About Bruce R. Booker's Degrees and Affiliations

Introduction

Some people make judgments on others without all the facts or - in spite of all the facts - as evidently did Dr.Gary S. Hurd when he writes in his Monday, October 17, 2011 Stones and Bones blog about Mail Order Theology degrees.

Dr. Hurd writes:

    I was a professor of psychiatry (1976-1985), and psychotherapy attracts a great number of frauds. I helped found a Seminar on Religion and Psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia in 1983. One of our goals was to try and repair the educational deficiencies of poorly trained "pastoral councilors." Since I have seen firsthand the sort of damage so-called pastoral councilors can cause due to inadequate, or incompetent training, I have learned to read the backgrounds of these people very carefully.."

I was surprised to discover in reading his article that he was not writing regarding his concerns with former Presidential Candidate Michelle Bauchman's (Rep. MN) husband Marcus Bachmann's Bachmann & Associates Counseling Center and his educational credentials, since during her campaign it came out that he was "praying gays out of being gay." An ABC Good Morning America documentary by Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz, Matthew Mosk and Megan Chuchmach July 11, 2011 (during her campaign) criticizes Dr. Bauchman, his credentials and his techniques.

In another article on the Caucus blogs written on July 18, 2011, The Education of Marcus Bachmann another author, Sheryl Gay Stolberg says of Dr. Bauchman:

    Dr. Bachmann, who runs two Christian counseling centers in the Twin Cities area, has been the subject of recent controversy, with some critics questioning his academic credentials. He has two advanced degrees, both aimed at preparing him for a career in counseling.

    In 1988, he received a master of arts in community counseling from what was then CBN University now Regent University - in Virginia Beach, Va., according to Mindy Hughes, a spokeswoman there. The school, established by Pat Robertson, the founder of the Christian Broadcast Network, describes itself as "founded on faith and charged with a unique mission: to equip the Christian leaders of tomorrow to fulfill their calling." [For your information, Regent University IS a regionally and professionally accredited institute of learning! Dr. Hurd shouldn't have a problem with that, except the world-views of Regent University and Dr. Hurd are worlds apart! Regent University is a "faith-based" institute of learning and Dr. Hurd evidently regards "faith based" institutes to be inferior to those which are not. More on that below.]

    In 1995, he received a doctorate in clinical psychology from what was then the Union Institute in Ohio (now known as Union Institute and University), which employs what Nicole Hamilton, a spokeswoman, described as "a hybrid model of face-to-face residencies and distance learning." While Union currently offers a doctor of psychology degree, Ms. Hamilton said Dr. Bachmann's degree is doctor of philosophy, or Ph.D., with "a concentration in clinical psychology."

One would think this subject is right up Dr. Gary S. Hurd's "alley" since that is what he is concerned about according to the introduction of his blog. Instead, he writes about a creationist named Graham Lovelady, a graduate of Biblical Life College & Seminary (my alma mater) who had written a Letter to the Editor in some (evidently local) newspaper Dr. Hurd had just read:

    A recent newspaper Letter to the Editors, "Creationists doubt changes lead to new features", was written by creationist Graham Lovelady, of Ogden Utah. I was curious about who this person might be, particularly how they had learned so much science that they could dismiss hundreds of thousands of scientists. Among Mr. Lovelady's achievements were degrees for something called the "Biblical Life College and Seminary, where he studied something called "Teleios Therapy", and received a Masters in Theology. Since this "Teleios Therapy" was a) new to me, and b) associated with "pastoral counseling," I decided to look into it, and "Biblical Life College

Biblical Life College and Seminary

    The Biblical Life College and Seminary is accredited by the " American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions ." The " American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions " is entirely composed of "faith based" correspondence schools, and is not recognized by any other group. In addition to the " Biblical Life College " they also 'accredited' the notorious " Pacific International University " This "University" had no full-time faculty, or other accreditation, and offered doctorates for a lump sum payment. The fees ranged up to 2,500-3,000 USD for a Doctor of Theological Studies degree. Perhaps the best known alumnus of Pacific International University was Carl Baugh, who also held the title of "university president." Carl Baugh is best known for attesting to numerous fraudulent "Flood Evidences" housed in his " Creation Evidences Museum " in Glenn Rose, Tx. His most recent acquisition is the faked human and dinosaur foot prints he calls the "Alvis Delk Footprints." I have detailed how we can be certain this is a fraud here at Collecting Carl Baugh.

    So, an 'accreditation' from the "American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions" isn't worth the postage.

    I think we ought to also consider the faculty at "Biblical Life College." A good example is "Dr." Gary A. Jung, "Professor of Biblical Counseling." B.B.S. - Biblical Life College & Seminary | M.A. - Southwest Bible College and Seminary | Ph.D. - Southwest Bible College and Seminary | Ph.D. -Biblical Life College & Seminary

    Dr. Jung is the creator of Teleios Therapy (more on that later) and serves on the Board of the Association of Biblical Life Educators. He is listed on the Biblical Life website as being the Senior Pastor of Hillside Alliance Church, an ordained ministry with the Christian Missionary Alliance, and as a professor at San Jose Christian College (accessed Friday, Oct. 14, 2011).

    I easily learned that San Jose Christian College changed its name in 2003 to "William Jessup University." They have no record of "Gary A. Jung" on their faculty.

    The "Association of Biblical Life Educators" is a creation of the "Biblical Life College." The "Christian Missionary Alliance" is a creation of the "Biblical Life College."

Since I am also on the faculty of Biblical Life College & Seminary he takes liberty to attack my educational qualifications and character as well:

    Also on the Biblical Life College faculty is Dr. Bruce R. Booker, Associate Professor of Hebraic Heritage Studies (B.B.S. - Biblical Life College & Seminary, M.A. - Columbia Pacific University, Ph.D. - Columbia Pacific University, Th.D. - Biblical Life College & Seminary).

    Colombia (sic) Pacific University (CPU) was closed by court order in 2000, but the court did not review degrees awarded between 1978 and mid-1997. The first implementation of the 1989 Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education Reform Act was in 1991. Columbia Pacific University was given a provisional "grandfather" status its degree programs, and faculty qualifications were reviewed. When this was done in 1996, this so-called school was found to fail minimal standards for a degree-granting institution.

    So, "Doctor" Booker has quite a distinguished academic pedigree, one degree from an unaccredited correspondence school, two more from another unaccredited correspondence school that was ordered to cease and desist by the State of California for unethical, and unprofessional practices (i.e. awarding fake degrees), then back to the first correspondence "college" for another 'doctorate,' and then joining the faculty of his unaccredited alma mater.

Since my degrees from Columbia Pacific University: a Masters degree in 1985 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1988 were pre1997, the last statement relative to my degrees by Dr. Hurd (above) does not apply. He cannot say whether degrees awarded by the school when I was awarded mine were "fake" or that the school at that time was performing unethical and unprofessional practices. He is making a judgment call that even the Supreme Court of the State of California did not make!

Regarding Dr. Hurd's statement denigrating Columbia Pacific University's unaccredited status, accreditation was not possible at the time for a non-residential distance learning institution in California.

Today, there are numerous non-resident educational institutions which are accredited, including the University of Phoenix.

Interesting that Dr. Hurd should pick me out of the list of the faculty of Biblical Life College & Seminary, since ostensibly the focus of his blog was (and to quote): "to try and repair the educational deficiencies of poorly trained 'pastoral councilors.' Since I have seen firsthand the sort of damage so-called pastoral councilors can cause due to inadequate, or incompetent training, I have learned to read the backgrounds of these people very carefully."

