Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

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Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby Poimen » Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:55 pm

Hi John,

Since MIDS was at one time part of Trinity, could I ask a few questions?

1. Does MIDS have any type of current relationship with Trinity?

2. MIDS has established relationships, per their website, with a number of credible organizations. In your opinion, as one who was on the inside, is MIDS currently a sincere effort. Or, from your perspective, does MIDS continue to have the same type of advertising/marketing baggage as Trinity?

Thank you for your response,
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby John Fyffe » Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:19 pm

Poimen wrote:Hi John,

Since MIDS was at one time part of Trinity, could I ask a few questions?

1. Does MIDS have any type of current relationship with Trinity?

2. MIDS has established relationships, per their website, with a number of credible organizations. In your opinion, as one who was on the inside, is MIDS currently a sincere effort. Or, from your perspective, does MIDS continue to have the same type of advertising/marketing baggage as Trinity?

Thank you for your response,


Poimen,

1. I can only speak to the time I was employed with "MDS" and later Trinity. The only type of "official" relationship that I am aware of existing relates to transferability of credits and/or degrees.

2. I'm responding to this based upon the assumption that you and I are on the same page with regards to "sincere effort." Others may require clarification. In my humble opinion, "MDS" now "MIDS) has been making a "sincere effort" since Dr. Dennis Frey has been at its helm. I believe that Frey's "sincere effort" has been and continues to be to maintain the highest quality "unaccredited" educational institution while positioning "MDS" now "MIDS" for some type of DOE recognized accreditation in the future.

With regard to "baggage": It is my opinion that while MDS was operated beneath the Trinity umbrella and by Trinity personnel, it was subject to the same marketing "baggage" as Trinity. Since Frey left Trinity and successfully separated then "MDS" from Trinity's control, its marketing strategies have been modified to reflect high integrity and quality. I base this assessment on what I was personally involved with while employed as VP for Admissions and with what I have consistently monitored via their web site.

Finally, there are a couple things that concern me with regard to MDS/MIDS, and both are somewhat private in nature. First, my leaving MDS pertained to matters I perceived as related to a significant character flaw (not my own). Second, while employed with MDS from 2002-2004 and with Trinity from 2004-2006, I was aware that Frey (MIDS) and Rodgers (Trinity) met privately from time to time. While with MDS, I cautioned Frey against such meetings, and while with Trinity, I cautioned Dr. Hogg (prior to his demise). My caution pertained to the fact that I knew Frey and Rodgers to be adamantly committed strategists for their respective causes. My assessment hasn't changed.

Respectfully,

John C. Fyffe
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby Poimen » Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:28 pm

John,

Thank you for your response.

I have no personal knowledge of how MIDS operates, other than what is on the website. It does seem that over the past 4-5 years, at least from the MIDS website, Frey has made an attempt to "beef up" the degree requirements and also enhance MIDS' relationship with more credible organizations. Thus, the reason for my question about a sincere effort. Since you served on the inside of both Trinity and MIDS, I wanted your insight as to the marketing strategy that evolved at MIDS after their seperation from Trinity.

Of course, no one can with any certainty ascertain what will develop, but, in your opinion, do you see MIDS going the way of Trinity, or could it develop into a more credible unaccredited school? Or, eventually obtaining some type of USDoE accreditation?
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby levicoff » Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:04 pm

Several years ago, when a guy we'll call "Dennis H." (since he is basically retired from cyberspace, as I sometimes wish I was) was active on distance education forums, he did a comprehensive analysis of the incorporation papers of various Trinity entities. They included not only Trinity itself, but related organizations such as MDS (also known as Trinity Technetronics, Inc.), Trinity Crusades for Christ, and Christian Educational Enterprises.

The names of Thomas Rodgers, Dennis Frey, Ed Hogg, George Stiles, and others were identified as officers on several (if not all) of them. TheTrinity entities have always had an "interlocking difrectorate" of persons - Frey, for example, was listed at one time as the secretary and dean of the board of regents for Trinity BC/TS in Indiana and registered agent under their incorporation in Missouri, president of Trinity Technetronics and MDS, and secretary of Christien Educational Enterprises. At the time Dennis did his research (circa 1999), Trinity was inorporated, at the least, in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, and Missouri.

