Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

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

Re: Goliath's height

Postby Jimmy » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:07 am

John Bear wrote:I was able to find this authentic photograph, which proves that either Goliath was 16.475 feet tall or David was 27 inches tall.

Image

John Bear, M.J., Ph.D.
Licensed minister of the American Fellowship Church


First of all, congratulations on your license. Is Swenson still living?
Second, nice picture.
Jimmy
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Bill » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:02 am

Oregon wrote:
Bill wrote:"I call this...my Nestle."

OK. If that's so,then all you need do - re Goliath's height- is say where in your one vol Nestle-Aland GNT/Biblia Hebraica are the variant readings found and what they are.

And, your answer is?


Why would anyone care?

---------

Why would anyone care what Scripture says?

Count the millions in evangelical churches this Sunday who listen to sermons ; ask them. Ask the many pastors ,who being taught how to exegete in seminary, are able to base their sermonizing on simple textual criticism as this. Ask the authors who write text books on lower criticism. Harvard has passed a ThD dissertation on the meaning of a single word-harpagmos-in the Biblical language. Ask Harvard who cares. It is not that Goliath's height itself is a major doctrine, it is that doing textual criticism on that text in 1 Sam follows the same procedure that would be used in any text in the Hebrew Bible. Who would care? Bible believing Christians would care , and we are many.
Bill Grover
Faculty, http://www.satsonline.org
BA,(Bible),ThB -1966, SCTS
MA (Religion)- 1968, PL Naz Uni
Tea Creds USD (Lang Arts)-1969/OSU (Spec Ed)1978
MDiv (Equiv)-1992 and ThM (Biblical Studies)-1994, Western Seminary
D.Th. (Theology)-2005 Unizul
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Jimmy » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:11 am

Bill wrote:[Harvard has passed a ThD dissertation on the meaning of a single word-harpagmos-in the Biblical language...


Wow! I would surely like to read this dissertation. Have you read it, Bill? If so, does it agree with your dissertation?
Jimmy
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Oregon » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:31 am

I've pegged it. It's 6' 7" or 9' 6." King James says 9' 6." The oldest and deadest Jews say 6' 7." God in His wisdom has obviously inspired free interpretation of his words.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goliath

From wiki:

Goliath's height
There are significant differences between the Masoretic (Hebrew), Septuagint (Greek), and Dead Sea Scrolls versions of 1 Samuel 17.[3] One of the most interesting of these relates to Goliath's height: 4QSam(a), the Dead Sea Scrolls text of Samuel, gives the height of Goliath as "four cubits and a span," (approximately 200 centimeters or about six feet seven inches), and this is what the 4th century AD Septuagint manuscripts and the 1st century AD historian Josephus also record. Later Septuagint manuscripts and the oldest Masoretic texts (Aleppo Codex, 10th century AD) read "six cubits and a span," which would make him about 290 cm or nine feet six inches tall.[4]
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Oregon » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:50 am

Bill wrote:
Oregon wrote:
Bill wrote:Count the millions in evangelical churches this Sunday who listen to sermons ; ask them. Ask the many pastors ,who being taught how to exegete in seminary, are able to base their sermonizing on simple textual criticism as this. Ask the authors who write text books on lower criticism. Harvard has passed a ThD dissertation on the meaning of a single word-harpagmos-in the Biblical language. Ask Harvard who cares. It is not that Goliath's height itself is a major doctrine, it is that doing textual criticism on that text in 1 Sam follows the same procedure that would be used in any text in the Hebrew Bible. Who would care? Bible believing Christians would care , and we are many.


During my less than regular appearances at the Sunday morning magic show, I can't ever recall thirsting for the meaning of a word in BC Hebrew, AD Hebrew, BC Greek, or AD Greek but that's me.
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Alternative to SAT: Unisa & Degree acceptance criteria

Postby Vice » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:57 am

For anyone desiring to do theological studies leading to a recognised degree, Unisa (University of South Africa) may be an alternative. It offers degree programs in various disciplines including Theology up to Doctorate level.

In Germany, some of the independent protestant churches and the seminaries associated with them have linked with Unisa to confer recognised degrees according to relevant German and European Union Law.

Unisa`s system is based on the Far Distance study option in combination with local lecturers/mentors, proctors from local seminaries recognised by Unisa. This has the advantage of locally based mentors/teachers, proctors and supervisors of theses.

