Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

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

Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby some gobbledygook » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:49 pm

John Fyffe wrote: 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.


No. I'm familiar enough with MDS' past practice [see above] to be satisfied with the experts' categorization of them as a mill. If you want to assert high quality for a school of their reputation, then I'll give you a fair hearing, but be prepared to provide evidence beyond mere assertion, because the burden of proof is on you. If you don't want to be called on it, don't make the assertion.
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby John Fyffe » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:25 pm

Dave G wrote:
John Fyffe wrote: 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.


No. I'm familiar enough with MDS' past practice [see above] to be satisfied with the experts' categorization of them as a mill. If you want to assert high quality for a school of their reputation, then I'll give you a fair hearing, but be prepared to provide evidence beyond mere assertion, because the burden of proof is on you. If you don't want to be called on it, don't make the assertion.


Dave,

"No"? And exactly what is/are your source(s) of justification and/or authority for jumping on the bandwagon of mill-sayers? I imagine that it is quite convenient to simply jump on the wagon and not have to exert the tremendous time and energy necessary to conduct your own research to support your conclusions. Your reference to ambiguous descriptive titles such as "past practices" and "experts' categorization" miserably fail to convey any personal authenticity for adjudicating MDS/MIDS "a mill." Furthermore, I have no more of an obligation to provide you with evidence beyond mere assertion than you do me. Who are you to demand that the burden of proof is upon me? Are you in a position of authority relative to establishing, maintaining and/or enforcing federal or state regulations and/or standards applying specifically to schools with the status and structure of MIDS? I doubt that you are. For if you were, the burden of proof would be upon you to provide evidence of MIDS being "a mill" and in violation of same regulations and/or standards.

The truth of the matter is that any burden of proof to provide evidence of academic quality is the responsibility of Dr. Dennis Frey. Furthermore, his responsibility to provide such proof is not to you or me unless you or I are 1) An MIDS prospective student, 2) A federal or state agent with regulatory authority relative to MIDS, or 3) A prospective or existing endorser, validator or accreditor.

Finally, I sincerely doubt that you are "familiar enough with MDS's past practices to be satisfied with the experts' categorization of them as a mill." I recall working with only two men named "David" during my many years with Trinity and MDS. Unless you are one of them or another long-term employee using a pseudonym, you can't possibly be familiar enough with past practices to even identify the experts let alone be satisfied with their categorization of MDS as "a mill."

If this isn't enough food for thought, ponder this: IMO, while you and I cordially spar over personal opinions, Dr. Frey continues to position MIDS for greater official recognition and Dr. Rodgers and Dr. Hunter continue to position Trinity for application with a USDE recognized accreditor. Now, considering that the "expert's" you refer to have categorized and evidently continue to categorize these two schools as "mills", what's that say about their influence considering the two schools' current state of affairs? I'm quite certain of the actions I've taken to shine light upon dark deeds; what actions are you taking?

Sincerely,

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

Postby some gobbledygook » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:34 am

Your indignant response fits a familiar pattern. I’ll let you subsist on a diet of someone else’s posts.
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby John Fyffe » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:21 am

Dave G wrote:Your indignant response fits a familiar pattern. I’ll let you subsist on a diet of someone else’s posts.


Dave,

We finally agree on something :lol: My response was most certainly indignant. I assure you though, my indignation is not limited to you.

With regard to fitting into a familiar pattern, I admit not knowing what you are referring to, and it sounds like you're no longer in the mood to thrill me with your acumen. On the other hand, I too recognize your response fitting a familiar pattern; a pattern of making definitive statements about things you know little or nothing about, AND then attempting to shift the spot light from yourself to me (in this case) with statements like those above; all the while successfully averting any intelligent and/or informed response to my direct questions and challenges. At least I responded to your questions and challenges; quid pro quo you know.

Lastly, even if I was inclined to consider subsisting on a diet of someone else's posts, there's no more room at your table :roll:

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good mill, bad mill

Postby uncle janko » Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:29 am

Two obsos:
1) Schwaermer always play the martyr.
2) "I like the Gulag; it's the NKVD I can't stand."
Doing good, doing well, raising hope and raising hell. Janko Shave.
"Airplane music? Just like music for big bees, only louder."--Arnold Schoenberg
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby levicoff » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:23 am

John Fyffe wrote:
Dave G wrote:Your indignant response fits a familiar pattern. I’ll let you subsist on a diet of someone else’s posts.


