Dr. Who? – Televangelists With Fake Educations and Degrees

It seems as though every television preacher has a “Dr.” fixed to their names. What did these great giants of theology do to earn their Doctorate degrees? Typically nothing. Those who DID earn a degree usually did so from a fake school. In fact, most of them came from just 3 schools. Here is the run-down.

Update (9/21/2015): To clarify notes about accreditation. An institution is not deemed unworthy for simply not being accredited. However, the ones listed in this article are clearly known diploma mills. They sell degrees or have little to no standards for obtaining one.

They provide PhD level degrees to students with no prior education and will do so in 1/4 of the time it would for anyone else actually doing school work. None of them require any doctoral research or a dissertaion.

You also won’t find a list of their professors or single piece of academic work that came from the institution, its faculty (if they have faculty) or its graduates.

I highly encourage everyone to investigate any of these institutions if the data below seems too sensational.


Joyce Meyer Obey

“Dr.” Joyce Meyer 

Joyce Meyer has a few good things to say, but that does not mean she gets a pass. Any time you fake an education and then try to convince people that you have credentials it’s going to point it out. Sorry Joyce, you’re on the chopping block.


Documented education

  • “Earned PhD in Theology,” from Life Christian University. (Source)
    • LCU is an unaccredited school, by choice. (Source)
    • Notable Alumni (Benny Hynn, Ken and Gloria Copeland, and some lesser known preachers).
    • To be very clear, not being accredited does not mean your school is “bad.” However, LCU is widely known as a diploma mill. Meaning they have no standards for education.
    • They also give PhD level degrees to people with NO prior education.
  • Honorary doctorate in divinity from Oral Roberts University. (Source)
  • Honorary doctorate in sacred theology from Grand Canyon University. (Source)
  • It should be noted that somehow Joyce Meyer was able to “earn” a PhD having no undergraduate or graduate degrees to her name. Not only is this unfathomable but the education she did do is straight up deceitful! Why would any legitimate preacher need to fake doctorate? Obviously to fool people into thinking they are actually educated.

kenneth copeland“Dr.” Kenneth Copeland 

Kenny Kenny Kenny…. Where do we begin?
The shear duration of your career is impressive. Almost as impressive as your ability to go this long in ministry without reporting any of your financials to any organization besides the IRS. Not even to congress when they requested it. Defying congress! That Sir is impressive.


Documented education

  • “Earned” PhD in Theology, from Life Christian University. (Source)
    • Same rules applied for Copeland at LCU. Got money? Here’s your degree!
  • “Enrolled” at Oral Roberts University, but no degree earned.
  • Honorary DD. from Southwestern. (Source)
    • Southwestern is accredited but it’s irrelevant since he did not earn a degree. (Source)
  • Also note, that just like Joyce, he was given both an “earned” doctorate and an honorary doctorate without having ever completed any prior college degree.

Benny Hinn With Bible“Dr.” Benny Hinn

Let the bodies hit the floor!
Benny, you get paid to push people over; that takes balls. In fact, of all the wolves in sheep’s clothing, you’re the only one who chooses to wear white wool suites almost exclusively….. coincidence? Ironically, of all the televangelists on this list you were probably the one least needing a fake degree. No one ever cares if a faith healer is educated, just if he is “anointed”. I guess you’re just an over-achiever over-deceiver!

 Documented education

  • “Earned” PhD in Theology, from Life Christian University(LCU). (Source)
    • This is the same fake school that Joyce and Copeland went to.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Oral Roberts University. (Source)
  • Starting to see the pattern yet? Fake degrees from LCU and honorary degrees from ORU.

Kent Hovind“Dr.” Kent Hovind (Dr.Dino)

Kent Hovind: this guy is obviously a professional scam artist. If you can’t have credentials just fake them, and when someone catches you just make excuses about why “traditional” educational institutions are bad. He also taught us that if you don’t want to pay taxes then just don’t pay them. Oops, that second scam will get you in trouble with the IRS. Sadly, we won’t be hearing from Dr. Dino until he gets released from prison for tax fraud (update: he was released on July 8th, 2015). A bit of advice; if your organization does not have 501(c)(3) status from the IRS then you have to pay taxes like everyone else.

Documented education

  • “Earned” M.A & PhD. in Christian Education from Patriot Bible University. (Source)
    • PBU is another single building unaccredited diploma mill. It’s even less reputable than LCU. (Source)
  • B.A. in “Religious Education” from Midwestern Baptist College. (Source)
    • Midwestern Baptist College is NOT the same as the Theological Seminary, with the same name, and is completely 100% unaccredited. (Source)
    • Had Dr. Dino applied to a real doctoral school they would have made him redo his undergraduate work AND they would have required him him to complete an accredited masters program, as well as have a grasp on Hebrew and Greek.

