Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pensacola Christian College and A Beka in the Chronicle of Higher Education

In the same March 24, 2006 Chronicle of Higher Education, there is an article on Pensacola Christian College that makes them sound rather draconian and Big Brotherish. I am aware of some possible bias, but it seems to me that PCC is beyond the pale. Encouraging snitching on fellow students for minor infractions and changing rules as you go don't sound to me like the way a Christian college should be run. I worked at a fairly conservative Christian college so I know what rules are for and like. But when you call Bob Jones University liberal, and won't let your students leave without signing out, it sounds to me like you are heading toward cult status. They claim Baptist beliefs, but are not part of any Baptist denomination. They developed A Beka curriculum, and that supports the college. I don't think I will allow A Beka in our house now. I'd love to hear some opinions.

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25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't make unsubstantiated judgements until you visit the place. Take a day and tour the college and the academy. I have personal knowledge of the place as one of my children graduated from PCC and is on staff now. If you don't like the place don't send your children there- Pick another college for them. Otherwise don't criticize PCC until you know something about their philosophy and mission. There are people and organizations that hate PCC and any other institution like it. PCC has to take extraordinary security measures to protect their staff, students and property from evil- both physical and spiritual. There are thousands of people there for whom PCC is a God-send. They are intelligent, competent and Godly people on a mission to glorify God and win people to Christ.

Robert M. Lindsey said...

Thanks for your feedback, I wish you left contact info. I'd really like to ask some questions about some things that seem over-the-top to me. I am aware that there is always at least two sides to every story, but it seems PCC has crossed the line of decency.

Susan said...

I've read the Chronicle of Higher Education article, and it exaggerates nothing. I'm a 2003 graduate of PCC who was homeschooled with the ABeka curriculum. I went to PCC when I had just turned 16, and at first I thought it was fine because I had come from a strict Christian home. I wasn't used to wearing dresses all the time, but I could handle that. I was well into my second semester before the atmosphere of the place started to weigh on me. By that time, though, I was already trying to justify anything that seemed wrong about PCC to myself. Students are told so many times that having rebellious feelings against PCC is rebelling against God. I kept all the rules and I graduated with honors. Because of the oppressive atmosphere, I considered leaving, but those who left were said to be leaving God's will. Anyplace out of God's will was supposedly very dangerous. Since leaving PCC, I have lost my faith. While I can't say for certain that I wouldn't have lost faith had I not gone to PCC, PCC was definitely an influence my losing it.
Additionally, although the ABeka curriculum itself seemed alright when my Mom used it to homeschool me, you may not want to support it. Several years ago, ABeka was sued for tax evasion because they claimed to non-profit when they were not. Now, just recently, Beka Horton has turned in creation scientist Kent Hovind for the same offense. http://www.religionnewsblog.com/16324/kent-hovind-trial-christian-college-leader-says-taxes-are-part-of-religion
ABeka Books uses almost exclusively student workers who are paid minimum wage. All student salaries go directly to pay the tuition; students never see any cash. Female students are not allowed to work off-campus and male students are quite limited in their off-campus employment opportunities. When one signs up for on-campus employment, one has no choice about where they will be assigned. I was very fortunate to work in the college library. Others were not so fortunate. I had friends who would be forced to work night shift at the print shop and go to class the next day. There were others who were injured at work and told by the Campus Clinic to go back to work because there was nothing serious wrong with them. Some students later developed complications from their injuries and had to withdraw from school. I wish I could better document this. I'm planning to do some more research into it.
Only within the past month I have been reading about cults and discovered that PCC has all the characteristics of one. I wouldn't have thought to consider it one while I was there, but everything I have read about thought reform techniques can be seen at PCC. Please contact me if you have more questions about PCC. ocelot1649@hotmail.com

Christopher Cobble said...