Dave,

We finally agree on something :lol: My response was most certainly indignant. I assure you though, my indignation is not limited to you.

With regard to fitting into a familiar pattern, I admit not knowing what you are referring to, and it sounds like you're no longer in the mood to thrill me with your acumen. On the other hand, I too recognize your response fitting a familiar pattern; a pattern of making definitive statements about things you know little or nothing about, AND then attempting to shift the spot light from yourself to me (in this case) with statements like those above; all the while successfully averting any intelligent and/or informed response to my direct questions and challenges. At least I responded to your questions and challenges; quid pro quo you know.

Lastly, even if I was inclined to consider subsisting on a diet of someone else's posts, there's no more room at your table :roll:

John C. Fyffe

I think that the meat of the situation can be found in a comment John Fyffe made on the related Trinity News thread: "I was a Trinity graduate student from approximately 1994-1997 and a doctoral student from approximately 1998 to 2002, and a Trinity employee from approximately 1997 to 2002 and from 2004 to 2006."

While I'm sure we're delighted to receive a critique from someone who was actually associated with Trinity on the inside (as an employee), we should remain cognizat of the fact that John started out with Trinity as a student for some seven years.

This either makes him a victim of Trinity's rap, or a knowing participant who was dumb enough to buy into the notion that Trinity might be legitimate. (Notice, incidentally, that he started out as a graduate student, then progressed to doctoral student. He does not specifically state whether he earne a master's degree prior to his doctoral "studies," such as they were, nor whether that degree was from Trinity. Talk about abstract...)

One way or the other, I'd hardly call him a credible critic based on his admitted role as a Trinity student. As is the case with another denizen of this forum who I won't mention in this thread (who was associated with another mill but went on to earn a legit doctorate - I'll let y'all guess who :mrgreen:), what we have here is merely another case of someone who refuses to admit that he screwed up in the first place.

The word putz comes to mind. :lol:
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby Bill » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:13 am

Some know that I was in the Trinity PhD in Bible around 2000. I did three TTS doctoral courses. I was required to listen to cassette tapes that masters level did. I was required to use introductory theology texts suitable for MDiv studies. There was no language requirement and no prerequisites as exams or prior thesis to evidence the ability to do doctoral level work. Evaluation of coursework/papers was done on a single page based on Bloom's Taxonomy.I spend much more time on a freshman's beginning theology paper than did those TTS profs on doctoral papers!! I will admit to Steve that I made a mistake. And yes, I know who did his UA degree over. I was new to DL then. But I will also affirm that based on my experience in 2000, Trinity did not require what commonly was required for doctorates in Bible/Theology.

What it's like now, I don't know, but by 2000 it had many years to become what it should , but it hadn't IMO.

As for MIDS, it seems to me that talking with Frey would not be a requisite to being enabled to evaluate its programs. If someone knows what graduate studies should be and should accomplish,and Dave does, then compare these with the rigor of the MIDS curricula and the utility in terms of transferability of credits, admission into higher accredited programs by virtue of the MIDS degree , and the enablement to find a place to minister or teach because of the learning acquired at MIDS.

Are Trinity and MIDS mills? I'm not sure. Would I recommend either? Surely not!

BTW, thankyou Dr. Frey for your service in Iraq. I hope you returned in much better shape than did my son.
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: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby levicoff » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:40 pm

Minor point: It was John Fyffe that claims to have served in Iraq. Dr. Frey, presumably, remained in the States, where he and Trinity continued to screw people.

Nonetheless, Bill "gets it." He made a wrong decision, turned around and made a right decision, and has become very much a credible theologian and educator. (And, unike some, he has the balls to admit that he made the wrong decision the first time around. That's credibility.

Bill also raises another key point: People who "get" what higher education is about will know the standards for graduate (including doctoral) degrees and will know that neither Trinity nor MDS cuts the muster. Those who think that Trinity or MDS does represent credibility either have no clue about what higher education and graduate-level standards are about, or they know the scoop but just don't give a proverbial hoot.

