Unique Bachelor’s Degrees

Many young fundamentalists head off to an approved fundamentalist college to toil and study for four years only to emerge with a degree that puts them on promising career paths such as leading a church choir or supervising a nursery three times a week.

At Pensacola Christian College You can check out the wonderful world of Music Ministries in which you to can learn to look like this when you sing. “Lift those eyebrows, people! Jesus likes them up almost into your hairline!” A similar program is offered at West Coast Baptist College but you’ll want to note that there are separate degrees for men and women. Men take Practical Theology with their music degree while women take “Christian Womanhood.” (If the women want to learn about theology it’s best to let the sweet young things wait until they are married so they can ask their husbands about it.)

If you are a woman who aspires to get married and have babies, there are programs for that too! Unlike women of years gone by who did all this without needing to take college classes, you can head off to Hyles Anderson and major in Marriage and Motherhood. Hopefully you can snag a husband too while you’re at it or that’s a whole lot of money and time wasted.

If the world of word processing and church secretarial ministry is your dream, Maybe The Crown College’s Bachelor of Biblical Studies in Business Applications will float your boat. Hopefully that Bible-based approach to using Microsoft Access is worth every shekel.

And of course, every fundamentalist college worth its salt has at least a few programs in things like Youth Ministry, Camp Ministry, Nursing Home Every Other Thursday Ministry  and so on. These specialized degrees will ensure that these promising young fundamentalist leaders of tomorrow will quickly learn to suffer for Jesus making sub-minimum wage at the ministry of their choice. Alternatively, if they apostatize and leave the ministry, there’s always an option for food service and sales positions.

If you spent four years (or six or eight) getting a degree that you’re now embarrassed to put on your secular resume, you may have been a fundamentalist.

110 thoughts on “Unique Bachelor’s Degrees”

  1. I think the whole concept of Bible college needs to be rethought. I do not think our IFB colleges are preparing students for the realities of life and the ministry.

    Truer words were never spoken…

    Maybe our colleges should be less concerned with training “preacher boys” and more concerned with training ministers.

    The problem here is the fundy definition of ministry.
    Pastoring is the ministry according to Fundy lore.

  2. @Free: You are so right! Isn’t that (the homemaking skills, what ever that is!!) what home-school is for?? I have always said, even though I did homeschool-school for a few years, that EVERYONE homeschools! You always teach your kids something. My lovely daughter is a great house cleaner and makes great breakfasts, and daughter-in-law is a great organizer and very creative with her hubby’s Christian school salary….you do not learn all this stuff at school. OK, I know that there is always that gal that has a very lazy (gasp! in Fundy circles!) mother/parents and does need to learn this stuff and perhaps that is why it was started in the first place. Of course, all this might have been started by the Rice’s and their many daughters….

  3. On that last note, remembering a line from my then 4 year old son when I asked him to make his bed: Why should I do that, isn’t that waht a wife is for? I then asked him: What if you never get married?—– Glad I taught my son to: wash clothes and iron before he went to college. Many Moms/Dads do their sons a huge dis-service in this area by NOT homeschooling these simple tasks.
    When the cat is away, the mouse will play.

  4. Wow! Many of these comments reveal how truly pathetic the disgruntled can be. Hey, if you’ve got the brains, grit, work ethic, and determination you can be a success with any degree. The problem, folks, is not the degree. (I hold a degree from BJU–non-accredited at the time.) The problem is your attitude. Most of your attitudes stink. I wouldn’t hire you to clean out my dog house. Quit your whining and blaming everyone else for your failure! If you’re not happy in your career or with your degree, that’s YOUR fault! Grow up and take some responsibility. By the way, our fundamentalist schools offer excellent training and education in the fields they address. There are a thousand success stories for every failure out there. There is, however, no success for people who blame others for their failures! I’m proud of my fundamentalist degrees! (BJU, Pensacola Theological Seminary)

  5. Ooooo we have awakend a troll… and he’s wearing his angry pants. But he speaketh truth to this degree, “our fundamentalist schools offer excellent training and education in the fields they address.”
    Then there’s the rest of life.

