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.


DennisCDiehl said...

“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this.”
Thomas Huxley

Let them put this statment over the lintels of Embarassing College VI
(3WCG, 1LCG, 1PCG, 1RCG) if they are so intent on truth. "Faculty falsely so called" would not last two minutes in the presence of the truly educated paleontologists, geologists, theologians and the realities of both human and biological evolution. Throw in some cosmology the study of myth and Biblical errancy and they are toast.

I am so thankful I never felt the compulsive need to church hop in the COGs. I was mistaken in my youth but intend to live on the other end of life less mistaken...

Byker Bob said...

Ya know? Actually, it doesn't even matter. Everything these groups are doing has ended up being a cheap imitation of a bad role model, and therefore, inconsequential. Best thing they could do right now would be to put all of their resources into climatology, and graduating people committed to making sure that we even have a life-sustaining planet left. This is something that GTA realized back in the late '60s, and incorporated it into his programs. Accredited Armstrongism is still the epitome of excrescence.


Allen Dexter said...

I'm also glad I didn't church hop as well. The peace I've enjoyed the last forty years is due to not being embroiled in all this warring factionalism. Once I decided it was all garbage, even my tenuous connection with Dr. Martin went by the board as I soon found him to be just as dogmatic and closed minded in many areas as all the rest. Once a book takes over all of your reasoning, you're doomed to continuing factionalism and argumentation over theological nothings. Being a humanist solved everything and brought great peace.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Dr. Michael Germano: In 2008 or so, he debunked British Israelism (using DNA?). Now (last we heard), he's joined LCG.

So which is it? British Israelism or not?

The Accreditation committee would like to know.

And are there going to be a lot of Black, Chinese and Native Americans attending?

It's doubtful that gay students would want to attend, since the standards are already firmly established and quite at odds with the views of the Living administration. Why would anyone want that sort of uphill battle, particularly when you already know that their doctrines are crap and their prophecies have failed (for 60+ years). What would Living University have to offer... (anyone, for that matter).

Oh. Right. Has lots to offer sociopaths and psychopaths as opportunity for serious game playing for fun and profit. And when the psychopaths are finished, would the administration even notice what they've done?

Connie Schmidt said...

When is LCG going to get practical and have their own accredited TRUCK DRIVING SCHOOL! ?? Would be a heck of a lot helpful for the brethren than "Living University".

Anonymous said...

Let them spend a ton of money on accreditation. That will be less money they will have to spend on media to suck more people into their cult.

Anonymous said...

Mikey: Germano is related to the McNair's so he's back in LCG 2' to more nepotism (an LCG favorite). He was retired and they offered a paycheck, power and a fancy title. Who cares about integrity and hypocrisy when that's the reward!

Anonymous said...

I agree that homosexuals wouldn't WANT to apply to LU but I'm fairly certain that if the Charlotte LGBT were informed, they would inundate LU with applications just to expose LCG's hatefulness.

DennisCDiehl said...

As asked: "Dr. Michael Germano: In 2008 or so, he debunked British Israelism (using DNA?). Now (last we heard), he's joined LCG.

So which is it? British Israelism or not?"

He may represent the first of , at least , faculty types being allowed differing views but probably a paycheck...

Living in a city where there are 42 volcanic cinder cones and a rich geologic history, it pains me only be able to say I went to AC and a couple decades slowly realizing , like Allen, the real story and of the Bible is less than presented. I fell for the "Sunday School" version. The only consolation is that I could not now be here if I had not then been there...

Allen Dexter said...

Dennis is right! I could not be where I am today if I had not been "there." So, the experience was worth it, I guess.

Anonymous said...

LCG needed Germano's credentials to apply for accreditation. That plus the McNair link was the reason behind Meredith's courtship.

Anonymous said...

$300 a a class? That's $280 too high.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm now I am tempted to wait until they announce the accreditation and then call the Charlotte LGBT society!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't in WCG so I might have this wrong, but I always thought that the reason HWA didn't want AC to get accredited was that they would then be required to teach "worldly" things that he didn't agree with and because it would force them to have to water down the truth.

Can anyone confirm as to why AC wasn't accredited?

Anonymous said...

Does it even really matter?

Even if LU gets accredited I seriously doubt that there will be a large influx of students.

The church is old and getting older by the day.

Seeking this accreditation is pure vanity and a shameful waste of tithe payer money. I am frankly shocked that LCG members are putting up with it without protest.

If I were tithing to LCG, I would be tempted to write "not to be used for LU" on my check. People typically tithe to support minister living expenses and the production of literature, telecasts, etc.

Using tithe money for LU seems like misappropriation to me.

Byker Bob said...

3:32, what you stated was pretty much what HWA and the faculty stated back in the '60s when they first considered accreditation. It was a complex situation, and I certainly had not understood all of the implications at the time when I filled out my application.

But, here are some of the issues. Accreditation is only important if a student either intends, or needs to use the degree or credits outside of the church. If you wash out after a couple of years, and want to transfer your credits to another institution, or want to do graduate work at a university, or even need your degree to weight a resume, accreditation becomes very important.

There are accrediting bodies which normally deal with secular schools, and often entirely separate bodies which work with Christian colleges and universities. Because WCG is an "odd duck" to most Christian organizations, AC's best bet was in taking its chances with a secular group, although it was not a secular college. The problem is that the accreditation process is a continuing process, in that the school is constantly monitored to make certain that the standards set forth for quality in education are continually met. So, the chancellor and board are in reality voluntarily placing a layer of authority over themselves, to make sure that standards are met. HWA did not deal well with any authority under which he was placed. He taught submission to secular law when it did not conflict with God's law, but considered himself to be the human through whom God administered His government during this era, and therefore the judge or arbiter as to which secular laws should be obeyed, and which should be disobeyed. It is why church members often had to face jail time over military service, over such things as vaccinations for children, and why they were required to lose jobs or face the wrath of school boards over the sabbath and holy days.

Ambassador College had some other serious issues, as well. Some of the freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights were not permitted or practiced on the AC Campuses. There was very limited freedom of speech. In class, you could question "authority" but only when you were looking for a clearer understanding of what had been stated, or taught. If you took exception with the material itself, you learned to squelch your thoughts, and not express your disagreement. Forget about religious freedom. There was also very little due process or right of appeal if you found yourself accused of breaking any rules. No reasoning, no logic. The rules were also clearly put together by someone with a bad case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and enforced militaristically.

All of the items in the above paragraph would be subject to mandated change if the college were accredited and regulaly monitored and audited. They were further along in the process when my younger sister was attending, and I understand that there were some pretty wild things (by traditional AC standards) going on in the dorms and on campus. Hair and fashions changed somewhat radically, things were smoked, sex was had, the LGBT community was no longer quite so invisible, and HWA ended up shutting down the Pasadena campus for several years.

Institutions like Liberty University and Grand Canyon University somehow found better balance, graduated students with accredited degrees who went out and made good value-filled, conservative differences in their workplaces and communities, but somehow AC/WCG never was able to find such equillibrium. That is part of the reason why the ACOGs are such a mess today. Nobody has ever learned to work with others, or to give and take in order to reach negotiated solutions.


Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered that maybe sly Winnail is intentionally bankrupting LCG as part of his long game?

Anonymous said...

You are right 9.53pm. In the churches, rights are taboo. So is assertiveness. All you get is obey, yield, surrender, submit. People relate to one another from top dog position, meaning I own you and you have no rights. You cannot socially mature in that church.