Well, I guess he didn't read my background very well, since my degrees are in Business Education and Theology and are not psychologically, psychiatrically or counseling related. Perhaps what he means when he says, "I have learned to read the backgrounds of these people very carefully" actually means that he could read the names of colleges and universities and discover if they fit into his world-view of education. If they don't, then they are fake. Among the "fake" colleges are those which are Theological (which Columbia Pacific University isn't, so why did he pick on that school?).

Perhaps Dr. Hurd is unaware of what the word Theology means, so I will endeavor to help him learn the definition: Theology by its' very meaning from the Greek words theos (God) and logos (study of) is defined in Merriam Webster's Dictionary as: the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially: the study of God and of God's relation to the world.

Dr. Hurd should not be so much worried about Theology degrees in general as he should be concerned about those degrees which lead to a psychological or psychiatric counselor role in someone's life. There are great differences in degrees in any educational institution (as noted by the name of the degree - as Dr. Hurd should know, there IS a difference between a Doctor of Psychology and a Doctor of Psychiatry degree) and not all of them imply training in psychology or pastoral counseling.

Since Dr. Hurd actually mis-read my background, let me assure him that I have not gone through the Teleios counseling training through Biblical Life College & Seminary that he seems so concerned about. In addition, none of my courses at Biblical Life College & Seminary have anything to do with counseling, pastoral or otherwise.

Teleios Therapy was designed by Dr. Gary Jung as an alternative to therapies based on humanistic views of the nature of man. According to Dr. Jung's site:

    In a nutshell, Teleios Therapy is a strategy for restoring each individual to God's original design for his/her life. Teleios Therapy assesses the condition of the human spirit, temperament, character and personality. The Christian care-giver then reaches out with one hand to the person and with the other hand to the Lord - seeking to put those two hands together. It is in bringing people to the Lord Jesus, the Wonderful Counselor, that allows the process of healing and wholeness to begin.

Again, since Dr. Hurd seems to be a bit short on his Greek, the Greek word Teleios means:

    Mature or full grown, having arrived at an end or objective. In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says: "Ye must be teleioi (masculine plural) as your heavenly Father is teleios (masculine singular)."

In other words, since the goal of every Christian is to become more like Jesus, to be Teleios is to grow up in Him (who is perfect). But since Dr. Hurd holds to a humanistic world-view, i.e. he believes we all came through the product of evolution from single-celled critters to monkey-like critters to human critters, evidently the ultimate goal of Dr. Hurd's degree is to make us more perfect monkeys, thus the thrust of humanism.

[Not very complimentary to you Dr. Hurd, but truth is truth whether you like it or not AND you did make a mistake in not reading my background correctly! (Is that the product of your superior degree, Dr. Hurd?)]

However, to be honest, I have gone through counseling training provided by the American Association of Christian Counselors's Light University and furthermore I was providing "biblical counseling" long before my Doctor of Theology degree from Biblical Life College & Seminary. I have been a Messianic Jewish Rabbi since 1988 and leading Messianic Jewish congregations since then providing "biblical counseling" sans degree.

With regard to his apparent negativity toward "Bible-based education": If he has a problem with Bible-based education, may I remind him that our current university system is actually a product of the religious system he seems so critical of and that he also is the recipient of the benefits of a formerly religious-only institution?

from Wikipedia

    Prior to the establishment of universities, European higher education took place for hundreds of years in Christian cathedral schools or monastic schools (Scholae monasticae), in which monks and nuns taught classes; evidence of these immediate forerunners of the later university at many places dates back to the 6th century AD. The earliest universities were developed under the aegis of the Latin Church, usually from cathedral schools or by papal bull as studia generalia (n.b. The development of cathedral schools into universities actually appears to be quite rare, with the University of Paris being an exception - see Leff, Paris and Oxford Universities), later they were also founded by Kings (University of Naples Federico II, Charles University in Prague, Jagiellonian University in Krakow) or municipal administrations (University of Cologne, University of Erfurt). In the early medieval period, most new universities were founded from pre-existing schools, usually when these schools were deemed to have become primarily sites of higher education. Many historians state that universities and cathedral schools were a continuation of the interest in learning promoted by monasteries

Hmmm...considering that the first institutes of learning were church institutions, I would imagine that the very first counselors were pastors and biblical counselors! They used the Bible as the foundation of their counseling.

Today, non-Biblical counselors (such as Dr. Hurd) rule the day and demean Biblical counselors. But does this mean that non-Biblical counselors are correct? Even on the subject of homosexuality, there is no consensus in the psychiatric community!

Non-Biblical counseling and psychiatry have changed positions on many such issues over the years, so whose opinions should we consider valid and "correctly trained" educationally? Dr. Hurd's?

from Wikipedia Article on Homosexuality and Psychology:

    Psychology was one of the first disciplines to study homosexuality as a discrete phenomenon. Prior to and throughout most of the 20th century, common standard psychology viewed homosexuality in terms of pathological models as a mental illness. That classification began to be subjected to critical scrutiny in the research, which consistently failed to produce any empirical or scientific basis for regarding homosexuality as a disorder or abnormality. As a result of such accumulated research, professionals in medicine, mental health, and the behavioral and social sciences, opposing the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, claimed the conclusion that it was inaccurate, and that the DSM classification reflected untested assumptions that were based on once-prevalent social norms and clinical impressions from unrepresentative samples which consisted of patients seeking therapy and individuals whose conduct brought them into the criminal justice system.

    Since the 1970s, the consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions has moved to the belief that homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexual orientation, while there remain those who maintain that it is a disorder. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. The American Psychological Association Council of Representatives followed in 1975. Consequently, while some still believe homosexuality is a mental disorder, the current research and clinical literature now only demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality, reflecting the official positions of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.

In Christian psychology is the world-reknowned Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family.

Dr. Dobson is certainly credentialed by an accredited educational institution:

    Dobson studied academic psychology, which in the 1950s and 1960s was not looked upon favorably by most evangelical Christians. He came to believe that he was being called to become a Christian counselor or perhaps a Christian psychologist. He attended Pasadena College (now Point Loma Nazarene University) as an undergraduate and was captain of the school's tennis team. In 1967, Dobson received his doctorate in psychology from the University of Southern California and served in the faculty of the university's Keck School of Medicine for 14 years...He also believes that homosexuality is neither a choice nor genetic, but is caused by external factors during early childhood...Dobson believes that God defines marriage as between one man and one woman only and describes this as the central stabilizing institution of society. Dobson believes that any sexual activity outside of such a union - including homosexuality - cannot be approved by God. In Dobson's view, homosexuality is a choice that is made through influences in a child's environment rather than an inborn trait. He states that homosexual behavior, specifically "unwanted same-sex attraction", has been and can be "overcome" through understanding developmental models for homosexuality and choosing to heal the complex developmental issues which led to same-sex attraction.

    Despite being a licensed clinical psychologist and expressing his views about homosexuality in psychological terms, Dobson and his views are outside the scientific mainstream.

My personal understanding of Homosexual behavior is not to determine if it is, or conversely, is not a mental illness. From a biblical world-view, homosexual behavior is a sin, as is adultery, fornication, bestiality, incest and other sexual behavior outside the marriage between a man and his wife.

What is interesting is that Dr. Hurd never does evaluate Teleios Therapy (a biblically based counseling tool later in his article as he promised) based upon its merits or demerits, but instead chooses to hurl his criticisms against Biblical Life College & Seminary and those who either attended it or who are on its faculty, such as myself. (It's easier to denigrate the messenger or kill him than to consider his message as valid: that's what they did to the Prophets, John the Baptizer, to Jesus, isn't it?)

Such behavior is not unknown among religious men throughout time: including those who questioned John the Baptizer and Jesus in the bible accounts by asking, "Where did you get your authority?"

    23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you this authority?" 24 Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John's baptism--where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?" They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' 26 But if we say, 'From men'--we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet." 27 So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Then he said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."

