George has completed a college degree under the rigorous rules of a formal school. He has also completed many free Christian courses as he has sought greater knowledge and wisdom. What he would like is to earn a master's degree, and he would like to earn it at BFU.
We have made provisions for a masters degree at Bastiat Free University, and as an auxiliary of Junior Partner Ministries we can offer such a degree. But first I need to warn George, and you, of the conflicts and limitations such a pursuit may create.
Bastiat Free University is happily unaccredited and intends to remain unaccredited. This enables us to avoid the expensive and useless requirements that are road blocks to affordable learning established by government supported educational guilds. We have started free, we want to remain free.
- Bastiat Free University could not possibly exist in much of the world except on the Internet. It's diplomas will not be accepted by most governments and private organizations. BFU can be based in the United States as a result of it being part of a church, Junior Partner Ministries, and the US government is separated from religion by law. If BFU became a corporation we would be subject to corporate law and governance requirements - we will remain under Biblical governance instead.
- Bastiat Free University is experimental, we currently have a staff of one and a half (myself, and sometimes my son) and part time help or specialists hired as money is available. It is still early days for BFU, the education we offer is improving in quality, but is still less robust than we desire. We have therefore discouraged potential students from paying for courses in advance; encouraging them instead to enroll for no charge, do the work, and submit the work with payment when completed. No one has yet completed a full course of study and submitted payment. Many have subscribed to classes and profited - at no charge, this is a good thing.
- Bastiat Free University therefore has made no income. We would love to receive donations, even as a small encouragement; we provide links to give by credit card; as any set amount, as $5.00 a month, or with a form to make other styles of gifts such as by check and as bequests. To date we have received $15.00, ten of it from a relative that helped develop the school and was testing the donations links. Student's prayers and letters of encouragement have also been received and greatly appreciated.
- Bastiat Free University does not have money to grow and improve as we would like. This will be surmounted in time, for now we don't want to charge and that leaves us without funds to improve to where we would be comfortable charging. A puzzle that will be resolved.
Another problem for many will be the very structure of Bastiat Free University. Being student directed we do not have staff professors. We do not use standard, and expensive, college text books. We do not loom over students requiring compliance. We feel the authors of the books we use present their case well, a student that reads these books with an eye toward application will derive understanding of the subject. The required homework helps to increase retention. In many ways these classes will be tougher than a standard college course.
Applicable learning is least likely to occur when knowledge is distributed and temporarily held as a route through exams toward job acquisition. College is most frequently sold as a good career move, at BFU we feel school should be about learning instead. In essence - learning is most efficient, when pursed by a motivated student seeking specific knowledge.
The final hurdle to becoming comfortable earning a degree from Bastiat Free University is myself. You can find out about me in two places "An Aggrandizement Of Allan R. Wallace, or Allan R, Wallace in a nutshell," and in my biography. In short I am a life long learner, but without the patience to attend dysfunctional formal schooling. Even though I have an accredited bachelor's degree, and had acceptance and scholarships to pursue further education, I am glad I did not waste my time.
What then does BFU have to offer?
The pendulum has swung far enough. We are in that momentary pause before it retraces its accelerating route back through the mean and on to the other extreme. At maximum extension the educational process, and thought itself, has become a servant of the industrial age. At the other extreme we will return to allegorical myths concerning the why of life. Now we are consumed with discrete pieces of knowledge and definition of precise interactions, the what of science.
Because why is still important, Bastiat Free University is important. We are a vestige of gravity pulling society back to moderation from its seemingly nihilistic extreme. Education as it now exists is a structured model of indoctrination justified by weak excuses. Socialization, career enhancement, and promised better pay are the current rational for schooling, learning has been deemphasized.
Ok BFU serves a purpose, but what purpose could an unaccredited college degree serve if earned from such a remarkably non-conformist institution?
If the student is seeking to secure themselves a position in one of the shrinking bureaucracies of the prior age - attending BFU will be counter productive.
If you are a visionary, an entrepreneur, or a self directed individualist - BFU will offer degrees that you can earn to affirm your learning accomplishments. While BFU diplomas may have no value on a resume, they may open a few doors if used on your business card, they may save you feeling the need to proclaim "I have been extremely successful - even though I dropped out of school." Do the work, pay the small fees, accept the acknowledgment you earn.
Back To George.
Now that I have told you all the reasons you would not want to earn a diploma from BFU, I will offer you a way to earn a Bastiat Free University Master's Degree in Christian Education. This is for George only, If others register at no charge they will discover a 5 unit master's capstone course is available on individualized terms - these are George's terms.
You have looked over the classes of the BFU School of Theology, you know they are but minimalist presentations that need material added to bring them to life.
- Write a blog or journal such as this one to record your progress.
- Start editing and augmenting the School of Theology courses. Find video clips, sermons, sound clips, and interactive materials that will enhance learning - improving all the courses.
- Add at least one course following the BFU format in Christian Education with books you have read and material you have found or developed. Suggest changes in the format if appropriate.
- As a final requirement find a notable Christian leader and help them develop the core for a Master's course following the models already developed - books and concepts that helped them achieve their understanding of success. Finish the course with suitable learning materials.
We will discuss your thesis - choose a subject. Send us a copy of your transcripts and we will let you know how many other courses you need to complete the Master's degree. For your efforts there will be no charge from BFU, consider it an earned scholarship. Your costs will mainly be books and materials.
If you decline we will not be hurt, we did want you to know everything in advance. Let us know if you have further questions.
Thats it George, I've done all I can do to be honest. Pray and let God direct you from here.