Jill Duggar Dillard learns it is harder to become a real missionary than a fake midwife

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Imagine that. The Southern Baptist Convention has higher qualifications for becoming a missionary than the Midwives Alliance of North America has for becoming a “midwife.”

According to Inquisitr:

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are rejected as missionaries by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the International Mission Board (IMB) for lack of qualifications…

What qualifications are needed to become a missionary?

Why are the requirements for a missionary more rigorous than the requirements for a CPM?

To be a funded missionary of the SBC and IMB requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and between 20 – 30 graduate hours of designated courses, such as: Biblical Studies, Theology, Church History, Missions, Evangelism, Discipleship, Preaching, Interpersonal Relationships, etc.

Although Derick Dillard has an undergraduate degree in accounting, he has never taken a college-level religion course and has no graduate credit hours. Jill Duggar has never been to college at all. To qualify as the spouse of a Baptist missionary, she must complete at least 12 college credit hours by taking these courses at an accredited college…

There’s no shortage of people able to meet these qualifications:

churches. The SBC employees over 4,800 missionaries and 300 new missionaries were added just this year.

In contrast, Duggar Dillard has never been to college at all, but that hasn’t stopped her for earning the CPM, certified professional midwife credential. As a I wrote recently, CPMs aren’t real midwives, they’re counterfeit midwives.

The CPM is not a medical credential and it is a testament to its effectiveness as a public relations ploy that most Americans don’t realize it is a counterfeit midwifery degree. It is not recognized by the UK, the Netherlands, Canada or Australia because it doesn’t meet the international standards for midwifery education and training. Indeed, the US is the only country in the industrialized world that has a second class of counterfeit midwives in addition to real midwives (certified nurse midwives).

Imagine that you couldn’t be bothered (or couldn’t handle) the necessary preparation but wanted to masquerade as a midwife anyway. You could simply take a correspondence course, attend a few dozen deliveries outside the hospital, pay money for an exam and voila: you are a CPM. Actually, you don’t even have to complete even those minimal requirements. You can simply submit a “portfolio” of births that you have attended, pay the money and take the exam, and voila, you too are a CPM.

Indeed, the educational requirements for the CPM were “strengthened” back in 2012 to mandate a high school diploma.

That raises an important question. Why are the requirements for becoming a teacher of religion far more rigorous than the requirements for a midwifery credential which involves life or death decisions?

The answer is that the Southern Baptist Convention has quality standards for missionaries. Merely wanting to be a missionary isn’t enough. In contrast, the Midwives Alliance of North America has no safety or quality standards for their pretend credential. Their avowed aim is to allow any woman who wants to deliver babies to call herself a “midwife” regardless of what education she does or does not have.

The ultimate irony is that while trusting God is not enough to call yourself a missionary, “trusting birth” is deemed to be adquate for calling yourself a “midwife.”

  • Bart Wilson

    “The ultimate irony is that while trusting God is not enough to call yourself a missionary, “trusting birth” is deemed to be adequate for calling yourself a “midwife.”

    Boom. Drop the mic.

    • Daleth

      Oh snap!

  • Sue

    Thanks for this article.

    The missionary societies seem to understand that you can’t just go and be a missionary because you feel virtuous – you actually need to have skills to contribute.

  • namaste863

    The way those people have denied access to quality education for their kids pisses me off to no end. Everyone deserves it, and I guess not having the academic qualifications to be a missionary wife, let alone a missionary, is just another example of how these dimwits have completely fucked these kids over.

    • Lizz

      The thing I find weird is that with a few tests you can go to college as a homeschooled child. I went to college and I have a GED and some will let you as long as you ACT. There’s not a lot keeping any of those kids from going to at least a community college but some kind of weird issue with learning in “the system”.
      I’m a bit concerned that their telling their kids that going to college is somehow bad as a whole or that they have handicapped them so much educationally that they can’t even get a GED.

      • Mel

        If they want to go, many colleges will accept a home school transcript plus a standardized test like the ACT or SAT.

        With the Duggars, they’ve been told that:
        1. College is evil.
        2. You don’t need college if you have Bill Gothard’s 49 character traits down cold. People will be lining up to hire you.
        3. If no one wants to hire you, you should be glad. Real women stay home and real men start their own businesses to let them spend more time with their families.

        Practically, I strongly doubt the Duggars – any of them – could pass the previous GED test I tutored adults for between 2001-2014. In 2014, a new test came out that was substantially harder.

