Category Archives: illness

What is Missing in Education

We are not going to play favorites here as both the Christian school system and the secular one make the same mistakes. Some schools, teachers and officials are good in both systems but sadly, those are overshadowed by others who do not perform as they should. Too often, schools in both systems tend to favor teaching ideology instead of educating the students correctly. This is so in spite of the warning given in the book of James.

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. (NASB 3:1)

We know this as we have seen education first hand and have tracked the misdeeds of teachers, administration staff and education officials for several years. These people, even in Korea, treat students as objects not worthy of the best information possible or teaching as just another job. It is no longer a profession worthy of their best behavior, best effort, or having any character or integrity. It is now a means to an end, hopefully by padding their bank account and pension fund.

Teaching has lots a lot in recent years and there is enough blame to go around. No one group is solely to blame as all have contributed to the demise of education– even in Christian circles.Sadly, we saw this in our own undergraduate alma mater as well.Then when you see stories like the following article:

Teacher Accused of Feeding Puppy to Snapping Turtle in Front of Students

{and the title is enough of an example}

You know that something has been lost in teaching. It doesn’t matter the level because all levels have been infected with the same disease. In the book, Hitler Furies, a study on the female Nazis of that era, it was stated that Hitler introduced dumbing down into the German education system. It is much harder to manipulate and control educated people. The most successful educational program in the west since the 1980s has been the strategy to dumb down the students.

We have seen this first hand as well. But it was not limited to just the students who got a lack of an education. The teachers were dumbed down as well. We saw that over the years in Korea as teacher after teacher heading towards that country were not smart, lacked education and some could barely string a sentence together. There is something missing from education. Probably several elements are no longer in the profession. But again, that is not true in all cases.

As we thought about that article linked above, it was brought to our attention what God wanted done with his people. But many believers will probably miss their importance because the instructions are found in the Old Testament not the New. Non-believers won’t normally know these passages unless they read their spare time. But then even if they do, will they believe God’s word pertaining to how their profession should be handled? It is highly doubtful.

But the book of Deut. is filled with verses providing God’s instructions on what should be taught in his people’s schools. Here are some of those verses:

“Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you (NASB 4:1-2)

See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ (NASB 4:5-6)

10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to [b]fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’(NASB 4: 10)

 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. (NASB 6:1-2)

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up (NASB 6:6-7)

And on these verses go.

God has said very clearly what he wanted taught to his people and their children. These instructions have not been voided by the New Testament.

As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, (NASB 1 Tim. 1:3)

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you (NASB 1 Tim. 4:16)

holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. (NASB Tit. 1:9)

The firs set of verses has what is missing from teaching that takes place today in both the secular and Christian school systems.

so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God,

The fear or respect of God is what is lacking. No one that we know of, is doing this today. God is not feared and his ways are not taught. While the secular world and some Christians run around looking for human answers to school shootings, we have that answer here from God himself. The fear of God would stop many shooters from committing their evil schemes. Plus, if they were taught the ways of God then they would know that taking a life is wrong and should not be done.

When you make God’s rules appear as human origin rules, then it is easy for people to forget about God and ignore these human based rules. If people are not taught God’s ways, instructions and commands, how will they learn how to live properly? Ho will they treat their fellow human correctly if they do not know the better way to live?

These lessons start in the home where the parents teach it to their children and their grandchildren. Eventually, those lessons will reach politics, science, education and so on. God’s OT instructions and commands are not just for an Old Testament group of people who lived 4000 years ago. We bring the fear of God back to the lives of families, education and so on then we bring back the other missing elements in education.

You may ask what are we doing about this instead of just posting the thoughts God wants us to share on the internet? We have lived these principles in Korea as we taught. We had problems, criticism, attacks, but in the end, because we obeyed God and taught the way he wanted us to teach, we were rewarded as well. Maybe someday we will post some pictures recording those rewards.

We have been preaching in the Philippines using God ways. Now we have been asked to be the preacher of one church full-time as well as start a new Bible College. We opted for the latter. We are working on setting up a new Bible college that will have God’s instructions as the guiding force behind our teaching. Do not worry we do not plan on asking for money. We will need books though, lots of them. We will make that request when the time is right. Eventually we will be looking for teachers but that is a ways down the road. We will need prayer as well.

But we do what we can to practice what we are teaching in these web pages. This means we may not have time to post here but that remains to be seen. Christians need to take action and it is not done by teaching interpretation or ideology. It is done by following the Holy Spirit to the truth. Then accepting that truth and teaching it to others.

If you want a better education system, then it begins with the fear of God.


Our Thoughts & Prayers

This seems to be the new fad in the church. Whenever a tragedy strikes or something bad happens, people say ‘you are in our thoughts and prayers’. Maybe they say this because they are not sure what they can do in those troubling times. In the case of a school shooting, law enforcement handles the problem and there is little to do except to pick the pieces. In the latter there are still people who do not know what to do or they leave it up to the local people to handle the mess.

There is nothing wrong with praying for those who are hurting. We need to pray so that people can be consoled. We need to pray so that emotion does not pervert justice. We need to pray so that we can have God guiding us in what to do next. It is here where the problem begins. Some people think they need a special ‘call’ from God to get involved in tragedies and for some God will specifically direct certain people to take specific actions.