In Europe, the acceptance of a degree earned abroad generally depends on two major factors:

1. the legal status of degree-conferring institution - does it hold recognised accreditation or not according to the laws of the country where it is based.

2. In case of an institution with recognised accreditation status: are the degree requirements equivalent to those commonly applicable at state-run universities in the European Union and Germany in particular? To answer this latter question is more complicated as it depends on details regarding standards and procedures of that foreign degree-granting school. Here, such matters as the requirement of an oral defense of a doctoral dissertation may play a significant role. There may be other matters as well such as the fact that a real dissertation topic always - and "always" here means "without any exception" - must be a new one not treated and dealt with by any other scholar before - worldwide. There are other criteria such as the topic scope of a doctoral dissertation, etc.

It seems that the competent authorities in Europe and Germany consider Unisa degrees to meet most of the equivalence requirements, hence their classification status as "H" (recognised university) in the anabin.de database (associated with the Conference of Ministers of Education of the German Federal States), and that`s why Unisa degrees are relatively popular among Bible-believing protestant seminaries in Germany.

In Europe, universities until two decades ago were exclusively state-run unis; so, all of them more or less had the same academic standards and the accreditation of a uni was no question at all - they were "automatically accredited" by state supervision and complying with relevant state law. Also, the system of these state-run unis was quite different - traditionally, emphasis was laid on research from the first year and semester onwards. Within certain limits, students were entirely free to choose their courses and seminars and they even were free to choose their own professor whom they wanted to supervise their theses. A first degree in Germany used to be an M.A. degree after 4-5 years of full-time study including one major and several minor subjects, submission of a Master thesis, and other written and oral exams.

All this has changed since 2005 when the member states of the European Union concluded an agreement to adopt the Anglo-Saxon uni system with its tripartite Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate degree system. Many people here feel that since then academic standards have dramatically been lowered in comparison to the system we have had before, and many new graduates with a Bachelor degree find it hard to see their degrees recognised by prospective employers. That is why most of them go on to Master degree level.

For the those from the US interested in recognised theological education, Unisa certainly could be a real option. However, they should do their homework before enrolling as to the acceptance of their degrees in other parts of the world in case that they decide to work abroad. There are still system incompatibilities, and degrees awarded by European universities (with a tradition of unis being exclusively state-run) used to be one of the highest in terms of academic standards worldwide.
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby John Bear » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:02 am

Jimmy: First of all, congratulations on your license. Is Swenson still living?

John: And going strong, it seems. I bought a recently-revised edition of his "Nonprofit Can Be Profitable" book a couple of months ago.

As for my license -- I've only performed one wedding in the 30 years I've had it, but it was a doozie. Five Nobel laureates in attendance, including the father of my friend who was the groom.
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Vice » Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:42 am

Hungry Ghost wrote:Religion is inseparable from ethics. The former can't be successfully taught without the latter. it's as simple as that.

Here's IFTS' website:

http://www.gelber-kaiser.de/IFTS/index.htm

IFTS' homepage gives prospective students this assurance:

"Therefore, all our degrees conferred are valid and legal accoding to relevant Federal US States Law."

In previous threads I've repeatedly asked Muhammed which "Federal US States Law" he is referring to. He has never answered the question, claiming ignorance of American education law. Yet he still continues to offer his students assurances that the same American law that he says that he doesn't understand nevertheless somehow legitimizes the degrees that he awards overseas.

Trying to spin ICW's South Carolina religious-exemption into a university charter that in turn is transferrable to IFTS is rhetorically neat, but legally doubtful. If South Carolina lets ICW do its thing inside SC's borders without benefit of any state recognition, authorization, license or charter, that means absolutely nothing outside the borders of South Carolina.

Simply stated, there is no "Federal US States Law" that recognizes or legitimizes Muhammed's awarding his offshore degrees. He's handing them out entirely on his own initiative, subject to whatever laws prevail where he is, despite whatever he tries to convince his students or anyone else. The United States has nothing to do with it.

If Muhammed thinks that my characterization of what he is doing is wrong, then all he has to do is cite the law that he's referring to, the American law that somehow "validates" his foreign degrees.


