, you have ball surfaces, weighting, lane surfaces, oil patterns, etc. Or you can just rent some shoes, grab a ball of the rack, and chuck it down the lane between swigs of your beer. That works, too.
     
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    That is my strategy. Sometimes I have trouble with the straight part.
     
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    They were, indeed, developed by religious institutions. Those institutions not just being a smattering of vaguely affiliated religious sounding institutions, mind you. They were institutions of the Roman Catholic Church which, to this day, does not seem to avail itself of religious exemption to crank out crappy degrees. So good are they that, most of us at least would, consider the Pontifical universities that hold no external accreditation other than a long dead Pope's seal to be top notch institutions. That's a notion which, by the way, is shared by the bulk of academia as well.

    The institutions which established this levels have been responsible stewards of the same and secular schools afford them all due credit there.

    Had Pope Urban opened up the Angelicum through a post office box in Louisiana and charged a cool $350 for a Licentiate in Sacred Theology after you did a brief multiple choice exam, I think we'd have a different view of that system and the environment in which it grew.

    While there is no trademark there is, almost universally, some regulation as to what gets called a bachelors, masters or doctorate degree. Without that regulation, weekend seminars could (and have) purport to confer academic degrees. With a slick enough website, it would be quite difficult for a consumer or an employer to beware. Atlantic International University talks a good game. Were we not to look at their accreditation page they could easily sway us that they were a more viable degree option than they really are.

    I know your feelings on the government regulating this activity. So let me just say...I don't even think it needs to be the government necessarily. But unless we start forming guilds to self-regulate everything, the internet makes it way too easy to create a bogus religious school awarding MBAs. Ferreting out the good from the bad could become a job unto itself.

    Or, we could do like New York does...

    Religious school? No approval needed to teach unless your teaching trains clergy or teachers.

    Religious school trains teachers or clergy? No problem. Just register your school in the same manner as any barber college or trade school.

    Religious school wants to award degrees? Well now, you had two choices historically. Either the government or the Roman Catholic Church could tell you that's OK or not, in the situations where the two were not directly intermingled, at least. As Rome has little control over Albany, that leaves you with the regents.

    You and I both know that freedom and doing whatever you want regardless of how it affects other people are not the same thing.
     
  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    The job takes less than sixty seconds: https://www.chea.org/search-institutions
     
  19. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    Rich,

    I agree with you (I think); that is something I've liked about certain characteristics of the Canadian system. If you study at a University, you are in the generally in the bounds of academic inquiry. They have "faith-based institutions" which are accreditated, but they are generally considered of a different ilk and credits are not necessarily transferable to the major universities. In the US, there doesn't appear to be this distinction.
     
  20. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Yes, the job of finding an accredited school takes less than 60 seconds.

    My point was that the job of sifting through religious schools operating without accreditation would be much more time consuming.

    I'm not arguing that religious schools should be able to award degrees. Just that if they claim to award academic degrees, even ones religious in nature, then they should meet the same academic standards as any other school awarding academic degrees.

    Otherwise it's a guessing game.
     

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