But that direction does not mean that other believers simply sit on the sidelines and do nothing. God has told us what to do in the Bible and it begins with ‘do unto others…’ We need to think about how we would like to be treated in such cases and then act accordingly. Another message from God tells us that if we do kindness, etc., to the least of these we have done it unto him. The Bible is full of direction for believers to follow for all situations, including school shootings.

We do not make specific suggestions here because that is usually between God and the person. One act of kindness is not greater than another. If someone sends food they have done it unto Jesus just like the person who sends a large sum of money. Or a person can see how a large group of people are diverting funds to meet a need created by a tragedy and give their money to those causes that are losing revenue because of that diversion.

There is a variety of ways for believers to participate in tragedies. That participation does not need to wait for another school shooting. There is a lot of opportunity to add action to your prayers and thoughts in your own locations. There are old folks to be visited; orphans to help; prisoners to visit; families to work with and so much more. We would love to see youth pastors stop entertaining the youth of the church and get them involved in actual Christian ministry.

The youth of the church needs purpose; they need to see Jesus in action; they need to grow up in the faith by learning to handle failure, disappointment, as well as victory. What they and the church in general need is to go beyond prayers and thoughts. The people in trouble, alone, hurting need the church to take action. The world needs to see that God cares about them. That can only be done if the church does what God wants and gets involved properly with people.

Yes, problems will arise, but we do not get answers to those problems until they arise. We do not learn how to handle problems unless we experience them and then learn from our mistakes.protecting people from problems does not allow them to grow and learn how to handle problems. Nor does it allow people to learn how to hear and follow God correctly. Keeping believers in an ‘innocent’ bubble means stunting their growth and keeping them vulnerable. It does not make them warriors for God.

While not everyone can respond to a school shooting and its aftermath, there are areas they can go beyond thoughts and prayers. They just need to look for them. Where you get involved will depend on your resources as well. No one is being asked to rob their family of food, rent, and so on. True faith does not tempt God.

If the church wants to make an impact for God, they need to sow the seeds of the gospel in different ways. Evangelists only reap  from what has been sown and watered. If you look at a farmer’s harvest, it is the result of many hours of hard physical work and contribution. The crops are given physical seeds, physical food and water, physical weeding and so on.

The harvest is not miraculously sown and watered. It takes physical needs being met. The same for the Gospel. The gospel needs people to go beyond their thoughts and prayers and meet physical needs without ulterior motives. They church needs love for their enemies and see the need then rise up to meet those needs.


When is a Lie a Lie?

We are sure you have heard all the accusations hurled at believers when discussing theological topics with unbelievers, especially atheists. They love to pull out the lie accusation as if they have caught the believer in a willful attempt to deceive. Before we go any further, we have to admit that there are those believers who do real lies. We are saddened by this fact and it needs to stop. Nothing is gained for God when a believer sins to meet their objective or hide their lack of education

But this situation aside, most of the accusations made by unbelievers are false. The believer is not purposefully telling an untruth. There are reasons for this as well. They are as follows:

  1. The believer doesn’t know– this is often the case given the level of historical and biblical illiteracy permeating the church today. But there is no shame in saying ‘I don’t know. ‘At least you were honest and represented yourself correctly. Instead of creating a stumbling block by making something up, you leave a door open in the unbeliever. If you do not know then you do not know. One key is you can always do some research and find the right answer. The honest is the best policy mentality is Christian and is supported by the Bible.
  2. The believer is misinformed- This is often the case when it comes to biblical knowledge. The pastors, youth ministers and other church leaders/teachers do not know or have been misinformed themselves. They pass on this erroneous information and set their congregations up to be embarrassed and the receiver of abuse or false accusations. This situation can be the product of two sources. Either the leadership has been misinformed or they just do not know and are giving the best answer they can. A third option is that they have never tried to know, which does take place.
  3. The believer is lied to– Believe it or not Christians (including church leadership) do lie to other believers. They also give bad or unbiblical advice. The passing on of faulty information is not lying, because the believer believes they hold the correct information and telling what they know. There is  no attempt to intentionally deceive here.
  4. The believer is never taught– This is often the case because too many churches focus on worship and evangelism only. While both are biblical and need to be done, they do not take priority over teaching the flock correctly. Jesus said “feed my sheep” not ignore the need for knowledge. The failure to teach the truth, to teach it correctly has been a problem in the church for generations. It is not a modern problem alone. We are not talking about intellectualism here but gaining knowledge and the truth. God wants his people to be knowledgeable and filled with the truth

We are not going to point fingers here. That would be too easy. But we are not perfect either. We are confident that everyone is aware of the problem and who is responsible. But it isn’t just a leadership problem. The Bible was written for every believer, not pastors, missionaries, youth leaders, and so on. When God says to study to be approved of him, he is not leaving the normal church member out of the edict. They are to study as well. They need to learn the truth, they need to be properly educated and they need to know how to answer the unbeliever (both their arguments and questions).

The common believer meets more unbelievers than pastors, etc., save maybe for missionaries. They need to be prepared to answer why they believe and that does not mean just quoting the 4 spiritual laws or Christian fad. Unbelievers have real questions which need real answers and real information. Good evangelists also need the right information. Billy Graham has often lamented his lack of training in theology.

