Graduations

It’s May and every Fundy U is preparing for one of the biggest events of the year: graduation.

Fundy U Seniors spend their days preparing for exams, making wedding plans for ten minutes after graduation, and trying their best not to get expelled in the last three days. That last is not nearly as easy as it seems for after enduring four years of pressure from rules and regulations a lot of students have just stopped caring. There are always a few who just can’t seem to finish the course.

The dreams that lie ahead of these Fundy U grads are large. There are exciting opportunities in everything from fundy schools and fundy churches, to ministry positions fundy food service. And for those who didn’t manage to snag a spouse in the first four years, there is also the option to stay for another couple years of grad school and try again.

So to those who are going to walk across the stages of various Fundy institutions and reap the reward of four years of blood sweat and tear by getting a degree that is barely worth the paper it is written on, I say “God Bless You.” I’ve been there and I can tell you that after a few years of deprogramming and therapy that it really does get better.

Relax. Play some music that doesn’t check. Breathe a deep lungful of unregulated air. It’s time to start the healing process.

148 thoughts on “Graduations”

  1. …and tomorrow you can start worrying about how you are going to get a job to pay back all those student loans… for the degree that is barely worth the paper it is written on.

    1. I mean its tough enough when you have a real degree, how are you going to pay back tens of thousands of dollars on a degree that leaves you in perpetual poverty… that is unless you are a Fundie Superstar and can get get hired on as the head-main-fundie-what-am-in-charge of a Fundie Mothership.
      yep, just keep churning them out…

  2. as the son of one who was in the administration of a fundy U, I can tell lots of stories of people being pulled out of line at graduation….

    1. If they tried that at our state university, it would make the news! No wonder fundamentalists are so into child training manuals that replicate the mental torture inflicted on POWs. The system wouldn’t work if the people in it hadn’t been broken to their place first.

  3. I is really sad for those who are forced to endure 4 years of this crap, then find out they need to go to a real school and get a real degree if they ever want real work! chaps my hide! ( sorry, my son was in his schools production of Oklahoma and I guess the language has rubbed off 😉 )

    1. Ok, I don’t bow toward Greenville every morning when I get up, but neither do I feel like my degree was worthless (and I hope my kids don’t either.) Maybe things have changed in the 29 years since I graduated but I got a South Carolina teachers’ certificated when I graduated. I went to grad school at a state university and I’m currently working on an Ed.S at another state university. I had a C average at BJU. When I got my M.Ed. I had a B ave. and now I currently have a 4.O. If anything BJU was harder academically than either one of the grad schools I have attended.

      1. I don’t think you can use your GPA as a metric for how rigorous BJU was. Seriously. First when I was an undergrad I had no clue what the best way to study was. I was figuring this thing out. My average was above a B for undergrad, but not spectacular. I did my Masters at BJU and my GPA was a very solid A. Now there are two factors here. First there is the factor that I now know how to study. I had it down to a science. Also I wasn’t a slacker at that point. I fooled around a lot in undergrad. By grad I knew what I wanted and how to accomplish it.

        But the bigger issue is that in grad school C is failing. I haven’t seen a grad school yet that has a different method. You are allowed 1 or 2 C’s in your entire degree and if your GPA sinks below B average you can be kicked out. As a result that means that grading is completely skewed. Oh sure people fail grad school, but if you work and put your time in a good job is an A, a great job is a B and only abject failure warrants a C or below. Judging by your undergrad GPA you would have to, of necessity, raise your GPA to earn a masters.

        And terminal degrees aren’t much different. Except now you absolutely know how to study, you have no throw away classes and you aren’t competing against nearly as many people for grades.

        GPA means nothing. There are too many factors for that to prove anything and certainly not that BJU is therefore more rigorous.

  4. Went to a graduation at Tabernacle in Greenville. They took up an offering during the ceremony. Seriously? Families that had sacrificed (mostly full-time Christian workers) to put their children through “college” got hit one more time.

    1. It isn’t stupidity. It’s more like some combination of Stockholm syndrome and The Stanford Prison Experiment.

      Unless you’ve had the unfortunate experience of being mind-fracked for years on end it’s hard to understand.

      1. Well, I grew up in a “fundy” church from 2nd Grade until I went to college. Most “fundy U” students come from “fundy” churches…so you’d have to be pretty stupid to sit in a “fundy” church most of your life knowing what it is, go to “fundy u” for 4+ years hearing the same stuff you heard the previous 5-10-15 years of your life, and then realize “Oh,now that I’ve graduated from a worthless college (of course I wasn’t smart enough to know it was worthless before i paid 4 years of tuition) I can relax, play some music that doesn’t check, breathe a deep lungful of unregulated air and start the healing process” especially since they were stupid to stick around for 4+ years of their own free will and subject themselves to…pain? (I guess since they need to heal) Whoever these people are, clearly they aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed.

        1. Some young “adults” (because they really aren’t allowed to be adults) have families who will blackmail and reject them if they don’t attend the college chosen by their parents or the mog. . .It’s actually a form of emotional/mental abuse. Think about an Amish shunning–very similar. Most 18-22 year olds are not willing to endure the grief. Just saying.

