A Survey

An alert SFL reader recently received a survey from a Fundy U and decided to provide some analysis for our enrichment. The entire survey is apparently an exercise in denial that students may actually have left fundyland since graduating. Or perhaps they just don’t care about the opinions of those who are no longer in the fold.

“Did your spouse attend (institution)?”
I’m not married, but thanks for assuming anyone out of college must be. This would be the last straw to send me into a downward spiral of pain and frustration, if I still believed that drivel about needing a spouse to be a complete person.

“How many children do you have?”
While “0” is an option, the way the question is written tells me something. Namely, I should have gotten married, tsk tsk shame on me.

“If after graduation, you did not seek employment in your major field, explain why not.”
[see next question/answer]

“What is your current primary paid employment?”
Senior Pastor
Pastoral Staff
Camp Ministry
 School Administrator
Teacher (full-time)
Teacher (Part-time) [sic]
Business Owner
Business Manager
Secretary/ Office Management [sic]
Health Occupation
Day Care
Not employed/paid
Other, please specify:
First, I guarantee they made an alphabetical list (with not/other at the bottom, as customary), then pulled the Christian Service positions out and ranked them on top, then slapped poor forgotten Day Care on the bottom. Too bad they don’t list my actual profession or anything close on the list. Which probably explains why I didn’t use my stated degree towards it.

Which of the following best describes your membership in a local church? I’m a member of…
… a fundamental Baptist church
… a baptistic church without “Baptist” in the name [which are fully uncheckable to attend]
… an evangelical church 
… a non-evengelical church [wouldn’t every other category cover this? why not just say what you mean, which is  ‘an apostate gathering of heathens’?]
… no local church at this time.

In what areas of local church ministry are you involved?
Obviously, you didn’t actually expect the ‘no local church at this time,’ above, to be chosen. You must have included it for the laughs.

Which of the following best describes your current, primary involvement in Christian ministry?
I have a full-time paid position
I have a part-time paid position
I participate in unpaid ministry
I do not currently participate in ministry
I am between ministries [meant to make you scrub out your check next to the above answer and guiltily get back to that unpaid, 20-hr-per-week ministry you left] 

How would you rate attitudes toward [institution] in your local Christian school.
How in the name of sparkly unicorn droppings would I know?

How often have you accessed the [institution] website in the past six months?
I have no internet access [obviously the only reason your answer would be ‘never,’ so let’s just fill it in, hmmm?]

How satisfied are you with the Alumni Association’s contact with you since you graduated?
Well, I got this survey, so obviously they still have my address, so ‘dissatisfied.’


Have you ever gotten a survey from a fundy institution? What creative things do you do with them?

68 thoughts on “A Survey”

    1. Oh, there is usually a place to write additional comments at the bottom or last page if the survey. The placement is so those comments can be ignored as the check marks for the narrow list of options can be tallied.

      Regardless, I generally fill that space with a stream of consciousness mini-rant about the spiritually abusive environment. It’s cathartic, and I hope some poor student who ‘volunteers’ to process those surveys sees that not everything is as perfect as the administration would like everyone to believe. 🙁

  1. Another reason to be grateful I didn’t grow up fundy and attend one of these fundy institutions. Yeah I see how they rank things with the “best” answer (in their opinion) on top and the “lesser” answers underneath. So that being in full time Christian service (paid of course) is #1, still attending an IFB church is #1, etc. How do they go from IFB to “Baptistic church without Baptist in the name”? What about Baptist but not Independent Fundamental? There are plenty of those. I notice also that this survey must be men only because there is no place for pastor’s wife, missionary’s wife, evangelist’s wife etc.

    Yes they do seem to assume that everyone is married with children. There are plenty of us who are married without children though. 🙄

      1. Indeed! I take fulfillment of my wifely duties so seriously, we have nearly a half-dozen accidental kids. 😉

        In all seriousness, the assumption that marriage = children is extremely hurtful to those struggling with infertility. 😕

        1. I’m a little sensitive to that assumption,too. Due to my numerous and vague chronic health issues, I was told that having children would be difficult and possibly even dangerous. I realize that’s not quite the same as being infertile, but it was still upsetting for my fiance and me. What’s strange, though, is that we hadn’t even seriously discussed having kids until we found out how risky it would be. 😕

          And of course, right after we learned of that, a bunch of our friends suddenly announced that they were expecting. We’re happy for them, but we’d be lying if we said there wasn’t a little resentment as well.