When unbelievers accuse you of lying, it may simply be a way for them to hide from the truth or to try to get the believer to doubt their faith. It is a trick to get the believer to lose confidence in their church, pastor and God. To thwart this attack, a believer needs to study the right materials and follow the Holy Spirit to the truth. But even if a believer has the truth, it does not mean the unbeliever will stop accusing them of lying. It just means that the unbeliever has decided to adopt the lie over the truth.

The key for the believer is to find the truth, adopt it into their lives and stick to the truth no matter what the unbeliever does. It is only through the truth (and being honest using love) that the believer will succeed.


Why Study History?

As you may have realized by reading this site, we place a lot of history and archaeology information on these pages.One reason is that we love history and archaeology. They are fascinating subjects though not as fascinaing as genetics (which we also study) A second reason is that we can learn a lot from studying history.

Military officers study ancient and more recent battles to learn new techniques on how to condut warfare. Even the Indian wars of the American expansion has contributed to modern warfare. We came across the following quote from the book, Great Western Indian Fights by members of the Potomac Corral of the westerners. On page 24 it reads:

The primitive indian warrior made a contribution to the art of warfare. His swift, silent, harassing, small-scale operations were the forerunners of the commando raids in World War II. At least one description of western indian raiding tactics  was used in the training of American troops for action in the Pacific. General Douglas macArthur paid tribute to the indian as an efficient fighting man-  As a warrior, his fame is world-wide. Many successful methids of modern warfare  are based upon what he evolved centuries ago (Bold ours). Individually he exemplified what the line fighter could do by adaption to the particular countryside in which he fought.

The study of the past is not just for military leaders though. Modern farmers could benefit from studying ancient farming techniques to help them yield a better crop. We know of one example but the reference is lost for now. (That is due to the amount of reading and researching we do). But there was one civilization who elevated their crops and placed them in smaller sections, not too small. Their harvest yield was greater than if they had farmed using the traditional flat one large group method.

The second example is for believers and answers the question why should Christians study hstory. This example is already wel known as it involves Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. In studying archaeological discoveries we find that the wife giving her servant to her husband was a cultural act. It was not a biblically instructed method of having a child.

While the account is in the BIble, we learn that this act actually took place and that both Sarah and Abraham followed their current cultural norms. This does not mean that cultural norms are to be followed or are better than God’s ways.God allowed it to take place but he did not give permission for this chain of events.We have to be careful when reading ancient actions recorded in the Bible and not make the mistake that because it is mentioned, in the Bible, that we have permission to go and do likewise.

We must remember that God does not give permission to his followers to commit sin.

Why Should Christians Study History?

Besides the above two examples, there are plenty of reasons why believers need to study history and or archaeology. Here is a list of reasons why all believers should do some historical study:

  1. God wants us to study- he says so in I Timothy. He wants knowledgeable followers not ignorant ones
  2. We get to the truth- studying history and archaeology is but one way to get to some truth. It is not the only way and they do not hold all truth
  3. We learn that many cultic beliefs are not new but have ancient foundations
  4. We get information on how to refute cultic and other false religious beliefs
  5. We get respect from unbelievers- this is because we actually know something. One of the biggest complaints from atheists is that Christians do not know the Bible or their history
  6. We get information  to refute other unbelievers and their alternative theories
  7. We learn that the secular experts are not telling the truth
  8. We protect our faith- too many unwary and unprepared young believers lose their faith when they encounter those unbelieving professors who do not believe in God, accept that he exists, or believe the Bible
  9. We learn that the Bible is correct and that the secular experts, professors, etc., do not know more than God
  10. We learn how to follow the Holy Spirit to the truth (John 16:13)

These are only ten reasons why believers need to study history and archaeology, even as a hobby. You do not have to quit your job, etc., and go do a full-time advanced degree to learn these things from history and archaeology.

How Should Believers Study History & Archaeology

The how to is as important as the study. This is for the simple reason that believers can be sidetracked by evil and go off in the wrong direction. If this happens then they would be like the evolutionist looking for the truth by going down the wrong paths and looking in the wrong places for their answers. Here are some steps in how to study history and archaeology

  1. Ask God for help- you will not get to the truth by excluding the one who holds all truth
  2. Follow biblical instructions- Psalm 1 is one big key- do not follow the unbeliever or their counsel.Another is found in Ecc.- nothing is new under the sun.
  3. Read good books- we wrote on this recently. You will not find all the information you need in Chrstian books. You will have to read good secular works to get all the evidence and information you need. You will need God to help you not stray into adopting the secular theories or ideas.
  4. Remember that the bible contains actual history- there has never been a historical or archaeological discovery yet that proves the Bible wrong or disagrees with the Bible. What disagrees with the Bible is the archaeologists’theories, assumptions, leaps to conclusions, speculation and so on.
  5. Remember that God does not lie and the Bible is not wrong- the people who lie are those who do not believe in God or follow him
  6. Read the church fathers and other ancient writers- but again remember that they were human and may not have all the answers even though they lived earlier in history.
  7. Stick to the truth- never stary from it. Once you find th etruth, adopt it, keep it and adapt your life accordingly. Even in your discussions with unbelievers, do not stray from the truth
  8. Remember that the secular way is not God’s way- this includes the secular scientific method. Archaeologists want believers to be objective but that is impossible. Dr. WM. Dever said so in his book, Did God Have a Wife. God said it first in the Bible when he said you are either on his side or your not on his side. There is no grey middle ground. The secular scientific method only looks for the best explanation NOT the truth. There is a difference.
  9. Learn the different schools of thought and why they are wrong or right- Minimalist sometimes sound like the believe the Bible but they reject most of the OT.
  10. Learn the difference between credible archaeologists and bad ones- this includes bible scholars, historians and so on. Ron Wyatt was not a good archaeologist,There are many more of them out there. Be wary of S. jacobovici and a guy out there named Rude (he does a Rude Awkwning scheme).Just like every part of society there are frauds in history and archaeology who sound good but are way off the mark.