        The truth is that they will likely require substantial remedial courses in math and science and possibly in reading and/or writing before being able to take courses for credit.

        • demodocus

          Reminds me a little of a clearly fundamentalist family who stopped by the cafeteria (to look in on the interfaith church meeting) one night when I was waiting for my boyfriend to get off work. They were completely appalled about how our dorms were mixed (gender split by floor). So positive they were dens of iniquity. I secretly rooted for their meek lamb to have a massive rebellion in a few months.
          Like girls in all girl schools never end up pregnant?

          • Mac Sherbert

            Yeah, I went to an all girl school and guys weren’t hard to find. However, I’m not sure I would have wanted guys in my dorm. We had a lot fun and boys would have changed the atmosphere.

          • demodocus

            Oh, we had fun too, even without dating any of them. Me, I prefer a mixed atmosphere, in part because I’m more than a little tomboyish and hen fests exhaust me. My dorm was “the quiet dorm,” which probably helped.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Huh. My dorm in college was gender split by room. At least, it was at the beginning of the year. By the end, it was pretty well integrated, including some friends of the opposite sex sharing rooms without (as far as I know) anything more exciting than the occasional squabble about whose turn it was to order the pizza. It turns out that women and men can share space without turning into sex fiends.

          • demodocus

            *gasp!* The devil you say! 😉

          • I was in the only dorm that was segregated by floor. When it was a Catholic institution, that dorm was the nuns’ cells. No roommates suited me fine. We quickly had a rep as a study dorm. Older students preferred it. I was withdrawn and had rotten hours due to clinicals.

      • Allie P

        The wife of Josh Duggar claims she got her BA at 20, but what she really has is a certificate of “Christian education” given out by one of these online, unaccredited Christian schools.

  • Mel

    Jill’s been required to have something like 50 births under her belt (counting ones she watched) and wants to deliver people on her own.

    I didn’t want to, but I finally did the math.

    We’ve trained two herdsmen this year on the farm. Herdsmen are cattle workers who are trained to perform health care on the cows.

    Here’s how we trained two men to be midwives for cattle.

    1. Both men had worked on the farm with cattle for 5 years and 10 years respectively. During that time, they had seen 400+ cows for 1.5 milking a day. They learned what a healthy cow looked like. They learned what a sick cow looks like. They learned how to keep accurate medical and behavior files for cows. One of them survived the still epic “that time a calf was born in the parlor.” They can read cow body language.

    2. In the first few weeks for one man and 2 months for another, they worked under constant supervision during every procedure they completed until my husband felt confident and the herdsman felt comfortable. (Interesting point: my husband felt they were ready to go a few days before the herdsmen did. It’s a sign of understanding that your actions have real consequences, I think.) They started with the simple procedures like tail-holding for the vet, taking blood draws from the tail vein, rectal temps and urine samples. They also watched every birth that happened during their shift from appearance of the amniotic sac through a stable or dead calf. They learned what a normal birth looked like because they watched a minimum of 10 a week and as many as 10 a day.

    3. Once the guys were ready, they started the harder methods- ie methods that could go wrong – calcium IV’s, giving cows pills/oral drenches, tube feeding calves, breeding cows with AI, correcting malpositions manually and using OB chains. Again, my husband trusted their skill level before they did – but that’s ok.

    4. Finally, they learned the scariest thing on the farm – deliveries using the calf-jack. It’s scary because you are applying traction to a calf using something that looks more like a medieval torture device than a medical device. You can also break the cow’s pelvis if you do it wrong. They learned – and are doing great.

    Finally, they got the final seal of approval. My husband told them that if something goes wrong during a delivery, call the vet because the herdsman was as skilled as my husband so if he couldn’t do it, my husband would be as stuck. (Although, they can always call for moral support or an extra hand.)

    In short: You need 6-9 months of full-time on the farm training to be a cow midwife. That’s a minimum of 1,320 hours and about 500 births under supervision to move from 2 through 3. Calf-jack takes probably another 20 difficult births to get comfortable with…so that’s another 190 normal births to watch while waiting for the 20 tricky ones.

    Jill, you don’t have the training to deliver a cow. Don’t deliver humans. Baby humans matter a lot more than a calf.

    • Bombshellrisa

      But but but nature is ALWAYS perfect! It’s just those trained herdsmen that don’t trust birth that cause complications!
      I love your cow posts, and this one is one I wish I could up vote a million times.

      • Mel

        You’re right! We should trust the cows and trust birth!

        Oh, wait….

        I don’t trust the cows.