"Who gave you this authority?" (Luke 20:2)

There were only two recognized Pharisitical authority "houses" or "schools" in the First Century Judaism, those of Hillel and Shammai. If you did not come from either one or the other, you were really a nobody.

That's exactly what John and Jesus were in their eyes: nobodies - since they did not attend either school.

So, that's exactly the position that Dr. Gary S. Hurd places himself in toward "biblically based counseling"! "Who gave you this authority?" is really what he is asking. But to him and others of his pharisitical ilk, unless it comes from a "recognized" (i.e. governmentally approved accrediting agency) it is a non authoritative degree and any product eminating from such a degree is not valid.

[Much though the eminent Dr. Hurd may protest against my statement about his being a "religious" man, I beg to disagree: his religion is science and his god is the created thing. The Apostle Paul writes about that in Romans 1. I will comment on that later, I promise!]

So, I ask again: what brings Dr. Gary S. Hurd to so negatively critique me in his blog? I believe it is simply because two of my degrees are from Columbia Pacific University (CPU): A Masters degree in Business Education and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in the same field. Neither are theologically related. Furthermore, Columbia Pacific University (CPU) is not a Mailorder Theology school - the supposed subject of Dr. Hurd's blog.

Anyone whose fingers were on the pulse of the educational system in California during the 1980's and 1990's would have been familiar with the name of the school. Dr. Hurd would certainly have been familiar with what was going on with CPU, a non-traditional educational institution which required no residency requirements and awarded credit for life-experience (contrary to the traditional educational institution that Dr. Hurd taught at in Georgia which did require residency and gave absolutely no credit for life-experience).

Briefly, regarding my degree from Biblical Life College & Seminary (BLCS), Dr. Hurd practically admits as much in his blog that he really didn't know much about it except for the "accrediting association" that "accredited" it and also that it was a non-resident (i.e. "correspondence") school.

    The Biblical Life College and Seminary is accredited by the "American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions." The "American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions" is entirely composed of "faith based" correspondence schools, and is not recognized by any other group.

So, evidently Dr. Hurd went down the faculty list of Biblical Life College & Seminary (BLCS) having already decided that "Teleios Therapy" was bogus and found a name of a University associated with a member of the faculty of Biblical Life College & Seminary (BLCS) that he did recognize and decided to go off and deride that member's credentials and by extension, that of BLCS.

Considering the initial concerns of his blog were regarding "Mail Order Theology Degrees", I wonder why he chose to find one of the faculty of BLCS who had a Columbia Pacific University degree (which is NOT even a theology school, but one which he DID recognize) and chose to disparage that member of the faculty - me.

Since Dr. Hurd does not tell you the full story of what occurred between the State of California and Columbia Pacific University (CPU). I do that for you below to give you the opportunity to read it.

About Columbia Pacific University

from Wikipedia.com

Columbia Pacific University (CPU) was an unaccredited nontraditional distance learning school in California. It was founded in 1978 by Richard Crews, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, and Lester Carr, a former president of Lewis University, and operated with state approval. Distance learning and education authority *John Bear gave "high marks" to the school in his 1982 "Bear's Guide to Non-Traditional College Degrees, 8th edition."

*John Bjorn Bear (born John Klempner in 1938 is an American authority on distance education and a writer of creative reference works. Bear holds bachelor and master degrees from University of California, Berkeley (1959 and 1960, respectively) and a doctorate from Michigan State University (1966). He is the author of Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning, whose 16th edition was published in 2006. He is also co-author of the first two editions (of five total), of the book now called Walston's Guide to Christian Distance Learning. He has been engaged by the FBI in its investigations of diploma mills for some twenty years. In the past, Bear was involved with several unaccredited start-up distance learning institutions, including Columbia Pacific University, Fairfax University, and Greenwich University. He describes the nature of these affiliations in Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning and on his website

History - Initial licensing in California

In 1983, after four years of operating under a basic authorization licensing, CPU's programs in administration and management received institutional approval from the California Department of Education. On June 2, 1986, the California Department of Education granted all of CPU's programs full institutional approval for a three-year period, ruling that CPU's curricula met California Education Code Section 94310(b)'s statutory requirement of being "consistent in quality with curricula offered by appropriate established accredited institutions which are recognized by the United States Department of Education."

CPU was closed by California court order in 2000. The court also ruled that CPU had granted degrees legally between 1978 and mid-1997, a period when it was approved for operation by the State of California.

CPU alumni acquired all rights to the CPU name and registered a "Columbia Pacific University" non-profit organization in Delaware. The CPU Press continues its publication program.

California Supreme Court Upholds Denial of Columbia Pacific University's Approval to Operate December 1, 2000

Columbia Pacific University (CPU) has not had legal authorization to offer or award degrees since June 25, 1997. CPU recently exhausted its right to appeal the denial of its approval to operate by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education (Bureau), which regulates private degree-granting institutions. California courts upheld the Bureau's denial of CPU's reapproval application. On July 11, 2000, the California Court of Appeals found the Bureau had "presented substantial evidence in support of its charges and recommendation" to deny CPU's approval. This finding was affirmed when the Supreme Court rejected CPU's request for review on October 3, 2000.

The Bureau offers the following guidance to potential, present, and past CPU students:

Potential Students Considering CPU Enrollment:

Do not enroll. CPU is not a legal, degree-granting institution in California. Students Enrolled at CPU on or after June 25, 1997:

CPU degrees awarded on or after June 25, 1997 are not legally valid. CPU has not had legal authority to offer or issue degrees since June 25, 1997. This means that employers, schools or licensing agencies may not recognize your degree.

You may be entitled to a refund. CPU was ordered to send written notice to all students enrolled on or after June 25, 1997, and to issue refunds within 30 days of receiving refund requests. However, the issue of refunds is currently on appeal before the California Supreme Court. The Bureau will provide further information once the issue is resolved.

Students Who Received CPU Degrees Before June 25, 1997:

CPU degrees awarded before June 25, 1997 are legally valid. Your degree, and any credential or license you received by virtue of the degree, should not be affected. CPU had legal approval to operate until June 25, 1997, and the degrees it issued before June 25, 1997 are legal.

Please see the "Timeline of Events: Columbia Pacific University" on this Web site for the legal background of the Bureau's case against CPU. If you have questions, write to the Bureau at 400 R Street, Suite 5000, Sacramento, CA 95814; or call Thalia Singleton at (916) 445-3427, extension 3030; or fax (916) 323-6571.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Columbia Pacific University

    from Columbia Pacific University's Alumnis Website

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the origins of Columbia Pacific University?

    Columbia Pacific University was founded in 1978 by two longtime university administrators and a Harvard educated psychiatrist. For 20 years CPU was based in its own building in San Rafael, California. CPU was a pioneer in distance education and delivered programs, employing a wholistic emphasis, to accomplished adults.

2. What was valuable about Columbia Pacific University for its students?

    The answer to that question is provided by alumni, most of which also hold graduate degrees from traditional accredited institutions. CPU students embraced the CPU vision of integration, health and lifelong learning. To them CPU represented a pioneering vision and the possibility of a break with the pitfalls of tradition. The majority experienced CPU as consumer centered, for example providing opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary studies without soul-crushing politics.

    An example is provided by Dr. Rodney Chang, who had several regionally accredited graduate degrees AND a PhD from The Union Institute before coming to CPU to do an independent study on art (here is the link). In essence CPU was the community of students and alumni connecting with the CPU vision, being supported individually and working from there as a base of values.

3. Does Columbia Pacific University still exist?

    CPU exists as an alumni community. Alumni have been organizing since CPU closed its doors in 2000. In 2004 an Alumni Board of Governors was elected to oversee CPU's interests. The Board acquired at no cost the remaining assets of CPU (the logo, records, etc.) and incorporated CPU as a non profit corporation in the State of Delaware. CPU is currently in application for federal non-profit status.