FYI:
1. "Relevant Federal States law" does not refer to US Federal Law but to relevant South Carolina State Law granting a religious exempt status to ICW on whose authority degrees are conferred by IFTS. I am doing this in good faith based on assurances from ICW; and these are people I personally know and trust.
As I do not want to do anything illegal knowingly and willingly I can only rely on their information as I am not a specialist in these law-related matters.
2. I have all the paperwork that ICW has done in that respect, and I have repeatedly received assurances from several other providers in the US that conferring degrees on ICW authority is not illegal as long as students are taking real courses and take their exams which is not the same in case of degree mills. I have inquired with the competent authorities in Germany, and according to them it is not illegal. Whether this is illegal or legal according to South Carolina relevant law is something I cannot really estimate. So the only thing left is to follow the assurances of those who should know - ICW.
3. Working on the basis of an ICW State License with an authorization for IFTS to make use of it cannot be entirely satisfactory. It can only serve as a point of departure to start with. Otherwise, IFTS would always depend entirely on ICW, and that cannot be a permanent option.

4. For this reason, IFTS has started its own accreditation process in Kenya as most of its current students come from there. IFTS is a legally registered school in Kenya, and there have been several Ministry of Education teams inspecting our school site in Nairobi. Legal school registration is a legal pre-requisite for starting the application process for accreditation by the Commission of Higher Education, a sub-body of the Ministry of Education in Kenya. My fellow-workers in Kenya have informed me that in interim university charter will be granted soon as we have met all the requirements so far. An interim charter is the first step towards full accreditation and allows a school to legally operate and confer degrees on a probation period status. IFTS will be listed on the Commission´s website as a legit school in the tertiary sector of education, and I will be happy to supply the link as soon as we are through with that initial stage. In other countries like Haiti where IFTS has branches, the system is quite different but also there I have urged my fellow-workers there to register the school legally and to do all the necessary paperwork for accreditation according to the relevant laws over there. The process in Kenya will cost us around 100,000 Kenyan shillings (approx. a bit more than 1000 Euros which is still very cheap compared to what recognised accreditation agencies may ask in the US). We have made a joint effort to raise the amount by collecting parts of it from more wealthy students and local churches in Kenya. I will also several 100 Euros of my own money if the need should arise but my Kenyan fellow-workers have assured me that this is not necessary. We will see....

I hope this may suffice to point out that I am not willingly or knowingly doing anything illegal. In the now 5 years of IFTS operation I/we have never had any complaints in that respect, and the competent authorities are having a good eye on us as they have on similar schools. And it is good that way.
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Vice » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:14 am

Oregon wrote:During my less than regular appearances at the Sunday morning magic show, I can't ever recall thirsting for the meaning of a word in BC Hebrew, AD Hebrew, BC Greek, or AD Greek but that's me.


From a point of an average church attendant wanting to worship and listen to a sermon, you are absolutely right. The meaning of a word in BC Hebrew and AD Koine Greek and their (eventual) textual variants in certain original text witnesses of Holy Scripture are of interest and relevance only to those called to exegete and interpret scripture, in a Bible Class or a sermon, for instance. There are pros and cons in this but I think such things are essential in properly exegeting a portion of scripture. Preparing a sermon, in my own understanding, consists of at least two working phases:

1. Exegeting the text according to a number of parameters where linguistic considerations of a word is only of them (there are other parameters such as the contextual settings in time and culture when the text first was written to address an original audience in OT and NT times, etc.).

2. Appyling to message to our current days for the audience you are speaking to when preaching a sermon.

A preacher must be faithful to the textual portion that he/she is preaching about. This makes proper exegesis a must and all techniques associated with it. Proper Exegesis based on common scholarly expertise, so-to-say, provides the data framework from which to elicit the essential "data" that a sermon refers to and all assumptions used in a sermon are based on. These things are relevant for the theologian and preacher; but its details may appear as "useless headaches" for the "common", not theologically trained audience.

Someone preaching a sermon thus must walk the narrow path between such details and the spiritual message he is supposed to deliver.

Most pastors/priests when preparing a sermon make use of text-critical editions of the original texts of scripture (in Biblical Hebrew and Greek), then use commentaries and their own "inspirations" when exegeting a text. Pastors in the protestant tradition tend to be more scripture-bound than Catholics or similar denominations since the latter emphasize the teachings of the church over that of scripture by tradition (whether that is good/appropriate or not is another question). There is also so-called "Higher Criticism" with many non-Biblical assumptions. I have known several Lutheran pastors in Germany who were schooled in the tradition of Rudolf Bultmann who claimed that the resurrection of Christ is not to be taken literally but as "witness of belief" of early Christianity. Official Lutheran Church Theology differed significantly in that and other points from official University scholar-based Theology. All their lives, they had to preach what was official Church Theology including the literal and factual resurrection of Christ. Privately, they believed what Bultmann and his likes taught in this respect. What a discrepancy and what a contradiction!