        2. I don’t think “Stupid” should be confused with “Trusting”. Speaking for myself, I trusted the people who raised me and for quite a long time I trusted the system I was in because it was the only system I knew. How can a child/ young person/ college kid be expected to know the things that WE now know (looking back) when they have been sheltered their whole lives and taught that any other way is wrong or dangerous or just unwise? I was naive, yes. But once I had enough and got OUT I started getting wiser. You, obviously were born wiser. Congratulations.

        3. That is a load of crap. We were told stuff that wasn’t true. We were fed lies and misinformation designed to keep us in the fold. Some universities even advocated manipulating your child into choosing Fundy U. No we really didn’t have a choice because we not only had no reason to mistrust the information we were given in many ways we had no way of proving that information to be false. When ‘well educated’ people are telling you all the same thing you tend to believe them. Especially given the culture we all grew up in. The pastor is a source of authority. The representative from the Fundy U is an authority. We are supposed to trust authorities. And so we did. It isn’t our intelligence so much as our trust. We were trusting naive people who got burned. Too trusting? yes, too naive? absolutely. Idiots or stupid? No. Sorry that isn’t the case at all. We were all pawns in a grand game of manipulation. Some people didn’t fall for it, good for them. The rest of us were unfortunately used, but that doesn’t make us stupid.

        4. @Tony, ditto what the others said. I wisened up halfway through my Fundy U time, but even though I knew the ridiculousness of the school and denomination I was in, that didn’t mean leaving wasn’t the hardest thing I’d ever done. There is a difference between stupid and brainwashed. Or lied to. Or manipulated with guilt and false information so much you can barely see straight.

        5. for the record, I didn’t write that. I’m TonyT. He’s just plain Tony. I’m starting to “see the light” a bit about the deepest, seediest parts of fundyism.

        6. And, I’ll add that I knew exactly what I was getting into with fundy u. I knew the rules and so on. I went in with a good idea of what was about to happen. And if we’re honest, most students have an idea about what’s happening. But, also being honest, I realize there are some who get blindsided. They tend to come from outside the bubble. And looking back, I realize there were some who were pushed into coming to fundy u. Some who didn’t really have a choice, whose parents, when seen visiting campus, make you wonder how they can function at all in society without joining a commune.
          In short, there are a variety of backgrounds funneling into these places. I was more on the normal side, and have stayed there. Others…

        7. @Mark Rosedale – No offense, but your post sounds exactly like my wife’s “christian” upbringing as a Catholic. “well that’s what the church/pope/pastor/fundamentalism said so I just believed it…even when I was 18 and a grown man” Really? It’s fundamentalism’s fault that you didn’t read your Bible and discern false doctrine (or at least what you didn’t like) until after you graduated from a worthless fundamental college? Did your parents not read/study the Bible w/ you growing up? But it’s not their fault you went to college thinking heresy was “sound doctrine.” I’m pretty sure the verse that says “prove ALL things” was there when you were a young man. Why didn’t you read it and heed it? Oh, cuz in the FBV (fundamentalist bible version) it says “prove all things unless thou art a fundamentalist.”

        8. @Tony(B)

          “I’m pretty sure the verse that says “prove ALL things” was there when you were a young man. Why didn’t you read it and heed it? Oh, cuz in the FBV (fundamentalist bible version) it says “prove all things unless thou art a fundamentalist.”

          Well also because ‘prove ALL things’ itself doesn’t disprove fundamentalism. The point I was making is that good people, well intentioned and even people who read their Bible and especially smart people get caught up in this. That is how cults work. People get blindsided and that doesn’t make them an idiot as much as blind or blinded. Paul was caught up in the heresy of the Pharisees (yes I rhyme). But he was one of the smartest cookies in the bunch who wrote most of the new testament. I think it is safe to say he was no idiot. So I find it very offensive that you insinuate that we are idiots, or don’t read our Bible or even that our parents don’t. Smart people are wrong. That’s all you need to say. Stop patronizing us. I’m very happy that you weren’t blinded. That doesn’t make you smarter or better then me. It just makes you lucky, Lucky that God spared you the pain and agony. Thank God you didn’t have to go through that, but get the hell out of here if you are going to belittle us.

        9. @TonyB: Seriously, dude, lose the attitude. Is “No offense, but…” the non-Southern equivalent of “Bless your heart”?

        10. Tony, not all Fundy U grads are stupid. I had a full ride scholarship to a good public university. I chose to go to Fundy U because it really was where God wanted me. Some of you think that people that go there are mentally/emotionally abused, forced to go there, or are blindsided. I knew exactly what I was getting into and I knew the One who would help me through it. Having endured those four years, I am better equipped to help my students prepare for college no matter where they choose to go. To call all Fundy U grads stupid is sophomoric and puerile.

