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Saturday, January 2, 2016
Is LCG Willing To Break The Bank To Get Accreditation?
From a reader here.
A few short weeks ago LCG was visited by the accreditation powers that be in an effort to further the process of getting Doug Winnail's beloved Living University (LU) accredited. Accreditation is a process of external quality review used by higher education to scrutinize colleges, universities and higher education programs for quality assurance and quality improvement. Part of this accreditation process requires Living University to undergo a peer review of the prepared materials and curriculum.
It would be fun to be a fly on the wall when the reviewers get to read about British Israelism and LCG's denial of the efficacy of carbon dating and other archaic scientific (or non-scientific as the case may be) teachings. If you ever want a good laugh, ask an LCG minister how dinosaurs fit into things.
Because of the process of accreditation, students can trust that the education they are paying for is valuable and worth their time, money, and effort so Meredith, Winnail and the other LU proponents are head strong about getting this validation despite the unpleasant consequences it may bring in it's wake.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from those in LCG is that LU classes are "too expensive" at $300 a class. Students are only able to obtain federal financial assistance if the institution they are attending has achieved appropriate accreditation status from an accreditation organization recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE). This could be one big reason LCG wants LU to become accredited. I can see Ol Spanky up in his ivory tower imagining that their attendance numbers will quadruple if potential students could only qualify for federal financial aid.
The USDE is also concerned with factors such as a college or university's standards of student admission and practices of student recruitment, financial well-being, and student learning achievement outcomes. Many in the Living Church of God are concerned that this translates into LU having to accept applications from people "in the world"; more specifically, homosexuals, Catholics and other people they disdain.
Will Living University have to "water down" their fundamental teaching and become more mainstream to satisfy reviewers and potential non-convert students? It is certainly a concern expressed by those currently in LCG who watched precisely that happen when they left Worldwide. Compromise for numbers is ACOG history bound to be repeated.
Another complaint I have heard for years from grumbling LCGers is the old adage of "freely you have been given, so freely you should give". Many in LCG feel that LU is in direct violation of that scripture by charging for their "knowledge".
Still others query as to why it is so important to replicate Ambassador College, which is clearly Spanky's dream of dreams for LU. Did anyone graduate from AC and get a good job as a result of THAT education? Probably not, but they sure did learn how to step on others to exalt themselves and how to look down at others with righteous indignation.
The number one concern voiced in LCG about this willful push to get LU accredited is the exorbitant cost associated with obtaining the accreditation. They have already spent close to 1 million dollars on the accreditation process which is not yet complete. Many on the Counsel of Elders are opposed but as usual, none of them are really willing to make a stand for their beliefs. LCG is also presently in the market for another piece of commercial real estate for which to house their classrooms and LU office staff. They are also actively shopping for condominiums which they plan to use as dormitories for all the students they hope to entice into the fray. It's no secret that LCG is hemorrhaging money (and members). They seem to have a smaller bottom line with each passing year. One could speculate that that 1 million dollars worth of tithe payer money could have so been used to "preach the gospel" and save more people from the tribulation through conversion to LCG membership. Ezekiel warning vs. accreditation, hmmmm tough choice. Winnail and Meredith's full steam ahead mentality is kind of like the Titanic thinking it's unsinkable. Is this forced accreditation the metaphorical iceberg that will ultimately cause the impending LCG bankruptcy? Time will tell.