4. Are Columbia Pacific University degrees legal?

    99.5 % of the degrees conferred by CPU (from 1978 to 1997) are recognized by the state of California as legal and valid. The state uses the term "approved" and signifies the majority of those degrees as "consistent in quality" with degrees conferred by appropriately accredited institutions. The other one-half of 1% (33 degrees) were conferred after 1997 when CPU's then owners followed their attorney's advice and remained open while their appeals wound their way through state court. Our position is that this was a mistake on their part.

5. Is Columbia Pacific University currently offering degrees?

    No. CPU is not offering degree programs at this time. CPU is currently focused on its alumni development and its own organization development.

6. How many graduates does Columbia Pacific University have?

    About 7500. Our electronic records, going back to 1991, show 2082 graduates since 1991. Thirty-three of those graduated after June 21, 1997. The majority of CPU graduates between 1991 and 2000 were from the USA (1734). Also during that period there were 107 graduates from Canada and 241 graduates from a variety of other countries. There are several thousand other graduate records in our non-electronic files.

7. What are Columbia Pacific University's plans?

    At the moment CPU is an alumni-focused nonprofit corporation that is centered on alumni development and our own organization development. CPU was formerly the largest distance learning institution in North America and a pioneer in adult alternative education. We are currently engaged in strategic planning, and in short we plan to undergo a self-study using appreciative inquiry. Graduate coursework including theses and dissertations were lost after the closure of CPU. Currently we are collecting copies of same to build an archive. The CPU Press has also been re-established and will soon release its first publication.

8. Columbia Pacific University was originally private and for profit: Are CPU's owners still involved?

    No. As mentioned, CPU is state incorporated as a nonprofit and is seeking federal nonprofit status. CPU's former owners no longer hold an interest or influence in CPU. The Alumni Board of Governors now envisions CPU as a lifelong learning community with 7500 graduates/members.

9. Was Columbia Pacific University a degree mill?

    No. CPU was the first California Approved Institution to gain Full Institutional Approval in 1986. CPU was founded in 1978. CPU's then president Richard Crews, MD (Harvard U.), served on the committee that recommended the improved private postsecondary education quality act of 1985 in California. CPU's programs were classified by the State Department of Education as "consistent in quality" with regionally accredited institutions. Many of CPU's graduates figure prominently in a who's who of success in North America and around the world. To imply that CPU was a degree mill is to imply that the State was itself fraudulent in declaring CPU to be "consistent in quality" with accredited institutions.

10. Was Columbia Pacific University ever regionally accredited?

    CPU was not regionally accredited but enjoyed "Full Institutional Approval" in California, which was a special category and which referred to CPU's programs as being "consistent in quality" with the programs of properly accredited institutions in the USA. Full Institutional Approval was also required as a precursor to requesting regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Most people, including many politicians and journalists, don't fully understand the concept of accreditation and need to be educated on its meaning. Accreditation has different meanings in different countries.

11. Why did Columbia Pacific University not seek regional accreditation?

    Accreditation was not possible at the time for a non-residential distance learning institution in California. The regional accrediting agency, Western Association of Schools and Colleges was known to be reluctant to accredit non residential institutions. CPU would have had to make structural changes (e.g., add a short residency component). In 1995, CPU was preparing to apply for accreditation and add a short residency, but did not succeed in its request for state re-approval. Every accredited institution undergoes a period in which it is unaccredited. Institutions that achieve accreditation quickly are usually well financed and can thus purchase the best experienced administrators familiar with the accreditation process.

12. Why did Columbia Pacific University close when it was a private institution?

    The California private postsecondary education act of 1989 was brought in, in part, by a lobby from independent accredited institutions who were concerned that state approved private institutions were taking too much of their business. We have inferred this in part from comments by Spille and Stewart (1988: see Diploma Mills: Degrees of Fraud). The 1989 Act only allowed traditional curricula and disallowed anything innovative. In effect, the 1989 act created a hierarchy of learning and eradicated innovation. The 1989 act constructed approved institutions as 'less than', from then on describing them as to "meet minimum standards". Under pressure the State turned its back on innovation, giving the rights to innovation to accredited schools only. For an interesting argument on perception and this two-tiered system see (article link provided shortly).

    According to the visiting committee which refused CPU's request for re-approval, CPU was unable to meet the new regulations. An independent consultant reviewed the findings and found "88 errors of fact" by the committee. CPU failed one re-approval visit but passed other re-approval visits for almost 20 years. Schools also lose their accreditation from time to time or end up "on notice" or on probation. CPU was given no such opportunity to correct its failings.

    In one error the committee stated that two Africans serving as Deans at CPU were unqualified to be Deans because they had graduated from unaccredited schools. In fact their PhD's were from established and respected European universities (University of Wales and the University of Bremen). CPU appealed the committee's decision. In 1997 the administrative judge hearing the case refused to give CPU's president time to find an attorney. The president, Richard Crews, MD, had to act as CPU's attorney, and lost in court. CPU was ordered to close as of June 21, 1997. A high level state official turned whistleblower and later testified in court that she was told that the state agency (now California's BBPVE) had planned to close down CPU. She testified that this conspiracy was in the works going back to 1992.

13. Why have some websites and press called Columbia Pacific University a degree mill?

    Facts about Columbia Pacific University have been twisted out of context by some self-serving website owners who are trying to increase their website traffic. Other detractors have included media who do not do their homework and appear to prefer yellow journalism than real full reporting; they include the San Diego Union Tribune, AOL, and USA Today. There seems to have been so many lies, distortions, etc. spread by these interests about CPU that only an idiot would believe it all.

    These "reporters" and website owners often select only facts and rhetoric that meet their own agenda. They often regurgitate each others ill-formed stories, making themselves the news. As communications guru Marshall McLuhan stated 'the medium is often the message'. Some of their accusations are in fact false and libelous to CPU alumni. CPU was a good alternative institution which after twenty years of operation, failed to change with newly implemented and constraining state regulations. Acting upon legal advice that differed with the State's position, the owners chose to keep CPU open after 1997. Another court ruled in 1998 that CPU was acting illegally by remaining open. CPU appealed that ruling, continued to remain open, and lost the appeal in 2000.

    The Alumni Board of Governors of CPU have passed as resolution our position that staying open after 1997 was a mistake made by CPU's owners as a private institution. We assert that if this Board of Alumni Governors existed back then, CPU's programs would have been thriving today; CPU would have been reorganized as nonprofit, and would have gained accreditation. However, considering the dire circumstances of the time, we understand the owners' decision to follow the legal advice they received. After the closure, students were contacted with teach-out options.

14. What is the position of Columbia Pacific University on work done for a degree?

    CPU's Board of Governors asserts that work done for a degree should be reflect the existing standards of rigor set by regionally accredited institutions. We are currently collecting and archiving CPU dissertations and doing a study of content, comparing same with dissertations of regionally accredited institutions. We will make our findings and method public.

    15. Did Columbia Pacific University ever offer PhD's that could be completed in 27 Days? Absolutely not!! This rumor was circulated in an AOL article in August of 2005. Such rumors are both false and libelous to CPU alumni. The AOL reporter had not done her homework and was actually referring to "Columbia State", a notorious degree mill that advertised degrees in 27 days for almost 3 years in magazines such as USA Today. "Columbia State" was closed by officials back in the early 2000's. Records indicated Columbia State had taken in over $32 million in revenue and had $16 million in a Caribbean bank. "Columbia State" was run out of Louisiana. You can find more information on Columbia State at www.degreeinfo.com

16. What Is a Degree Mill?

    A degree mill is a "school" that grants degrees for far less work than is required by accredited schools. CPU was recognized for years as being "consistent in quality" with regionally accredited institutions in the USA. The state changed that definition of approval after 1989 to "meeting minimum standards". The business lobby was successful.