Why is it important to study correctly

We will give an example of why you cannot rely on Christian authors only. We continue to use this example even though we lost a 30 year friendship over critiquing this author. Erwin Luzter is a profilic Christian writer with many admirers and he wrote a book one time on Hitler and the Cross. We were just beginning our historical and archaeological studies, or a little ways into them, when we came across the book. Our first thought was, great now we will get the truth behind Hitler’s use of the Cross.

We were very disappointed. Mr. Lutzer did very poor research, did not discuss the issue correctly or deep enough and did not provide any real answers to the topic. He also provided no real information that could be used to help refute unbelievers when they used Hitler’s example in their arguments against Christianity. What we got was chapter after chapter of the gospel message. Yes he sacrificed the instructing believers for a continual repeat of what they already knew.

We threw the book away or gave it to someone else. It was useless for that topic. But this is not a rare event in Christian writing. Too often, and we know Christian archaeologists who do the same thing, the believer does poor research, ignores topics that need to be discussed, follow secular ways, use the gospel message far too often, and do not know what they are talking about. We tried to correct a couple of Christian archaeologists one time on their research but the response we got was not good.  You have to do good research and you have to know what you are talking about.

We can support our position here with a biblical example. While Jesus said to go out and preach the gospel, he did not say preach it to the believers all the time and keep them at square one. He did say ‘feed my sheep’, and Paul added to this by saying ‘grow up as a believer'(paraphrase). You cannot grow up and feed the sheep if you continually tell them the same gospel message over and over.

God said, as we stated earlier, to study and to study you need to do it right. Ken Ham and others state that you cannot divorce the gospel from the subject you are talking about. In feeding the sheep you are not divorcing the gospel if you do not mention it. You are building upon the gospel by giving the believer the food they need to grow up as a spiritual being. A choior leader does not keep having the choir sing ‘Jesus loves me’ and hope they will build musical talent. No he keeps giving them more music and more difficlut music so that they grow as a choir

The same goes for believers. You do not keep feeding them the gospel they have already accepted and expect them to be ready to be used of God. You need to feed them more information, more difficult information, teaching them how to use it so they will not lose their faith. Sticking only to the gospel only keeps believers vulnerable to evil. You have to know something. And that means going beyond square one and learning all that you can with God’s help.

God does not want child warriors. He needs soldiers who know something, know what they are talking about, so that they can be used more effectively to win souls for him.The enemy does not have child warriors. They study and they learn but what they study and learn is through deceived eyes and are led away from the truth.

This is why we lose so many young people to the secular world. they are not prepared to face what will come their way. Parents, church leaders, pastors, youth ministers fail their charges because they do not prepare themselves and other believers correctly. They do not give their people the right information or how to use it correctly.(we are being very general here).

Some Final Words

As we stated earlier, history and archaeology are but one way to study and get to a lot of truth. There are other subjects you can study and achieve a lot of the same results. The key is to make sure you are learning from God and not a demon disguised as an angel of light. Real, correct study is not easy and takes work. We understand that most believers do not have a lot of time. But that may be due to what was known as a problem in our undergraduate days- priorities.

How good a believer, how good a spiritual warrior we become depends upon our priorities. That is a decision only you can make for yourself. It is also a change that only you can make. We just put the informationout there so you can see that there is more to the Christian life than what some people think. Pleasing God is not about the number of souls who make a decision for Christ. It is about learning how to use faith correctly and obeying God. Studying is obeying God.

Growing as a believer is obeying God. Jesus said, ‘you will know the truth’, but he did not say it will always be handed to you on a silver platter. SOmetimes you have to study to find it. You may also have to wrestle with conflicting ideas before you get to it. But one thing is for sure, the truth is there waiting for you to get to it.


Just a Reminder

that we still have our information and resource site.

it was originally designed for pastors, teachers and missionaries but anyone can use the information to help their knowledge and faith grow



In The News 23

Just an overview of different news stories


One last word: When the shooting occurred, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tweeted, “Pray for Las Vegas.” Please do so, right now.

Yes when tragedy takes place then they want God. But when times re good they have no time for him and even deny he exists. There is sense to this event and the Bible tells us that we struggle not against flesh and blood but  with principalities etc., from the spiritual world. Let’s keep things in perspective as you pray for Las Vegas. Suffering and evil are going to continue until God calls time but before he does that, he still wants more people saved. Conduct the battle for souls under the right context and remember that our fellow humans are ot the real enemy.


