Colorado Theological Seminary

Discussions on the value or merit of unaccredited programs and institutions.

Re: Colorado Theological Seminary

Postby CTS » Sun May 02, 2010 2:26 am

Diploma mills operate in the shadows and print a degree with your name on it for money. No education involved. Colorado Theological Seminary ( is not a diploma mill and operates in the light of day. CTS also associates itself with credible organizations such as the Association of Biblical Higher Education, Florida Council of Private Colleges, the National Christian Counselors Association, the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counselors, the Institute of Theological Studies, Nelnet, and the Association of Christian Continuing Education Schools and Seminaries. You may find more about these organization on the seminary's About Us page. They also have numerous articulation agreements with other schools.

The Seminary's niche is offering affordable, credible and accessible christian degree and certificate programs via distance learning. This works extremely well for individuals who cannot quit their jobs or travel to campus. Approximately 60% of students are already in the ministry.
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Re: Colorado Theological Seminary

Postby Jimmy » Sun May 02, 2010 3:22 am

While I wouldn't call CTS a "diploma mill," I do have some comments to make. The AHBE doesn't require too much for any school to be an affiliate.

The Florida connection for a Colorado school makes no sense to me.

It appears all your counseling courses are produced by the NCCA (founded by Richard Arno). This is not academically sound. Additionally, the NCCA is a proponent of the temperament theory of personality--Melancholy, Sanguine, Choleric, and Phlegmatic with the additional Arno-created Supine. This theory is not scientifically sound nor has there been any replicated research showing it therapeutically efficacious. Simpy using a FIRO-B or FIRO-BC (if this is how it's still done) is not sufficient for most people's serious and critical issues.

Additionally, Arno, to my knowledge, has no accredited advanced degrees and, if I remember correctly, holds at least one degree from Carolina Chrisitan University, a less-than-reputable school. Furthermore, if again I remember correctly, Arno was initially ordained by the now-defunct Church of Gospel Ministry, Chula Vista, CA, a known ordination mill.

Be careful of affiliations and persons you use to validate your credibility. It could come back to haunt you.
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Re: Colorado Theological Seminary

Postby swarner » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:02 pm

As a direct reply to the original question, yes, I have experience with CTS. As a graduate of Dallas Theological (MA) and Texas A&M (MS) I think I am qualified to express an opinion about graduate school course work. I have completed 9 hours in a Doctoral program and, course to course, have found the requirements more difficult than any of my previous governmentally accredited programs. Whatever it is, CTS is NOT a diploma mill. It requires substantive course work for credits given. Accreditation is not an issue for me. This is a terminal degree for me, though I understand CTS has reciprocity agreements with other accredited schools, including Liberty. I live in rural Colorado and needed a program that would not require me to abandon my ministries and relocate. CTS is meeting my needs, requiring me to work and think about my theological assumptions. These are my experiences with CTS. If you look at the ABHE affiliation requirements, you will see that the course work must be equivalent to accredited school requirements...this DOES mean something, at least to me. Thanks for asking...sorry so many have formed such strong opinions, but I am still left wondering if they have any experiences with CTS or are reacting to the accreditation issue.
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Re: Colorado Theological Seminary

Postby Hungry Ghost » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:16 pm

swarner wrote:CTS is meeting my needs, requiring me to work and think about my theological assumptions.

If CTS is meeting your needs, great. Education is where you find it. Right now, most of my own continuing education is coming from libraries and from unaccredited resources of various kinds. Of course, I'm not insisting that any of it is degree-equivalent either, nor am I trying to convince anyone else of anything.

The thing is, if you want other people to believe in CTS and in the credibility of its degrees, then that's probably going to require something a bit more persuasive than somebody's anonymous discussion board endorsement.

If you look at the ABHE affiliation requirements, you will see that the course work must be equivalent to accredited school requirements...this DOES mean something, at least to me.

Actually, ABHE's affiliation requirements don't exactly say that.

It looks to me like CTS might be in violation of a couple of ABHE's affiliation requirements.

"Affiliate institutions must use the following disclosure statement: [Institution Name] is an affiliate institution of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. As such, it participates in and contributes to collegial and professional development activities of the Association. Affiliate status does not, however, constitute, imply, or presume ABHE accredited status at present or in the future."

I didn't see that disclaimer on the CTS website, but maybe I missed it.

The second problem appears to be more significant:

"An affiliate institution must not claim accreditation through an agency lacking recognition by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation"

CTS describes its accreditation this way (the red highlighting is by me):

"Is CTS recognized as being accredited by the US Department of Education?

No. There are about 40 accrediting organizations that are recognized by the US Dept. of Education. The requirements for joining one of these are many and varied. The biggest of these are capital, real estate, library and income sources. These are very difficult for smaller and midrange bible colleges and seminaries to meet. In our case, our objective is to make available Christian education affordable and accessible. Many bible colleges and seminaries cannot meet or choose not to meet these requirements. Accreditation is quite a nebulous thing unto itself. Many schools within the same accrediting commission do not allow transfer of credits or degree recognition. It is always up to the receiving school to make that determination. Many schools go to great lengths to tell you why they do not desire accreditation at all. Others say that if you are not accredited by the government then you are a diploma mill. This being said, CTS is accredited by Accrediting Commission International, the largest non-governmental accediting agency for bible colleges and seminaries. If you want a solid Christian education, you can find it at Colorado Theological Seminary. Go to our What's New area of our website and view my piece on TRIVIA."
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Re: Colorado Theological Seminary

Postby swarner » Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:47 am

For the disclaimer, on the Home page, click on About Us, then on the drop down, click on Affiliations and you will find it there.

Regarding the accreditation agency listed under frequently asked questions (not the main heading for affilitations) you are correct, and I hope this is a leftover oversight from the old days. It should be corrected.

Here is a cut and paste from the ABHE affiliation page you were kind enough to link for us:

"Curricular offerings, degrees, and institutional nomenclature consistent with North American higher educational norms." This is what I am taking to mean as in the ballpark of other curricular offerings for similar degrees.

If people post harsh, even slanderous opinions about a school, based on who knows what, and I post mine based on my experiences, I don't think that means I am trying to convince anyone.

Thanks for the careful read, however, and for your thoughts as well!
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Re: Colorado Theological Seminary

Postby GNDorn » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:57 am

I know these are old posts, but just because CTS has not achieved accreditation does not mean it is a diploma mill. I am working harder in their masters program than I did when I got my masters in Computer Science from the University of Illinois. It's at least as much work if not more. They are not going to give me a diploma until I do ALL the work, which since I am a "distance learning" student is going to take probably almost five years. The course work from ITS, accredited or not, is complex and accurate and they have you work out of common books on these topics. I have no doubt that my education will emerge top rate from CTS. Now whether my degree will be "accepted" by an employer (such as a Christian University) is up to them. If I had more time and money, I would go to an accredited school... I don't. This way I can at least get a good education for an affordable price in a manner that is doable for me, and I'll let God work with it and see where it goes from there.
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