I stand where I did when I first addressed these schools some 15 years ago: They're both a joke. And always will be, even if one of them manages to achieve DETC accreditation.
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby Bill » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:07 pm

levicoff wrote:Minor point: It was John Fyffe that claims to have served in Iraq. Dr. Frey, presumably, remained in the States, where he and Trinity continued to screw people.

Nonetheless, Bill "gets it." He made a wrong decision, turned around and made a right decision, and has become very much a credible theologian and educator. (And, unike some, he has the balls to admit that he made the wrong decision the first time around. That's credibility.

Bill also raises another key point: People who "get" what higher education is about will know the standards for graduate (including doctoral) degrees and will know that neither Trinity nor MDS cuts the muster. Those who think that Trinity or MDS does represent credibility either have no clue about what higher education and graduate-level standards are about, or they know the scoop but just don't give a proverbial hoot.

I stand where I did when I first addressed these schools some 15 years ago: They're both a joke. And always will be, even if one of them manages to achieve DETC accreditation.


-----------

I meant Fyffe--sorry. I know Frey slightly because I've had (in 2000) several email discussions and one telephonic one with him in regard to Trinity. And when I wrote the above, I was trying to remember the precise content of these. I think what Frey asserted was that Trinity would be accredited by 2004. A friend said JW Montgomery also prophesied that! So, my apologies to Dr. Fyffe.

IN my estimate the curricula for PhD studies at Trinity was at MDiv level. I struggled then between wanting a DE doctorate and wishing to get one honestly. I'm ashamed to say that my lower nature got the best of me for about a year while at Trinity.
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: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby Bill » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:08 pm

levicoff wrote:Minor point: It was John Fyffe that claims to have served in Iraq. Dr. Frey, presumably, remained in the States, where he and Trinity continued to screw people.

Nonetheless, Bill "gets it." He made a wrong decision, turned around and made a right decision, and has become very much a credible theologian and educator. (And, unike some, he has the balls to admit that he made the wrong decision the first time around. That's credibility.

Bill also raises another key point: People who "get" what higher education is about will know the standards for graduate (including doctoral) degrees and will know that neither Trinity nor MDS cuts the muster. Those who think that Trinity or MDS does represent credibility either have no clue about what higher education and graduate-level standards are about, or they know the scoop but just don't give a proverbial hoot.

I stand where I did when I first addressed these schools some 15 years ago: They're both a joke. And always will be, even if one of them manages to achieve DETC accreditation.


-----------

I meant Fyffe--sorry. I know Frey slightly because I've had (in 2000) several email discussions and one telephonic one with him in regard to Trinity. And when I wrote the above, I was trying to remember the precise content of these. I think what Frey asserted was that Trinity would be accredited by 2004. A friend said JW Montgomery also prophesied that! So, my apologies to Dr. Fyffe.

IN my estimate the curricula for PhD studies at Trinity was at MDiv level. I struggled then between wanting a DE doctorate and wishing to get one honestly. I'm ashamed to say that my lower nature got the best of me for about a year while at Trinity.
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: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby Hungry Ghost » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:01 pm

I don't think that I've ever thought of Trinity C&S as a flat-out mill, in the complete-scam sense. It always seemed to offer some kind of academic substance, perhaps even interesting substance to those interested in what that Montgomery guy was doing. But I'm willing to accept Bill Grover's judgement that it was nevertheless substandard. ('Mill' and 'substandard' are separate categories in my estimation. I'd call quite a few accredited programs substandard if it comes to that.)

The thing that annoyed me over the years wasn't so much Trinity's iffy academics, it was its misleading accreditation claims. And the whole Master's Divinity School issue. Together, they suggested management that was... let's say ethically challenged. That's not a good thing in a school that teaches religion (particularly apologetics).

Master's Divinity School was something else. It seems to have been originally created to serve applicants who weren't up to even Trinity's modest demands. I don't think that there's any word besides 'millish' to describe MDS' old 'Doctor of Practical Ministry' program which consisted of six audio-casette classes. That's so substandard as to violate the bounds of credibility entirely.