  6. Hey, if you’ve got the brains, grit, work ethic, and determination you can be a success with any degree.

    No one is arguing otherwise. In fact, I think the point of this post is that most people getting useless degrees wind up doing exactly that.

    and he’s wearing his angry pants.

    Epic LOLs.

    1. That is incorrect. I went there, got a B.S. degree in managment, and am currently the accountant on a $6 billion hedge fund for a major global company. I was thoroughly prepared for my job. Try to present facts accurately.

  7. Also, I’m feeling the pains of a fundie Bachelor’s Degree. Instead of being in Grad school right now, I have to get a SECOND Bachelor’s Degree in order to get into an actual grad school since no grad schools except fundie seminaries will accept my degree. So thanks.

  8. Exactly what I’ve come to expect to hear from Baptist pastors. “You’re pathetic, it’s your fault, you’re a failure, quit whining, I wouldn’t help you because I don’t like your attitude…” No compassion, no love, name calling, kicking people who are already down, assumptions and judgments about someone’s hardships when you don’t even know them, elitist fundamentalist attitudes…exactly like Christ, right?

  9. A Pox upon me, I mis-under-communicated in my last response. Instead of saying, “…Then there’s the rest of life,” I should have said, “Then there’s real life.”
    I apologize for any concern this may have caused. Lest anyone think I confuse the Funderment of Fundyland with reality, let me be clear: There is the kool-aid world of stale air, and strict adherence to the will of the HFWAIC (Head Fundy What Am In Charge, aka. the fulltime, paid pulpit professional, who may or may not have a toe stompin’ degree from some fundy diploma mill…) all hunkered down in the in the fabulous fundy bunkers…. and then… there is reality. Just wanted to set the record straight.

  10. Pastor Monte,

    I’m assuming that you were an undergrad at BJU and then went to seminary Pensacola, but where did you get your doctorate from?

  11. My Doctorate is honorary, so it doesn’t count as a degree earned through an educational institution. I have a friend who is a BJU grad who was accepted to Harvard–a graduate education program. Character counts, my friends! No degree can promise success and no degree can hinder it! And, you’re perfectly right, I did have my “angry pants” on! Just realize that you get out of life what YOU make of it. Blaming educational institutions with sterling track records is lame! Like it or not, these instutions are successful beyond imagination. (PCC is a modern educational miracle. Before you criticize it, build something better–then you’ll have grounds to criticize!)

  12. Pastor Monte,

    Since your doctorate is honorary, and as you say doesn’t count as degree, do you feel you should be referred to by that title? With all due respect, the title “Doctor”, especially in fundamental circles, is totally meaningless nowadays and I believe deceitful. On another posting on this site I listed 20 or so very well-known fundamentalists (both past and present) who go by the title “Doctor” yet none of them earned it. When I say earned it, I mean the old fashioned way (“old fashioned” is a term fundamentalists love btw): in the classroom and writing a dissertation from a well-established, reputable university. Doctorates should be given for scholarship, not how large a bus ministry one has, or how much someone has given to a certain college.

  13. “(PCC is a modern educational miracle. Before you criticize it, build something better–then you’ll have grounds to criticize!)”

    This is inane logic. By this standard I must write a book to tell you the Twilight Series sucks, film a movie before I can say that “Plan Nine from Outer Space” is a catastrophe, and play professional basketball to say the L.A. Clippers are awful. It is an absolutely unscriptural standard. We can judge PCC because we can look at it’s fruit. It is anything but sterling. That’s what this whole blog is about.

  14. With all due respect, the title “Doctor”, especially in fundamental circles, is totally meaningless nowadays. . . . Doctorates should be given for scholarship, not how large a bus ministry one has, or how much someone has given to a certain college.

    We can judge PCC because we can look at it’s fruit. It is anything but sterling. That’s what this whole blog is about.

    Hear hear.