17. What Is a Diploma Mill?

    A diploma mill is a business that sells fake diplomas.

18. What Is a "Less Than Wonderful" School?

    A degree mill. This term was coined by distance education expert John Bear, PhD, some years ago.

19. Are there Regionally Accredited Degree Mills?

    While there shouldn't be, some in distance education circles believe there are some private for profit RA schools that require less work and are therefore degree mills. You can get various opinions on this matter at http://www.degreeinfo.com The fact remains that degrees from regionally accredited schools have far more utility than those of unaccredited schools. The problem is that the quality of unaccredited schools is difficult to measure. California's approval system solved this dilemma for several years, because it used visitation committees. A startup unaccredited school should start fundraising as soon as possible and begin a relationship with a regional accrediting agency. The general opinion is that the best accrediting agency for distance education is the North Central Association.

Why I Chose to Study with CPU

If indeed CPU was awarding "fake degrees" as Dr. Hurd asserts, I do not believe it started out doing that and the school was even highly regarded by Dr. John Bear's 1982 "Bear's Guide to Non-Traditional College Degrees, 8th edition." In the Guide, John Bear gave "high marks" to the school and that provided the basis as to why I chose to study with CPU in the first place. [More on that below]

I believe the founders of CPU, Dr. Richard Crews, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, and Lester Carr, Ph.D., a former president of Lewis University (by the way, both men are graduates of educational institutions that are accredited), sincerely desired to provide an alternative to the traditional classroom model prevalent (and at the time, required) in the regionally accredited schools. They realized that learning could be accomplished through a non-classroom experience and that real-life experience is often every bit as valid as learning that is accomplished in the artificial atmosphere of a classroom. They also realized that through disciplined, mentored study, a student could gain a meaningful education equivalent to that which is given in a classroom.

In addition, having both Dr. Crews and Lester Carr, Ph.D. with their credentials as founders of CPU convinced me that what Dr. Bear said in his Guide made the institution legitimate in my eyes and the degrees worth pursuing, so I began my studies.

Through CPU's Mentor program, students were guided through intensive study (at least, mine did). Much of the study that I did for credit at the University of Idaho for my credentials as an Occupational Training Specialist in 2003 and 2004 was the same material I had studied years before at CPU and I received a 4.0 GPA from the University of Idaho.

An additional fact I would like to bring out: My degrees from CPU are just as legal as Dr. Hurd's Ph.D. in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine is:

I cite from the California Supreme Court decision to Close Columbia Pacific University California Supreme Court Upholds Denial of Columbia Pacific University's Approval to Operate December 1, 2000:

    Students Who Received CPU Degrees Before June 25, 1997:

    CPU degrees awarded before June 25, 1997 are legally valid. Your degree, and any credential or license you received by virtue of the degree, should not be affected. CPU had legal approval to operate until June 25, 1997, and the degrees it issued before June 25, 1997 are legal.

(Complete citation below)

My Ph.D. degree from CPU was awarded December 2, 1988

Hence, considering that both my and Dr. Hurd's degrees are judged "legal" by the Supreme Court of the State of California - the issue really boils down to this: Is my training (with its' resultant degrees) through non-traditional (correspondence), non-regionally accredited institutes mean that my degrees are "sub par", worthless, or are from "degree mills" as Dr. Hurd implies?

That is really the issue here and one I intend to answer later on this page. But, I ask, "What really is the difference between Dr. Hurd's degree and mine if both are legal?"

The answer is revealed in an article I read in Popular Science (September, 2011) by Matthew Yglesias entitled Reengineering the University. Matthew Writes:

    The information-technology revolution that should have made the traditional university obsolete happened in 1439, when Johannes Gutenberg brought moveable-type printing to Europe. Until then, books had been hand-copied and were too expensive for all but the wealthiest seekers of knowledge. Instead, students would listen as a lecturer (from the Latin legere, "to read") recited the contents of these unattainably complex devices. Centuries later, even as the Internet further reduces the cost of knowledge distribution, the lecture hall continues to dominate higher education. If we hope to ever fully capture the benefits of all this innovation-that is, to improve our system for imparting information to students as dramatically as we've improved our system for communicating with everyone else-we need to understand why the lecture hall survived Gutenberg.

    The most obvious reason is that people like to spend time together. We practice yoga in instructor-led groups, gather at conferences to read papers, and fly thousands of miles to close deals in person. Sometimes we simply learn better in person. But that is not the only relevant social tendency in play. People also like (or need, for professional reasons) to place themselves within a hierarchy. And so universities affirm to the world to other people-not just that their students have been educated, but that they have been educated by them. This is particularly true of the schools people find most desirable. When you go to Stanford University, after all, you don’t just get a Stanford education, you also get a Stanford degree.

    These social functions build considerable conservatism into the system. If people want prestigious degrees from established institutions, then by definition they can't buy them from innovators. What's more, the top schools are quite picky about which students they will teach. Most businesses want more customers, so when a new technology allows them to provide a product or service more efficiently, they compete to do so. But selective universities are in part selling prestige. And since universities gain prestige, in part, by being selective, they have little incentive to reach more people.

    If we want to broaden access to learning, then, what we need is a new kind of degree-a rigorous, widely recognized credential with which people may credibly assert that they possess certain knowledge and skills. Separating the question of what you know from the question of where or how you were taught would allow teaching institutions to focus on delivering knowledge the best way possible.

Perhaps, as the article asserts, people should focus their efforts in determining whether the recipients of a certain credential possess certain knowledge and skills pertaining to that credential (even if they disagree with their own position) rather than where a person earned their degrees?

So, the real difference between my degrees from Columbia Pacific University and Biblical Life College & Seminary is not that of legality or of information conveyed (as I shall soon show), but of prestige! One has more prestige in having a degree from Stanford University, or the University of California, Irvine than they do from Columbia Pacific University or Biblical Life College & Seminary.

About My Education

I began my education, of course, with elementary school then Junior High School and then graduated from Plainview High School in 1970.

I then went to Minnesota Bible College (actually a regionally accredited religious institution now called Crossroads College) in the Fall of 1970. I attended until March of 1972 when I joined the United States Marine Corps. I was released from service Honorably in May of 1980.

I started my training in BLCS for one primary reason: that my being in the military meant odd work hours and because I also had a family I could fit my work, home and educational life together at my own convenience. I did not have to be physically in a classroom at a certain day and time to earn my degree.

That is ALSO why, when I left the military to go into the technical training realm of corporate America, I chose to continue my education via "correspondence" instead of having to physically sit in a classroom for my training. I simply didn't have the time to physically be in a classroom at a particular time and date and juggle the home and work life with it.

I graduated from Biblical Life College & Seminary in June of 1981 with my Bachelor of Biblical Studies with a 3.44 GPA and ultimately my Doctor of Theology degree in January, 2008.

I searched for educational institutions wherein I could take my courses through correspondence and fit them into my work and home life. I stumbled upon Dr. John Bear's "Bear's Guide to Non-Traditional College Degrees, 8th edition. The time-frame was around 1982/83. I discovered that very few, if any, traditional, regionally accredited colleges offered this sort of coursework. After reading positive reviews of Columbia Pacific University in this Guide, I started "correspondence" education on my Master's degree in Business Education through Columbia Pacific University (CPU) (see below) another regionally unaccredited school and one that was eventually put out of business by the State of California (see below), as Dr. Hurd states in his blog.

With CPU I was assigned a Mentor and ultimately earned (yes, worked for) my Master's degree in Business Education in May of 1985 and my Doctor of Philosophy degree in September, 1988. [On the side I wish to note: at the time I went through my studies at CPU, this institution was NOT regarded a diploma mill. The degree I was working for required actual study!