Here are the thoughts of some of the leading Christian leaders and writers about Hefner’s life and what he left behind.

It would have been nice if they completed the article and included those 4 thoughts. Hefner was nothing but a dirty old man. He was not a hero just a person who led many to sin and destruction.


Prayer led by the pastor of the church used to be a normal part of worship services. What was deemed in the past as a part of public worship, has now been minimized, eliminated, or delegated. This is not acceptable or good for the church.

We agree with his thinking. Pastors need to return to being the spiritual leader of the church and not be seen as some business executive who knows how to delegate. True pastoral leadership goes a long ways in keeping a church spiritually healthy.


Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, the ex-member of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, who shot eight people including one fatally at his old church, was motivated by revenge for the nine churchgoers who were killed by Dylann Roof in 2015.

How is it revenge when you attack innocent people who had no connection to Roof?


A tearful Hope Carpenter, who co-founded the 21,000-member Redemption Church in Greenville, South Carolina, with her husband Ron Carpenter Jr., apologized to their multiracial congregation Sunday for slamming NFL players protesting social injustice during the national anthem as wrong.

In these days it doesn’t matter what you say, someone will always be offended or upset. If you followed scripture when you framed your remarks then don’t apologize unless you are truly in error. Everyone is allowed an opinion even when it disagrees with black people. Speak the truth in love and always stick to the truth. Those who are offended may need to learn a lesson themselves.


A Christian bioethics lecturer has spoken out against new DNA surgery carried out by Chinese scientists who are reportedly creating lab-grown human embryos in order to test disease-removing techniques.

“What concerns me and actually quite a number of bio-ethicists and those who are looking and researching in this field is that what we here have is scientists who are deliberately creating human life, deliberately creating embryos. These are not embryos that have been left over as spares from fertility treatments from IVF,” Dr. Trevor Stammers, Bioethics lecturer at St. Mary’s University in Twickenham, told Premier.

“They’ve been specifically created to be experimented upon and then destroyed, which is why there are no children who were cured that the Chinese are bringing out. It’s just a proof of principle and it’s been gained in a way that many people would regard as being unethical.”

Are those embryos actual human life? That is the question that must be answered first.


Exactly What Is Accreditation and How is it Different from Certification? by Dr. Dennis Frey

Accreditation is essentially a statement of approval.  In the United States, if it is to be meaningful, it must come from an independent association having attained its own approval from the United States Department of Education (USDE).  In the U.S., the government (USDE) does not accredit schools.  However, the USDE is in the business of approving the associations which do accredit schools (for the purpose of serving as gate keepers for Title IV Funding).  You must understand this if you are to properly understand accreditation. Title IV Funding is the nearly 60 billion dollar congressionally approved annual money stream that flows from taxpayers to educational institutions that are accredited by an agency approved by USDE.  The reason that USDE approves accrediting agencies is to assure quality control over the flow of Title IV Funds.  The greater part of accreditation requirements is geared toward satisfying the USDE mandated standards that are specifically designed to safeguard the huge taxpayer investment in higher education.

Accrediting associations in the U.S. are not required to seek USDE recognition, but without it, the value of such accreditation may be questionable, and schools they accredit are not eligible to receive Title IV Funds.  That is why schools promoting accreditation from sources not approved by the USDE are considered “unaccredited.”  BEWARE: There are dozens of so-called accrediting agencies (some with very official sounding names), that are nothing more than a fraud designed to deceive.

EXCEPTION: Accrediting agencies (just like schools), must first operate according to accepted practices and attract a sufficient number of clients before they can petition the USDE for possible acceptance.  Unrecognized agencies that are in a petitioning status with USDE, and are operating openly within the general parameters set forth by USDE (though still not considered recognized), ought to be considered valid, but their members’ schools are still not qualified for Title IV Funds.

The following quote is taken from the web site of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  “There are accrediting organizations that may not be recognized but are not accreditation mills. For example, the accreditor may be seeking recognition, but the process is not complete. Or the accreditor does not meet the requirements of CHEA or USDE for reasons that do not relate to quality.”

Certification is also essentially a statement of approval, but significantly different from accreditation in several important ways.  Most importantly, certification is not tied to Title IV Funding.  Only USDE recognized accreditation qualifies institutions to receive such funding.  Certification is not generally recognized as being equivalent to accreditation since certification criteria is not geared toward satisfying the requirements for Title IV Funding.  Therefore, certifying agencies are not as well known, and their value not as readily appreciated.

Legitimate certification is similar to legitimate accreditation in that it also involves voluntary peer review through private agencies accountable to their constituents and the public at large, but not to the federal government since Title IV Funding is not involved.  Much of the misunderstanding that arises between the two is due to the lack of consumer awareness, and the generally held belief that accreditation is the only standard for academic legitimacy.  This is one reason why accreditation mills thrive while certification mills generally are not popular targets for scam artists.

Furthermore, certification is a term more often associated with professions, products, and processes.  For example, there are “Certified Financial Planners”, “USDA Certified Agricultural Products”, and “Procedures Certified” by certain medical associations.  Of course, the term “accredited” is also used in many of these situations.  This is because the two terms often serve as synonyms.  However, when it comes to higher education, accreditation is tied to Title IV Funding and certification is not.  Schools may be accredited but not certified, certified and not accredited or both or neither.  The important thing is that the school not misrepresent itself.