A quick note on Patriot Bible: They will actually do correspondence courses but have zero standards. A copy of Dr. Kent Hovind’s dissertation can be located via google if you would like to see the quality of work required to obtain a degree. You can also download it HERE in PDF if you so desire. It would hardly pass for high school quality work. It’s not even a thesis style essay much less a dissertation. Not a single citation exists in the whole thing and he can’t decide if he wants to call it a book or a thesis because both are used in the text. Most often he refers to it as a book and even details it’s chapters. It is clear that this “thesis” is just the unpolished ramblings of a man who want’s a fake PhD.

T D Jakes“Dr.” T D Jakes

It pains us to put Jakes on this list. I personally really like you T D. You’re a straight talker. You provide hope and courage to so many with your bold style. Sadly, your credentials are straight made up. At least you call yourself a Bishop and not a Doctor. Of course, neither one of the titles are accurate but one of them is just offensive to all PhD holders.



Documented education

  • B.A., M.A., & D.Min. from Friends International Christian University(FICU). (Source)
    • FICU is not only unaccredited but somehow Jakes did 12 years worth of higher education in less then 5 years there. (Source)
    • Once again, I cannot state this enough, accreditation is not everything. However, this is another well known diploma mill. You don’t get 12 years of education in 5 unless it’s a garbage institution.
  • As far as I have been able to find, no honorary doctorate has been awarded to Jakes yet…..yet! Someone get Oral Roberts on the phone, they missed someone!

dr Creflo Dollar“Dr.” Creflo Dollar

Good night Irene! Creflo Dollar is not even trying to be sneaky. Creflo, you put “Dr.” on everything and your name is Dollar. If this isn’t a case for naming your kids prophetically, then I don’t know what is!



Documented education

  • Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Oral Roberts University. (Source)
  • According to the source above he also earned a B.A, an M.A., and a Doctorate, but his website failed to say where they were earned from. I am assuming that means he does not want anyone to know or that it’s a flat lie.
  • Other sources claim that he did in fact receive and undergraduate degree in Educational Therapy from West Georgia College, now University of West Georgia. (Source)
    • The University of West Georgia seems to currently be accredited by two agencies. (Source)
    • However, that does not mean that it was accredited before the name change and even if it were, Creflo’s degree had nothing to do with Christian Theology or even a related field.

perry stonePerry Stone

Perry is really one of the only humble men on the list that decided to stop putting Dr. on his name, even though early on I witnessed him using the prefix. Perry Stone has not published his educational credentials very often. He is also one of the only big time prosperity preachers that does not have a fake or honorary doctorate degree. He might have been the only smart on this list by quitting the fake degree track after just a 4-year degree. He was  the only one to realize that no-one cares if televangelists have credentials.

For now Perry is in the safe zone but if he starts using Dr. again he might need to be placed on the naughty list.


Documented education

  • “Earned” unknown B.A. from Covenant Life University. (Source)
    • CLU is officially independent and unaccredited. (Source)
  • He attended classes on and off at Lee University but never acquired a degree. (Source same as first above)
  • As far as I can find, he has no honorary doctorate degee.

Jack van impe“Dr.” Jack Van Impe

Good old Jack almost did not make the list. His most current information from his ministry website no longer lists him as Dr. Jack Van Impe. But lets not get too excited yet. He has, in the past, added the prefix to his name and quite often. He known for having large sections of the Bible memorized but no one told ol Jack that memorization is not the same as education.



Documented education

  • “Earned” PhD from Pacific International University in an unknown field. (Source)
    • The school had no class rooms and only did correspondence courses from a single building by unknown professors.
    • They had no educational requirements for incoming students and no degree requirements and no accreditation.
  • According to a few sources, Jack received an B.A. from Detroit Bible Institute, which then turned in to William Tyndale College, and more recently is no longer an active school. They closed their doors in 2005. (Source)
    • Detroit Bible Institute also graduated the current dean of the Divinity School at Liberty University. Liberty is the school founded by Jerry Falwell (another fraud). These guys run in tight circles folks!
    • To the school’s credit they were an accredited institution in 1960, after bought by Tyndale.
    • However, Van Impe and the gang all graduated in the early 50’s. In fact, they were some of the first students. Van Impe started taking classes in the 3rd or 4th year of existence. (Source)

Dr Mike Murdock“Dr.” Mike Murdock

Dr. Mike might the worst of the worst. This guy actually sells a “free” product called Miracle Manna. No, I am not kidding. It’s one of the most dubious Televangelist scams of all time. To his credit he did at least attempt an education at a real school. Sadly, he only last 3 semesters. “Wait, you mean I actually have do work and learn stuff? NOPE!” Mike, you don’t get the participation award unless you finish.