The studies my Mentor (at CPU) insured I successfully completed were COMMENSURATE with those I would take years later, as noted above, when having to earn credits for my (now expired - 2009) Standard Occupational Specialist Credential to teach in the schools of the State of Idaho. I took Upper level classes through the University of Idaho (definitely a regionally accredited educational institution) from the Fall of 2003 through the Summer of 2004. Most of the information I had ALREADY learned through my coursework at Columbia Pacific University and so because it was the SAME INFORMATION (critics take note) I had already learned years ago in the late 80's through CPU I received a perfect 4.00 GPA! Same information; yet my credits through CPU were not accepted because CPU was not accredited. Go figure.]

In finishing the review on my education: Perhaps Dr. Hurd believes that I (or the others he lists on his blog) am not intelligent enough or capable enough to earn my degrees through the traditional process and had to "buy" my degrees through "diploma mills" to impress my friends. Perhaps he thinks I'm some unintelligent schmuck who could not earn a degree even if I tried my hardest!

If that's what he thinks, he is sadly mistaken.

With regard to my intelligence: I am a member of MENSA, an organization which I am sure that Dr. Hurd, being an educated man, is quite well aware of (and may even be a member of). For those who do not know what MENSA is, I quote from their website:

    Mensa was founded in England in 1946 by Roland Berrill, a barrister, and Dr. Lance Ware, a scientist and lawyer. They had the idea of forming a society for bright people, the only qualification for membership of which was a high IQ. The original aims were, as they are today, to create a society that is non-political and free from all racial or religious distinctions. The society welcomes people from every walk of life whose IQ is in the top 2% of the population, with the objective of enjoying each other's company and participating in a wide range of social and cultural activities.

Unfortunately, MENSA does not tell members their I.Q. anymore, but one must have an I.Q. of at the minimum of 132 by some standardized intelligence tests (see Qualifications for Membership on this MENSA site).

That being the case, I am also a member of the International High I.Q. Society, which does.

    The International High IQ Society was formed in 2000 as an independent membership organization comprised of individuals who have demonstrated an intelligence quotient in the top five percent of the population.

    We were founded in the spirit of the urban academies and intellectual salons that first sprang up during the European Enlightenment. These communities of amateur scholars were devoted to the casual pursuit of the arts and sciences. After flourishing throughout Europe and North America many of these communities were displaced by modern research universities and influential government and private sector research foundations. Much was gained from this transformation, but something was lost as well.

    The International High IQ Society represents a contemporary movement to recreate the intellectual salons of old and nurture today's amateur scholars with stimulating discussions on a variety of intellectual topics. We provide our members with a platform to present their ideas, discuss them in a friendly environment, and enjoy learning again. We hope you will join us!

According to the test I took through that organization, my I.Q. is 137. (Oh, by the way, that's even when during the timed online (I'm sure Dr. Hurd is wincing at that word online) I.Q. test I had to answer the phone for a few seconds to tell the caller I will call them right back. I wonder if my numbers would have been higher if I didn't have the momentary interruption...what do you think Dr. Hurd?)

Dr. Hurd, I hope that you see I have sufficient intelligence to earn my degrees and not have to go out on the market of "degree mills" to purchase them.

With regard to my capability to teach and to write books: I have taught in military electronics schools for over 5 years of my 8 years in the Marine Corps, then another 10 in the civilian technical schools (General Telephone Electric, Mitel Corporation and others) and have written over 20 books.

One doesn't have to graduate from traditional accredited educational institutions to be successful. Some people often put so much emphasis on the importance of college graduation that it's become normal to think that anyone without a degree will either be unable or have an incredibly hard time finding a reputable, well-paying career. Although it is an important tool, college graduation is not essential to pursuing success and making all of one's dreams come true -- and there's proof of that in many of today's millionaires and celebrities.

In fact, there are MANY successful business leaders who have DROPPED OUT of the traditional accredited educational systems (for various reasons) and have succeeded beyond those who have graduated from those schools in their endeavors! Examples are: Nikola Tesla, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Sir Alan Michael Sugar, Steve Jobs, James Francis Cameron, Mark Zuckerburg, Tom Hanks...must I go on?

My Take on Dr. Gary S. Hurd

Since Dr. Hurd has decided to take it upon himself to judge me and my educational credentials, I feel it only fair for me to reciprocate in kind and express my opinion of him and his education.

That Dr. Hurd has his degrees from established, traditional, regionally accredited educational institutions is without question and without dispute. [On the side: Even his accredited educational institution at one time would have been unaccredited. More about that later.] Whether that education is superior to the one I received from the non-traditional correspondence institutions of learning is at issue here.

Dr. Gary S. Hurd's Profile from Amazon.com

    Gary S. Hurd received a doctorate in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine in 1976. He subsequently served on the faculties of the California College of Medicine (UCIMC), the Medical College of Georgia (Psychiatry), and held numerous adjunct appointments. Since 1985, he has returned to archaeology, the principal focus of his early research. He has received honors for teaching and research and has over one hundred publications, including abstracts and technical reports, ranging from topics in psychiatry, mathematics and chemistry to frass, fish digestion, prehistoric ceremonialism and forensic taphonomy. Hurd became actively involved in the creationist anti-science debate while the Curator of Anthropology, and Director of Education for the Orange County Museum of Natural History. He is a co-author of "Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism" 2004, Rutgers University Press.

Evidently Dr. Hurd's blog about me and my educational qualifications indicates that he seems to think the only way to get a legitimate education is for students to attend traditional, classroom oriented, governmentally approved, regionally accredited, educational institutions (as he did and where he taught) and that non-traditional or correspondence education is somehow inferior. I'll address that later on this web page.

Over the years I have seen some products of the traditional educational system that Dr. Hurd touts who are nothing more than educated fools.

But, quite frankly, I am not the one who is calling them "fools." God is. I believe His opinion of Dr. Hurd and his educated fools holds more authority than mine.

From what I have read in Dr. Hurd's reviews of various books on Amazon.com. I perceive that he is anti-Bible, anti-Creationist, anti-Intelligent Design, an Evolutionist and anti-God. (Correct me if you think I missed anything Dr. Hurd. I don't want to disappoint you.)

That being the case, I can say only what God says in the Scripture about such men as Dr. Hurd, they are "Fools."

"The fool says that there is no God." (Psalm 14:1)

The Apostle Paul in Romans 1 writes:

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore, it is quite evident that Dr. Hurd is educated - albeit, according to the Bible, a very educated fool. This goes to prove that by attending accredited, traditional institutions one does not necessarily get wiser; but simply more adept at supporting their own foolishness.

You know, the interesting thing about being a "fool": No amount of education, traditional, non-traditional, accredited or non-accredited will change that in men such as him. The fool may be well-educated, but he is still a fool - at least according to God - to Whom the well educated Dr. Hurd will one day stand before and answer to. Sorry Dr. Hurd, but that's the fact.

For all your scientific and other training, it is meaningless in the eyes of God. God has infinitely more science in the little hole in His back pocket (a little poetic license here - I thought you would appreciate it Dr. Hurd) than you and all your academic friends and colleagues have combined in every single department of every single university in the entire world. After all, He invented it: science, physics, mathematics!

So if you think that all your accredited, traditional academic training has any value at all in the eternity of things, think again. Since science over the centuries has argued over many things and have changed their positions hundreds of times on various aspects of science, I'm sure your erudite spurts of intelligence will be replaced by something considered more accurate in a few decades and people will forget who you ever were and what you ever taught. Or perhaps they will remember you - for your critical opinions of others who do not hold the same world-view as you do. And criticize them you do.