Exactly What is an Accredited Degree?

This may come as a shock, but in point-of-fact, there is no such thing as an accredited degree.  Only schools or programs within schools are accredited.  Period!  Look carefully at any degree earned from an accredited school, and you will not find one word that even suggests that it is an “accredited” degree.

If it does, you may be certain that the degree is bogus.  That’s because degrees are not accredited.  You can earn a degree from an accredited school or program within a school, but you cannot earn an accredited degree from that same school.  It may seem like only a matter of semantics, but it much more.  You can earn a degree from either an accredited or unaccredited school, but the degree you earn is neither accredited nor unaccredited.

Here is an example (admittedly extreme, but it makes the point):  Sam Smith graduated from MYU before it was accredited.  His degree is from an unaccredited school.  Sam’s son (Sam Jr.) graduated from MYU after it received accreditation.  Sam Jr. earned a degree from an accredited school.  Sam’s grandson graduated from MYU during the time that it lost its accreditation.  Sam III earned a degree from an unaccredited school.

Sam’s great grandson earned his degree from MYU after it regained its accreditation.  Sam IV earned a degree from an accredited school.  Now let’s look back, the fact that MYU was accredited when Sam Jr. attended, was of no consequence to Sam.  His degree was still earned at an unaccredited school.

Why?  Because there is no such thing as “grandfathering” when it comes to accreditation.  The same is true for Sam Jr. at the time MYU lost its accreditation.  Sam Jr. still earned a degree from an accredited school.  Why?  Because even though a school may lose its accreditation (it happens), there is no reverse of grandfathering.  The school will always be considered accredited at the time that it held accreditation, and unaccredited at the time it did not hold accreditation.  The bottom line, there is no such thing as an accredited degree.  One either earns a degree from an accredited or unaccredited school.  All accredited schools in the U.S. were at one time, unaccredited, and all accredited schools are subject to the loss of accreditation (it does happen).

Are Schools Required to Obtain Recognized Accreditation?

No.  For the most part, accreditation in the U.S. is strictly voluntary.  Many states require, or provide for, a kind of “state approval.”  However, this is not the same as accreditation.  There are many schools in the U.S. that operate as top-quality institutions with high academic standards and yet have elected to not seek accreditation.

The following quote is taken from the web site of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  There are institutions that may not be accredited but are not degree mills. For example, the institution may be seeking accreditation, but the process is not complete. Or a legitimate institution may choose not to be accredited for reasons that do not relate to quality.

The following quote from the United States Department of Education makes the point. “It should be noted that some institutions have chosen not to participate in the federal student aid program and therefore do not have to be approved by an accrediting agency recognized by the Department. While these institutions do not appear on the Department’s list, they may be legitimate schools. Stroup encouraged consumers and employers to use the list as an initial source of information and to investigate further whenever an institution does not appear on the list.”  (February 1, 2005)

The former executive director of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education), as quoted in that agency’s September 2005 quarterly publication stated that “There are hundreds of Bible Colleges and Seminaries in the United States and Canada that are offering good solid theological training, yet they are not accredited.  This would be the case with our Affiliate institutions that take advantage of the programs and services that we offer.”

Of course, all schools in the U.S. attempting to seek recognized accreditation must first operate as an unaccredited school and provide sufficient proof of institutional credibility prior to applying.  All accredited schools in the U.S. were, at one time, unaccredited.  In fact, the common qualifying procedure for schools seeking recognized accreditation is the development of a “Self Study” through which the institution demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the accrediting agency, that it is operating in a manner sufficiently consistent with the criteria required for accreditation. On a practical level, this demonstrates that it is possible for an unaccredited school to operate at a level generally equivalent to that of an accredited school.  The very same logic can be applied to certification as well.

What Are Some Advantages of Recognized Accreditation?

Access to government sponsored or approved student loans and grants (Title IV Funds).

Easier recognition for transfer of its credits to other accredited schools.

Easier recognition of its degrees by other schools and organizations.

Greater likelihood of acceptance of its students by other schools for further study.

Greater probability of the recognition of its educational programs meeting the qualifications for some goals, requirements, and licenses.

What Are Some Disadvantages of Recognized Accreditation?

More difficult entrance requirements into its programs of study.

Program requirements which may limit certain individuals or prevent them from being accepted into its programs.

Significantly higher tuition and related costs for all programs of study.

Less accommodating schedules and course offerings.

Fewer options for the older or nontraditional student.

What Are Some Advantages of Not Having Recognized Accreditation?

Less difficult entrance requirements for desirable programs of study.

Lower tuition and related costs making it possible to graduate without debt.

More accommodating program schedules and course offerings making it possible for busy adults to study anywhere anytime.

Unaccredited schools are likely to be more innovative and liberal in the development of specialized courses, unique study concepts, the use of emerging technology, and the design of nontraditional certificate and degree programs.  In this regard they are often pioneers and early adopters.

Providing the school is properly dedicated to its mission, the student will have an opportunity to gain an education comparable to that offered at accredited schools for similar courses and programs, but at a fraction of the total cost.

What Are Some Disadvantages of Not Having Recognized Accreditation?