Documented education

  • 3 semesters at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (accredited).
  • Honorary Doctorate degree from International Seminary. (Source)
    • International Seminary in NOT accredited but their website tries very hard to convince students that “many” of their credits will still transfer to other schools that ARE accredited. (Source)

Rod Parsley“Dr.” Rod Parsley

If Rod Parsley was somehow related to Creflo Dollar I would not be surprised. I have never seen two people who could tie literally every sermon into “give me all your money.” If he can’t get you to donate to his ministry he will try to get you to give to his “school.” The irony is painful. Parsley has enough money to pay the tuition of every student that steps into the doors of his school yet he wants the poor people in Columbus Ohio to pay it for him.


Documented education

  • Earned B.A. in Ministry from Circleville Bible College, now called Ohio Christian University, which is an actual school (Source).
    • This means that up till now he is the most educated person on this list. Good work Ohio.
    • Even though it is a real school today, it did not receive ANY accreditation until 2006 when it was changed to Ohio Christian University. Rod graduated long before that. But at least he tried and finished a degree, even if it’s not recognized by an accreditation.
  • Honorary Doctorate from Indiana Christian University and Liberty University. (Source)
    • Indiana university was associated with Lester Sumrall and had zero accreditation until 2008. I am not sure that matters, though. He still holds a fake PhD.
    • Liberty University is an actual accredited university and they are currently the largest Christian university in the world! Regardless, its still an honorary PhD.

John Hagee“Dr.” John Hagee

John Hagee is the undisputed champion of education among the televangelists. Although it’s a rather low bar……. if any bar at all.

Here is the problem. Johnny, the degrees that you DO have are not related to anything Christian or biblical. A degree in education does not qualify you to teach the Bible anymore than an engineering degree would qualify someone to be a medical professional.


Documented education

  • Earned M.A. in Education Administration from the University of North Texas. (Source)
    • Not only is this a real accredited school but he actually completed the entire degree!!
  • Earned B.S. in Education and History from Trinity University.
    • Once again a real degree from a real school. Dang this guy is good.
  • Earned “Diploma” of theology from Assemblies of God University.
    • This school was absolutely not accredited and he never finished an entire degree here.
  • Honorary (Here we go again) Doctorate from Oral Roberts and another from some little unknown Hebrew school named Netanya Academic College.

Tim Lahaye“Dr.” Tim Lahaye

Tim Lahaye will always be known as the Left Behind guy. Sadly, the only thing that got left behind was his education. He is also one of the ministers on this list who have mysteriously “earned” a PhD without doing any graduate work and virtually no undergraduate work. Not fishy at all……



Documented education

  • “Earned” Doctor of Ministry from Western Baptist Theological Seminary, now called Western Seminary. (Source)
    • To be clear, Western Seminary as we now know it is a real accredited school. However, that happened long after Lahaye graduated and the school was bought out.
    • Also note that even if the school was well recognized a D.Min does not qualify him as a prophecy expert. Most D.Min programs focus on pastoral ministry only. In seminary its what we call the “easy doctor degree.” They serve only two purposes. 1) To become a better minister while furthering your education and 2) to get a cheap and easy “Dr.” affixed to your title and an accompanying pay bump.
    • In addition, it should be noted that no master’s degree was ever earned or recognized for Lahaye. How he earned a doctoral degree without a master’s degree is a mystery. It’s literally the most basic requirement of entering a doctoral program.
  • “Earned” B.A. in unknown subject from Bob Jones, in 1950. (Source)
  • Honorary Doctorate from Liberty University. (Source)
    • The only thing surprising about the honorary degree is that it’s not from Bob Jones. They hand those out like water in the desert, to anyone famous that they can.

kenneth-russell“Dr.” Kenny Russell

Kenny Russell runs a profitable Hebrew Roots program. Somehow he has managed to get the attention of some big players in the Hebrew Roots organization, such as Michael Rood and has even spoken at credible churches like The Vineyard. However, the ONLY public information that exists about his education comes from his own company’s facebook page where he listed his education as MUCH less than his title asserts. Below is the education listed by “Dr.” Russell.

Documented education

  • “Studied” at Tabernacle Bible College and Seminary (Source)
    • TBCS is accredited by two non-profit agencies that are widely known as diploma mill accrediting agencies. For a full list of these fake agencies see the list below.
    • You can tell they are fake even if you don’t see the list because 3/4 of the accreditation page on their website is an apology about why they are not accredited by a real agency. (Source)
    • They claim that SOME credits MIGHT transfer to real schools “Based on information provided by alumni and the institution, many colleges and universities have accepted transferred credits and degrees from Tabernacle Bible College and Seminary.