  2. HAC does still have my address, a fact which does not do anything to make me feel safer from their apparent attempt at being all-seeing, at least in reference to anyone who was once employed there. In fact, I have, on occasion, gotten snarky anonymous letters, the most recent being after I had begun posting to SFL under my real name, some months ago. I am afraid I have no idea if I have ever received a survey, because the minute I see anything HAC-related in my mail, I shred it. Now, however, given the propensity for great laughs at HAC’s expense, I will carefully treasure them until they can be sent on to our Fearless Leader. 😉
    Possibly the most laughable was a supposedly personal letter from Schaap-Hole himself, telling me he would be at a nearby church ,and that he was eager to “shake my hand.” I’ll just bet. 🙄

  3. The alumni associations of my Fundy Us have never contacted me. 🙁 I feel very hurt. Then again, my Fundy Us kept kicking me out, so maybe that has something to do with it …

    So anyway … yeah, I’ve got three of those durn accidental kids. Thankfully, we finally figured it out and got things taken care of. No more accidental kids and wifely duties galore. 😀

    1. We’ve gotten it figured out. 😉 If only taking care of it were so easy. 🙁 Between the two of us, there is: latex allergy, spermicide reaction, hormone sensitivity, and tremendous aversion (border-line phobia) of surgical procedures. 😮

      Le sigh.

        1. OHMYGOSH! I thought, “I have time to read ONE more comment before I leave this morning. Lets see what Miranda has to say…” SO GLAD I DID! I am leaving laughing. Always a good way to start the day. (Oh and sorry about the latex allergy)

        2. While your comment is hilarious, I think that’s probably the absolute worst way to discover that particular allergy. 😯

  4. We used to get “updates” from the Alumni club (whatever it was called) of HAC and then mysteriously for some reason we quit getting them. It was very weird. We were going through some marital trouble and I thought we were going to get a divorce. I told someone who also had gone to the college, and evidently the grapevine took care of the rest. The story ends well though. We didn’t get a divorce and never got invited to another Pastor’s Conference again. 😀

    1. It is called “The Bridge,” no doubt after that poem JH was always spouting about “there cometh one after me.” So, if I understand this correctly, if one remains happily married, one gets dropped from their rolls, but if one becomes widowed suddenly, one is nagged to death by these freaks? Sigh.

      1. I don’t know if they knew we didn’t get a divorce. I always thought it was because they somehow found out that we were about to. However, now that I think about it, that was about the same time we quit the fundy church we were slaving in, and it *might* have had something to do with the letter Hubby wrote upon our exit. I sure do wish I still had a copy of that. It was a work of combined genius. I bet the fundy big-fish/little pond pastor sent it on to the fundy little-fish/big pond folks at HAC and THAT may have been what did it… SO sorry for you though. :mrgreen:

        1. I feel your compassion, or as our new humor-buddy Miranda would say, BITE ME.

          Of course, JK!! 😉

          Or am I????? 😉

        2. Hehehe… you didn’t think that was sincere??? Ohhhh but it waaasssss… 🙄 😀 😉 😎 (Couldn’t decide what emotion to convey there with those little guys.)

    1. Yes, it is sickening. My husband got so mad that they kept asking us for money (how they kept finding out our address, neither of us know) that one time they sent a return envelope, for money of course, but my husband wrote “UNSUBSCRIBE” in big letters on a piece of paper and mailed it back to them. LOL We haven’t gotten anything else since. Maybe you could try it?

  5. This survey reminds me of an encounter I recently had with my old PC from BJU. We recently reconnected on facebook. She asked what I was doing and when I replied I was teaching in a public school she wanted to know if we lived in an area where there were no Christian schools. When I told her I attended a Southern Baptist Church and I was the part-time youth director. She wanted to know if I meant I helped my husband with the teenagers. She couldn’t even wrap her mind around the idea of me teaching teenage boys or being in charge of a group of teenagers. It really blew her mind when I told her my husband preferred to work in the nursery. So glad to be out of that environment where women have no value.

    1. So glad you’re at a church where you & your DH are allowed to use your individual talents for the Lord!

      At a previous church, I played for the services while my spouse led worship, though we would have preferred to switch roles. He’s muy better at the keyboard & I prefer song/worship leading. A woman’s place is at the piano, though. 🙄

    1. I don’t think this was from BJU; whose friendly churches are frequently without ‘Baptist’ in their names. BJU has Calvinistic leanings, and a large Presby contingent.

      1. If, by “Calvinistic leanings” you mean “tolerates Calvinists as long as they don’t talk about it too loudly”, then yes, BJU has “Calvinistic leanings”.

        And in my experience, the number of BJU-friendly churches without Baptist in the name is quite low. And if it has recently changed to something without Baptist in it, it probably won’t be BJU-friendly for long.

        BJU isn’t nearly as mainstream as it would like you to believe. But that’s just my experience.