At one time, when he had a web site, Dennis posted a comprehensive chart that blew away the notion that these were totally independent entities. This was presumably before John Fyffe's time with Trinity, as John's name does not appear on the chart. (Yes, I have a copy. No, I wil not share it with anyone, since I'm sure it's way out of date. So if you have an obsession with Trinity, tough noogies.) :mrgreen:

By the way, Dennis and I are still in touch, and I'm happy to report that he's alive and well. And smarter than I am, as he made his divorce from the wacky world of distance education forums a total one. (And, as I recall, Jonathan W. is still the only one from these forums who ever saw us in the same room together, proving that Dennis and I were not, as some suspected, the same person posting under two names.) :lol:
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby John Bear » Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:36 pm

Levicoff "... as I recall, Jonathan W. is still the only one from these forums who ever saw us in the same room together, proving that Dennis and I were not, as some suspected, the same person posting under two names..."

Bear: Oh. And I thought that Steve, Jonathan, and Dennis were the same person posting under three names.

--John Bear, who once saw Steve and Chip White in
the same room. (No, they were just talking.)
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby John Fyffe » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:23 pm

Poimen wrote:John,

Thank you for your response.

I have no personal knowledge of how MIDS operates, other than what is on the website. It does seem that over the past 4-5 years, at least from the MIDS website, Frey has made an attempt to "beef up" the degree requirements and also enhance MIDS' relationship with more credible organizations. Thus, the reason for my question about a sincere effort. Since you served on the inside of both Trinity and MIDS, I wanted your insight as to the marketing strategy that evolved at MIDS after their seperation from Trinity.

Of course, no one can with any certainty ascertain what will develop, but, in your opinion, do you see MIDS going the way of Trinity, or could it develop into a more credible unaccredited school? Or, eventually obtaining some type of USDoE accreditation?


Poimon,

First, I shared in the responsibility for the marketing strategy that developed at MDS/MIDS following its separation from Trinity. For the nearly two years I worked at MDS, Dr. Frey managed the creativity related to developing online marketing strategies such as banner ads and the like, and I managed the student prospects who contacted MDS. Underlying the overall strategy was a sincere commitment to forthrightness with regards to being "unaccredited" but "credible." To that extent, it appears to me that Dr. Frey has sustained that commitment.

Second, it's still unclear where Trinity is going. Considering that since acquiring NAPNSC in the early 90's (I believe), Trinity has not been without some type of "accreditation/validation/endorsement" (to my knowledge) until now, the near future may prove to be quite interesting. I believe that this is the first time in nearly twenty years that Trinity has been "on its own" with regards to marketing its credibility. I suspect that if you were to contact a Trinity counselor, you would receive a message similar to, "Trinity is actively working towards an application for accreditation with a U.S. Department of Education (USDE) recognized agency." I ask you: Is this message forthright with regards to Trinity's credibility? Personally, I don't think so. I certainly understand why there's no mention of why 1) Trinity is no longer accredited, validated, and/or endorsed by NAPNSC, The University of Liverpool, Christ's Church University, and/or The University of Wales and 2) Trinity withdrew from its pursuit of North Central Association (NCA) accreditation. Unless I miss my guess, Trinity's moving "all-in" with a DETC application.

Finally, IMO, MIDS is a credible unaccredited school. As I said previously, I believe Dr. Frey continues to position the school for recognized accreditation at some point in the future.

Interestingly enough, generating sufficient revenue amidst a downward-spiraling economy is a must for both schools.

Respectfully,

John C. Fyffe
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby Poimen » Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:41 am

Thank you, John. My posts on this thread are not an endorsement of MIDS, but it is interesting.
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby some gobbledygook » Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:24 pm

John Fyffe wrote:

I believe that Frey's "sincere effort" has been and continues to be to maintain the highest quality "unaccredited" educational institution while positioning "MDS" now "MIDS" for some type of DOE recognized accreditation in the future.



John,

I appreciate your posting here and the courage it took to make your report to NCA. However, your claim that MIDS is sincerely attempting to "maintain the highest quality "unaccredited" educational institution" troubles me because it conflates ethics and quality. As I recall, the core criticism of MDS a couple years ago was not unethical marketing, but the fact that even Trinity's coursework/thesis requirements absolutely dwarfed MDS'. Glancing at the MIDS website, I didn’t see information on coursework/thesis requirements, but if you want to point us towards some sample syllabi, that would go much further towards demonstrating “highest quality” than a comparison to TTS.