        11. I’m two finals, a Thursday and Friday of worthless events, and a graduation ceremony away from finishing my first year at Bob Jones. Not by choice. Seriously, I understood what there was wrong with it going into it. I hated the idea. I wanted to commute to the University of Minnesota that was 30 minutes from my house. But I have parents. They listened, and said no to the U. The worst thing is one of them went to UCSB and the other went to the now non-existent Kings College in New York. It wasn’t even where they went! I love my parents. And frankly they wouldn’t let me go anywhere else. It was Bob Jones or Bob Jones. And when they’re helping you pay for college, what else are you going to do? Just go somewhere else, get an apartment and rack up tons of debt? Bob Jones is more appealing in my mind. Besides, I’m going for Information Technology, so the accreditation, while not a non-issue, is not as big as nursing or teaching. Just my thoughts. Not everyone has the same circumstances. I thought I knew how it was. In some ways it’s better and in some ways it’s worse than I expected. I’ve got my flight back for next year already…….

        12. Yeah, ‘cuz everyone knows 18 year olds immediately run out and leave behind their families, friends and everything they were ever taught. That’s a reasonable expectation.

          What a dumbass comment.

        13. For me, I had always simply trusted my parents and didn’t really question the ‘rules’. The only exception that comes to mind in my early teens was going to the movies. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Anyway, my mom actually didn’t like the idea of me going to college – even a fundy one.

          The change in perspective was brought about because while in college, I actually had to formulate my own views on things. It wasn’t enough to just ride on the coat-tails of my parent’s values. The college experience also tends to coincide with becomeing an adult which again means a lot of self-development.

          BTW, Darrell, I was going thru old paperwork this weekend and found the letter I got from the school after I helped one of my roommates ‘escape’ the school. I’ll have to send it to you after I get it scanned. It is an interesting story.

      2. there’s a difference between being stupid and being misinformed. it’s quite a broad accusation to call all fundy grads “stupid.” Good for you Tony for reaching full maturity and intelligence at age 18.

  5. It does get better, a lot better. Like smoking the effects of Fundy U start wearing off IMMEDIATELY after walking off campus, and just exponentiate as time goes by.

    I feel bad for the ones headed to fundy schools/ministries, etc, cause it may get better, but not much better, and probably in some cases actually worse.

  6. PS I love taking a shot at the “Marriage & Family” degree. I still can’t imagine who thought that was a good idea, or why anyone would let their daughter(s) major in that.

    1. Marriage and Family: A degree that is suspect for sure. If we translate “marriage” and “family” into “The Greek,” we get words containing a specific numbers of Greek letters in each word: marriage = 5 and family = 10. Analyzing these words reveals some sort of heathen markings above one letter in each of these words, leaving us with 2 heathen markings. We are left with 5, 10 and 2. Regarding the first two numbers, we must apply the doctrine of flippigation. We now have 10 and 5 which we will combine = 105, then we will multiply by the heathen markings (2) = 210.

      If we apply the law of first mention and the law of frequency of mention, marriage is mentioned first in Exodus 21:10 and 19 total times in the KJV. Chapter plus verse multiplied by frequency = (21 + 10) * (19) = 589. Family is mentioned first in Leviticus 20:5 and it is mentioned 123 times in the KJV. Chapter plus verse plus frequency = 20 + 5 + 123 = 148.

      Now we know the wicked world is trying to take marriage out of the family, so we must subtract 148 from 589 = 441. We will now add the number of Greek letters in marriage and family yielding: 441 + 5 + 10 = 456

      If we revisit the original flippigated number we have 210. Adding 456 to that gives us, 666. The degree of Marriage and Family = 666.

      1. Wow! I knew that it was definitely evil to have that as a major. I never would’ve had any idea it was THIS evil. That’s why flippigation can only be used by someone who knows when God wants him to use it! 🙂

  7. My time at a Fundy school changed my life. I went in as one and managed to start deprogramming while still in college. By the time I made it to my senior year I couldn’t wait to get out. After graduation I hugged a couple of the girls who graduated with me. Right in the school parking lot for everyone to see!

    While it was at times a painful event, I’m glad I went to that school because it put me where I am today. I made some good friends who helped me in my journey out of Fundyism. Free of it all!

    1. I’m reminded of an anecdote from my sophomore year. I was with two of my friends who were dating (now married) at a restaurant. The waitress stopped by our table to check on us and asked ‘how we were making out’. My friend quipped, ‘we aren’t – there’s a 12-inch rule.’

    1. I guess it depends on what you consider a fundy college. I’m sure some here would consider Liberty a funday college, but they are accredited.

  8. Degrees from Fundy U’s are not worth the paper they are printed on, except maybe BJU (for certan programs) I used to think it was a Big deal that the Big 6 (when I was there, Big 4 now) accounting firms recruted at BJU. Until I joined one of those firms and realized that they really want mind numbed gally slaves who will row the oars tirelessly while the partners reep the bennifits. All & all the mind set is not alot different than fundamentalism…except that they ENCOURAGE you to go to bars after work…I was a good thing that I actually learned to drink while at fundy U….

