Luther Rice Seminary

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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby Tark » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:39 am

One former CIU student has described the school's approach to budgeting as follows:
When I was a student at Columbia International University, I was struck by the way in which I understood how they operated financially. I don’t know what their practice is now, but when I was there, if I recall correctly, faculty received “allowances,” the school made known its financial needs to, among other things, cover those allowances and then prayed — and I mean really prayed! — that God would supply the funds the school needed... not necessarily what they wanted, but what they really needed. Sometimes it came down to the wire as to whether or not those faculty allowances would be paid in full.

While this approach may be quite inspiring from a faith-based perspective, it's probably not what secular accreditation agencies are looking for when they evaluate a school's "financial resources" and "financial stability".
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby some gobbledygook » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:50 am

Columbia Biblical Seminary/Columbia International University (I spelled it out to clarify that I’m not recommending the unaccredited school with a similar name) is an excellent choice. Their required residencies are definitely a good thing. Were it not for the financial aspect, I wouldn’t bother recommending other schools since you’re happy there. If you need provision, consider that most seminaries have funds earmarked by donors to offset tuition costs for students, but those are typically used for the residential students. My seminary underwrote over a third of the tuition, so it’s a route worth exploring. There are two excellent seminaries with campuses close to you that I think allow 1/3 of their degrees to come through DL. New York is a big state, so neither Westminster nor Gordon-Conwell may be close enough, but both have modified schedules for commuters and two campuses.

I too am glad to see you’re placing quality education above cost. Too many people claim the subject is important to them, but then betray that sentiment by seeking shortcuts and bargains at the expense of quality. You only get one chance at seminary, so you’ve got to make it count!

Best wishes on your journey,

s.g.
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby levicoff » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:38 am

I think the discussion of CIU's status with SACS has to be kept in perspective - several reputable schools have had problems with the regional agencies over the years. One that readily comes to mind is Liberty U. (Falwell's school), which had hassles with SACS in the early years of the LUSLL program (their distance program, then known as the Liberty University School of Lifelong Learning). I've often felt that this was one of the reasons that Liberty hedged their bets by seeking TRACS accreditation in the first place. Ultimately, of course, all of the issues were straightened out and they kept a high-level status with SACS.

Old-timers will also recall that Westminster Theological Seminary, mentioned above by some gobbledygook and a bastion for Van Tilian presuppositional apologetics, had its hassles with Middle States over the issue of gender inclusion on its board of trustees. Those issues, too, are very much a thing of the past.

Even my own doctoral alma mater, Union, had its controversies with both the North Central Association and the Ohio Board of Regents over academic integrity issues at one time. Union, of course, made so many changes in their intrinsic program model and delivery systems that I no longer recommend them despite their regional accreditation.)

I doubt that CIS is about to go down the tubes. But some schools have - in the world of distance education, really old-timers may remember that Beacon College in Washington, DC, was one of the, um, beacons (ba-da-bum!) in the field, and no longer exists today. Moreover, Goddard College has gone through so many financial crises over the years that it's sometimes a wonder they're still around at all. Vermont College (my M.A. alma mater) no longer exists, having first been sold by Norwich University to Union, their programs ultimately integrated into Union itself, and the campus being reborn as the Vermont College of Fine Arts. And many people's favorite program at the undergrad level, Regents College of the University of the State of New York, went private and renamed itself after packaging material (Excelsior College - yes, I know that it's also the state nickname).

Ultimately, you have to look at the condition and status of a school today; including both their financial security and their program model. If it fits, go for it. Statistically, it is unlikely to change but, as the above examples show, anything is possible with any school.

By the way, for any newbies reading this thread, thanks to some gobbledygook for pointing out that we're talking here about the legitimate and multi-accredited Columbia International University, the former Columbia Bible College & Seminary, in Columbia, SC - not Columbia Evangelical Seminary, the former Faraston Theological Seminary run by Rick Walston in Washington State, which is a mickey-mouse school and, IMO, a degree mill. (If anyone wonders why I say that, just do some research in old threads, since CES is not the topic of this thread.)
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby BDavis » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:17 pm

Dreamer,
I know you stated you were looking for a M.Div. program, but if an M.A. would suffice, you can't beat Johnson Bible College's (soon to be "Johnson University") program at:
http://www.jbc.edu/masters-degree/new-testament.html

It is Regionally Accredited and only requires three short (2-3 day) campus visits. I completed this degree in the late 90s and it looks like it is basically setup the same, with a little more modern technology (when I did it the classes were on VHS tapes). Cost is $240 per semester hour.