MDS might very well be improved today, I don't know. Maybe it really is under new and more serious management. But its history as a (former?) degree-mill is still real and still there, strongly influencing how the thing continues to be perceived. Puffing dismissively at people who fail to salute isn't likely to convince anyone of anything. That task demands more sophisticated apologetics.
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby ape1 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:46 pm

I was doing some research into distance learning and came across this website. As an adult learner currently pursuing a masters in an on-campus adult learning program (RA) I was hoping to gain some insight as to the post-graduate possibilities available through distance learning. I must say that, after browsing through some of the threads, I am somewhat skeptical of the "expert" opinions which are made here. I would like to think that they are unbiased and based on current and thorough research. If I were looking for legitimate information concerning the "pros and cons" of distance learning, I would expect that this was so. I am not sure however how much validity one should put in a person who appears to be little more than a disgruntled employee. (it appears that he was dismissed from both institutions) When I saw the name "Fyffe" it caught my attention as I have inquired of both Trinity and MDS ( btw, I am no expert but isn't the current proper name/acronym MISD?) in years past and was sent letters by Mr. Fyffe (I assume his Ph.D was completed at Trinity?) Here is a copy of an older email I found and it was the last one I received from Mr. Fyffe on behalf of Trinity in Mid 2005 (This was sent to me after I inquired online along with numerous other emails that appeared to be automatically generated so this is not private property):

Subject: SUPERIORITY OF TRINITY'S DISTANCE EDUCATION PROGRAM

SUPERIORITY OF TRINITY'S DISTANCE EDUCATION PROGRAM


Dear Mr. xxxxx,


I was married, working, and had three young children as I completed my
Bachelor Degree program with a traditional State University. Upon
graduating from this program, I enrolled with Trinity in the M.A. in
Biblical Counseling program through Distance Education.


I soon discovered that there were significant similarities between Distance
and Traditional programs. Academic standards were virtually the same,
including testing, comprehensive reading, and writing & research
assignments in compliance with academically acceptable styles and methods.
Study materials were also virtually the same, including lectures,
textbooks, and comprehensive study guides. Both required considerable
discipline, and the professors were equally well educated and qualified.


There were also significant differences. Trinity's curriculum was
specifically relevant to my personal ministry and goals. Trinity's learning
methodology did not bind me to a strict or regimented study schedule but
instead, enabled me to study at any time of the day or day of the week. I
became highly self-disciplined as a result of completing Trinity's program.
I learned time management skills due to it being my responsibility to
schedule time each day to study. Throughout my Trinity program, I scheduled
my studies around God's priorities for my life: Relationship with Him,
relationship with my wife, relationship with my children, work, and church
activities. It was not necessary to schedule God's priorities around a
traditionally regimented system.


Where have you learned the principles and acquired the discipline to handle
life's toughest issues? In my case, much of that learning came as a direct
result of my studies through Trinity's Biblical Counseling program. These
same factors contributed significantly to my smooth transition into and
timely completion of a Doctoral program with Trinity. Consequently, I am
uniquely equipped to serve you through sound godly counseling regarding
your enrollment. As we partner to develop the Degree Program that will best
meet your personal and ministerial needs, you may be assured that your
final decision is the right decision; one supported by disciplined thought
and godly stewardship. As you begin to study, you too will realize the
Superiority of Trinity's Distance Education Program.


Call 800-457-5510 and speak with one of our Admissions Counselors. We will
promptly and courteously explain all Academic and Financial Options,
including all available Tuition Discounts. One Enrollment Option you have
is to Apply and Enroll simultaneously. We will waive the $50.00 Application
Fee when you choose this option.


May God richly bless you in all you do through Him. I look forward to
communicating with you very soon.


In Service to Christ,


John C. Fyffe, Ph.D.
Vice President
1-800-457-5510
Trinity College of the Bible & Trinity Theological Seminary
4233 Medwel Dr.
Newburgh IN 47630
www.trinitysem.edu


This certainly sounds like someone who was a big believer in Trinity and worked very hard to bring others into the "fold."
It is just an observation but this sounds like someone with a vendetta as opposed to a credible source of information.
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby Hungry Ghost » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:30 pm

ape1 wrote:I was doing some research into distance learning and came across this website. As an adult learner currently pursuing a masters in an on-campus adult learning program (RA) I was hoping to gain some insight as to the post-graduate possibilities available through distance learning. I must say that, after browsing through some of the threads, I am somewhat skeptical of the "expert" opinions which are made here.