    1. I assumed I was OK with my BJU teaching degree; I student taught in a public school, took the NTE, and was certified to teach in South Caroline. Now, I’ve heard that that certification is actually not accepted in many states. 😡 I guess I was just too trusting.

      1. I’m sorry you had to find out that way, PW. I know someone who graduated from BJU who dreamed of earning a PhD. Unfortunately, none of the programs this person wanted will accept the BJU undergrad degree. If fundy U’s want to take a stand on accreditation (which is completely ridiculous in my opinion anyway) they should at least be HONEST about the fact that it very well may cause problems in your career down the road.

      2. When I graduated in 1982 I got certified in SC with not problem. When I came home to Ga. I had to take the test that they required. (I had taken the NTE.) I did get a certificate and later, as I said in a previous post, an M.Ed. Hopefully this July I’ll have an Ed.S. Like I said things may be different now.

        1. No, what happend to you is you were grandfathered in. Things are far worse now. GA actually does, via tests, allow BJU grads to get certified, but if I were you I wouldn’t move.

      3. I assumed the same thing. Turns out that SC made a special rule to include BJU. Otherwise you need a regionally accredited degree. But the list of states that will grant you certification with a non-regionally accredited degree is surprisingly small.

        It is really sad. Worse yet is that BJU was and is so misleading about it.

    2. As an ex nursing major at PCC I can tell you it wasn’t accredited. That’s jsut what they said. The credits didn’t transfer to any other school same as any other program at PCC. What they meant when they cleverly worded the “Accredited Nursing Program” at PCC was that you could take the state boards upon graduation to become an RN. But then, anyone can take the state boards to become an RN if you study hard enough.
      I’m a ex nursing student at PCC, 4 years, failed a class due to a disgruntled instructor working on her masters who was failing. SHe failed more than half of us in the class. No recourse, the staff is always right, students have no rights. Couldn’t transfer the credits. Wasted my time. I could either start all over again, study for the boards on my own, or just go marry my preacher boy and be a good pastor’s wife…

      1. Yes – the recruiters said the nursing program was accredited and I didn’t find out for sure that it wasn’t until I was a senior! Every other person I talked with (faculty included) told me something different on that question. Turns out, the program was “approved” by the State Board of Nursing. You can’t have a nursing program unless it’s approved by the state board – being approved means practically nothing!

        1. Yes. And unless you have experienced the manipulation for yourself, you are unlikely to understand. This sort of thing happened several times during my incarceration.

        2. I’ve done the BJU thing and have the paper to prove it. My background is as bad as any you can “boast.”

          See, several of my classes at SecularInternationalU have 50% fail rates. You know what they tell the students who fail? “Suck it up sweetheart. Study harder and learn the material and maybe you’ll pass next time.”

          This whole “incarceration” thing is crap. It’s loser talk. It’s it’s-not-my-fault-’cause-[fill-in-the-blank]-talk. So maybe you were absolutely FORCED into going for four years (not likely, but let’s say you were). Ok. So what? You didn’t have two years mandatory military service like Southern Koreans do. You didn’t end up in the slums struggling for the next meal like much of the world does. You just had to go to university. You’ll recover. I promise.

          *sigh*

        3. Oh Jason, you are so wise. Thanks for coming here and straightening us all out.

  9. The regional accreditation issue has come back to kick me in the butt. I can’t find a online masters program that will accept my undergrad degree. 😕

    1. HeeHee! Men’s and women’s gowns are exactly the same! Isn’t that an abomination? (My public high school had guys wear the darker of the two school colors while girls wore the lighter – which was annoying because the honor cord was light-colored which meant you couldn’t see it against the girls’ robes!!! But despite color, the robes were the same!)

      1. At a fundy camp split session a woman once taught that men wore an ancient form of pants under their robes. That men’s robes were just an outer coat. Men’s wear and women’s wear were completely different.
        Even as a 15 year old kid I was scratching my head on where they got that information from. Then again SFL= making up “facts” to support their position.

        1. I wonder if it’s because somewhere in the Bible there’s a description of the priests wearing special clothing for modesty under their garments so they wouldn’t expose their nakedness to the people standing below when they went up the stairs to do public sacrifices.

          However, to me, if their had to be a special instruction to the priests to remember to wear this special garment, most men WEREN’T wearing them!

    2. That reminds me of an older lady who was frustrated with women who wore pants to church. She said, “you know in Bible times women didn’t dress like men”, to which I promptly replied, “no, but the men dressed like women!”

      1. That’s funny. You know in the Bible times they didn’t do a lot of stuff that we do now. Instead of freezing in time around 1955, why don’t fundies go back to ancient Israel for their standards?

        1. Donb123, I have always wondered that myself! What made that particular time period such a “golden” age? I’ve wondered the same thing about the Amish. What made them pick their time period and then say, “Ok, that’s it- no more progress allowed!” I’m sure there’s a reason somewhere in history; I’m just not informed enough to know it.