Hey, I'll be the first to admit that PCC has some absolutely stupid rules, and I'm also not a fan of the "turn other students in" rule. But about all this cult crap, it's completely stupid. Completely. Now, I've used the A Beka curriculum since 1st grade, and I just got done finishing my day of school today (I'm a senior), and I plan to go to PCC next year. Both of my parents are PCC grads, my sister is there right now, and I know tons of other people who go there. Ok, I'll say it: PCC is an extreme, right-wing conservative college. But just because you think the college has some...ok, a lot of ridiculous rules, doesn't qualify it as a cult. I believe, but well could be wrong, that their main goal in having the rules they have are to set guidelines for the students, so that they can formulate their own principles from a Biblical viewpoint. Another reason to have such rules would be to help people to learn to obey the government when they are not at college. No person, or college in this case, will be perfect. That's a given. But I think that it would be better to be safe than sorry when it's all said and done. One last thing.... I believe that having high standard is a great thing, because God has high standards. They aren't always easy or fun to keep, but it will be worth it all after this life is gone. If you think that PCC is a cult, you need to redo your research, because you are way off. Take it from a right-winger who argues for young earth Creationism and is voting for Ron Paul. You can contact me at christopher.cobble@hotmail.com, or message me on Facebook at http://profile.to/christopher.cobble.

Terri Val said...

As a former student of PCC, I feel the need to comment. I am aware of their so-called "philosophy" and mission"--- to take complete control of innocent men and women to fulfill THEIR needs as a business. Aside from the nursing program, NO classes are accredited. What does that mean? Earned degrees are INVALID out of private, Christian institutions. I am hesitant to say that I transferred out of PCC, due to the fact that no credits transferred to my current university.
And to Mr. Cobble, I pity you. You have known nothing but cult your whole life, therefore, it is not your fault that you see nothing wrong. Just wait until you reach the gates of Heaven and discover that your works to serve Pensacola have no bearing on your place there.
To Susan: I am glad that you linked together the similarities between Pensacola and a cult. I am sure that you have heard the righteously given nickname, "Pensacola Cult College." I am glad I left there before I allowed their evil ways to seep in my innocent pores.
To Anonomyous: It shocked me to read "take a day and tour the college." When I was at the college, I LOVED when visitors came. We are held less liable for rules if it is thought that we are visitors, the food is better, and the atmosphere is distinctly different. If you visit Pensacola as a visitor, the treatment and environment are highly inaccurate when compared to "normal" life.
To any prospective student--- beware. If you think it is normal to live where your every move is controlled, you have not been living in society. Ever heard of totalitarianism?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it most certainly is a CULT and my family and i were victims of it. Unfortunately my family has never been de-programed and i never believed any of it but was forced to go along with all of it because i was only 12 yrs. old when my parents got sucked in. My brother who is 8 yrs. older than me, was already in for 2 yrs. by the time we moved down there. It was HELL on earth. I was forced to go to the academy. Most of the staff peoples kids were the epitome of "privileged white America". With the girls, school was a fashion contest; the youth pastor told my parents i was "dabbling in the occult and witchcraft" because he didn't like me and i mostly wore darker colors all the time to hide the fact that my family was poor (and you can't tell if something in all black was purchased at k-mart or the limited). Pastor Sassy Pants (i'll leave out names to protect the guilty) also told my dad that he should really protect the other young people (Sassy's pets were the jocks and cheerleaders) from me and that i should be closely monitored...so dear ole dad started tape-recording my phone conversations when i was 13. I didn't drink, smoke, have a boyfriend, sneak out, look for drugs, nothing. I was an orchestra nerd and i loved to read. These were likely the only two things that kept me from attempting suicide. I was surrounded by RACIST BIGOTS at that prison. Their little bratty kids had no original thought processes of their own and would simply parrot every venomous, hateful thing their parents and college administrators would say about another race or religious group of people...even other Christian denominations. Did i mention they were Racist and ethnocentric? My few friends and i would joke that if Jesus came to town and held revival meetings we would all be forbidden to go...we knew they wouldn't really like his brown skin/nappy hair/strong semitic features, let alone anything He would have to say(!)and would very likely call Him some horrible name. Some people are leaders and some people are followers. Sadly, a vast majority of the people there right now are sheep. PCC is a place for people who need others to tell them what to do in order to function properly...it's certainly not a democracy there (nor is it a theocracy). There is SOOOO much more that needs to be said, but i'll leave you with the fact that the preacher's kid that i met there and married 2 years later left me and our 3 yr. old son. I had no college degree, no money, and no supportive family (remember the youth pastor had convinced them i was the devil incarnate about 12 yrs. before) I was physically abused by this man i married and my parents before that. THEY ALL BEAT THE JOY RIGHT OUT OF MY LIFE...for a while. I did, however manage to absorb vast amounts of scripture into my memory and learned to thank Heavenly Father for some really good lessons in how not to be. Interestingly i have met some Muslims and Buddhists in Pensacola that make better Christians than most of the people i ever met on that campus...now, how can that be?!?

