Some organizations have questioned the legitimacy of the American Institute of Holistic Theologys degree programs. The AIHTs theology programs are indeed nontraditional, taking a nondenominational and interfaith approach to the study of world religions and spiritual traditions.
However, AIHT programs require students to complete rigorous study and demonstrate thorough understanding and competency in faith traditions and spirituality to earn their degrees. The AIHT is neither a degree mill, nor are AIHT degrees phony.
American Institute of Holistic Theology Accreditation
The primary reason that some individuals and organizations have questioned whether the American Institute of Holistic Theology is legitimate is because the school is not officially accredited. QuackWatch.org includes the AIHT on its list of questionable organizations, noting the college is not accredited by a recognized accreditation agency.
The AIHT is not a traditional university, and thus it is not accredited as such. The AIHT provides students with a spiritual education as opposed to a scholarly education that traditional higher-education schools offer. The school requires in-depth study of theology, but the focus of its programs is on spirituality as opposed to doctrine that traditional religion programs emphasize.
Located in Birmingham, Alabama, the AIHT is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, with religious education exemption granted by the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education.
The AIHT is a member of various spiritual organizations, which students can obtain membership in upon graduation. Some of these organizations include A World Alliance of Interfaith Clergy, American Association of Christian Counselors, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS).
Overview of the American Institute of Holistic Theology Programs
The American Institute of Holistic Theology is a distance-learning university. Upon enrollment, students are assigned a faculty advisor who helps them throughout their study and answers questions along the way. Students receive study guides and books for each course through the mail. Students work through the AIHT independent-study curriculum at their own pace by completing required reading, taking progress tests and final exams, and writing essays.
The AIHT e-learning college offers BA, MS, and PhD degree programs in holistic theology. Students pick the concentration for their program. Concentration choices include holistic theology, holistic ministries, holistic health and spiritual care, metaphysical spirituality, and alternate spiritual traditions. The masters and doctorate programs at the AIHT require a thesis and dissertation respectively.
The AIHT programs combine New Age spirituality with traditional religious study. AIHT programs require coursework in world religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism; indigenous spirituality; prayer and meditation; psychology, including Jungian dream analysis and interpretation; and ministry, including grief counseling and healing. All AIHT graduates have the option to pursue ordination through the American Interfaith Holistic Temple.
AIHT Spiritual Education
The American Institute of Holistic Theology offers unique nondenominational spirituality programs that traditional religion programs do not. Many AIHT students first complete degrees from traditional universities and then seek a spiritual interfaith educational journey. AIHT programs honor new spiritual wisdom that builds on ancient faith traditions and practices. AIHT graduates, like spiritual author and teacher Sonia Choquette, find their life path through careers as spiritual entrepreneurs, life coaches, consultants, authors, and other visionaries.
American Institute of Holistic Theology, AIHT.edu. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
Questionable Organizations: An Overview, QuackWatch.org. Retrieved May 5, 2010.