It seems that even the lives of certain theologians have become much harder......
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Bill » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:27 pm

Jimmy wrote:
Bill wrote:[Harvard has passed a ThD dissertation on the meaning of a single word-harpagmos-in the Biblical language...


Wow! I would surely like to read this dissertation. Have you read it, Bill? If so, does it agree with your dissertation?


----

No I didn't read it ; I read the author's (Hoover) summary of it in Harvard Theological Review. I used it in my dissertation.
Bill Grover
Faculty, http://www.satsonline.org
BA,(Bible),ThB -1966, SCTS
MA (Religion)- 1968, PL Naz Uni
Tea Creds USD (Lang Arts)-1969/OSU (Spec Ed)1978
MDiv (Equiv)-1992 and ThM (Biblical Studies)-1994, Western Seminary
D.Th. (Theology)-2005 Unizul
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Bill » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:37 pm

Oregon wrote:I've pegged it. It's 6' 7" or 9' 6." King James says 9' 6." The oldest and deadest Jews say 6' 7." God in His wisdom has obviously inspired free interpretation of his words.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goliath

From wiki:

Goliath's height
There are significant differences between the Masoretic (Hebrew), Septuagint (Greek), and Dead Sea Scrolls versions of 1 Samuel 17.[3] One of the most interesting of these relates to Goliath's height: 4QSam(a), the Dead Sea Scrolls text of Samuel, gives the height of Goliath as "four cubits and a span," (approximately 200 centimeters or about six feet seven inches), and this is what the 4th century AD Septuagint manuscripts and the 1st century AD historian Josephus also record. Later Septuagint manuscripts and the oldest Masoretic texts (Aleppo Codex, 10th century AD) read "six cubits and a span," which would make him about 290 cm or nine feet six inches tall.[4]

--------

good work ; it seems you may care a little after all. Wiki agrees with a recent article in the ETS journal where I read the data and confirmed portions of it with my edition of the Septuagint. The Biblia Hebraica , however, does not list the variant.

As the average height of a male then was 5' 1" a man 6' 7" would be exceptional.

Obviously Goliath's height is not a major Jewish or Christian doctrine, but attempting to restore the original Biblical text is viewed as important to scholars at least in the latter religion. And textual criticism is taught in some seminaries.
Bill Grover
Faculty, http://www.satsonline.org
BA,(Bible),ThB -1966, SCTS
MA (Religion)- 1968, PL Naz Uni
Tea Creds USD (Lang Arts)-1969/OSU (Spec Ed)1978
MDiv (Equiv)-1992 and ThM (Biblical Studies)-1994, Western Seminary
D.Th. (Theology)-2005 Unizul
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Bill » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:47 pm

Vice wrote:
Oregon wrote:During my less than regular appearances at the Sunday morning magic show, I can't ever recall thirsting for the meaning of a word in BC Hebrew, AD Hebrew, BC Greek, or AD Greek but that's me.


From a point of an average church attendant wanting to worship and listen to a sermon, you are absolutely right. The meaning of a word in BC Hebrew and AD Koine Greek and their (eventual) textual variants in certain original text witnesses of Holy Scripture are of interest and relevance only to those called to exegete and interpret scripture, in a Bible Class or a sermon, for instance. There are pros and cons in this but I think such things are essential in properly exegeting a portion of scripture. Preparing a sermon, in my own understanding, consists of at least two working phases:

1. Exegeting the text according to a number of parameters where linguistic considerations of a word is only of them (there are other parameters such as the contextual settings in time and culture when the text first was written to address an original audience in OT and NT times, etc.).

2. Appyling to message to our current days for the audience you are speaking to when preaching a sermon.

A preacher must be faithful to the textual portion that he/she is preaching about. This makes proper exegesis a must and all techniques associated with it. Proper Exegesis based on common scholarly expertise, so-to-say, provides the data framework from which to elicit the essential "data" that a sermon refers to and all assumptions used in a sermon are based on. These things are relevant for the theologian and preacher; but its details may appear as "useless headaches" for the "common", not theologically trained audience.