No access to government sponsored or approved student loans and grants (Title IV Funds).

Transfer of credits earned may be more difficult.

Acceptance of graduates by accredited schools for further study more difficult.

The recognition of educational qualifications earned for meeting some goals may be problematic.

Certain licenses and professional requirements may not permit the acceptance of degrees earned from unaccredited schools.

Does Recognized Accreditation Assure A Quality Education?

No.  Even though recognized accreditation is a very good indicator that a program meets acceptable standards, the quality of an education is still largely dependent upon the value of the course content, the background and competency of the instructor, and the willingness of the student to get the most out of the course.  It is quite possible to attend even a top-rated accredited school and obtain an inferior education.  No level of accreditation can force a professor to do her or his best, and no professor, however gifted and dedicated, can force a student to learn.  It’s always possible for a less than sincere person to beat the system.

Can A Program Without Recognized Accreditation Provide A Quality Education?

Yes!  Again, since the quality of an education is largely dependent upon the value of the course content, the background and competency of the instructor, and the willingness of the student to get the most out of the course, it is quite possible to attend a well organized unaccredited school and receive a first-class education.  In fact, there is no reason why the level of learning between an accredited and unaccredited program offering similar courses and programs should not be comparable.  The honest student truly seeking to learn, will quickly discover whether the program is meeting the need.  If the course of study is meeting the need, and the student is doing her or his best, whether the school is accredited or not may be immaterial.
Beware of those who suggest that there is “no reason to attend an unaccredited school.”  Such logic suggests that there is no need for new schools, or for the older and established schools to become accredited.  How so?  In order to become an accredited school, an unaccredited school must first demonstrate through a pattern of evidence [to the satisfaction of the accrediting agency], that it is operating in a manner sufficiently consistent with the criteria required for accreditation.  In other words, in order for any school to become accredited, there must be a sufficient period of time during which the school is unaccredited but operating as if it were accredited, before it can be accredited.  This cannot be done unless the school is enrolling and graduating students!  Furthermore, without the pressure from innovative and immerging institutions, competition would be stifled, resulting in fewer choices and even higher tuition.

Will a Degree Earned Through an Unaccredited School be Accepted and Considered Legitimate?

This depends upon what is meant by accepted and legitimate.  Here is the blunt truth.  There is a difference between a legitimate degree and a degree earned legitimately!  Depending on the law of any given state or country, even a cheap degree may be legally legitimate.  But was it legitimately earned?  A degree is legitimately earned providing the entrance requirements, course work, and completion requirements are appropriate for the degree awarded (whether it is earned through an accredited or unaccredited institution).

Will a Degree from an Unaccredited School be Accepted by My Church or Place of Employment?

While there certainly are some situations when only a degree from an accredited school can qualify one for certain positions and privileges, for the most part, you are judged and accepted on you, not the school from which you graduated.  Example: Are you already in ministry?  If so, when was the last time a member of your church asked you if you had a degree at all, much less if it was earned at an accredited college or seminary?

CAUTION!  Do not fall victim to the myth that earning a degree from an accredited school is a ticket to ministry success.  It is not.  Ministry is one of those places where what you do with what you know trumps everything else.  In fact, for those already serving in ministry, a degree from a highly credible though unaccredited school may be the most logical choice.  We ought never to forget that especially in the Christian tradition, academic freedom is considered a cornerstone of religious liberty.  Of course, so is academic responsibility!  Therefore, any program of study leading to a theological degree ought to be both Biblically sound, and academically honest.

However, if you are concerned whether your church or place of employment will accept you with a degree earned through a credible though unaccredited school, you are strongly urged to ask!  Even in the case of degrees earned from accredited schools, there may be restrictions on what kind of degree is recognized, and what kinds of schools are considered acceptable.  For example, in some cases, denominations and ministries may not accept degrees from secular schools, or schools not affiliated with the group.

Will a Degree or Credits Earned Through an Unaccredited School be Accepted  by Other Schools?

First of all, it should be understood that no school is required to accept credits ore degrees from another school (accredited or unaccredited).  However, generally speaking, degrees earned through unaccredited schools will often be recognized by other unaccredited schools providing the school meets the standards of the receiving school, and the learning discipline is relevant.  On the other hand, most accredited schools will accept only a very limited number of students from unaccredited schools.  Such acceptance, when granted, is usually based on degree or credit relevancy, the coursework and degree requirements, and the background and ability of the person applying.  The bottom line…an accredited school may accept credits and degrees from an unaccredited school, but don’t count on it!  If this is a real issue for you, ask first!

However, in the case of Master’s, because of our commitment to educational excellence, credits and degrees earned a MISD have been accepted at many regularly accredited institutions.  In addition, MISD has formal agreements with several faith-based institutions of higher learning regarding the acceptance of credits and degrees, and friendly relations with more than ninety others.  Names of these institutions are available upon request.

Why is Master’s Certified, but not Accredited?

Master’s is a relatively young institution (founded March 30, 1999), and is not financially endowed as in the case of institutions associated with denominations .  The process of seeking and obtaining legitimate accreditation is one that requires considerable institutional resources, and a sufficient number of years of successful operation in order to be adequately prepared.