Here is the thing Kenny, if you have your education listed on your facebook and it’s nowhere near a doctorate degree, then how can you go around claiming to be a doctor? Isn’t that a sin? Isn’t that deceiving people?

denis-otero“Dr.” Denis Otero

Denis Otero has an interesting record. He’s been to a handful of actual institutions and actually completed some form of coursework. Yet all of these institutions were diploma mills and unaccredited. The funny thing is they have names remarkably similar to actual universities that ARE credible. Trying to deceive much?

Otero’s education is actually listed in abundant locations. He even claims to be the decedent of the Levitical Jews and is studying DNA at his current job as a professor… at the same fake college that he graduated from. A full bio and listing of his edication can be found on his ministry’s website, “Torah Unleashed“.

Documented education

  • PhD candidate in Doctor of Religious Studies, Trinity Southwest University and is currently as PH.D candidate (Source)
    • TSU us is another non-accredited school yet is tries to sound accredited. They are accredited only as a provider of continuing educational units (CEU). They are NOT accredited for actual degrees. They list later on that “TSU has chosen to remain non-aligned with respect to accreditation.“(Source)
  • Doctor of Ministry, Southwest University, Alb. NM
    • Interestingly, TSU and SW are the same school. The website lists them deceptively. The only schools in Albaquerque are TSU and a visual arts school. So it’s gotta be TSU.
  • Masters in Divinity, Trinity Theological Seminary Indiana/University of Liverpool ENG
    • TTS is actually better known as “Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary” and they are a distance learning school.
    • First let’s clear up that TTS is NOT a school based out of Liverpool England. That is a confusing note from Denis’ bio. TTS is a diploma mill based out of Newburg, Indiana and once had some distance learning classes in Liverpool. (Source)
    • It applied for multiple accredidations and they were all denied. They still remain unaccredited by any recognized institution.
  • Bachelors in Theology from the University of Albuquerque, Alb. NM
    • No reference is made as to what the degree was in but the U of A has been closed for a very long time. (Source)
    • It was a Catholic university that closed in 1986 and somehow this training provided Denis with the background to become a “priest” which he also claims to be.
    • Though, it seems strange since his facebook claims that he was ordained a Catholic Priest by the Episcopal church. That is not fishy at all. (Source)
  • “Diploma” in Biblical Studies from Hal Lindsay’s Light and Powerhouse Training Center in Southern California
    • It’s by Hal Lindsay…. the co-author of the Left Behind series. I won’t go into details about his defunct institution since it’s not a real school or a real degree but just a diploma listed.

John MacArthur

“Dr.” John MacArthur

As noted by Link Hudson (in the comments) one very well known reformed pastor has been putting Dr. on the seminary website he founded. I also discovered a number of youtube videos he put up bearing the title “Dr.”. (Video 1, Video 2) I am saddened by this turn of events because I thought Johhny M had some integrity. While he may have two actual real earned degrees, he does NOT have an earned doctorate degree. But why in the world would a well known pastor need to use the Dr. in his name if he has his own seminary? The truth is that he does so to appear more educated than he is. That is why the title is primarily used on his education websites and videos.

Documented education

  • Honorary Doctorate degrees from Talbot School of Theology and Grace Graduate School. (Source(s): Seminary Website, Degree 1, Degree 2)
    • Talbot is a fine school but John certainly did not earn a doctorate degree from there.
    • Grace is also a fine school with a real accreditation, his degree from there was not earned.
  • Earned Masters of Divinity, from Talbot Theological Seminary (Source)
    • Talbot is indeed a legitimate school and we applaud him for getting a real degree from a real school.
  • Earned BA in (unknown), from Azusa Pacific University (Source)
    • While Azusa is also a real school, I could not figure out what he actually got his undergraduate degree from.