Someone preaching a sermon thus must walk the narrow path between such details and the spiritual message he is supposed to deliver.

Most pastors/priests when preparing a sermon make use of text-critical editions of the original texts of scripture (in Biblical Hebrew and Greek), then use commentaries and their own "inspirations" when exegeting a text. Pastors in the protestant tradition tend to be more scripture-bound than Catholics or similar denominations since the latter emphasize the teachings of the church over that of scripture by tradition (whether that is good/appropriate or not is another question). There is also so-called "Higher Criticism" with many non-Biblical assumptions. I have known several Lutheran pastors in Germany who were schooled in the tradition of Rudolf Bultmann who claimed that the resurrection of Christ is not to be taken literally but as "witness of belief" of early Christianity. Official Lutheran Church Theology differed significantly in that and other points from official University scholar-based Theology. All their lives, they had to preach what was official Church Theology including the literal and factual resurrection of Christ. Privately, they believed what Bultmann and his likes taught in this respect. What a discrepancy and what a contradiction!

It seems that even the lives of certain theologians have become much harder......


--------

I basically agree with this, and think it well put.
Bill Grover
Faculty, http://www.satsonline.org
BA,(Bible),ThB -1966, SCTS
MA (Religion)- 1968, PL Naz Uni
Tea Creds USD (Lang Arts)-1969/OSU (Spec Ed)1978
MDiv (Equiv)-1992 and ThM (Biblical Studies)-1994, Western Seminary
D.Th. (Theology)-2005 Unizul
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Re: Alternative to SAT: Unisa & Degree acceptance criteria

Postby Bill » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:01 pm

Vice wrote:For anyone desiring to do theological studies leading to a recognised degree, Unisa (University of South Africa) may be an alternative. It offers degree programs in various disciplines including Theology up to Doctorate level.

In Germany, some of the independent protestant churches and the seminaries associated with them have linked with Unisa to confer recognised degrees according to relevant German and European Union Law.

Unisa`s system is based on the Far Distance study option in combination with local lecturers/mentors, proctors from local seminaries recognised by Unisa. This has the advantage of locally based mentors/teachers, proctors and supervisors of theses.

In Europe, the acceptance of a degree earned abroad generally depends on two major factors:

1. the legal status of degree-conferring institution - does it hold recognised accreditation or not according to the laws of the country where it is based.

2. In case of an institution with recognised accreditation status: are the degree requirements equivalent to those commonly applicable at state-run universities in the European Union and Germany in particular? To answer this latter question is more complicated as it depends on details regarding standards and procedures of that foreign degree-granting school. Here, such matters as the requirement of an oral defense of a doctoral dissertation may play a significant role. There may be other matters as well such as the fact that a real dissertation topic always - and "always" here means "without any exception" - must be a new one not treated and dealt with by any other scholar before - worldwide. There are other criteria such as the topic scope of a doctoral dissertation, etc.

It seems that the competent authorities in Europe and Germany consider Unisa degrees to meet most of the equivalence requirements, hence their classification status as "H" (recognised university) in the anabin.de database (associated with the Conference of Ministers of Education of the German Federal States), and that`s why Unisa degrees are relatively popular among Bible-believing protestant seminaries in Germany.

In Europe, universities until two decades ago were exclusively state-run unis; so, all of them more or less had the same academic standards and the accreditation of a uni was no question at all - they were "automatically accredited" by state supervision and complying with relevant state law. Also, the system of these state-run unis was quite different - traditionally, emphasis was laid on research from the first year and semester onwards. Within certain limits, students were entirely free to choose their courses and seminars and they even were free to choose their own professor whom they wanted to supervise their theses. A first degree in Germany used to be an M.A. degree after 4-5 years of full-time study including one major and several minor subjects, submission of a Master thesis, and other written and oral exams.

All this has changed since 2005 when the member states of the European Union concluded an agreement to adopt the Anglo-Saxon uni system with its tripartite Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate degree system. Many people here feel that since then academic standards have dramatically been lowered in comparison to the system we have had before, and many new graduates with a Bachelor degree find it hard to see their degrees recognised by prospective employers. That is why most of them go on to Master degree level.

