Jasmine Baucham, CollegePlus, and Leaving Things Out

CollegePlus is a Christian organization that guides students through the process of getting online degrees through a state college in New Jersey. You CLEP, you take online classes, and anything with a lab you take at your local community college – and the whole time you have a CollegePlus (same gender) tutor/guidance counselor helping you. Oh, and a character training program you do on the side, which is a CollegePlus thing and not a requirement of the state college in new Jersey.

Vision Forum, which is not only against daughters going to college but increasingly against sons going to college, is a major supporter and partner of CollegePlus because CollegePlus allows students to get a real college degree without leaving home, and all through a Christian organization.

Well, today I read a promo for College Plus that I couldn’t help but feel was deceptive. It’s called “My Dad Went To Oxford and I Didn’t – Here’s Why,” and is written by a CollegePlus student whose father has a degree from Oxford. Here’s an excerpt:

I chose CollegePlus because I believe young people are capable of learning autodidactically (needs to be a word, so I’m coining it) and that, if you work it, you’ll be exposed to more avenues than you ever dreamed of through a CollegePlus education!

The implication is that this girl chose CollegePlus over Oxford – and is glad she did! And of course, this story is used as a promo. However, this feels deceptive somehow.

You see, Jasmine Baucham, the author of this promotional article, has actually written a manual on the importance of being a stay at home daughter, which is published and is still being sold by Vision Forum. I’ve written about it before. Here’s an excerpt from the product description:

By age fourteen, Jasmine Baucham’s little-girl dreams of becoming a mommy were supplanted by bigger visions of winning the Pulitzer Prize or an Oscar and appearing on Oprah. She began viewing the calling of home and marriage as second-rate. Then her world was radically challenged by the Scriptures, as she went from craving personal renown to craving to please the Lord through delighting in his design for the joyful home — an even bigger dream, she realized, than stardom.

In Joyfully at Home, Jasmine writes with verve and transparency about her own struggles and triumphs as a young woman, encouraging other girls to embrace a vision for the home as a hub of ministry and discipleship and as a training ground for life ahead.

And here are two promotions for the book, one written by Jasmine herself and the other by Doug Phillips’ wife:

Why do single young women choose to stay at home? Can they be fulfilled and content under their father’s roof? What do they do with their time? Jasmine Baucham has written a winsome, compelling, and hard-hitting book which will encourage and inspire all the women in your home! Joyfully at Home will challenge your thinking and help you honestly answer the really tough questions. —Beall Phillips

I want to encourage young women . . . to be enthusiastic and vibrant, purposeful and driven, meticulous and passionately focused in pursuit of the Lord’s will for their time at home. —Jasmine Baucham

In other words, Jasmine didn’t choose College Plus over her father’s Oxford education because CollegePlus offered autodidactic learning and “more avenues than you ever dreamed of.” She chose CollegePlus over Oxford because she believed that as an adult daughter she must remain under her father’s authority and that her purpose was to be a stay at home daughter. Going to Oxford was out of the question. Getting an online degree while living at home under her father’s authority, however, was a workable option.

I’m glad Jasmine is getting a degree. What I’m confused by is why CollegePlus would advertise itself in this way, as though Jasmine honestly chose CollegePlus over Oxford for some sort of educational benefits rather than because of her involvement in the Christian Patriarchy movement. It seems a bit deceptive.

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.


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