List of FAKE Accrediting institutions

  • American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE)
  • American Association for Higher Education and Accreditation (AAHEA)
  • Accreditation Council for Distance Education (ACTDE)
  • Accreditation Council for Online Academia (ACOHE)
  • Accreditation Panel for Online Colleges and Universities (APTEC)
  • Accrediting Commission International (ACI)
  • American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions
  • American Council of Private Colleges and Universities
  • American Association of Drugless Practitioners (ADP)
  • Association of Accredited Bible Schools
  • Association of Distance Learning Programs (ADLP)
  • Association of Private Colleges and Universities
  • Association for Online Academic Accreditation
  • Association for Online Excellence
  • Association for Online Academic Excellence{{ad19}}
  • Board of Online Universities Accreditation (BOUA)
  • Central American Council of Accreditation (CACA)
  • Council for Distance Education
  • Council of Online Higher Education
  • Central States Consortium of Colleges & Schools
  • Distance and Online Universities Accreditation Council (DOUAC)
  • Distance Learning International Accreditation Association (DEIAA)
  • Distance Learning Quality Assurance Agency (DLQAA)
  • European Accreditation Board of Higher Education (EABHE)
  • Global Accreditation Bureau (GAB)
  • Global Accredited Council for Business Association (GACBA)
  • Global Accreditation Council for Business Education (GACBE)
  • Global Accreditation Commission for Distance Education (GACDE)
  • Global Accreditation Council for Online Academia
  • International Commission for Higher Education
  • International Accreditation Agency for Online Universities (IAAOU)
  • International Accreditation Association for Online Education (IAAFOE)
  • International Accreditation Commission (IAC)
  • International Association Council of Engineering Professionals (IACEP)
  • International Accreditation Commission for Online Universities (IACOU) (Kingston)
  • International Accreditation Commission for Online Educational Institutions (IACOEI)
  • International Accreditation Organization (IAO)
  • International Council on Education (ICE)
  • International Education Ministry Accreditation Association
  • International Higher Learning Commission
  • International Online Education Accrediting Board (IOEAB)
  • North American Distance Learning Association (NADLA)
  • National Academic Higher Education Agency (NACHE)
  • National Academy of Higher Education
  • National Accreditation and Certification Board (NACB)
  • National Board of Education (NBOE)
  • National College Accreditation Council (NCAC)
  • National Commission of Accredited Schools (NCAS)
  • National Distance Learning Accreditation Council (NDLAC)
  • New Millennium Accrediting Partnership for Educators Worldwide
  • Organization for Online Learning Accreditation (OKOLA)
  • Transworld Accrediting Commission Intl. (TAC)
  • United Christian College Accreditation Association (UCCAA) (Divine Heart)
  • United Nations Council
  • United States Distance Education & Training Council of Nevada (NOTE: A similarly titled agency, the Distance Education & Training Council (DETC), of Washington, D.C., is a VALID and RECOGNIZED online learning accreditation agency.)
  • Universal Accreditation Council (UAC)
  • Universal Council for Online Education Accreditation (UCOEA)
  • World Association for Online Education (WAOE)**
  • World Association of Universities and Colleges (WAUC)
  • World Online Education Accrediting Commission (WOEAC)
  • World-Wide Accreditation Commission of Christian Educational Institutions (WWAC)

If you made it this far, thanks for ready. Any mistakes can be reported to me through the forums!


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  • Link Hudson

    Why isn’t John MacArthur on your list, since he has honorary doctorates. I did a web search for ‘Dr. John MacArthur’ and most pages did not carry the doctor. But one for his seminary did have the title up in big letters.

    You could have someone with a graduate ‘real degree’ in your list. He has an earned Masters, but two honorary doctorates.

    Do you think it is immoral to receive an honorary doctorate, or just to use the title? How about if preachers with earned doctorates stop using the titles as well?

    • I think in general that honorary doctorates do not quality any one to use the Dr. tag. The same is true for most fields, not just theology.

      Could you imagine the insanity if Aretha Franklin, Ben affleck, and Puff Daddy started calling themselves Doctor? The amount of people in the world with honorary degrees just for being famous is ridiculous. 9 times our of 10 it’s just marketing. They want to tie the person’s name to that school for marketing new students.

    • BTW I will adding John MacArthur to the list………

    • The deed is done…..

  • Jabez Chronicler

    Got a couple additions for you…both of them hebrew roots evangelicals ..”Dr.” Kenny Russel who runs a hebrew roots shell company called gottalife that has around 200 subsidiaries …https://www.facebook.com/gottalife got his degree from Tabernacle Bible college and seminary which seems to be located in either a Florida strip mall parking lot or, an oil companies parking lot and his good friend and frequent guest speaker “Dr.” Denis Otero a former “catholic preist” who got his catholic ordination from an Episcopal Church ( who writes this shit?) https://www.facebook.com/Torah-Unleashed-108475126029291/about/?entry_point=page_nav_about_item&ref=page_internal ….. and who holds multiple “degrees”..ALL from known diploma mills or long defunct institutions http://torahunleashed.org/

    • Great work!! I’ll add them asap!!

      • Jabez Chronicler

        you’ve got to check out their teaching (rantings)!.. couldn’t stop laughing! Pure tinfoil hat stuff ! …especially their anti Catholic conspiracy theories

        ….. lifted straight from a Chick Tract for the most part ( Yeah, there’s a credible source!!) The sad thing is people believe this garbage because they want it to be true

        • Chick and his minions have ruined the witness thousands or even hundreds of thousands of Christians by making them believe that their mission is to KJVO the world. It’s sad when you think about all the good work they could be doing with their message rather than trying to convince people of some make-believe plot to altar the Bible.