Anonymous said...

Spot on. Not accredited, only a couple PHD (rest are just "fake" dr degrees including "DR" Horton.)

college is a joke. Went there, graduated, now I'm still trying to get over it.

Coco said...

Thoughts on the A Beka Curriculum:

I am a stay-at-home mom of a 3 and 1 year old, considering options for schooling. Being a follower of Christ, and having attended an excellent (though way too authoritarian) private Christian pre-school, I'm considering schools here that use the A Beka curriculum. However, as a well traveled, bi-lingual, african-american mother, who possesses advanced degrees and is married to an educator, I was puzzled and completely turned off by the following book description. Out of all the categories of people mentioned as being contributors to "Our America" no mention of the blacks/african-americans/enslaved africans who made countless brilliant and blood-forced contributions to building "Our America". If this is ANY indication of the type of content in this curriculum, I don't want any part of it. I don't want my daughter subjected to the same subliminal devaluing messages that I was by texts that misrepresent and ignore the great strength and diversity her ancestors have contributed to OUR country. It is an absolute offense to read descriptions like this. No wonder, by 8th grade, sitting in my Honors History, when asked by the teacher to name great civilaztions in Africa, a classmate confidently expressed, "There were no great civilizations in Africa"!!!

Anyway, This is the description of a book featured on the Abeka website.

"Our America
Second graders step back into history and learn what life would have been like in our country's early days. They learn the history of our flag and of patriotic songs and holidays and study the lives of groups that made valuable contributions to our American heritage: the Pilgrims, American Indians, early colonists, pioneers, cowboys, and immigrants. Geography is interwoven; review questions and activities throughout help to test comprehension. "

For the record, I wouldn't say enslaved Africans fit the category of "immigrants".

John Niggl said...

I think it is time that we discussed what really matters...the Bible. We can argue about our personal opinions, bias, and hurts all day long. In the end though, it is not our human opinions that matter. It is God's and God's alone. Today, Christians seem to have forgotten that. I am a senior at Pensacola Christian College. Granted, I do not agree with all the rules at PCC, but they are merely designed to protect the students from the evil of this world. All actions must be compaired with Scripture. What is Pensacola Christian College doing that is biblically wrong? We can mope about the injustices and hardships of life, seemingly caused by the so-called "cult" that is PCC, or we can choose that realize that there is "none righteous, no not one." All men in the world today are marred by sin. Even after salvation, the "old man" never leaves us. That is why Paul said, "I die daily." It logically follows that flawed men will at times make poor desicions. All people are unique and will not always agree with decisions made. It is also a characteristic of the "old man" to rebel against authority. That is why many, such as Susan and Terri, are angry at PCC. You have grown bitter. Hebrews tells us we should beware of the "root of bitterness" else it trouble us and many be affected by our bitterness. Your bitterness affects not just you. It affects your children and friends. I thank God for the discipline and training that I have received at PCC. The devil always vehemently attacks those who consistently stand for God's Word (PCC). Be careful that your bitterness is not an ax in the had of Satan attempting to hew a great landmark of Christian education. There will be much to answer for in the day of judgment if you have hindered God's plan for yourself or someone else because of your bitterness. By the way, Mr. Cobble and I are not counting on our works to have a "bearing on our place in heaven." It is our faith that is our hope of heaven. "For by grace are ye saved through FAITH...NOT of works lest any man should boast." I know that God's Word is right and true, and if PCC stands by the Word of God, most assuredly that is where I will stand too.

Robyn said...