Dr. Hurd in his reviews is quick to criticize Creationists and those who believe and teach Intelligent Design or the "Young Earth Theory", as may be seen by some of his reviews of the books on Amazon.com.

It also seems to me by his reviews that he believes he is an expert at everything. If that were only true then it would be a good thing we have such learned people in the world as he or all of the rest of us would be in trouble because of our ignorance - such as believing that there is a God who created all things. However would we get along without men of your intellectual stature, knowledge and qualifications, Dr. Hurd? (Sarcasm included here for free. Sorry Dr. Hurd, but you crawled into my sandbox when you ridiculed me and my education in your blog. The least I can do is to make you feel at home in the sandbox since you are obviously good at sarcasm and putting others down in your reviews. Hopefully you can take it as well as you seem to dish it out.)

That even the learned Dr. Gary S. Hurd can make mistakes can be found at:

    Evolution News & Views , "It's fine if Dr. Hurd wants to correct people - but why turn it into some big drama-show? After all, Hurd himself made numerous non-trivial mistakes in print in his appendix to "Why ID Fails." To his credit, Dr. Hurd promised to fixed the mistakes in the future. That Hurd would now nitpick over an extra comma and an inaccurate word in an otherwise compelling quote shows the mindset of many hardcore Darwinists critics of ID: ignore the forest for the twigs."

Dr. Hurd, please, before throwing stones at others, make sure you are not living in a glass house yourself! When you can stop making mistakes, then you will be qualified to correct others - don't you think this is good advice? (And I won't even charge you for my opinion as you do your patients - Magnanimous, aren't I?).

Dr. Hurd, in a way you remind me of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the movie, The King's Speech (so may I call you the Archbishop of Darwinism?). You should watch it if you haven't already. It is the story of King George VI of Britain, his ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome a severe stuttering problem.

In the movie, just before King George VI's taking the crown Dr. Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury, questions Lionel Logue's qualifications as a speech therapist and considered Logue to be unqualified because of the apparent lack of credentials, training or diploma. Appearances can be deceiving. Qualifications may be gained through other avenues than the traditional classroom and Dr. Hurd may be wise to learn this himself. (Oh, sorry. Earlier I stated that it is impossible to make a fool wise: I guess I was postulating an oxymoron in that last sentence.)

Now, unlike Dr. Hurd's propensity of criticizing others, this page is not about criticizing Dr. Hurd. I "Googled" Dr. Hurd and some of the comments about him. I could go on and on about his own need of correcting, but I choose not to stoop to his level unnecessarily (of course, Dr. Hurd, I could go on if you want to play that game).

Therefore, I shall move on to support some of my earlier statements about accreditation and correspondence through non-traditional, non-accredited schools.

About Accreditation

Accreditation is found only in the United States of America, as all other countries regulate colleges and universities through government approval. In the United States, accreditation is a voluntary process governed by independent accrediting agencies that are either recognized by the federal government or not. The license to operate a college or university is regulated by the state government and is not considered accreditation. Each state has different guidelines concerning universities, seminaries, and Bible colleges.

The truth is: All schools start out unaccredited. A school can't even apply for accreditation until it's been operating for at least two years and has graduated a class!

For example:

    The University of California, Irvine School of Law, which opened in August 2009, has been granted provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association.

    On June 14, 2011, the ABA Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar notified Dean Erwin Chemerinsky that the Law School fulfills the criteria necessary for provisional accreditation. The Council approved the April recommendation of the Accreditation Committee.

    Law schools are eligible for provisional accreditationafter two years, and full accreditation after five. Provisional accreditation means that graduating students can take the bar exam in California without taking a qualifying "baby bar" exam. 1

Does this mean that students taking courses of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law were receiving a "sub-par" education prior to the school becoming accredited?

Hardly! The students received training that was on par with other law schools in the country which were accredited! In the same way, it is possible that other unaccredited institutes of education could be providing equivalent training to those which are accredited! And, it is also possible that some unaccredited schools NEVER will seek accreditation!

Much ado is being made about accreditation as though an education through an "accredited" institution is the "summum bonum" of that education. No, the "greatest good" of ANY educational institution is the education: the conveyance of knowledge by the school and the grasp of that knowledge by the student - regardless of whether that school is "accredited" or not. The perception that an unaccredited educational institution's education or a "correspondence" school's education is worthless - as seems to be the case by Dr. Hurd's remarks in his blog is simply not true!

In fact, some accredited educational institutions have been accused of being a "degree mill"!

An example of this is Dickinson State University :

    Saturday, February 11, 2012, No discipline planned at North Dakota degree mill, By JAMES MacPHERSON

    No immediate discipline is planned for any Dickinson State University employees in the wake of an audit determining the school awarded hundreds of degrees to foreign students who didn't earn them, the chancellor of North Dakota's university system said Saturday.

    However, the university vice president in charge of overseeing the program in which the students studied resigned Friday after the audit was released. Jon Brudvig, Dickinson State's vice president for academic affairs, will continue to work at the university in a yet-to-be determined role while he looks for another job, Chancellor William Goetz told The Associated Press.

    The audit did not mention Brudvig by name, and Goetz said his resignation wasn't requested.

    "It was a decision (Brudvig) made not to continue with those responsibilities," he said. "It was his decision."

    Goetz wouldn't discuss whether the apparent suicide of university administrator Doug LaPlante was connected to the audit's Friday release. The audit didn't mention LaPlante, but many affected students studied in the business program he led.

    LaPlante, 59, the dean of Dickinson State's college of education, business and applied sciences, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Friday afternoon near an intersection.

    "I cannot say whether his unfortunate death may have had anything to do with the audit," Goetz said.

    LaPlante and many other university officials were told about the audit before it was released Friday morning, but no one faced immediate sanctions as a result of its findings, he said.

    "I won't draw any conclusions at this time," Goetz said. "We certainly want to make to make certain issues are handled appropriately."

    The audit determined only 10 of the 410 foreign students who earned joint degrees from Dickinson State and the students' home universities since 2003 had completed all their requirements. Most were Chinese, it said. The rest were Russian.

    Goetz said hundreds of students may have their degrees revoked, but they will receive the opportunity to legitimately earn them.

    "Certainly they did not meet the requirements of the degree that was granted them," Goetz said. "We will grant them the opportunity to fulfill those requirements."

    The report also recommended Dickinson State cancel the 127 agreements it has with international schools pending a fresh evaluation of each. It found many of the agreements weren't properly registered with the appropriate university office and didn't contain detailed implementation plans.

    Goetz is retiring in August, when he finishes his fifth year as the North Dakota university system's top administrator. The system includes six four-year universities and five two-year colleges, an enrollment of almost 49,000 students.

    Goetz is a former state lawmaker and administrator at Dickinson State.

So, can even an accredited State University do the unthinkable: issue "fake degrees"? Evidently! I wonder how many more can be found if someone really looked?

And what if you were one of the thousands of alumni who attended Dickinson State? Would you be incensed if your school, at which you worked for your degree, was written about in the News as a "degree mill"?

So, certainly you should of all people understand where I am coming from with Columbia Pacific University and Biblical Life College & Seminary

So, What About Correspondence Schools?

There have been educational institutions around for years that have been solely by correspondence and have given training as good as (or even better than) the regionally accredited institutions that require you to sit in a classroom! I'll cite an example: it is now called Hartcourt Learning Direct. It was once called The International Correspondence Schools of Scranton, Pennsylvania and was founded in 1891. (I have taken several courses through this school! It is excellent)

To say that correspondence schooling is inferior is arrogrant and assumptive on the part of those who only promote classroom training through regionally accredited schools - as is Gary S. Hurd. Evidently, there are those who believe that a person should not take correspondence courses (that is: courses taken outside of a traditional classroom environment) or courses taken through unaccredited institutions because they are somehow inferior.