          • Jabez Chronicler

            agree…all they do is discredit all of Christianity…making followers of Christ appear to be ignorant and hate filled zealots,giving those opposed to Christ lots of ammunition in the process. Who would rationally follow a god like that? Sounds more like a schoolyard bully that a supreme loving God. So very sad…. many will come in His name saying” Lord Lord , did I not cast out demons in your name/”… we all know what His reply was

  • Real fact checker

    Bro this is weak….#1 only people with mdiv’s bag on Dmins. You have no idea what it takes to earn one. At least the Dmins has some research portion. Ed.Ds do not. Southwestern AOG has the best accreditation you can get. All of their programs not only have regional accreditation, they hold programmatically as well.I respect your effort to flush out these fakes..they should be exposed. You need to fact check a bit better, found two other major errors about listed schools. One more error about a pastor finishing his degree.

    • Everyone I know with a doctorate in something other than ministry agrees. Even if you just look at the entrance requirements you will notice that doctoral candidates for almost all programs require a handle on Greek, Hebrew, and a 3rd language. They have steep GRE requirements, and significantly more requirements to graduate. A typical Dmin program can be finished in as little as 3 years, whereas a Phd usually runs 4-6 eyars.

      Of course it all depends on the school. But the difference is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that a Dmin is professional degree and the Phd is an academic degree. They are designed for completely different purposes.

      A Phd in anything Bible related shows that you are an expert in that field. Whether it’s Semitic culture, church history, or languages. A Dmin is designed to make you an expert in ministry and usually a specific branch of it. This is why when students turn to someone for answers about theology or the Bible they turn to a Phd holder, not a Dmin.

      If a Dmin a fluff degree? Maybe. It depends on where you go. But is typically as rigorous as a Phd? Definitely not even though some exceptions exist.

      I agree with you on Southwestern. I goofed on that organization. I updated the article to reflect this today.

      • Real fact checker

        That’s not right and you know it. It’s clear it’s not a fluff degree. Would you call a Dmin from an ATS seminary fluff? Or a RA seminary fluff? Is a JD fluff? A JD takes two to three years. My bother did his at U of H in 2 years and 2 months. Is that a fluff degree? I’m just saying I would consider a person with an MDIv an expert. I would surly consider someone with an DMin one as well. The classes are the exact same at Southwestern for both, yet instead of a research based dissertation you have a project based on you congregation. FYI many students have completed PhD’s in only a two or three years. If you have the cash and can pay for a research aid and editor (which most do) it takes a large part of the burden off of the student.

        Don’t go along to get along.

        • I never said it was always used as a fluff degree. If you want to become a better minister then it’s a fine choice. But often people get a subpar Dmin to get the Dr. attached to their titles. But compared to a Phd it’s clearly less rigorous. And yes a Dmin from an ATS or RA seminary would be fluff compared to a Phd in an academic field.

          Your comparison to a JD is irrelevant since they are not actually doctorate level degrees. A JD is a graduate level degree but not a Phd level. Yes I am aware that the title of JD is confusing but I didn’t name the degree,

          I would consider someone with an Mdiv to be proficient and professional but I don’t know about expert. It’s too broad of a degree to be a real expert in anything. I say this having an Mdiv myself with a concentration in biblical languages.

          But once again, a Dmin and a Phd have two different purposes. A Dmin is designed to make you a better minister. A typical class list can be found on many seminary websites. Here is the class listing from Fuller…. https://sites.google.com/fuller.edu/dmin/course-schedule

          But a Phd is an academic degree which is designed to make you an expert in your field of study. There is a huge difference between the course work. There is a reason why seminary professors have Phds and not Dmins and it’s because a Phd prepares you to be an expert in an academic field, not and expert in a professional field.

  • Cheryl

    Most of these charlatans could be exposed for hypocrisy by a nine year old. More than exaggerated educational achievements, their actions and antics expose them. 1 john 2:15 says don’t love the world, but most of these clearly are not only in love with it, but deeply so. The prosperity gospel teaching should set off every red light, bell, alarm, siren, and whistle inside any true believer because it is in direct conflict with 1 john 2:15. Just like the pharisee’s of old who loved to strut around in fancy garments, making long prayers and being in cohorts with the Roman government…so too do these long for the admiration of peers, and important position and rank. They are, most times judge, jury, executioner… sole head of every governing body and financial oversight groups for their flock. I have heard it said that God wouldn’t have let them rise so high in popularity unless he was with them. Uhhhh, have you read Jude lately? The danger is in the following. Perry Stone, I do like. He is obviously a man who studies. No one could have the insight and revelation that he does unless he loves God and studies his bible. Some of the ones you discuss may mean well, they may have a burden for souls, but the love of this world will demand priority at some point. Prestige means invites to mega-churches; invites to mega-churches means big pay-days, big pay-day’s mean television contracts, television contracts mean perpetual big pay-days. Joel Olsteen learned this the hard way; Oprah and the world gang demanded a different stance on same-sex relationships than the stance that Paul (and Christ) had on them. He KNEW the truth, but the truth was suppressed for expediency. Congregational numbers, and potential walk-aways, preacher rankings and potentially lower collections be damned….There will be homosexuals in heaven. Huh???? WRONG ANSWER Joel!!! The enemy of our souls will exploit our love for this world to change doctrines. Hello. Anybody besides me connecting the dots? The only credibility the man of God needs is for him to be credible and faithful to his savior and creator.