  15. I think this site sums up the facts about economic opportunities available for the unique bible college degrees. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes212011.htm#nat. While some may transfer to other occupations, clergy seems to be the best fit.

    @Pastor Mark. It appears that you have been fortunate enough to gain an income from an occupation for which you have trained. Many others are not as fortunate as you. You stated “our fundamentalist schools offer excellent training and education in the fields they address”. If this is just an opinion, you are free to have it. Typically, colleges provide evidence of this excellence by being accredited by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_for_Higher_Education_Accreditation. As you give advice to your flock concerning college, please tell the truth based on facts. Be honest. God requires it. For a clergy position in fundyland, an accredited degree is not important (what selection board has ever checked?). For just about everything else, it is important.

  16. “I just threw up in my mouth a little.”

    Ditto. Or as Phil said in The Hangover, “I’m not even gonna say anything, it’s so embarrassing.”

  17. My, my–do I sense bitterness or what? As to honorary doctorates, mine was given in part for my extensive research into the dangers of radical Islam. It had nothing to do with our extensive bus ministry. As for the “fruit” of PCC, we have sent dozens of students there; and we’re extremely pleased with the quality of education and character qualities they produce and sharpen. Our grads are happy, successful, serving Christians who love the Lord and their church. They have a strong faith and are active soulwinners. They aren’t the least bit cynical about life or faith or the Bible. And it appears they will, in the main, have a pretty good time at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

    I don’t mind a little humor or poking fun at some of the cultural distinctives of fundamentalism; but it’s sad when folks who have given their lives to the cause of Christ (like Dr. and Mrs. Horton) are criticized by people who haven’t built so much as a dog house for God’s glory. The critics on this blog strike me as bitter about life, their personal failures, and habitually poor decisions. Rather than rant against successful and dedicated Christias and ministries, your lives would be better served by humility before God, confession of sin, and personal revival. I’m not trying to attack anyone, but I think some real soul-searching is the real need here. I will have to sign off for now; I’ve got a church to build and souls to win! (By the way, I’m VERY HAPPY to be serving Jesus!)

  18. “My, my–do I sense bitterness or what?”

    Sorry Marc, calling your opponents bitter doesn’t render your argument unassailable. We’ve all seen that trick too many times.

    “I’ve got a church to build and souls to win!”

    You have fun doing that. I personally enjoy watching Christ building His church and saving souls Himself, but if you think you can do a better job, have it at. Who am I to criticize? I’m just bitter.

  19. @Mark Monte Bitter accusations really are incredibly 19th centure passe’. You need to bring it better than that if your gonna whine. I’m more than a little afraid of the likely perpetuating rumors in whatever research on radical Islam you came up w/ that PCC or whoever thought was worth an H.D.

  20. Didn’t think of it earlier, but thanks for the reminder of exactly what it was like to attend PCC. Notice something wrong and get blamed for being bitter. It’s all win, and so very typically Fundamentalist.

  21. Dogs bark. Fundy pastors say “you’re bitter”. Pastor Mark Monte takes the name calling to a new level. Impressive. A true WISC. A probable FWOTW if you attach his comments on this post.

  22. Getting an unaccredited degree from a fundy school is a handicap to many different things. Like any handicap it can be overcome but that makes it no less a detriment. You can’t get into a lot of schools. You may have trouble getting certain jobs with the military and government. Some companies may not hire you.

    Consider it thusly…

    Imagine that I’m blind. I can still go out live a full and active life doing all kinds of things. But no matter how much I may want to I can’t be an airline pilot or a race car driver. Now it’s a given that my handicap wouldn’t give me the right to just give up on life and complain that nothing is my fault. But that doesn’t make it any less of a legitimate handicap.

    Having chosen to give yourself an educational handicap can be overcome but it’s no less of an issue. Pretending that an unaccredited degree is never an obstacle is less than honest.

  23. “Angry Pants”?? humfph… he’s wearing an entire three-piece “righteous indignation” suit… complete with halo.
    guess I better get back to work on that dog house, I am not worthy to be in the company of such greatness, sinner that I am and all. (eye roll… heavy sigh)

    See, I’m a special class of heathen since taking my kids out of “christian” school so they could get a real education and all.