  10. Oh man am I glad those days are so far behind me. It does take a while to deprogram though. And it takes even longer if you end up staying in the same city as the school. Best advice. Move away, move very far away and start fresh. Start by looking for a new church and don’t hold back anything. Spend the first few months trying out every type of church. Try Lutheran, Presb, Community, Bible, Baptist, non-denom, Congregational, whatever. Just try them all and see for yourself the vast richness of Christians who all serve the same God. Don’t automatically exclude a church for some pointless exterior standard. Like music. Just because they sing 1 praise song doesn’t make them an apostate church. Test the doctrine not the exterior standards. If the doctrine is wrong then don’t go to that church. But if the doctrine is good figure out what you really do or don’t like about the church.

    Finally find a church that has Christians the same age and same status as you. Don’t settle for a church with nothing but old people and families with teenage children. If you are single find a church with other single Christians. If you are married, find a church with other newly weds. The best way to decommission is to find friends who share the same love of God you do.

    Good luck all, and may you not run into any accreditation problems.

    1. I am going expand this list. Try a Catholic or Orthodox church. Try an African-American church. Try a synagogue. Try a Unitarian congregation. Stop going to church altogether. Push the envelope. You will only be better for it.

    2. This is why I’m thankful that I moved from the Eastern/Southeastern part of the country to the great NW(Alaska and now Seattle). I had too many fundy family members located too close by. My deprogramming went along a lot faster living in AK than it did when I lived in the east coast. I didn’t have family knowing every move I made. Now that I’m in Seattle, I can sort of get lost in the large crowds. The closest family member that I have is two hours away, and she’s Buddhist, so no worries there. 😉

  11. At BJU, graduation started with like 8 verses of a hymn (no joke). My roomate and I would stay up until 3 or 4 am drinking rootbeer and playing rook just so we could be sure to fall asleep during the ceremonies.

  12. What I did after Fundy U graduation:

    1. Part-time youth pastor
    2. Full-time mall security
    3. Part-time youth pastor (again)
    4. Full-time mattress salesman
    5. Full-time exterminator
    6. Part-time college pastor
    7. Full-time car salesman
    8. Full-time student getting a decent degree from a (gasp!) university

    1. Addendum to number 8:

      Since I had 0 (that’s zero, as in none) credit hours transfer from Fundy U to my second Bachelor’s, I had to start as a full fledged freshman. I was the only freshman who had a B.A. and a nearly finished Master’s Degree (M.Div).

      1. sooo, if you had to fill out an application right now would you put the BA and MDiv info on there? Or would you be better off without it?
        😯 😉 (you know I’m just messin with you)

        1. Don,

          My advisor (an ivy league educated agnostic Jew) told me that when I apply to grad school to leave PBC & Liberty off of the application. Actually, he and I spent a few minutes browsing PBC’s website and he looked at me and said, “Aaron, this is not a good place to get a degree from.”

      2. Instead of being upset at FundyU, wouldn’t it make sense to be mad at the society that discriminated against your degree? See, in the society I live in, they don’t hold my FundyU degree against me. And good thing because I’ve done multiple non-FundyU degrees and my FundyU degree was the most rigourous yet. I’d be furious with anyone who had the gall to tell me my FundyU degree wasn’t worth anything and I’d stick it to ’em. Seriously…

        1. No. The anger is best directed at the deception and pretense not the system that is very clear about what is required for accredidation.

        2. Here’s the trick Darrell… the way you view the Fundies is pretty much how the rest of the world views “the [American] system.” “The system” may be great for the little American club, but other countries have other systems. And only a bigoted system would exclude any degree outside “the system.”

          It might surprise some to realise that the Americans are often viewed as narrow-minded in broader academic circles. Just because a university isn’t in our system doesn’t make it bad. Sometimes it does. But that needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. And that is exactly how international universities typically operate.

        3. Which has absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote here.

          Get mad at the school. Get mad at the system. Get mad at the country. Get mad at whatever you want.

          You’re still going to need time to decompress, heal, and move on. And that was my larger point which you seem to have completely missed.

        4. Darrell, My comment was not directed at you or your post. It was directed at Sullivan which explains the hierarchical location of my comment.

          If you put an appropriate degree of blame on the system, then you don’t have to go around disparaging your degree and blaming your alma mater for every job interview that doesn’t go well.

        5. Not at all. I very much want a society to discriminate against some kinds of degrees. Accreditation is about providing minimum standards for education, regardless of degree program or content. I believe there are better and worse forms of education, and I want the educational community to discriminate against inferior education.

        6. John, I’m not saying discriminating is wrong per se. I’m saying that discriminating based solely on non-participation in “our little system” is bad. It’s bigoted. It is.

          “Out of the system” does not necessarily equal “inferior.” Yes, some Fundy schools are inferior. At least several are not.