        Don’t get me wrong; they are fun to be around and relaxing to play “tap your nose” or “waggle your tongue” when I’ve had a long day. But they weigh up to 10x as much as I do. I held a bit of grass too long and a cow pulled my shoulder badly because she could pull much harder than I expected. Calves have sharp teeth and hooves – both hurt when you are bottle feeding them. Don’t ask what happens if your hand gets between a cow and an immovable object.

        Cows do respect relationships and hierarchies – they are herd members.

        Birth respects nothing and no one.

        Why the hell does anyone trust birth?

        • Bombshellrisa

          I think they haven’t actually taken the time to see how perilous birth is “in nature”. The breeder I got my dog from was also an L&D nurse and she sure as hell didn’t trust birth or nature. It wasn’t a warm and fuzzy experience, she was honest about what can happen and the common complications the mother or pups can have.

          • Some breeds are section-only.

    • An Actual Attorney

      Um, just thinking of even taking a cow’s rectal temp makes me skittish.

      • Spamamander

        Wait til you see a someone have to go “arm in”, as it were.

        • Charybdis

          I was shoulder deep in a cannulized cow’s rumenwhen it coughed. I got splattered with the rumen contents of a cow.
          Good times.

    • AirPlant

      I am currently trying to decide if googling “Cow OB Chains” will bring me anywhere that I want to be.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I…recommend against trying it.

        • AirPlant

          I want to know though. For Science.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            The pretest probability of the answer to your question being “no” is extremely high.

      • Mel

        A. Probably Not.

        B. If you do, try to keep in mind that the size scale of a cow is at least 1,500 pounds and a newborn calf weighs 80-100 pounds. The calf needs two front legs or two back legs coming first or they won’t fit through the pelvis. Once that happens, sometimes you need to help the calf rotate a few degrees to line the shoulders up with the broadest part of the cow’s pelvis. If you are lucky, the calf has enough wiggle room left you can use your arms to rotate the legs and the calf pops out. If the calf is in a bit more tightly, at an odd angle, or you are 5’2″ and trying to deliver a 120 pound bull calf, you need to pull in a direction that you can’t do while holding the calf’s legs with your hands without falling over. You extend your reach by looping chains around the legs and you have way more freedom of movement.

        The actual reason we use chains is because they are easy to clean, easily sterilized, can be knotted on the legs of the calf without getting too tight, and last much longer than the previous instrument which was rope or bailer twine.

      • Charybdis

        You should see the jack in action.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        1) no, and 2) if you enjoy employment, I would *not* google that on a work computer, though it would probably make for one of those “this one time, this idiot searched for…” IT department stories.
        Loosely related, let me offer a Clue, courtesy of a friend in HR, to those of you out there considering putting some really disgusting stuff on your computer.
        Firstly, child porn is not just illegal, but double-super-extra-special-with-cheese illegal in Russia.
        Second, yes, the Russian authorities have the legal ability to review your corporate laptop’s contents when you are entering Russia.
        Third, they take a seriously dim view of child porn.
        Fourth, when they contact your company to inform them of what was on your laptop, your company, if they have any ethics whatsoever (or a minimally-competent legal team) *will* tell the Russkies “yeah, no, we definitely did NOT okay that, if you could sent the laptop back once you’ve de-porned it/finished with the trial so that we can get our proprietary stuff off of there, that would be great, no, we have no intention whatsoever of funding our now-former employee’s legal counsel, our sincerest apologies for the former employee’s behavior, thanks for notifying us, have a nice day.”
        Lesson being, if you ever want some hilarious “this idiot did WHAT” stories, take an HR supervisor out for drinks.

    • This direct comparison to CPM training is profoundly disturbing. Have you considered doing a guest post for Dr. Amy?

      It comes down to: are you and your children more or less valuable than a dairy cow? (though male humans are a lot more useful than male dairy cattle, so there’s that)

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        I want that guest post, too!

    • Holy cow, I understood all of that! Thank you Incredible Dr. Pol!

  • JJ

    It is frustrating that people think they should get titles/opportunities in life without doing the actual hard work to be qualified.

  • FrequentFlyer

    If Jill’s parents had allowed her to have an “evil” secular education and encouraged her to go to college for a BSN followed by becoming a CNM, the mission board probably would have jumped at the chance to get her. The Duggars claim to want to share the gospel with the world and that being missionaries is such a great thing, but won’t let their children do anything that would prepare them for the job. I guess they are like people who treat natural birth like a religion. They refuse any education that might interfere with their world view and end up defeating themselves. Jill doesn’t have the qualifications to be a real missionary, so she can’t be sent by the church. The CPMs don’t have the qualificatons to be real midwives, so mothers and babies die or are injured and end up with more medical interventions than they would have if they had gone to an OB or CNM in the first place. If they really want to deliver healthy babies, they need to get real training.