I’m glad to hear that MIDS now has some ethical leadership, and I hope you continue posting here.

Best wishes,

David
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby uncle janko » Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:12 pm

There was also massive overlap of personnel and massive duplication of website content.

Dave G, a fellow-confessional if of a different confession, shares my view that fudging dishonours God. Generic non-confessional pop Christianity is more fudge-tolerant. Too bad for it! Winking at subterfuge, or at feigned improvements where none really and substantively exist, is chillul ha-Shem, not Christian charity. Period. It's also bad for distance learning.
Doing good, doing well, raising hope and raising hell. Janko Shave.
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby John Fyffe » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:59 am

Dave G wrote:
John Fyffe wrote:

I believe that Frey's "sincere effort" has been and continues to be to maintain the highest quality "unaccredited" educational institution while positioning "MDS" now "MIDS" for some type of DOE recognized accreditation in the future.



John,

I appreciate your posting here and the courage it took to make your report to NCA. However, your claim that MIDS is sincerely attempting to "maintain the highest quality "unaccredited" educational institution" troubles me because it conflates ethics and quality. As I recall, the core criticism of MDS a couple years ago was not unethical marketing, but the fact that even Trinity's coursework/thesis requirements absolutely dwarfed MDS'. Glancing at the MIDS website, I didn’t see information on coursework/thesis requirements, but if you want to point us towards some sample syllabi, that would go much further towards demonstrating “highest quality” than a comparison to TTS.

I’m glad to hear that MIDS now has some ethical leadership, and I hope you continue posting here.

Best wishes,

David


David,

You write, "However, your claim that MIDS is sincerely attempting to "maintain the highest quality "unaccredited" educational institution" troubles me because it conflates ethics and quality." My opinion is based upon an insider's insight from experience, and I certainly do not conflate ethics and quality. I was fired from Trinity and MDS for opposing what I believed were unethical administrative actions and yet never spoke negatively with regard to their academic quality. Furthermore, if you read my report to NCA, you'll find plenty of reference to administrative actions and absolutely no reference to academic quality. You will find it much less troubling to distinguish between the ethics related to administrative actions and the quality related to academia.

You further write, "As I recall, the core criticism of MDS a couple years ago was not unethical marketing, but the fact that even Trinity's coursework/thesis requirements absolutely dwarfed MDS'. Glancing at the MIDS website, I didn’t see information on coursework/thesis requirements, but if you want to point us towards some sample syllabi, that would go much further towards demonstrating “highest quality” than a comparison to TTS." You don't recall that criticism coming from me but I'll gladly point you in the right direction: Dr. Dennis Frey at 1-800-933-1445 or 1-812-471-0611.

Sincerely,


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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby levicoff » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:37 am

Ladies and gentlemen, are we actually talking about Trinity and MDS as if either of them ever had any academic credibility and were ever something other than an academic joke?

Pardon me a moment . . .

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

There . . . I feel better. :mrgreen:
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby some gobbledygook » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:30 pm

John Fyffe wrote: You will find it much less troubling to distinguish between the ethics related to administrative actions and the quality related to academia.


John,

Expressing your positive view of an administrator’s ethics is fine, but using that statement to sneak in an unsubstantiated plug for MDS’ supposed high quality is not fine.

John Fyffe wrote:if you read my report to NCA, you'll find plenty of reference to administrative actions and absolutely no reference to academic quality.


I did not say you accused MDS of poor quality. There were plenty of others in recent years who accused MDS of that, and with very solid reasoning, such as MDS offering the dissertation-free “Doctor of Practical Ministry” for six audiocassette courses (reduced to three with life experience). Reading the archives at DegreeInfo will be very illuminating for those looking to evaluate the quality of MDS (now MIDS).
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby uncle janko » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:10 pm

levicoff wrote:Ladies and gentlemen, are we actually talking about Trinity and MDS as if either of them ever had any academic credibility and were ever something other than an academic joke?

Pardon me a moment . . .

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

There . . . I feel better. :mrgreen:


This whole thread was a game-playing baiting of Fyffe started by Russell. Fyffe fell for it. Dave and I punctured it. Levicoff destroyed it. Causa finita est.
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby John Fyffe » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:04 am

Dave G wrote:
John Fyffe wrote: You will find it much less troubling to distinguish between the ethics related to administrative actions and the quality related to academia.