        7. Jason you are missing the point. In the US for better for for worse you either have regional accreditation or you don’t. Unfortunately if you don’t you will be discriminated against regardless of how valid or rigorous your degree was. It is sad, but unfortunately the way things are.

          but the problem is that we weren’t told about this reality. We were sold on the fact that absolutely *NO* accreditation was needed. We were told that we could get jobs anywhere. We could teach in any state and that we could get into any grad school. Unfortunately that jus simply is not the case. And this is why I get very upset at the school I went to. I was sold something that they couldn’t live up to. I was told lies and misinformation. I was told everything was just fine and dandy when in reality it wasn’t. And what makes it worse is that my school had to know. And at this point my school does know and yet hasn’t changed their rhetoric or their marketing.

          There are about 1000 graduates who will walk on Saturday and they don’t have the slightest clue what might be lurking around the corner. There are ed majors hopeful that they’ll get a job in their local public schools and they’ll soon figure out the reality. There are nurses who will be helpless to find a job. There will be future grad students who will be continually denied grad school because their alma matter failed to get proper credentials.

          The system that discriminates is pretty clear about what they discriminate about. BJU isn’t. So you who am I going to be mad at? The one that mislead and lied to me.

        8. @Mark,

          Thanks for the comment. It is comments like “a degree that is barely worth the paper it is written on” that make me wonder if I really have missed the point. If by that comment, people mean that this or that employer won’t accept them based on non-regional accreditation, then fair enough. But it seems odd to disparage what one recognises as a rigourous and credible degree in such vivid terms.

          I can appreciate that you felt lied to. I never experienced anything remotely along those lines, but you did and that’s fair enough.

          Still, it seems to me that at least a significant part of the blame here should be placed on the bigoted and discriminatory system. For instance, Sullivan above talking about not putting a degree from Liberty on your grad school application. That is outrageous that just because a school is not in the club, the entire experience should be dismissed off hand. That is snobbery and elitism at it’s absolute worst, not to mention bigotry.

          It just seems that American society should share the blame and the force of the campaigns for change. Chances are you’ll change society before you change BJU… LOL.

        9. @Jason, Society is not being bigoted on this issue. They really aren’t being discriminatory either. And that is why I don’t go after society. They say you must have a degree from a school that meets these requirements. Why? Well it ensures, at least minimally, a certain level of quality. If I want to be a life guard I must have 3 things. Life guard certification, CPR certification, and First aid. If BJU wants to train lifeguards then they must ensure that they teach and certify you on all 3 of these things. Simple. And no one would say that the Red Cross is discriminating against someone who doesn’t hold the credentials in any of those areas. In fact, not only must you have certificates in those fields, but they must be certified by the Red Cross. Again not discrimination. They are up front they tell you what you need and life goes on. BJU must follow suit if they are to produce lifeguards (and they do).

          That is what accreditation is. All it is a system to ensure that each school represented has gone through the hoops to ensure a minimal level of quality. With the credential all is well without it tough luck. Society long ago settled on this standard and BJU made a doctrine out of not having it. Why? I can’t tell you that other then that they were totally wrong. They completely made it up.You see the fix is simple. BJU gets regional accreditation and all of this goes away. Short of that it is totally BJU’s fault for failing to receive proper credentials. That doesn’t make society bigoted or discriminatory. Accreditation is not nor has it ever been about religion. So it cannot possibly be bigoted or discriminatory.

        10. @Mark,

          I think my comments on the international picture explain why I called them bigoted and discriminatory. You seem to have defined “society” as monolithic, but that is only true within the four walls of USA, Inc.

          I understand what you’re saying about needing processes with which to ensure minimum standards. Still, it would indeed be extreme snobbery and stupidity to deny the appropriateness of alternate pathways at times.

          As far as BJU’s policy, I don’t think you’ve afforded them the courtesy you would’ve wanted from them. Their concern with accreditation was not only a substantive one, but also quite valid within the historical/cultural context. It was a concern for keeping education, and specifically Christian education, independent of outside authorities, especially government authorities, which might interfere with the academic and theological independence of the institution. It is a concern shared by every educational institution and has resulted in other policies such as tenure, a policy which is similarly criticised. Marinate this in the deep distrust of federal government found in the American South and add a dash of the Cold War era fear of Communism, and the rationale doesn’t look quite so unreasonable.

          While I do not agree with BJU’s position on accreditation per se, I’m willing to grant that it *was* a reasonable position, especially considering the cultural and historical context in which it was initiated.

        11. “Marinate this in the deep distrust of federal government found in the American South and add a dash of the Cold War era fear of Communism, and the rationale doesn’t look quite so unreasonable.”

          That is like saying, Marinate crazy with more crazy and add a dash of even more crazy and suddenly crazy is reasonable. I’m sorry, I’ve been there believed that and finally realized the truth. It was always crazy it was never reasonable and there is nothing historical about it.

          What BJU did was make a literal doctrine out of accreditation. A doctrine that they then preached to churches far and wide. Not only was this a doctrine against regional accreditation, but it was a doctrine against any accreditation, *especially* Christian accreditation. Now, obviously they don’t believe that anymore, but it begs the question. Either this is a real doctrine and BJU is now in sin. Or it was never a real doctrine and they just made it up.