    • Tired Momma

      Rumor has it that she wanted to be a NICU RN, but Jim Bob wouldn’t allow it. Seems the female dominated field of nursing is not fitting a woman according to him. But CPM was okay so she went with that.

      • Kelly

        I think it is sad how much power he still has over those kids even after they are married. They need to cut the strings and let them make decisions on their own. I told my husband that I would marry him with or without my parent’s blessing. Too bad, they love him more than they love me now.

        • FEDUP MD

          It’s not even internally consistent. I mean, even if you buy into that whole twisted system, once they are married, are they not supposed to obey their husbands? Doesn’t the Bible note that spouses are supposed to leave their parents and cleave to their spouse? It says honor your parents, but the vows say obey your husband. So why does he wield so much power over the daughters if they are now to be submissive to their husbands primarily? Why aren’t the sons in law telling him to fuck off? Why is he stomping on their supposed domain as heads of household?

          I just don’t get it. Even if you buy into the system, they are doing it wrong.

          • FEDUP MD

            I mean, we have a largely egalitarian marriage, and during times when I have needed support and/or protection (eg recovering from emergency c-section/PPH) my husband has had NO qualms about firmly drawing lines with my sometimes overbearing family when I have been unable to do so due to weakness, meds, etc. He would no more defer to my father when it comes to the workings of our family than to the man in the moon. Because you know, he’s a real man, who puts his wife and family first. Unlike these losers.

          • Kelly

            I know it is so very weird. I feel that Jill’s husband would let her do a lot more. He has been to college and his family seems way more normal than the other in-law families. It seems that her father still has a tight hold on her though. Maybe getting away will help.

        • I’m lucky. My family loves my husband and his family loves me. Heck, I love his ex-wife and her beau. She was quoted as saying to Chris years ago, “You didn’t tell me we were staying with your *fun* relatives!”

      • Angharad

        That’s so sad! I feel terrible for her because I’m sure she honestly believes she now has a legitimate qualification, one of the few things she’s been allowed to do with her life. I hope she is lucky and doesn’t kill anyone.

    • Liz Leyden

      Liberty University School of Nursing offers degrees up to a Doctorate.
      http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=188

      • FrequentFlyer

        You know it’s bad when Liberty U is to liberal and secular for your family. I wonder if Jill even got enough education from the Duggar’s version of homeschooling to get into Liberty or any other accreditted school.

        • Mel

          Based on what limited access I’ve been able to sneak from the homeschooling systems they’ve used, there is no way they received enough science education to keep their heads above the water in a nursing program.

          I’ve managed to get a hold of A Beka, some ACE and outlines of Apologia Science.

          I expected “controversial topics” like evolution, Big Bang and age of the Earth to be dropped or mangled and they were.

          What I didn’t expect was entire “mathy” areas of chemistry and physics to be dropped. The hardest math in chemistry – the capstone of the chemistry curriculum, actually – was converting the molar mass of a chemical to grams. I worked in a rough school district with teens who couldn’t read well and hated math passionately. I could give my students an unbalanced equation and the mass of one of the chemicals and ask them to tell me the mass of a different chemical consumed or produced in the equation. That’s an order of magnitude harder – and most college-bound potential nurses can do chemistry problems harder than that.

          They’d be in trouble.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Nursing math! One of my instructors told us that she and half her class were struggling to be able to get the grades high enough in math so they could get their degree. It’s not that they were stupid, it’s that the math is complex and the course work was challenging. That isn’t a bad thing.

          • Sue

            Math – one of the keys to avoiding drug errors.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Also being able to work out complex problems and work with formulas will help you develop your critical thinking skills.

          • areawomanpdx

            Nursing math: where you are required to get 100% on all your calculations tests or you fail the class.

          • Amy

            I’m a math teacher. One of my not-so-nice hobbies when I’m feeling especially snarky is to look up the math programs offered at some of these fundamenalist colleges. Hyles-Anderson, which makes the Duggars look moderate, offers a degree in “marriage and motherhood” and its hardest math class is vector calculus– something that we teach to some HIGH SCHOOL students.