    • The sad thing about these fake pastors is that their adherents will follow them to the moon and back. They have given money and resources often that they can’t afford in hopes that God will make then wealthy. The only reason these televangelists are wealthy is because they take money from gullible people who don’t know any better.

  • ikungfuyou2

    Most of these schools are legal entities, (last time I checked) we have what’s called a separation of church and state in this country. The author of this article is more than likely a leftist religious bigot with problems with people of faith (namely those who done pray or vote the way he would like). Most of these people don’t even use the honorary degree titles they are given, no one says anything about Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, or other notables honorary doctorate degrees. Very sad.

    • admin

      The separation of church and state has nothing to do with religious leaders scamming people.

      “The author of this article is more than likely a leftist religious bigot with problems with people of faith”

      I am not sure why pointing these scam artists have anything to do with politics or being a leftist. In fact, it was a republican in the senate (Grassley) who initially began the probe some 10 years ago into these scammers. And no I don’t care how you vote or practice your faith. This is about mega wealthy people taking advantage of people by pretending to be educated.

      “Most of these people don’t even use the honorary degree titles they are given”

      If you read the entire thing you would see that most of these people not only have honorary degrees but they also have fake “earned” degrees which is more problematic. And yes, those most certainly DO use their honorary “Dr.” prefix to sell books, DVDs, and provide an over-all appearance of being educated.

      “no one says anything about Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, or other notables honorary doctorate degrees.”

      The issue isn’t whether they have an honorary degree, it’s the fact that they refuse to differentiate between it and a real degree. Plus, Bill Cosby never used the term Doctor to describe himself and Michael Jackson never used Dr. to make himself seem educated.

      Televangelists who put Dr. before their names yet have no actual education do it for only one reason… to seem legit and educated so people will buy into whatever they are selling. It’s a scam. It has nothing to do with politics and brand of theology.

  • pamdee

    To Justin

    An honorary degree sometimes means lifetime achievements have placed you at a level that is recognized by schools as satisfactory of that honor. Like Abraham Lincoln. No one would say he’s not worthy of a J.D., even though he never had a formal education. Or if Mozart or Beethoven had no degree, surely, any music school would want to honor them. What the world does for theirs, anyone who successfully operates in the gifts of the spirit in ministry and is recognized by God as superior, mature, and operating in the mysteries, can be recognized by their peers. Jesus was called the great physician, but He had no doctorate degree, but I am sure He healed more people than any doctor.

    I’ve been to law school (didn’t graduate), but I would not be able to enter the same room as some of the founding fathers who were self-educated. But God called me a Christian Strategist(had never heard the term, but now that I have seen another, I am relieved). That doesn’t mean I am ignorant, because I know the founding fathers were smarter than me…but I recognize and honor greatness. I could be a part of mensa and the high iq society, but for me, God took my broken mind and filled it with His glory, so I would rather have 10 honorary degrees, than the two I have (and one I’m working on), because it means you have lived a life worthy of man’s and probably God’s recognition.

    I apologize if you feel I meant you had not seen someone raised from the dead, I meant me. I am standing in line, following my men of God. Praying God says you go get your doctorate too, because in my mind I equate it with new power. In this season, God appears to be asking America to line up like Israel. If they consider degrees mandatory, so should we, honorary or otherwise.

    I respect everything you say, by the way.

    • I understand that sometimes an honorary degree is given to honor a great person or a lifetime of great work in a field. But often they are also given simply as a means to use someone for PR. For example, Kanye West has an honorary doctorate but it has something to do with him being a musical genius and enduring to do with that educational institution being able to link his name to their school for bragging rights and PR.

      Now, if a televangelist got an honorary doctorate from an accredited theological seminary or a well respected school of theology I would not include them in the list. But everyone on this lihad with honorary degrees got them from diploma mills or from joke schools like Oral Roberts.

      I would also add that adding a DR. To your title when you only have an honorary one is deceptive. All honorary doctorate should be noted in the title because otherwise people assume they actually have an earned doctorate…. And trust me, there is no comparison.

      Before entering and accredited doctoral program you’re required to know Greek, Hebrew, and a third biblical or theological language. That’s before even getting accepted. These televangelists are completely unequipped to discuss theology on any academic level. They don’t know the history, the culture, the customs, the language, or the transmission of the biblical texts and its setting in history.

      I would submit that even a first year student in bible college could do the task of theology better than the crooks on TV trying to take everyone’s money.