John,

Expressing your positive view of an administrator’s ethics is fine, but using that statement to sneak in an unsubstantiated plug for MDS’ supposed high quality is not fine.

John Fyffe wrote:if you read my report to NCA, you'll find plenty of reference to administrative actions and absolutely no reference to academic quality.


I did not say you accused MDS of poor quality. There were plenty of others in recent years who accused MDS of that, and with very solid reasoning, such as MDS offering the dissertation-free “Doctor of Practical Ministry” for six audiocassette courses (reduced to three with life experience). Reading the archives at DegreeInfo will be very illuminating for those looking to evaluate the quality of MDS (now MIDS).


Dave G wrote:
John Fyffe wrote: You will find it much less troubling to distinguish between the ethics related to administrative actions and the quality related to academia.


John,

Expressing your positive view of an administrator’s ethics is fine, but using that statement to sneak in an unsubstantiated plug for MDS’ supposed high quality is not fine.

John Fyffe wrote:if you read my report to NCA, you'll find plenty of reference to administrative actions and absolutely no reference to academic quality.


I did not say you accused MDS of poor quality. There were plenty of others in recent years who accused MDS of that, and with very solid reasoning, such as MDS offering the dissertation-free “Doctor of Practical Ministry” for six audiocassette courses (reduced to three with life experience). Reading the archives at DegreeInfo will be very illuminating for those looking to evaluate the quality of MDS (now MIDS).


David,

I do apologize that something has evidently been lost in my communication. As I cautioned Poimon early on, not everyone enters a dialogue with equal understanding, and at times, clarification is required for accurate understanding to be achieved.

Clarification Point #1: I have not intentionally communicated ethical endorsements regarding MDS/MIDS or Trinity. I apologize that something I wrote led you to believe I was endorsing either of their ethics. For the record, I do not endorse either of their administrations.

Clarification Point #2: My responses to Poimon's opening questions relative to this dialogue were not intended to "plug" MDS's academic quality. I was simply offering personal opinions to someone who requested them. For the record, I do not endorse MIDS's academic quality because I do not know what it is. I have had no contact with MDS/MIDS since leaving there in 2004. I respectfully suggest that if you want to know what MIDS's academic quality consist of, contact Dr. Dennis Frey because as I understand it, the buck stops with him. If you have any interest in knowing why the many organizations listed on MIDS's web site, under I think it is "credibility", don't share your opinion or the opinion of other critics with regard to "solid reasoning", but instead favorably endorse MIDS, and by implication its administration and academia, I respectfully suggest you contact each of them.

Clarification Point #3: As with all my forum communication (be it as minimal as it is), I approach it as openly and forthrightly as I possibly can. I have no hidden agendas. If, as another poster recently suggested, the intent of this thread was to "bait" me, and/or have fun at my expense, then so be it. I have no desire or intent to engage in such threads.

Finally, I would like to think that genuine concern for public safety exists among those posting on this and other forums with regard to criticisms related to the ethical and qualitative conditions at Trinity and MIDS. I have yet to determine exactly how such discussions among forum posters serves to enhance and/or safeguard public safety. However, I know that actions make a difference. Specific to Trinity, actions have resulted in the dissolution of relationships between Trinity and NAPNSC, University of Liverpool, Christ's Church University, The University of Wales, and NCA. IMO, and I realize there may not be a high regard for my opinion at this point, immediate action is needed with regard to Trinity's current plan to apply for accreditation with a USDE recognized agency. Again, I would like to think that the outcry I hear among posters relative to Trinity's ethics and quality is in the interest of public safety but actions do speak louder than words.

Sincerely,

John C. Fyffe
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby Poimen » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:44 am

Rest assured, John, the original post was not intended to "bait" anyone, especially you. Like many on this forum I have followed MDS/MIDS from its inception. When MDS first began to advertise/offer doctoral diplomas (not degrees), I spoke with a counselor at length expressing the negative connotations of such advertising. I told the counselor that many would obtain a doctoral "diploma" only to use the title "Dr.," and expressed my disapproval of such programs. Over the past few years I have noticed the school building relationships with a number of credible organizations, even gaining ODA approval to offer religious exempt degrees in Oregon. Knowing that you worked with both Trinity and MIDS, I asked a serious question as to your opinion regarding the school. I clearly stated the posts were not an endorsement of MIDS.
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