They estimate your total expenses for the program at $10,105:
http://www.jbc.edu/study-at-home/master ... ml?start=4

Also, I was able to combine visits 2 and 3, so I only spent a total of six days on campus for the entire program.

Barry
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby Jimmy » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:40 pm

BDavis wrote:Dreamer,
I know you stated you were looking for a M.Div. program, but if an M.A. would suffice, you can't beat Johnson Bible College's (soon to be "Johnson University") program at:
http://www.jbc.edu/masters-degree/new-testament.html

It is Regionally Accredited and only requires three short (2-3 day) campus visits. I completed this degree in the late 90s and it looks like it is basically setup the same, with a little more modern technology (when I did it the classes were on VHS tapes). Cost is $240 per semester hour.

They estimate your total expenses for the program at $10,105:
http://www.jbc.edu/study-at-home/master ... ml?start=4

Also, I was able to combine visits 2 and 3, so I only spent a total of six days on campus for the entire program.

Barry


Excellent post, Barry, I forgot about JBC. I have always liked that school and considered going there myself before enrolling in FLET.
Jimmy
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby levicoff » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:07 am

Johnson Bible College had also occurred to me as an option, as did the very similar Kentucky Christian College. (Both schools, I believe, are now universities.) Both programs have traditionally been excellent in the distance ed world, both are regionally accredited, and both have long-term histories in the field.

There are two reasons I didn't mention them - first, they are both M.A. programs (although I also recall a M.Min. program at at least one of them). They are credible degrees, but not as comprehensive as an M.Div. Second, both are affiliated with the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ (a/k/a the denomination that refuses to call itself a denomination :mrgreen: ), thus they follow the Restoration theology school of thinking, which may not be compatable with dreamer's game plan. (I always found it amusing that the most well-known person to come out of the non-instrumental Churches of Christ is Amy Grant. Go figure...)
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby Jimmy » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:51 am

...(I always found it amusing that the most well-known person to come out of the non-instrumental Churches of Christ is Amy Grant. Go figure...)[/quote]

I seem to recall that Amy Grant was a member of a church of Christ that became very controversial as it implemented instrumental music and became a very contemporary worship service. For some reason, the name "Madison" comes to mind as the name of the church.

Many entertainers have roots in the CC but I don't know if they were instrumental or non-instrumental. Sonny James, Janis Joplin, Glen Campbell, Vince Gill, Dwight Yoacum, Meatloaf, and others come to mind.
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby BDavis » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:56 am

levicoff wrote:Second, both are affiliated with the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ (a/k/a the denomination that refuses to call itself a denomination :mrgreen: ), thus they follow the Restoration theology school of thinking, which may not be compatable with dreamer's game plan.


These days you wouldn't find a whole lot of difference between what is taught in the mainline Christian Church schools and CIU or Luther Rice for that matter. Johnson is the second oldest Bible College in the USA and has graduates serving in just about any denomination you could think of. At my graduation I would guess that less than half were from the CC/COC. In addition, at the graduate level, I would hope the student would have enough discernment to make qualified distinctions between subtle differences in theology. If not, they don't belong in graduate school.

KCU used to offer an uncredited M.Min. (even though the undergraduate program was accredited). They now offer two M.A. degrees (which I believe are accredited).
http://www.kcu.edu/graduate
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby Jimmy » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:17 pm

levicoff wrote:I think the discussion of CIU's status with SACS has to be kept in perspective - several reputable schools have had problems with the regional agencies over the years. One that readily comes to mind is Liberty U. (Falwell's school), which had hassles with SACS in the early years of the LUSLL program (their distance program, then known as the Liberty University School of Lifelong Learning). I've often felt that this was one of the reasons that Liberty hedged their bets by seeking TRACS accreditation in the first place. Ultimately, of course, all of the issues were straightened out and they kept a high-level status with SACS.