    The world is already filled to overflowing with full-time profe$$ional christian$…(just follow the money), what the world needs is more full time disciples living for Christ… that would do more than an army of Hyles/BOJO/ PCC/Crown/ ____(fill-in-the-blank) IFB graduates could ever accomplish.

  24. I’m still baffled by the fact Marc (I won’t call him Pastor), thinks that playing the bitter card is effective anywhere but in IFB circles. Admittedly there are a few fundies around here, but a blog devoted to ex fundies remembering that kind of nonsense, it doesn’t make any sense to try the same old tired strategy that everyone knows about. The lack of effort is genuinely insulting. 🙂

  25. stuff like this makes me glad i never went to fundy “college.”

    (and having a great gig makes me happy i dropped out of real college two or three times)

  26. So, character counts, uh? What about BJ3’s character do you like? How about they way he berates anyone who disagrees with him. Yeah, that’s real mature. How about the time he went on Larry King Live and lied – yes lied – about the interracial dating ban? That’s real Christian character there. There’s nothing good at 1700 Wade Hampton Blvd. NOTHING. It was started by a mean man with a chip on his shoulder. It continues on by mean-spirited people. And, it probably won’t be around much longer, the financials were bad – bad enough for the trustees to talk openly about it.

  27. My, my – do I sense an over-sized ego? It is the attitude behind Marc’s words that were one of the main factors in driving me away from fundamentalism. It is the aura of entitlement that proclaims, “I am sooooo much better than you since I am a pastor. You obviously are not in the center of God’s will since you aren’t a pastor or missionary as well. I will pray for you when my nose tilts far enough downward for me to actually get you in my gaze you poor peon. If only you had the same joy that I have since I ‘serve’ Jesus full time.”

    I actually do build things for a living and if someone hired me to build a doghouse, I’d build it the same way I build everything, first for God’s glory and secondly for the customer. My freedom from fundamentalism and an understanding that all men are equal at the foot of the cross has taught me much.

    In regards to your last statement, I pray that you come to a full understanding of Acts 2:47 “And the Lord added to the church daily…” Re-read the book of Acts with that as your guiding statement and it will shake your fundy world upside down.

  28. Marc, try losing over $80,000 due to a degree or credits that YOU CANNOT USE (i.e. not working in the field your degree trained you for!) due to stupid accreditation reasons and then we’ll talk. I had nothing against BJU until the accreditation issue came up and I found out that I had been lied to. Yes, lied to–shocking and unbelievable, eh? Whatever happened to “do right until the stars fall”?

  29. @EM – yeah, that character thing keeps coming up, doesn’t it? And, TRACS “accreditation” is no better than no accreditation, at least in the rest of academia. Only regional accredition will remove that stigma. Can you get into other grad schools with a BJU degree? Yes, but it’s 10 times harder in many cases. Also, many BJU grads that get into grad school are admitted under probationary status until they can prove themselves academically. Do yourself a favor – don’t go to ANY school that isn’t regionally accredited. You’ll only frustrate your life later.

  30. Can you get into other grad schools with a BJU degree? Yes, but it’s 10 times harder in many cases. Also, many BJU grads that get into grad school are admitted under probationary status until they can prove themselves academically.

    I actually had no problem getting into Clemson with my BA from BJU, and one of my friends, who also got his BA at BJU and just received his MA here at Clemson, is now at Yale for his PhD. So it can be done, and easily. But then again, we both had degrees in History, which is much more “real” discipline than Youth Ministries, and Clemson is close enough in proximity to BJU to have gotten a lot of BJU alumni as grads, so they know that–at least as far as History students are concerned–there’s nothing wrong with that product.