For the those from the US interested in recognised theological education, Unisa certainly could be a real option. However, they should do their homework before enrolling as to the acceptance of their degrees in other parts of the world in case that they decide to work abroad. There are still system incompatibilities, and degrees awarded by European universities (with a tradition of unis being exclusively state-run) used to be one of the highest in terms of academic standards worldwide.

------

Unisa seems a good option ; there other public unis as well in SA , the UK, or Australia, which are options instead of SATS. SATS certainly does not corner the market in theological preparation. I don't recall ever implying that.
Bill Grover
Faculty, http://www.satsonline.org
BA,(Bible),ThB -1966, SCTS
MA (Religion)- 1968, PL Naz Uni
Tea Creds USD (Lang Arts)-1969/OSU (Spec Ed)1978
MDiv (Equiv)-1992 and ThM (Biblical Studies)-1994, Western Seminary
D.Th. (Theology)-2005 Unizul
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Bill » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:07 pm

Bill wrote:
Jimmy wrote:
Bill wrote:[Harvard has passed a ThD dissertation on the meaning of a single word-harpagmos-in the Biblical language...


Wow! I would surely like to read this dissertation. Have you read it, Bill? If so, does it agree with your dissertation?


----

No I didn't read it ; I read the author's (Hoover) summary of it in Harvard Theological Review. I used it in my dissertation.


------

You' have my dissertation. See Hoover and the HTR mentioned on pages 174 & 261
Bill Grover
Faculty, http://www.satsonline.org
BA,(Bible),ThB -1966, SCTS
MA (Religion)- 1968, PL Naz Uni
Tea Creds USD (Lang Arts)-1969/OSU (Spec Ed)1978
MDiv (Equiv)-1992 and ThM (Biblical Studies)-1994, Western Seminary
D.Th. (Theology)-2005 Unizul
Bill
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Re: Regarding Dr. Muhammad Schmidt and NationsUniversity

Postby Hungry Ghost » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:26 pm

IFTS' homepage gives prospective students this assurance:

"Therefore, all our degrees conferred are valid and legal accoding to relevant Federal US States Law."

http://www.gelber-kaiser.de/IFTS/index.htm

Vice wrote:FYI:
1. "Relevant Federal States law" does not refer to US Federal Law but to relevant South Carolina State Law granting a religious exempt status to ICW on whose authority degrees are conferred by IFTS.

What relevance does a Souh Carolina religious educator's exemption from that state's higher-education licensing laws have in Germany or Kenya or wherever you are? You are already exempt from all South Carolina state laws - simply because you aren't located in South Carolina.
I am doing this in good faith based on assurances from ICW; and these are people I personally know and trust.

As I do not want to do anything illegal knowingly and willingly I can only rely on their information as I am not a specialist in these law-related matters.

Then STOP ADVERTISING that your personal European or African or whatever degrees are somehow validated and legitimized by some mysterious American law that you refuse to reveal or discuss. You can't very well plead ignorance about that stuff while you are simultaneously citing it as the legal foundation of everything that you are doing.
2. I have all the paperwork that ICW has done in that respect and I have repeatedly received assurances from several other providers in the US that conferring degrees on ICW authority is not illegal as long as students are taking real courses and take their exams which is not the same in case of degree mills.

You aren't located in the United States. You could do anything that you desire, run a complete and abject degree mill if you like, and you wouldn't be violating any American domestic state laws.
I have inquired with the competent authorities in Germany, and according to them it is not illegal.

If IFTS is operating from Germany, then you need to replace the pseudo-American rhetoric on your website with a clear and verifiable explanation of IFTS' precise legal status in Germany. Of course, if you are telling Germany that IFTS is located outside Germany, then naturally it wouldn't be illegal in Germany either, since German law wouldn't have any jurisdiction over it. The fact that an enterprise located outside Germany isn't breaking German domestic laws isn't important.
Whether this is illegal or legal according to South Carolina relevant law is something I cannot really estimate. So the only thing left is to follow the assurances of those who should know - ICW.

If IFTS isn't located in South Carolina, then a South Carolina law exempting in-state schools of religion from having to complete the SC state higher-education licensing process has no application to IFTS.

No, the "only thing left" for IFTS is to reform its advertising. No American "Federal US States Law" has any authority over what IFTS is doing outside the United States. Misleading your prospective students into believing that American education law somehow stands behind and validates their degrees is at best unethical.
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