  6. I don’t think OBC actually sends things like this out. And do you know why…because they don’t give a crap what anyone else thinks about them and what they teach. If in doubt, just ask them or sit in one of their services and they’ll be sure to tell you. 👿 🙄

    1. If OBC is Oklahoma Baptist College, I think that I may know the President there. He was pastor at a BBF church in Stillwater when I started at Oklahoma State in 1986. The sermon preached was “Why I Love My Pastor.” I got out of there fast and headed for the Southern Baptists, who actually had a ministry on campus. Shortly after, I got a job as organist at a large Presbyterian church where I got more money playing organ on Sundays than I did my salary at Maranatha.

      1. That’s correct. Sounds like you were there a bit earlier than I was though. 😳 😀
        Vineyard is a man that you can’t forget once you meet him or hear him. 😐

        1. I was thinking of the Rev. Sam Davison (or something close to that). I thought that he ended up in OKC that started a college. Bible Baptist of Stillwater had zip influence. Sam hated the University, and the University didn’t even know he existed. If he found out that I took a job as organist at the church that considered itself the “liberal alternative” to fundyism, he probably would have died. I know that he had correspondence with the Chancellor of Maranatha. B. Myron Cedarholm told him that I was coming.

  7. My fundy U could never send out such a survey. The alumni is either stuck in Fundy world or flipping burgers! Their motto was “teaching young people how to live not make a living”–mission accomplished.

  8. I once worked for Baptist Bible College in Clark’s Summit. (FUNDY lite) Their placement statistics for graduates historically was around 8% meaning only 8% of their graduates ever derived an income from ministry. Makes you wonder how many grocery store and UPS employees enjoy their 100k debt load. Stewardship? What is stewardship? Imagine any other insitution advertising you have an 8% chance of working in the field you payed 100k for?

  9. This is apparently a fundy hangup. I graduated from Houghton College with a BA in 1972. I’ve received a lot of stuff from them and started going to reunions when I moved to western PA in 1993. I taught for five years at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College (1976-81) and Maranatha Baptist Bible College (1981-86)before I went off to start my Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University. Both Pillsbury and Maranatha wanted my money, but even though I was on the faculty, I wasn’t invited to the insider’s club unless I could subscribe to a doctrinal statement. I fled from fundyism the moment I left Maranatha and have not been back.

    A lot of my former associates cannot conceive of how one can be a “saved” Christian and attend a Lutheran church and teach at a state university. It took me about three years to learn to speak without wispering and looking around to see if there were any potential informers around who would run to the authorities.

    I have witnessed others, some former colleagues, who got out around the time that I did, and a number took years to break themselves from the psychological hold that these people had on them. They couldn’t get beyond this link that following their standards equates being saved.

    1. ok, don’t take this the wrong way, but how in the world did you go from Houghton into being involved with Fundies? ***tries to remember which side Houghton was originally, Pilgrim Holiness or Wesleyan Methodist…crap I can’t remember and I don’t feel like wikipedia*** anyway, now that I think of it, there are ultra-conservatives from both sides, but I just find it hard to imagine anyone ending up in Fundy land after going to Houghton, but then I’m a child of the 80s, and have always been more familiar with the other Wesleyan colleges (even the one in Canada because they always sent teams to be counselors at youth camp, Houghton never did) <-realizes that sending ministry teams out in the summer probably makes Wesleyan colleges closer to fundies than I realize…

      1. Back in 1972, Houghton was probably more liberal than it is today. The faculty were pretty conservative, but it was a time when a lot of the old-timers were passing from the scene. The student body was quite liberal at that time. I was raised on the horrors of Communism since both sides of my family were Russian exiles who fled in the 1920s. I got involved with a fundamentalist Baptist church in the Lansdale area, and they convinced me to take a job at Pillsbury. I was teaching junior high school Spanish and English for four years before I jumped into fundyland.

        As someone who was teaching English and Spanish, I was somewhat outside the doctrinal mainstream. We were supposed to sign a doctrinal statement without mental reservations. I had several, but I kept my mouth tightly shut, and the issues never came up. I’m referring to things like seven literal days of creation and all that. At Easter and Christmas seasons (and when I felt a bit “homesick), I used to sneak off to the Russian Orthodox cathedral in Minneapolis. I never got caught.

        Again, I was raised both as Russian Orthodox and Baptist. I learned from an early age to do things quietly and never talk about it because people would not understand. If anything, I learned how to think independently and to avoid drinking the coolaid. And believe me, both sides of the spectrum have lots of coolaid to offer. There are radical loonies on both sides of the fence.

        Even though I am Lutheran now, I can sit in a Baptist church, and at the same time, I can venerate icons and light candles if I am in an Orthodox church without any conflicts.

