All About My (Alma) Mater

Templar University was founded with one aim in mind: to provide intelligent people with credentials our society respects but which in fact often mean little or nothing. Today, an undergraduate (bachelor's) or even graduate (master's or Ph.D) degree helps very little towards one's success in career, social achievement and even quality of life. Most universities have become diploma factories where students squeak by and forget everything they've learned once they graduate. A famous comedian named Don Novello once parodied this fact with his character Father Guido Sarducci in a skit called "Five Minute University." You can read that here. For another funny take on the value of graduate degrees read this.

Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware

Templar University assumes that most people who have been interested in getting degrees over the internet are ambitious people who want to make themselves a little more competitive in the marketplace. There are many shady organizations out there who will gladly take thousands of dollars from you in exchange for an instant diploma. Like them, Templar University is a non-accredited university with no physical facilities. However, unlike them, we charge absolutely nothing for the service -- all we ask is that you tell us the answer to one question: What are the most important things you've learned in your life so far? You can write one sentence. Or a hundred pages. We're happy to hear what you have to say and will compile it (we will never mention your name unless you want us to) in a future project (a book and/or website).

What's in a Name?

Why are we called Templar University? Two reasons: We are affiliated with the "World's First Non-Religious Religion," The Temple of Earth, or TOE as it is affectionately known. TOE is a religion for rationalists and addresses nothing supernatural. The Temple of Earth contends that life, science and art are themselves a never ending source of mystery. You can visit TOE here.

The second reason is in honor of the historical secret society known as the Templars, or Knights Templar. As mentioned in many recent books, among them Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Foucault's Pendulum, and the hugely-bestselling The DaVinci Code, the Templars were a group of Christian Knights who's real purpose is still shrouded in mystery. Some say they were guardians of the Lost Ark of the Covenant, others that they protected a secret knowledge handed down all the way from Ancient Egypt, while most recently, the DaVinci code (a work of fiction of course) claims that they were keepers of an arcane Christian secret.

Now, Templar University is not at all religious, nor is it a secret society. Nevertheless, it aims to protect what it sees as a lineage of thought that continues to remain under threat more than two centuries after it was conceived: the lineage of rationality. Western society reached a dizzy peak of intellectual development in Ancient Greece, was carried on through the Roman Empire, and then succumbed to the power of religious illusion and superstition once more. During the renaissance and the enlightenment (1700s-1800s) it made a comeback and, as a popular movement, finally ran out of steam in the mid-1900s. Following WWII, which produced some of the greatest atrocities known to man, people suddenly began to distrust rational thought, blaming it for the horrors of Fascism, Communism and atomic weaponry. But to paraphrase Einstein, the growth of human power did not create new problems, only made old problems that much more crucial to solve. And the only way to solve those problems has continually been only with the unwavering power of rational thought.

Yet the academies of higher thought that should be providing this intellectual ardor have become playgrounds for narcissistic intellectuals that care more about publishing incomprehensible theories that don't hold up to scientific scrutiny. Students only care about doing the least they can to earn a diploma so that they can get a good job. Very little is taught and still less is retained. Thus Guido Sarducci's Five Minute University still seems a good deal. In his routine, he charges you twenty dollars for virtually nothing. We'll give you the same for free.

A Matter of Degrees

You may be surprised to know that most Doctors of Philosophy (people with Ph.D. after their names) aren't as knowledgeable as you might think. In the renaissance scholars were expected to be masters of a broad swath of human knowledge. Today’s Ph.D.s understand a very specialized sliver of the world’s knowledge. And in concentrating so many years (often 7-10) on that narrow slice means their knowledge of the rest of the world often suffers as a result. Consequently, many Ph.D.s are smart about very little while non-degreed seekers are often much better able to see the interconnections in the world around us: the big picture. This is why the caricature of the astute but clueless professor in an ivory tower has become much loved and joked about in many cultures.

Our society affords Ph.D.s special consideration, even allowing them to change their titles from Mr. or Ms. to “Dr.” Particularly silly Ph.D.s even refer to themselves, and require that others refer to them, as “Doctor,” despite the fact that most people assume this means they are physicians.

Templar University maintains that a great deal of non-degreed individuals have just as much knowledge and wisdom (often even more, though generally not as specialized) as most official Doctors of Philosophy, and would like them to be similarly honored. If you feel that you deserve such an honor, we would like to confer it upon you.

Graduate degrees are offered in many non-specialized fields. (Of course we don’t issue medical or law degrees!) You can choose from a broad selection of generalized fields. There's something for everybody!

c 1998-2005 Templar University