Old-timers will also recall that Westminster Theological Seminary, mentioned above by some gobbledygook and a bastion for Van Tilian presuppositional apologetics, had its hassles with Middle States over the issue of gender inclusion on its board of trustees. Those issues, too, are very much a thing of the past.

Even my own doctoral alma mater, Union, had its controversies with both the North Central Association and the Ohio Board of Regents over academic integrity issues at one time. Union, of course, made so many changes in their intrinsic program model and delivery systems that I no longer recommend them despite their regional accreditation.)

I doubt that CIS is about to go down the tubes. But some schools have - in the world of distance education, really old-timers may remember that Beacon College in Washington, DC, was one of the, um, beacons (ba-da-bum!) in the field, and no longer exists today. Moreover, Goddard College has gone through so many financial crises over the years that it's sometimes a wonder they're still around at all. Vermont College (my M.A. alma mater) no longer exists, having first been sold by Norwich University to Union, their programs ultimately integrated into Union itself, and the campus being reborn as the Vermont College of Fine Arts. And many people's favorite program at the undergrad level, Regents College of the University of the State of New York, went private and renamed itself after packaging material (Excelsior College - yes, I know that it's also the state nickname).

Ultimately, you have to look at the condition and status of a school today; including both their financial security and their program model. If it fits, go for it. Statistically, it is unlikely to change but, as the above examples show, anything is possible with any school.

By the way, for any newbies reading this thread, thanks to some gobbledygook for pointing out that we're talking here about the legitimate and multi-accredited Columbia International University, the former Columbia Bible College & Seminary, in Columbia, SC - not Columbia Evangelical Seminary, the former Faraston Theological Seminary run by Rick Walston in Washington State, which is a mickey-mouse school and, IMO, a degree mill. (If anyone wonders why I say that, just do some research in old threads, since CES is not the topic of this thread.)


How do you remember all these details?
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby Tyson@Johnson » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:16 pm

Dreamer,

If you have any more questions about Johnson, just let me know. I earned my MA in New Testament from Johnson in 2007 and am now working for the University as the recruiter for the school's graduate programs.

While it is true that Johnson is associated with the Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, students from a variety of denominations are represented in our student body. Since the MA is an distance learning program, you are responsible for the majority of your learning. In your interactions using our course management system, you will find yourself in blog style dialogue with other students from a variety of Christian perspectives regarding the material of relevance to a given course. This really enhances the learning experience.

One of the responders stated that the MA from Johnson is not as diverse as a Master of Ministry or Master of Divinity. M.Div. degrees are often 90-110 hours in length and usually have significant on-campus components. The MA at Johnson is 36 to 45 hours in length (depending on your undergraduate work) and has minimal campus visit requirements. Also, Johnson's MA prepares students for doctoral work at a university or for ministry in your choice of Preaching, Spiritual Formation and Church Leadership, Exegetical Research, or contracted studies where a student chooses a focus of their own. I can explain more about these options (tracks to the Johnson MA in New Testament) if you would like.

Johnson is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and regionally by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award associates, bachelors, and masters degrees.

Just let me know if you have specific questions.

Blessings!
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby levicoff » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:43 pm

Day-um, that is one of the most up-front and honest recruiting posts I've ever seen here. Tasteful, well done, and no B.S. (or, as the French would say, merde de boeuf).

I've long-recommended the Johnson master's program, and on the rare occasion that I pass through that part of Tennessee, have considered it once or twice. But then, I've always liked the CC/C of C - a fun, quirky bunch of Restorationists. :mrgreen:
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Re: Luther Rice Seminary

Postby Tyson@Johnson » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:58 pm

levicoff wrote:...on the rare occasion that I pass through that part of Tennessee, have considered it once or twice.

The next time you pass through, I certainly invite you to come and visit the campus. I will be glad to give you a tour and buy your lunch (if our cafeteria is open). Thanks for your good words...even for a "...fun, quirky bunch of Restorationists." :P
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