          I believe it was the latter. The issue BJU had with accreditation was not that they might loose their religious freedom, something that would never happen, but that they’d loose their ultimate and unencumbered control over the institution. They made up a ghost and then frenzied everyone over nothing. That’s my issue. If they truly believed that accreditation was wrong then they should still be un-accredited. Since they aren’t they don’t deserve special courtesy. Not when their made up ghost cost me and so many others so much. They are messing with people’s lives over a game of control.

      3. No I’m pretty well upset at the school which claimed to have proper accreditation. I’m upset at the school which was more concerned with indoctrination than education. I’m not upset at the UNC school system for requiring a proper education before being admitted into their doctoral programs. I understand that they don’t want to be diploma mills. They are actually interested in making sure that when they slap “Dr.” in front of you name that it actually means something.

        1. Exactly. We were sold something that was a lie. We were mislead, misinformed and flat out lied to. So yeah I’m going to be mad at the person who lied to me.

  13. “Fundy U Seniors spend their days preparing for exams, making wedding plans for ten minutes after graduation, and trying their best not to get expelled in the last three days.”

    Hey! Some of us waited a couple of hours!

      1. Well, the War Memorial Chapel was definitely booked. With that option out, it was a matter of figuring out how fast I could get my diploma, get my stuff moved out of my dorm, and get everybody in the wedding across town to the church. If I ever do it again, I’ll just elope.

      1. Actually the whole week of graduation was an interruption to our wedding plans. The actual graduation was a good reason to have all friends and family already in town. 😀

  14. One of the staff members of the IFB college I went to told me that the pastor did not think I liked him because I did not shake his hand after church and tell him how great a job he was doing and that doing so could be the difference between him giving me a good recomendation for a ministry position or not.

    If kissing up to the pastor was the key to getting into the ministry what was the use of my working two jobs, getting good grades and staying faithful to my ministry assignment?

  15. At BJU when I graduated, women’s hair couldn’t touch their shoulders for graduation but had to be worn up somehow. A friend french-braided mine and pinned the long braid up under the rest. I found it ironic because my parents were always very strict about the Biblical necessity of women having long hair.

    1. Gotta agree with you there. I never wear my hair up. EVER. G2L will even tell you I didn’t do it at my wedding. And the BoJos wanted me to do what? I did it, but it was ridiculous.

        1. Perhaps we should look into some Commemorative Edition “Osama’s Dead Day” Camo Bible Covers?

  16. And, the night of graduation, go get stone-ass drunk and run butt naked through town.

    It’s so freeing.

    (No, I did not do this after I graduated…… and there’s no proof that I did…….

    not as much as I know of)

    😉 :mrgreen:

    1. I think one of the guys I knew in school stripped down to his boxers and ran the parking lot between the school and the dorms. His sister was yelling at him from a window. And he had the stones to do it well BEFORE graduation.

      1. At PCC, when I was there anyway, the diploma they handed you at graduation was a fake. They would mail the real one to you later. Thus, all campus rules still applied after graduation while you were still on campus or else you just may not get your dimploma.

        1. HAC did that too. As far as the legality goes, does it really matter? The degree isn’t worth the paper it is written on. The fact that they pretend to be college and offer “degrees” should be some kind of fraud.

        2. I’ve always heard you had to make it to Alabama (Flomaton for those of us headed north) not just off campus, before you were safely far enough away to violate rules w/o risking them trying to withhold your diploma/degree.

  17. A year and a half ago that was me. (I graduated mid-year.) It’s amazing the changes that have taken place since then. Thinking about all the time I spent earning a degree that I can’t use still hurts. No one ever told me that before I went. I wish I had been warned.

  18. Wow… this blog really intrigues me… about 95% of the posts ring true and many are humdingers. But many of them leave me feeling uneasy. And a few like this one just bring it all to the surface…

    It’s graduation for crying out loud! It is education. It is a milestone. It is a time for hopefulness and congratulations.

    This type of cynicism leaves me just as turned off as any problem in fundyland. I know it’s hard to see the real person through the persona, but if this post is what is inside of you, then perhaps you would be wise to take some time out to work through your past. I think you life and ministry would benefit.

        1. You can call it cynicism. My experience and the experience of scores of people with whom I have spoken gives it the title of “realism” to me.

          You’ve admitted that you’re far outside “the system.” Why not grant us the kindness of admitting that our experiences are no less valid just because they differ from your own?

        2. The fact that there is a lot of bad stuff in Fundamentalism doesn’t justify or nullify the affects of cynicism.

          My experiences include an undergrad degree at BJU and plenty of close encounters with the influences of HAC, PCC, WCBC, etc. I could tell stories that would curl your hair. Bad things. Evil things. Things that make me livid. That’s why I read this blog. I’ve lived this stuff from A to Z.

          I raise the question again, at what point does the cynicism become just as bad as the subject of the cynicism?

    1. Or perhaps, you’re taking the post a TAD too serious. Questioning a person’s mental and emotional health based on ONE post is really a bit dramatic.