  31. I love how people have one story like this and think that this provides proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that all the horror stories are completely false. Listen people make it. I hope they make it, I want them to make because it gives me hope. Hey I made it (NYU) and my wife made it (Simmons), but that doesn’t take away the hardships that are real and really exist out there and the many people who get held back over this issue. It doesn’t take away that BJU and PCC and many other Fundy schools are failing their students on this issue. My success story doesn’t change the fact that my sister-in-law has to redo every last credit she paid for from BJU because of accreditation. This “friend” who made it into Harvard doesn’t take away the many friends I have who were literally denied admittance into grad school based solely on accreditation. What is maddening is that in theory this could have been an easy thing to fix. This should have been done long ago, and the arrogance of the Fundy leaders really shows on this issue. What makes it worse is when someone like Pastor Marc comes in and spiritualizes everything while calling us names for voicing our opinion. Listen, Marc, light needs to shine on this issue. These schools need to start being honest with their students. If you are turning a blind eye then you are culpable…simple as that.

  32. @Jordan
    “I actually had no problem getting into Clemson with my BA from BJU”

    Yea…I think Clemson is a bit different. Their proximity gives them all the reason in the world to get to know BJU. They’ve found that despite accreditation their graduates can be world class and they choose to have a good relationship. But as you get further away from the motherland you’ll find it harder and harder (I find especially in the North East and far West). And you’ll start to run into brick walls, “no regional accreditation? tough.” Or, “What is this school? hmmm never heard of it file 13.” When I applied for grad schools I thought it was sad that I had to worry about my BJU degree canceling out everything else I was submitting in the application, and found myself thinking that that was the weakest aspect of my application. Usually people are proud of their alma matter, but for me I was just hoping they didn’t pay it too much attention.

  33. Even BJU education grads face a hard time in neighboring NC. They will not recognize a BJU degree nor will they honor SC certification.

  34. @ Usedtobefundy the Song of Solomon story has to do with marital relations while quoting certain passages of scripture… fine if you want to do it, but please don’t teach impressionable young women that.. the administration there (West Coast) have really strange ideas about alot of things.

  35. The longer I live (which has not been as long as some of you old-timers), the more I have to remind myself that other believers are not the enemy. I thank God that the Gospel is being preached, even when it is preached by divisive or hypocritical brethren (either to my left or right). Somebody important once said something like that…I’m not sure…he was “Paul something-or-other.”

    If being a hyper-fundamentalist assuages the conscience of a weaker brother — let him be a hyper-fundamentalist! We should not condemn him for his weakness — though we may pity him :).

    To all of you crazy, extremely “bitter”, ex-fundies, I would like to add that I deplore duplicitous degrees descriptions, aver animosity against aberrant accreditation (national, that is), and fervently hope that you will all get your hearts right by reading your KJV Bibles, getting hair-cuts (guys), growing it back out (gals), starting to wear skirts again (gals), cease from talking in church (gals and Steven Anderson), and by smashing all your Casting Crowns CD’s. Should you refuse to repent, I will renew your subscriptions to The Sword of the Lord and force you to watch Sheffey one time too many — which is probably once.

    Love the legalistic loonies, laugh at them, but still love them.

  36. Clemson and USC are great places to validate what is viewed from grad schools outside SC to be an irrelevant degree. Mind you, I’m not saying a liberal arts degree from BJU is irrelevant per se. But it’s different — way different — getting into an in-state school than getting into nearly anything outside SC. What I went through in 1996 to get into IU was pretty bad. And it’s way worse since TRACS.

  37. E.M. – NC is a difficult state for BJU grads. You can’t get into their universities and you can’t get a teaching certificate to teach in their schools. Just don’t go to a non-regionally accredited school.

  38. Yeah graduated from BJ, going to med school now at USC. yawn we only have a 98% acceptance rate…
    Seriously people, do your research before you pick a college. Obviously if u graduate with a bible degree from any of the fundy colleges u wont be in the top forbes companies…duh. But not all the programs are terrible.

  39. @ Pastor Marc Monte

    “PCC is a modern education miracle…”


    Wasted 4.5 yrs of my life there because they LIED to get me in. Literally lied to me. And I’m not the only one. By the time I realized they’d lied, I’d invested to much time and money to get out.

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