Since our founding in 1999, we have pursued a policy of developing a Divinity School that operates in a manner consistent with Biblical guidelines, and have promoted and maintained appropriate academic and business standards.  Consequently, we have received a remarkable level of credibility among our ministry peers.

This affirmation of institutional integrity has attracted thousands of students from around the world.  Our alumni serve in practically every ministry calling within the denominational and independent structures of the church-at-large.  A careful examination of our Endorsements and Cooperatives bears witness to this fact.  Our goal is to remain faithful to our mission and purpose, to continue to promote appropriate academic standards, and to be vigilant in our pursuit of institutional development.

Nevertheless, we do recognize and honor the value of legitimate academic and institutional peer review.  For this reason, Master’s has achieved certification with the Council of Private Colleges of America. The mission of the CPCA is to serve private faith based educational institutions through quality standards and practices.  The purpose of the CPCA is to promote quality faith based education, and provide support services for faith based educational institutions to accomplish their individual purpose and mission.  The CPCA represents member faith based educational institutions before government or other educational agencies, and provides certification to member faith based educational institutions through quality peer review and onsite certification visits verifying CPCA standards.

In addition, understanding the value of USDE recognized accrediting agencies, Master’s has achieved affiliated status with the Association for Biblical Higher Education (a USDE recognized agency).   As such, we participates in and contribute to collegial and professional development activities of the Association.  Our affiliate status does not, however, constitute, imply or presume ABHE accredited status at present or in the future.

Does Master’s Have A Plan to Seek Recognized Accreditation?

First, let’s make something quite clear…one of the “tricks” of unscrupulous schools is to falsely hold out the promise of accreditation sometime in the near future.  No unaccredited school can promise students that it is going to be accredited (and no accredited school can promise that it will always remain accredited).  Even though Master’s is currently engaged in the process of  preparing for recognized accreditation, if we are successful, that will have no bearing on degrees earned prior to accreditation (see above).  Furthermore, the process by which recognized accreditation is achieved can take years.  If you are seriously considering Master’s, and do not need to earn a degree from an already accredited institution, then your decision should be based upon our currently achieved level of credibility.

OK, but How Can I be Sure That Master’s International School of Divinity is Really Valid and of High Quality?

Check us out for yourself. DO NOT rely on published guide books, Internet message boards, blogs or chat rooms for accurate information (this holds true for any other school you may be considering). Such places as message boards and blogs are often populated by one or more “self-proclaimed experts” whom only rarely possess any actual first-hand knowledge about the schools they suppose themselves to be competent to rate (or rant against).  These individuals seem to crave whatever attention they may get from their pontifications.

In addition, the few books and online guides that profess to give “expert” guidance, are too often out-of-date or just plain wrong, simply because it is physically impossible for these individuals to actually visit the schools they profess to know about.  Consequently, information is notoriously inaccurate, out-of-date and suffers from the fact the few if any of the schools rated have received an actual on-site visit or even been afforded the benefit of submitting a formal validation document.  Information is usually gleaned from the internet, school catalogs as well as second and third-hand sources.  One serious indication of poor research is the use of unprofessional language and the strongly worded personal opinions of the author or compiler.  While such sources may provide some useful information, caution should be exercised when accepting information as accurate.

Furthermore, be aware that some unscrupulous admissions recruiters often profess to have “inside knowledge” in order to berate competing schools as a way of convincing you to enroll at the school they represent.  The only sure way is to check it out for yourself.  In the case of Master’s, read everything on our web site, call and speak with anyone or any organization named on the web site that is of interest to you. Request an academic evaluation for yourself, and ask every question that you think is important.  Don’t settle for anything less than a satisfactory answer. After that, you will be able to make an informed decision.

IMPORTANT:  Please visit us in person if that is possible.  These days, legitimate schools are trying very hard to present themselves as best they can by having a first-rate web site (such as Master’s is trying to do).  However, easy degree mills and outright degree mills are also doing so.  That’s why a visit can be worth a thousand pictures!  Of course, you may not be able to visit, but perhaps you have a friend or a colleague from your church or business contacts who may be able to come on your behalf, if so, we would be pleased to meet with them in your place.  If none of these options are practical, you may wish to contact the Council of Private Colleges of America.  The on-site team that recommended our five-year certification will be able to answer any questions concerning the quality of Master’s.

Ten Commandments for  Degree Mills

1.  Thou shalt seduce them with ridiculously low tuition.

2.  Thou shalt boast of being accredited by a worthless agency.

3.  Thou shalt offer as many different degree titles as possible.

4.  Thou shalt give life-experience credit for everything.

5.  Thou shalt not require too much work for anything.

6.  Thou shalt not refuse anyone entrance into any program.

7.  Impress them with your “accredited” faculty, they won’t know that there is no such thing.

8.  Always appeal to their vanity by offering them what they “deserve.”

9.  Provide high quality printed degrees and transcripts to deflect questions about the  low quality of the program.

10. Encourage skeptics to visit your web site, discourage them from visiting your office.

Comments Off on Exactly What Is Accreditation and How is it Different from Certification? by Dr. Dennis Frey

Posted by on July 18, 2017 in academics, archaeology, astronomy, Bible, church, comparative religions, creation, education, faith, Genetics, history, illness, Justice, leadership, politics, science

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