      One word: Satire. Learn it, love it, live it. :mrgreen:

      1. To be fair, Natalie, I’ve followed the blog for probably well over a year. Also, to be fair, I don’t think I really questioned anyone’s mental or emotional health.

        I appreciate that this blog does satire. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that there is a strong vein of anger and frustration running just beneath the surface of the comments section and some of the posts. I’m not bashing anyone about that… often I’m joining in… Fundamentalism has hurt a lot of people… badly.

        But none of that invalidates my critique…

        1. Of course there is a lot of anger and frustration present, its one of the stages of grief. As you already noted Fundamentalism has hurt a lot of people, do you know of any other sites where ex-fundies can vent and have their frustration understood? In many ways this site is about the healing process and yes, it gets messy.

          And honest question for you, what’s wrong with cynicism? Why do you think it is bad thing? I guess I’m wondering what your definition of cynicism is. Things this ex-fundy is learning, not everyone uses “my” dictionary.

        2. @DL, It’s a fair question. A fairly off-the-cuff definition of cynicism might be seeing the negative where it doesn’t exist, seeing darkness in light, seeing the sinister in the innocent, etc. In other words, becoming so jaundiced that you can’t appreciate elements that are truly good.

          As far as whether it’s bad or not… well, I think it’s unhealthy. I think it will tend to be a part of healing individually, but that publishing it for collective revelry doesn’t really help the healing process. And remember I’m not critiquing the blog itself… I read it and most of my comments are on the supportive side. But there is this side of it that I feel takes over at times…

        3. Thanks for the clarification Jason, I can see how cynicism as you defined it would be harmful. I guess my definition is a little less . . . cynical 😆 (sorry, couldn’t resist) I would have defined cynicism as a pessimistic and distrustful attitude towards things, people, etc. that remind me of past negative experiences. Kind of a fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond and helping me understand your position a little better.

        4. I definitely think it’s wise to not automatically assume anything is ALL bad (or ALL good).

          Sure, there are times when comments go too far. But the readership spans a lot from still very conservative believers to atheists. Not everyone is trying to please Christ with what they post, and just because we don’t always call someone out on something doesn’t mean we approve of what they’re saying.

          Also, you said, “Publishing it for collective revelry doesn’t really help the healing process.” Probably it’s different for different people, but this blog has helped me a LOT. I’ve felt very, very alone, and by publically discussing – and laughing and sometimes snarking – I’ve felt encouraged.

    2. At the same time, I know I wasn’t the only one duped into thinking I was getting a degree I could actually use. Now I’m in my mid-20s and trying to earn an actual degree with the help of the military. Not a single credit was accepted from FundyU. That was four years of my life that I have nothing to show for. I sure am cynical.

  19. I feel really fortunate that my BJ degree wasn’t a hinderance to my career–and that’s truly a miracle from God, since I worked in journalism. That’s a field full of 1) non-Christians and 2) smart people aware of Bob Jones’ existence (or, at least, most of them). (When somebody would tell me they’d never heard of Bob Jones, I felt relieved 🙂

    I just thank God for guiding each step of my life. I worked for nearly a decade in “real” journalism, stepping up the ladder to a 100K metro daily (and it wasn’t the Greenville News). I say that just to show that if God wants you somewhere, He’ll take you there, no matter who issued you that piece of paper your degree’s printed on.

    I’ll also say that although I loved my teachers at BJ, I learned very little about real journalism or reporting. There’s no free press there 😉

  20. I, too, received one of those worthless degrees and had to get more education to make it accredited so I could get into an accredited seminary. Thanks alot fundamentalists – you owe me money.

  21. As far as BJU’s policy, I don’t think you’ve afforded them the courtesy you would’ve wanted from them. Their concern with accreditation was not only a substantive one, but also quite valid within the historical/cultural context. It was a concern for keeping education, and specifically Christian education, independent of outside authorities, especially government authorities, which might interfere with the academic and theological independence of the institution.

    -Jason

    That seems to be an admission that Christian Education cannot stand up to any outside scrutiny. It is afraid of ideas that are other than those that the institution approves. That process does not teach people “how” to think it teaches them “what” to think. That being the case then, you do not have education you have indoctrination. Such an insulated view does not prepare folks to be able to give reason for the hope that is within them as they interact with society at large but creates auto matrons who function best only within their sub-culture.
    (And no I did not attend any Christian university, I graduated from a state supported University. But I have many friends who have attended “the Bob” and “the Crown,” PCC and others and I know how it affected them. I am not saying it messes everyone up for life…that would be an ignorant statement. I am saying that the insulated, bunker mentality and isolated educational philosophy lends itself to indoctrination rather than a well rounded education.)
    Such an insulated approach claims superior quality of education by reason of some subjective purity according to the institution’s biases. This is a hollow victory and empty claim of superiority because it is not challenged. It is a win by default rather than effort. Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” If there is no real effort to examine our faith, our education and knowledge against real challenges then atrophy will set in and belief and convictions become weakened and hollow.

    Well, enough on philosophy of education for one afternoon.

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