        1. Hi Bob, I am glad to hear that you did well in your career (and life) after Pillsbury! After 20 years, I can back to Owatonna and now I play the organ at First Baptist (ABC, thankfully) and I am an official member of St. Paul’s Episcopal right across the parking lot. I need both traditions to keep my spiritual life in balance!

  10. I received one from my alma mater at the end of last year. I intended to fill it out honestly but kindly, but, um, forgot.
    Today, actually, the state university I attend currently sent me a survey that asks me to evaluate the university president. I’m not really sure if I’ll fill that out, mostly because I have no idea what kind of job he’s doing. Although he looked like he was having a swell time at the ballgame where I saw him last week.

  11. My girls-only freshman orientation meeting at BJU in 1991 included a survey. First we were treated to a special puppet show which was all about the boundaries between boys and girls on campus. (yes, I was a college freshman, not a kindergarten student).

    Then they handed out surveys which we were to fill out and then pass down the aisle for collection. The questions I remember were: How many movies did you go to last summer? Which movie was your favorite? Have you had sex? And, If you had sex, did you do it with a person of the opposite sex or of the same sex? 😯

    I guess they really wanted to know how vile of a background their new students were coming from… I wish I had pocketed that survey for future entertainment instead of handing it in.

    1. Jenn, are you SERIOUS!?!?! Of course you are, but that seems so invasive & demeaning, even for BJU. 😯

      I had a similar survey when I went to camp at the Wilds. 😮 In a moment of “rebellion,” I basically answered, “None of your business.” 😡

  12. The local Christian school was advertising for a secretary, so I picked up an application. They wanted to know the date I had been saved–right there on the application. I was so very tempted to write “Sometime in late winter or early spring between 3 BC and AD 3, as best I can ascertain” and see what happened.

    1. “From the foundation of the world.” Seems clear enough to me, if you’re willing to grant any validity to dating a relationship so clearly eternal, and therefore nontemporal

  13. My Fundy U kept harassing my husband and I via the USPS. The day I paid off my college loans (8 1/2 years after graduation – and of course Fundy U’s aren’t going to tell you that you shouldn’t go into debt like that) I had a brilliant idea to give a bogus forwarding address to said Fundy U. Instead, I gave them my mother-in-law’s home address and phone number since she thinks the Fundy U is still so awesome and obviously “the Promised Land.” Hahahaha! Haven’t seen an e-mail or piece of junk mail from them in over 4 months!!!!

  14. I can just imagine my former fundy church’s Bible college sending these surveys out and then ditching the “disagreeable” ones that are returned. This way they could boast in their glossy marketing ads that 95% of our reporting grads are in full time Christian ministry!

    Caveat Emptor

  15. Many, many years ago I received a survey from the fundy institution that I attended (for only one semester). They seemed to be probing for the reasons why I left. It was supposed to be anonymous, but on the return envelope there was a number that led me to believe they were tracing the results back to an individual. I didn’t bother to fill it out.

  16. I went to PCC for a year then transferred out (wow, 20 years ago now) and they kept sending surveys why we did not come back, they even gave us coupons for discounts if I would only return. They finally left me alone when I sent them their letter returned stating “You guys tried your best to kick me out when I was there, harassed me constantly and NOW you want me to come back? Why?”

    That was the last I heard of them.

  17. My kids attended PCC and graduated from the school. All through that time I received the Update every month. As soon as they both had graduated, I stopped getting the Update. Is that a blessing, or what?

    1. Hm. My parents sent 3 children to a Fundy U. 2 graduated, one transferred out when the chosen major was overhauled (overhauled = dumbed down; the U ditched the outside-educated main prof & were planning to pull someone whose only qualification was on the job training), but my folks still get updates & promo materials. 😈

  18. Ugh. I still get the “Update” unsolicited. When I see the pathetic politics and frankly brain-dead attempts at argumentation it makes me go alternately apoplectic and numb. I am so glad those idiots are the minority, or this country would be totally screwed.

  19. 😆 though i dont get snail mail anymore i still get email even though i have removed my self from all email lists about 4 times.. i think it may have something to do with my dad and stepmom working on staff there… i just delete as soon as they come into my inbox!!!

  20. So, retired gets rated higher than ‘day care’? Even though they are probably sending the surveys out to people who have graduated within x number of years and are therefore unlikely to be retired?

    Well, unless God really blesses them, I guess.

  21. I recently finished paying off my extremely high interest rate student loan from a fundy u, and wow, not 2 months later received an email from the alumni association asking for donations for bible conference. Amazing timing those guys have.

  22. Interesting how they had only “fundamental Baptist Church” and “Baptistic Church without Baptist in the name” and then others. where is the “Baptist church” option? Surely within the separatism world of fundies they are fully aware that there are Baptist churches that aren’t fundy.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.