I just wonder where the Hovinds would be right now, if Beka Horton had gone to them in a Biblical manner to get the tax problem settled with the IRS. If she did try that, I withdraw my concerns. But I have understood otherwise.

t said...

The rules in PCC are beyond ridiculous, I would definetely identity them as cultic. Please, just read the rules http://www.pensacolachristiancollege.com/rules.htm#MEDIA: then tell me what you think. If they are so devoted to god and his word, why don't they think it isn't efficient? They are ADDING rules that can't logically be associated with the bible. If a school won't let you attend another church, how is this not a cult? They obviously know they have alot to hide. It is not an enviorment conducive to building up a strong christian, a brain washed christian yes.

Jamie said...

I don't know why you would spend tens of thousands for an education that isn't recognized in society. You might as well get a degree in Basket Weaving. What is the benefit of enrolling. Even schools like DeVry admit their course don't transfer. Thanks for the help gang. Good comments from both sides.

Calming Tea said...

I stumbled across your blog. I completely agree. Abeka books will not come within an inch of my door any more. The controlling, legalistic, proud, arrogant institution, is not good for young people. Additionally we disagree with the college's doctrine.

Anonymous said...

My oldest daughter is in her first semester at PCC, and has called us up crying her eyes out! She grew up home schooling with Abeka. She is not overwhelmed by the rules, but by the fact that the students are so disrespectful and unloving towards eachother! They are encouraged to tell on eachother, and they constantly belittle eachother. This attitude is foreign to her, and she is now just avoiding everyone, althoug she is belittled for being in the room too much. I know the experience is new, but where is the Christian love and acceptance? My daughter says in just two months, she is losing herself, and her joy. She is lost in a school where there is constant judgement and critism. She was raised to love others as you want to be loved. She was raised not to focus on money and materials, which seems to not be so at PCC.
We knew that it wouldn't be easy before we sent her, but thought she could get through it, and the positives would outweigh the negatives. Now all we can say, is just make it through this one semester! She mentioned getting expelled on purpose...which would be so easy to do!
Any moms who can offer advice and prayers?

David said...

yes, I've heard of this college, and yes I agree that they're borderline cult status. They control who leaves the college and where they go, and punishments include isolation from friends, colleagues and even family members. Kinda reminds me of what happened in jonestown. In addition, their rulebook bans homosexuality so they are blatantly violating federal anti-discrimination laws. I mean, if a kid gets expelled because they're gay, they could have some serious legal troubles on their hands. I remain skeptical about their mission and they display cult-like rules and regulations, so they may very well be a cult. Oh well, these are grown adults and if they let a cult run their life thats their choice. I'd stay away from that school though, it seems like they're keen on making enemies and it seems like a place you'd read about in the papers because something bad or controversial occured.

Robert M. Lindsey said...

Actually David, as a religious institution and as long as they don't accept any government money, they can discriminate against gays.

Joe said...

i just got through writing a letter to my child's 1st grade teacher when i found her reading a story about a "great soldier" hero-type-Robert E. Lee. I immediately flipped through the book and notcied NO mention of the confederacy's secession from the Union because of slavery. I just surfed the web and came upon this blog. From what I have read in a few hours, I definitely see a hidden agenda on A Beka's part. I dont plan on having my daughter continue school there and was wondering if there was a better Christian/biblically based NON REVISIONIST curriculum that you would suggest? Thank you for your input.

Christian Parenting said...

What I really love about this blog is the very helpful comments of other people. Reading all those comments will teach you a lot of useful things. This post is so great.

Sri-Nic said...

I have a 6th grader and Kindergartner that I have decided to home school just this year. I decided on Abeka History, Science, and Health for my 6th grader. I'm being creative with my Kindergartner. I was home schooled from 6th grade through my Freshman year in high school so I am not completely foreign to home schooling. Well, my son is just hitting the middle of his Abeka History book and he came to me saying "Mom, listen to their teaching on Native American history". He proceeded to read a very glossed over Native American history.
Here is the thing. We are Native Americans (not Indians because Indians are people from India)and we know our own tribes history with white people (sorry, I don't know how else to phrase it). We also lived in Wyoming for a year and a half and there my son attended the public school system. They were taught a very open history of Native American and Settlers back in the 1800's. While I don't suppose it is necessary to go into a long, lengthy soap box speel here, I feel it necessary to say that to have such an "outstanding" Christian curriculum be so neglectful in teaching a TRUE history I am immensely disappointed. I decided to do some research on Abeka and I am finding some rather disheartening information.
I can guarantee that I most definitely will NOT purchase Abeka Curriculum again. They truly should be ashamed of themselves and their deceptive curriculum.

mike t said...