To dispute this perception let me give you a personal example: several of my classes through the regionally accredited University of Idaho were correspondence/internet training without a single minute of actual physical classroom time!

This is proof that even regionally accredited schools are coming to the viewpoint that remote, out of classroom training (i.e. "correspondence schooling") has great value!

(I postulate that one of the reasons CPU was aggressively pursued and eventually forced out of business by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education was that the traditional regionally accredited colleges and universities were pressuring the Bureau to do so because they were losing business to CPU.

About Biblical Life College & Seminary

Biblical Life College & Seminary (BLCS) is NOT a Regionally accredited Educational Institution and it chooses NOT to be:

    In many areas, government approved accreditation is good. We want to know that our medical doctors, attorneys, accountants, psychotherapists and even business administrators have been trained by schools that have been approved and certified by our government. The question that we need to ask ourselves is: "Is our government or the secular accrediting associations (filled with humanistic, liberal educators) qualified to accredit the spiritual preparation for ministers of the Gospel?" Personally, I would have to answer "no." Into today's political climate, pressure to maintain Federal monies by Christian schools can open the door to many tacit agendas. Officials within these secular associations can pressure a school that has joined them to access the guaranteed student loan program, to make little changes here or there to keep their secular accreditation and the funds coming. Slowly changes are made that can dull their students spiritually, and that is exactly what we at BLCS want to avoid. We believe in the constitutional separation of Church and State. We define it this way: "The state should keep its nose out of religion."

Not only does BLCS feel this way, but Calvary Chapel College does as well:

Calvary Chapel College of Costa Mesa (Yes, Chuck Smith's Congregation) is NOT Accredited, nor does it ever intend to be:

    Founded in 1975, the college was originally a "short, intensive study program" (Calvary Chapel Bible School in Twin Peaks California) with a tape-based curriculum that consisted primarily of sermons by Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith, but it now is a full program leading to two and four-year degrees. Certificates of completion are awarded to students who are either not prepared for college-level work or who have not completed high school. The college is unaccredited and says it wishes to remain that way in order to continue offering affordable tuition and courses. This also allows the college to utilize pastors that may not have a postgraduate degree but who are highly experienced and gifted. [Emphasis Mine] There are two Calvary Chapel Bible College Affiliate Campuses that are accredited outside of the United States by agencies not recognized by the United States Department of Education: Calvary Chapel York Bible College (York, England) and Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe (Vajta, Hungary).

And for decades, so did Bob Jones University!

Bob Jones University:

    Bob Jones, Sr. was leery of academic accreditation almost from the founding of the college, and by the early 1930s, he had publicly stated his opposition to holding regional accreditation. Not surprisingly, Jones and the college were criticized for this stance, and academic recognition, as well as student and faculty recruitment, were hindered.

    In 1944, Jones wrote to John Walvoord of Dallas Theological Seminary that while the university had "no objection to educational work highly standardized...We, however, cannot conscientiously let some group of educational experts or some committee of experts who may have a behavioristic or atheistic slant on education control or even influence the administrative policies of our college." Five years later, Jones reflected that "it cost us something to stay out of an association, but we stayed out. We have lived up to our convictions." In any case, lack of accreditation seems to have made little difference during the post-war period, when the university more than doubled in size.

    Because graduates did not have the benefit of accredited degrees, the faculty felt an increased responsibility to prepare their students. Early in the history of the college, there had been some hesitancy on the part of other institutions to accept BJC credits at face value, but by the 1960s, BJU alumni were being accepted by most of the major graduate and professional schools in the United States. Undoubtedly helpful was that some of the university's strongest programs were in the areas of music, speech, and art, disciplines in which ability could be measured by audition or portfolio rather than through paper qualifications.

    By the early 2000s, however, the university quietly reexamined its position on accreditation as degree mills proliferated and various government bureaucracies, such as law enforcement agencies, began excluding BJU graduates on the grounds that the university did not appear on appropriate federal lists. In 2004, the university began the process of joining the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Candidate status-effectively, accreditation-was obtained in April 2005, and full membership in the Association was conferred in November 2006. In December 2011, BJU announced its intention to apply for regional accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Another school refusing government approved accreditation is Christ for the Nations Institute:

    Christ for the Nations Institute (CFNI) is an unaccredited interdenominational three year Christian Bible institute located in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Texas (USA). The Bible based curriculum is taught from a Charismatic/Pentecostal heritage.

    Christ For The Nations Institute is not accredited. Until April 21, 2007, it had "applicant status" with the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Applicant status is a pre-membership status granted to colleges that may be able to achieve pre-accreditation candidate status within four years. On April 21, 2007, the Board of Directors of Christ For The Nations decided to withdraw from pursuing ABHE accreditation. However, CFNI does holds articulation agreements, for the purpose of transferring credits, with many accredited Christian universities and Bible colleges. The receiving school always determines credit transferability. Some of these institutions include, Ecclesia College, Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Dallas Baptist University, The Kings College and Seminary, Oral Roberts University, and Regent University.

    CFNI states that it is "accredited" by the International Christian Accrediting Association, a private Christian organization operated under the auspices of Oral Roberts University. ICAA accreditation is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    CFNI is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International, is approved by the United States Department of Homeland Security to enroll international students, and has approval from the Department of Veterans Affairs for veteran training.

Another one is

    Pensacola Christian College (PCC). PCC is an unaccredited fundamentalist, Independent Baptist college in Pensacola, Florida, USA, founded in 1974 by Arlin Horton. The college is actively pursuing accreditation, and as of 7 November 2011 had been awarded candidate status with Transnational Association of Christian Schools and Colleges. Until the college attains full membership, it is unaccredited.

There were and are excellent colleges and universities in the United States that were and are non-accredited or non-regionally accredited. The point which I wish to raise is this: just because an educational institution is NOT accredited does NOT mean that they are not good or that they are "degree mills" as some people would imply.

Regional Accreditation

There are six private corporations, referred to as agencies, that provide accreditation for universities within certain regions of the country. These agencies are recognized by the federal government and all colleges accredited by them are listed in a publication produced by the Department of Education.

Many excellent colleges and universities have chosen to become regionally accredited, while others of equal standing and reputation have chosen, for Biblical or theological reasons, to remain non-regionally accredited.

Professional Accreditation

Almost 100 different professional accrediting associations such as the American Dental Association, The American Bar Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Home Study Council, have been established to provide accreditation for a particular field of study or professional occupation.

Obtaining a regionally or professionally accredited degree is not important to many of the ministers who apply to International Seminary since most are in church-related occupations. Those interested in military chaplaincy, government-affiliated positions, or teaching positions in regionally-accredited colleges, are concerned with regional accreditation. For example, military chaplains are required to have a Master of Divinity degree or the equivalent, from a regionally accredited seminary, or from a seminary whose credits and degrees are accepted by regionally-accredited colleges.

Independent Accreditation

Since accreditation is purely voluntary, and since all accrediting agencies are private corporations, a number of agencies have formed to provide recognition in areas where regional or professional accreditation has left gaps. For instance, no college or seminary offering all three levels of instruction (bachelor, master, doctoral) through home study, has ever been regionally or professionally accredited.

State Accreditation

The term "state accreditation" is a misnomer, as states do not provide accreditation for colleges or seminaries.

Summary

Accreditation is basically an organized way of determining the acceptance of credits or degrees from any particular institution.

I remember back in the 1970's my ex-wife took classes from Purdue University. At that time she mentioned that the University would not accept transfer credits from its' other half (i.e. the one campus would not accept the full value of the credits taken from its' other campus)! This goes to show how fickle the accreditation dynamic is!

___________________________________________
    1http://www.law.uci.edu/accreditation.html