I heard back from the Verification Office at Liberty University concerning my unofficial transcripts. Surprisingly, they accepted three graduate courses from Nations University, but even more surprisingly, they rejected all three courses from American Public University!

What?

I was a bit flabbergasted, then, after reading the fine print, and after a few follow up emails, discovered what was going on.

Needless to say, I was on the verge of just calling it quits and continuing on my Unschooled Master of Theology program.

But, there were a few silver linings to take advantage of, so, let’s discuss all the updates pertaining to Liberty and my possible venture back into grad school…


Why Reject Grad Courses?

I thought there was a pretty good chance they would reject the graduate courses from Nations U. After all, it was an unaccredited, free online bible college when I attended. Yes, they are now nationally accredited and charge a yearly fee for attendance, but still.

I never thought, though, there would be an issue with the three graduate courses I took at APU. After all, they are a regionally accredited school, secular, yada, yada, yada.

Needless to say, I was shocked to see the email. I was actually working on my dock at the time, and my phone chimed (which it does whenever I happen to hit an internet signal – its very spotty at Eden). So I stopped in my tracks, sat down on the catwalk and checked to see what had just come in.

Sure enough. And email from Liberty. It took me a bit of finagling to get the PDF to display, since I lost the internet connection just about as quickly as I got one. But when I did get it on the screen, I saw three courses from NationsU approved for transfer, but nothing about the APU courses.

I immediately thought, “I need to go back to town where I have interest to find out what’s happening.” And then I thought, “I need to stop playing around with this and just do my uThM. I’ll be much happier.”

But, I settled on replying with another email, asking them about it. Even without internet access, the email will sit in my Outbox on my phone and when the internet is found again, it will send. So, write I did.

Within a few hours I had the answer. The classes were too old.

TOO OLD? What is that?

So, apparently, Liberty has a policy that they won’t transfer credits into their PhD program if they are more than 7 years old. But, I was applying for the MA in History program.

Needless to say, I eventually chose to pack up and had back to civilization to sort it all out. An hour and a half later, I made it back to my house in town, and settled in.

Applying for Admissions

The evaluators apparently did not read the email I sent very closely and either missed what program I was applying for, or my credits are still too old, even for the 10 year limit for the MA program.

But, the fact that there are perfectly good credits I’ve earned in another graduate program that are no good simply because Liberty has invoked an arbitrary rule against them is ridiculous.

That is their rule, though.

So, I started wrestling with the new number in my head for a master’s degree. No longer would it cost me $5500, but now $7000. It would cost an extra $2000 and an additional 3 more classes.

Did I really want to do that?

It would be one thing if all my credits were accepted and no roadblocks were presented. I could count that as a sign. But, I suppose that’s the fallacy of looking for signs.

By yesterday evening, I had made the decision to officially apply. The worst that could happen was it cost me $50 for the admissions fee if I chose not to matriculate (by not I would be saving between $7000-and $21,000).

So, I applied and this morning I got a call from an “admissions adviser.” He really had no new information for me. He basically just said I needed to fill out this form and that form and if I wanted transfer credits I would need to request the official transcripts from the institution. I could tell pretty quickly into our conversation, this guy would have no answers for me.

I spent the $35 for all of my transcripts to be electronically sent to Liberty. I claimed my Liberty account, got logged into the dashboard, etc.

I even got my DD214 sent to the Military Department in hopes they will accept the copy I have to secure the reduced tuition rate (if not, I’ll have to continue the process for a new DD214).

Now, I’m just waiting a final decision from the school on what credits they’re actually going to take as transfer.

Doubts this Will Work Out

In the end, I don’t really think I will end up matriculating into a graduate program at Liberty.

It is interesting how this has illustrated my deep interest in teaching. Not sure why that is. Maybe it’s a persistent echo, a groove in my brain that leads me back into familiar patterns over and over again. I know part of it is driven by fear that at any time I could loose the great job I have, one in which I would be hard pressed to find an equivalent.

In the end, say I got my MA and PhD. Would I really like teaching online? Would I even be able to find a job? These questions and fears all grow increasingly sensitive as I slowly come to the realization that I will not be able to hit the marks I was hoping for on the Eden property this year. There is simply not enough time in the summer season to get a shelter built and set up for winter testing.

But, this opens up the rest of summer for more enjoyable activities, like tearing down the shed and building new decks inside the tree line.

This winter I will be returning to my day trip schedule once every few weeks, and will likewise end up disconnecting the dock from the log and pilings and securing it on high ground for next summer, so it can be dismantled out of water.

This week I also found the two submerged pilings, and have adequately measured, and am confident the dock configuration I have in mind will work quite well. This means I’ll be keeping the ramp and gang plank up to the deck for the foreseeable future. If I can pull this off (no real reason why I can’t), I will have a really nice dock, deck structure by next summer, and well on my way on the future shelter. But, we’ll see what developments happen with grad school.

Just to think about it, what better place to go to school than sitting on my dock in a lawn chair as the sun sets behind the Western ridge, laptop on my lap as I finish a course assignment, or sitting by the campfire late at night, the Milky Way etched in inky white overhead, the faint glow of the laptop screen glimmering in the darkness as I work on my next paper. Of course, all the same things can happen, even if I’m not officially in school.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…


Please consider supporting my writing, my unschooled studies, and my hermitic lifestyle by purchasing one or more of my books. I’m not supported by academia or have a lucrative corporate job – I’m just a mystical modern-day hermit trying to live out the life I believe God has called me to. So, any support you choose to provide is GREATLY appreciated.


Excerpt from The Light Aurora:


The door’s lock released and Dr. Lewis looked around at each of them.

“Stay close, and be ready for anything. I’m not sure if they’re all in the Command Center or if they are trying to secure Level 4. Hell, they could all be evacuating.”

He stared at Scott as he came up onto the landing.

“Let’s go,” Scott said.

Dr. Lewis pushed the door open and walked out into the hall, followed by the others – in ones and twos.

Level 2 was similar to the other level, with a long corridor, doors on either side, all with security displays recessed into the wall next to them.

But, as they entered the corridor, Scott’s breath caught in his throat.

As he stood there with the others, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

In front of them, probably no more than a few yards away, were three bodies lying on the floor. One was sitting up against the wall, the side of his face melted, exposing his right eyeball and a good portion of his right skull.

Another one was laying face down, his entire back opened up at the spine, as if his spinal cord had been ripped out of him from behind.

The last one was a few more feet away from the others, on his back, his eyes seared from his head, black, burnt flesh where his eyes used to be.

The intercom came back to crackling life.

“Professor?”

Derrick said over the intercom.

“Don’t worry. You can answer,” he said. “I can hear you.”

Scott looked up, then fixed his gaze on the security camera at the end of the corridor.

“Yes?” Scott finally asked.

There was a pause, static.

“What are you doing, Derrick?” he asked. “Did you do this?”

“Indeed,” Derrick said, coming back on.

“Why?”

“They refused to help me.”

“What are you trying to do, Derrick?” Scott asked.

There was another pause.

“I want to go home, Professor,” the boy said.

“Home?”

“Yes,” Derrick said, his tone soaked with some other-worldly confidence that did not belong in an innocent, ten year old boy.

“I want to go home, Professor,” he said again. “Would you be interested in coming home with me?”


Buy the entire story The Light Aurora today and get ready for the thrill ride of a lifetime! What is this foreign and hostile place these strangers find themselves in? What does it all mean? Will all of them survive?

Click here and grab your copy today! All three books in one!

But, trust me when I say, reading this book will change your life forever.


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