          • Mel

            *blinks*

            I’ve always had a theory about the main academic danger of multi-generational homeschooling w/o college. I’m pretty sure that academic content would be lost each generation in a manner akin to genetic drift. Ann does pretty well at school, but is weak in science. Ann homeschools her growing family and writes blog posts about how kids can pick up more than enough science through unit studies – you know, you learn about Native Americans and make hominy and the process of making hominy counts as science. Beth, Ann’s daughter, grows up and home schools her kids, but now believes that science is simply the experience of doing science-y things and never even realizes that her kids are not receiving any chemistry or physics.

            Sounds like H-A did the same thing by hiring only H-A graduates….

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            In my experience, having grown up in a community of rather rabid homeschoolers, your theory is spot-on.
            Math and science are particularly neglected in the more extreme communities, partly because of intellectual/theological issues (see Big Bang, evolution, creationism, etc), and partly because the sheer illogicity of a lot of the stuff you have to swallow to be in a very cult-like atmosphere doesn’t appeal to those with advanced training in either math or science, so it’s a sort of self-selection.
            Me? I’m planning on homeschooling (thank you, lousy or obscenely expensive local schools), but once we hit high school math and science, the kiddos will either be taught by DH (advanced math degree), be tutored by someone who Knows Their Stuff, or be attending the local community college and getting a solid lab in the process. I know my limits, and (sadly–I always wanted to be a nurse) higher math and science are among them.

          • Kelly

            I have heard that this has happened with the Amish. They only go to school until about eighth grade but their knowledge is not on the eighth grade level that we are used to seeing in the public schools.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            It depends on your priorities, I guess. There’s are plenty of resources out there for teaching math/science/historical interpretations of the Bayeux Tapestry even if you yourself are hopeless in the subject. Khan Academy is a good one. It reaches math up to the Tailor Series. There are video lectures on YouTube which are literally an entire lecture series taped as if you were sitting in the room taking notes. There’s even complete curriculum with lessons taught and homework graded by actual highschool teachers. The resources are there so it’s more about where your goals and priorities lie than what subjects you as a parent and teacher personally excel at.

          • Allie P

            Some days I think a degree in marriage and motherhood might have come in handy. But I don’t think I’d want to be married (or mother) the way this school would teach me to.

          • Allie P

            they can’t include complicated math or science curriculums in their courses because of the way Quiverfull homeschoolers arrange their learning. By the time the oldest children get to advanced classes, they AND the parents are consumed with caring for the dozen or so younger children — the younger children are entirely taught by their still-minor older siblings, which is why the levels of illiteracy increase the younger you get on the homeschool chain.

          • Mel

            Many parents of varying religious backgrounds have difficulty admitting that they don’t know enough science or math to help their kids at school let alone actually teach them. The bit that scares me is that the homeschooling parents can create a sound-chamber where they all explain to each other why their kids don’t need math or science – or have picked up “enough” from studying other subjects and doing an activity every now and again.

        • Amy

          The fundie/IFB nickname for Liberty is “Liberal University.” That says something pretty big.

    • KarenJJ

      There was a mini-series shown on TV in Australia (going back a few years now…) called Brides of Christ that I liked. It was about a group of trainee nuns and follows them through a few decades. The protagonist gets frustrated at one stage and says to Mother Superior “is their faith so weak that it falls apart the second they hear a different opinion?”. Or something like that. I always liked that quote.

  • not that kind of baptist

    A minor quibble, but a couple times you referenced it as the “Southern Baptist Church.” The organization is the Southern Baptist Convention. A major tenet of the Baptist denomination is (or historically was) centered on the autonomy of the local church, so unlike Catholicism, there is no overarching governing body. The SBC does their best to overrule this, of course.

    • Trixie

      Correct.
      Nor does not this preclude them from going and being missionaries — they just can’t be SBC missionaries.

      • Mary

        Even if they met the qualifications to be SBC missionaries, I would be very surprised if Jill were permitted to practice midwifery while under SBC auspices. The SBC sends out real doctors and nurses as missionaries; they are aware of what medical qualifications look like, and the last thing they would want would be deaths at the hands of an SBC representative.

        • Trixie

          Oh, for sure.

      • AgentOrange5

        Most missionary organizations have qualifications similar to, or even exceeding the SBC required qualifications. So, I don’t think anyone is going to employ them to be a missionary. But yeah, they can always self-employ, just like the self-employed midwives do (the difference is, self-employed missionaries while ineffective, aren’t likely to kill anyone, unlike a self-employed midwife.)

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Thank you for pointing out. I corrected it.

  • NoLongerCrunching

    Brilliant.