Just like I'm skeptical of your own story. You just stumbled on this board? I sense that you've got your own agenda.
I would like to think that they are unbiased and based on current and thorough research. If I were looking for legitimate information concerning the "pros and cons" of distance learning, I would expect that this was so.

This is a discussion board, champ.You will encounter all varieties of opinion, some better than others. You have to make your own decisions about how much weight you assign whatever you read. It demands some critical thinking.
I am not sure however how much validity one should put in a person who appears to be little more than a disgruntled employee.

I've consdered that myself and I do take Fyffe's posts with a grain of salt. He's got his axe to grind. But the fact remains that Trinity C&S has made some misleading accreditation claims over the years and MDS was pretty clearly a mill in its earlier days. So if somebody is in a position to give his own acount of management's decision making, then I'm going to read it with interest. That doesn't mean that I'm going to trust everything as infallible and inerrant scripture. (I don't even believe that the Bible is divinely inspired, and Fyffe isn't the Bible.)
It is just an observation but this sounds like someone with a vendetta as opposed to a credible source of information.

Maybe. Of course, you've just appeared out of nowhere yourself, we don't have any idea who you are or what your own interest is in all of this.

But I will say that if you are trying to defend the schools that Fyffe criticises by discrediting Fyffe, and trying to discredit him by associating him with the schools that he criticises, then that seems to be kind of self-defeating.
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby some gobbledygook » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:16 am

Warning: Thread Resurrection! :shock:

After many years, I was looking for something else at the site, but came across the following quote that I thought for history’s sake should be appended to this thread. It’s from the DegreeDiscussion thread “An Inquiry to Dr. John C. Fyffe...” in April 2006, and at that time, John Fyffe himself compared MDS’ courses unfavorably to those of Trinity.

John C. Fyffe wrote: In my opinion, MDS's courses were academically inferior to Trinity's courses. One factor that I believed contributed to this difference was that Trinity consistently employed more academically qualified faculty who possessed degrees from recognized institutions than MDS. In my opinion, a well disciplined student could have completed an MDS degree program in less than one year. I believe that at that time, most of the degree programs required completion of only 6+ courses.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=651&hilit=An+Inquiry+to+Dr.+John+C.+Fyffe

Just so we’re clear on this, highlighting the weakness of MDS in no way absolves Trinity of the items that Fyffe pointed out to the accreditors.
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Re: Masters International Divinity School (John Fyffe?)

Postby Hungry Ghost » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:27 pm

some gobbledygook wrote:Warning: Thread Resurrection! :shock:

After many years, I was looking for something else at the site, but came across the following quote that I thought for history’s sake should be appended to this thread. It’s from the DegreeDiscussion thread “An Inquiry to Dr. John C. Fyffe...” in April 2006, and at that time, John Fyffe himself compared MDS’ courses unfavorably to those of Trinity.

John C. Fyffe wrote: In my opinion, MDS's courses were academically inferior to Trinity's courses. One factor that I believed contributed to this difference was that Trinity consistently employed more academically qualified faculty who possessed degrees from recognized institutions than MDS. In my opinion, a well disciplined student could have completed an MDS degree program in less than one year. I believe that at that time, most of the degree programs required completion of only 6+ courses.


viewtopic.php?f=2&t=651&hilit=An+Inquiry+to+Dr.+John+C.+Fyffe

Just so we’re clear on this, highlighting the weakness of MDS in no way absolves Trinity of the items that Fyffe pointed out to the accreditors.


I can't argue with that.

But after all these years, I kind of find myself liking that old Trinity College and Seminary. (I haven't looked at it recently and don't know what it looks like now.) I still think that it did have some academic substance, certainly as much as a few of the doctoral programs at prestige RA accredited schools. (Anything to do with race, class or gender, anything with "feminist" in the degree title, and a great deal of literary theory.)

Once again, I think that Trinity's failings were largely ethical, revolving around its misleading accreditation claims and around its association with MDS.
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