      I do not mean to sound harsh and I know you believe these people are great prophets and theologians but they are not. Can God still use them? Of course he can. But don’t be deceived. They have no authority to teach the Bible to anyone and they do a terrible job when they try, which is why not a single televangelist is affirmed by any accredited theological institutions.

      • pamdee

        I really do understand what you are saying. Oral Roberts is actually ranked by U.S. News and World report at number 50 in regional colleges. My daughter wanted to go there and so did I. As far as I know, Brother Copeland has never used his title. He just uses brother. I prefer Jesus to Paul, who said call no one your father, teacher, or leader, because God is your Father, the Holy Spirit is your teacher, and Christ is our leader. So, though he may have the title, in the years I followed him, everyone called him brother.

        Once again, I judge no one who uses these titles, but I prefer Jesus teachings when there is a conflict that I haven’t figured out. The entire bible is true, but we give weight in order of our preferences.

        But you have given me much to take before God, and I appreciate listening to your perception of the situation, so for that I thank you.

        Be blessed.

        • I believe you mean well but I would also suggest that you should dig a bit deeper into the US News ranking. A regional college is ranked by the other colleges in that region. It’s probably fair to say that being # 50 in that region is not that good. Let me explain. That region of the country does not have a lot of colleges to begin with. They have a lot more universities. Furthermore, this “news” outlet has a well known bias towards Christianity and Republican politics…. which means that they left a lot of colleges off the list because they are not conservative colleges.

          Oral Roberts IS at least accredited by the ATS but they are known for teaching “Word of Faith” theology which is why they give honorary doctorates to televangelists. However, this theology is rejected by 99% of theological schools. They also hand out honorary doctorates like they are candy. They even gave an honorary doctorate to Kermit the Frog. Nothing they produce is respected in the world of higher education. Many of their “professors” are under-educated or they were educated within Oral Roberts. This is why no one takes them seriously. They cheat on credentials on every level.

      • Doug

        I knew the artist Grandma Moses when I was a boy (I’m not kidding); she and my grandmother lived in the same small town and were acquaintances way back in the early 1900s. She was awarded two honorary doctorates for re-introducing folk art into American culture. She was a humble (but blunt!) little old lady who would have been horrified at the thought of being called “Doctor.” It was an honor, not an academic attainment.

        Robert Frost, the poet, attended both Dartmouth and Harvard but never graduated from college. Over the years, he was awarded 40 honorary doctorates, but he never called himself “Dr. Frost” or insisted that anyone should. Late in life, he had his doctoral hoods taken apart and turned into a large patchwork quilt!

        This “Doctor” stuff is nothing but ungodly posturing. If you earn a fully accredited doctorate, and want to wear the three velvet chevrons on your pulpit robe, by all means go ahead. Otherwise, stop purporting to be something you’re not.

        • Doug

          I should add that I used to be acquainted with a pastor (a seminary grad) who, after years of great ministry in a prominent church, was awarded an honorary D.D. by his college alma mater. They gave him the robe with the three chevrons, but he never, ever asked that he be called “Doctor,” and the honorary degree wasn’t referred to in his church bulletins. I had a lot of respect for the guy because of that.

        • admin

          Agreed 100%

  • pamdee

    An honorary degree is not a fake degree, it is an honor bestowed because of favor from God or man. You can have a million degrees and not be anointed because of pride over your degrees, or a fake one and be very anointed because God did not care where you got your degree, only worldly people care. God is the God of loopholes…I have found to be true. There may be some pride of life, but if they are raising people from the dead, and you are not(not that I know of any of these who do, with the exception of Benny Hinn, who is anointed), go stand in line for your degree too. I’m going back to get my doctorate because the two people I know who raised people from the dead have theirs. And my daughter, who God called to be a prophetic evangelist, was told to go overseas and get hers.

    • You don’t understand the issue. It’s not a matter of “anointing” it’s a matter of deception. Would you like to go to a medical doctor with only an honorary degree? What about hiring a structural engineer to check your house with only an honorary degree? A person who claims to be educated and an authority on the Bible should ACTUALLY be educated as they claim to be.

      The fact of the matter is that these false prophets acquire these fake credentials in order to deceive people….. people like yourself who don’t have the means know they are fake.

      How how would you possibly know if I or anyone else has witnessed or participated a rising of the dead? Do you know me? Have been to the ministries that I’ve been a part of? I would love to know how you would know anything about me…..

      And I don’t believe for a second that any televangelist has raised anyone from the dead. And if the had it had nothing to do with them being anointed and everything to do with God exercising His authority on the earth.

      • pamdee

        Posted your reply in the wrong area. Basically it said if Mozart, Beethoven, and Lincoln could be considered in my mind worthy of honorary degrees, the body of Christ moreso, because we affect nations, economies, and spritual life and death.

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    • admin

      Faking a degree is the same as lying…… Which is not how a Christian minister is supposed to operate.