I am a student at Pcc. I am a senior. I love it here. When I was a freshman, I didn't like it so I would call home and complain about the rules. I would blame every problem I had on the school because a was immature and socially inept. I got into alot of trouble because I broke the rules (which were completely reasonable for a school based on God's word), not because the deans and teachers were out to get me. As far as racism, the stuff I was reading on these posts are laughable. I have yet to meet one racist. Not one in four years and I know alot of people. I'm not saying it's not possible that there may be a few here, but only barely if any, and certainly not any of the teachers or student life people. When I was a junior, I was kicked out because I broke rules. It was a bummer but I'm not blaming anyone but myself. The deans were really nice and caring. When I came back, they were way chill. Not a cult at all. Lots of fun. Other colleges r probably more fun but its not all about that. BTW it will be accredited in a few years. They r in the process right now. Call them up and ask about it. Anyway, I had fun here. There is no hidden agenda! Hahaha! U ppl make me laugh

No more said...

I attended PCC for one semester...I couldn't take more of it. While the facilities are excellent, the sense of distrust is overwhelming. You are very accurate in saying it is a cult...what else would you call an organization that monitors and controls every aspect of your life? And when I decided to trust a good "Christian" floor leader and confide that I had been raped at 14, I quickly became the campus outcast. After my experience there, I regret to say that I not only lost my faith, but still have cold sweats when I think of the school.

Anonymous said...

When God told Adam not to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, He did not left an angel to guard the tree. God wants free will to motivate men to love Him, but what PCC is doing s ridiculous. It sounds like Fascism or Nazism, where Hitler said that give me the textbooks and I'll control the youth. Plus, the worst part I notice about PCC's A Beka books is the logo they're using. Right, an owl. It's a Masonic symbol for the owl of Moloc, which symbolizes pagan wisdom. PCC, Bapist by name; pagan occult by deed.

kaylayhaiii said...

I went there personally and found this blog because I am doing doing research on the flaws of both Pensacola Christian Academy and the college. Although they have great intentions, students are nurtured in a very different way. Religion is placed into every single subject, students are asked EVERY DAY if they would like to accept Christ (after a whole year of the same question everyday, it gets old). PCA doesn't even teach all the facts in their history classes. Look on their website abekabook.com under the "Distinctives" tab, and you will see what I mean. Great school for elementary, but DO NOT let your children go after high school. There is no semblance of the high school experience at Pensacola Christian Academy. Teenagers miss out on many high school activities that have been talked up since they were little. No football games, no dances, no fun pep rallies, no fund-raisers, no volunteering. Even the most boring class trip imaginable. Just don't.

Anonymous said...

As a former PCC student, Im going to say DONT GO THERE. I'm a Christian, I love GOD and my faith is in Him only. I was in their nursing program and graduated with a BSN, I had the hardest time ever to get into Graduate School due to their accreditation issues. Once I got to Graduate School, I started to notice a greater respect from my teachers, more use of technology, and how they were RACIST towards me. I got in trouble several times for my accent and even comments about my "beautiful skin color". In all honesty NEVER did I feel comfortable living there, there were NO LOCKS on our doors and basically just about any person could interrupt your privacy.Being an international student and having a group called "Student Life" telling me that they were gonna send letter overseas to my Parents and Pastor regarding my poor behavior was NOT encouraging either! My mistakes oversleep and late to church (Keep in my I was a nursing student). I feel sorry for anyone that has to deal with those so called "christians" of PCC.

saint god said...

PCC is an Illuminati joke probably run by satanists. They are punking unsuspecting dumb Christians into attending their little Jonestown on the Gulf. They are probably busting a gut watching those students on hidden video. I just gotta lol.