Patriot Bible University
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Patriot presently offers correspondence courses aimed at training students for Christian ministry and bills itself as an affordable way to obtain diplomas and certificates in various religious studies. As of June 2011, Patriot offers Associate, Bachelor, Master, and Doctor of Ministry degrees, as well as non-degree certificates. It "serves more than 400 enrolled students with a graduating class of 50-100 each year."
As a distance learning outfit, Patriot obviously has no campus or classrooms. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it also has no teaching staff. Instead, it is "curriculum-based learning rather than professor based classroom teaching," whatever that means, with a faculty of one: the Holy Spirit. Literally.
Patriot has been accused of being a diploma mill due in part to accusations that its present accrediting institution certifies fake schools, the poor quality of the "PhD thesis" done by Patriot graduate Kent Hovind, and the unsupervised and extremely limited self-directed coursework available to students.
Patriot Bible University was founded in 1979 by Baptist pastor Lonnie Skinner as "Patriot University." It was originally located in Dallas, Texas but in 1985 associated with Hilltop Baptist Church in Colorado Springs and merged with American Christian University.[note 1]
At one point, Patriot was accredited by the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions (AAATI). Even guides to online Christian study recommend against schools accredited by AAATI. In 2008, Patriot changed to Accrediting Commission International, which has been reported as accrediting fake schools. In their words, "Success comes from how you apply your education and not what accrediting agency has certified your education." Some people would disagree. It is, however, approved by the Colorado Department of Higher Education to issue Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees. However, it is only given a "Religious Authorization," which means "A bona fide religious postsecondary educational institution which is exempt from property taxation under the laws of this state and whose degrees or diplomas have no state recognition." For what it's worth, Patriot is rated A+ by the Southern Colorado Better Business Bureau.
As of June 2011, Patriot offers Associate, Bachelor, Master, and Doctor of Ministry[note 2] degrees as well as non-degree certificates in various areas of study centered around Christian ministry and education.
First year tuition for 12 courses is a mere $699 USD. Masters programs run $1399 and Doctorates run $1899. Patriot keeps tuition affordable by forgoing luxuries such as academic supervision (no professors!), infrastructure (no campus to maintain!), structured coursework, and standards in degree granting. Institutions with physical campuses offering more substantial coursework presented by qualified faculty are much more expensive. A PhD in Theology & Apologetics from Liberty University, a fundie university that's actually accredited by responsible outfits, would cost at least $23,000. Study towards a PhD or Master's degree from a properly accredited university will typically cost around $10,000 per year in tuition alone at a public institution or considerably more at a private one.
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The following are examples of courses offered at Patriot Bible University:
- GB 101-Basic Bible Doctrine
- NT 131-Gospel of Mark
- CE 205-Controversial Truths
- CE 212-Sunday School Growth
- CE 301-Biblical Discipline of Children
- CE 404-Excellence in Teaching
- PM 111-Following God's Will
- GB 403-America in Bible Prophecy
- GB 405-Christian Warfare
- GB 411-God's Wonderful Promises
- CM 203-Jail Ministry (perfect for alumnus Kent Hovind)
- CC 111-Christian Family
- CC 105-Overcoming Obstacles
Other classes and resources
Yes, PBU actually offers a few "science" classes in its Christian Education degree program. Their science classes are less scientific than BJU's "science" programs, if that's even possible. Courses include Bible and Science, Physical Sciences 1 & 2, and Biology 1 & 2.
BibleInstitutes.org is an associate group of PBU. They offer Bible training and start up kits for Bible institutes; they support Young Earth Creationism and credits from Bible institutes started through them are transferable to PBU.
- Dr. Dino received an MA in 1989 and a PhD in 1991 from Patriot, both in "Christian Education." His doctoral "thesis" became a smash hit among creationist watchers for its slothful scholarship and rambling, poorly written narrative style. Hovind received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Patriot in 2013 while in prison and made his dissertation that claims the second coming will happen in 2028 available online.
- Their website
- Piece of Truth - Ken Hovind's defense of his alma mater.
- http://www.patriotuniversity.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Catalog-Course-Descriptions.pdf- Catalog
- Not to be confused with this American Christian University, which appears to be an unaccredited online correspondence school.
- The Patriot D. Min. is not a research based credential but simply a correspondence certificate going by the same name. Among institutions accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools, which accredits many legitimate and highly regarded theological seminaries, the DMin is offered as a practical supplement to "enhance the practice of ministry for persons who hold the MDiv degree and have engaged in ministerial leadership."
- St. Petersburg times
- "What About Other Accrediting Agencies?"
- "Quackwatch" on ACI
- Degree Net on Fake accrediting agencies
- It shouldn't cost $40k+ to earn a Bible degree -- and at Patriot it doesn't! patriotuniversity.org.
- Liberty University's Online Ph.D. in Theology & Apologetics The estimate of $23,000 is based on a full-time blended course of 54 credit hours charged at $425 per-hour. This does not include additional fees.
- Average annual tuition and fees, total price, amount of aid, and net price for all full-time graduate and first-professional students, National Center for Education Statistics.
- Etc., etc., etc.
- http://www.2peter3.com/Books/What%20on%20Earth.pdf What on Earth is about to happen… for Heaven's sake?: A Dissertation on End Times According to the Bible page 4