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 dissertation. 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.
UPDATE: Due to high demand I have created a canonical list of pastors and teachers with fake educations. It is almost 100 people already. You can read the list and add to it at this link. However, the listing is not quite as in-depth due to limited time for research.
Canonical List of Pastors & Teachers With Fake Doctorates
“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.
- “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.
“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.
- “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.
“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!
- “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.
“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.
- “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.
“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.
- 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
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!
- 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 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.
- “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.
“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.
- “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 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.
- 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)
“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.
- 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.
“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.
- 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; then called Southern Bible Institute (operating in conjunction with the Richey Evangelistic Temple).
- This school (according to people closer to the situation than I) was a Bible Institute that was accredited by a Bible college agency of some kind but not regionally.
- It appears as though Hagee likely transfered away from this school rather than completing his diploma. Based on the fact that he has a B.S., I am assuming he transfered, not merely dropped out.
- Honorary (Here we go again) Doctorate from Oral Roberts and another from some little unknown Hebrew school named Netanya Academic College.
The education record of John Hagee is slightly difficult because he has dates listed for his degrees and no dates for his Bible training in SBI. The Way Back Machine contains a snapshot of his education Bio from his personal website in 2002. The following quote is from his own website in 2002.
Dr. Hagee attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas on a football scholarship and was on the Academic Dean’s List. He graduated with a B.S. in 1964. He also attended North Texas State University where he received his Masters Degree in 1966. In 1989 he received his Honorary Doctorate from Oral Roberts University. His theological training came at Southwestern Bible Institute near Dallas where he was President of his class and a member of the College Concert Choir.
It seems as though he probably did not graduate or it was something other than a diploma that he earned. It’s also no clear when in his educational career that he attended this school.
“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……
- “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.
“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.
- “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?
“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“.
- 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…. 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.
“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.
- 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, but 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
- 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 reading. Any mistakes can be reported to me through the comments
151 thoughts on “Dr. Who? – Televangelists With Fake Educations and Degrees”
Thanks a lot for this wonderful article, I learned a great deal from it!
Where’s your list of legit accrediting agencies? And why are they different, or what is the difference?
There are a number of good agency lists on the internet already but in general most places in the USA seek accreditation from ATS. It’s the biggest and most well known accrediting agency. However, ATS is not specific to Christianity. A popular Christian agency is TRACS. I would also note that there are far fewer legitimate agencies than illegitimate.
As one who actually earned a Ph.D. from a SACS-accredited public university, I knew these cats could not have found time to earn a doctorate. I just didn’t realize how pervasive. I used to suspect that Martin Luther King, Jr’s doctorate was “honorary” but it turned out to be legitimately earned and I thereafter held him in far greater esteem. BTW, what’s the story on Jesse Duplantis?
I actually just made a much longer list in which Duplantis is included. As far as I can tell he only holds an honorary Doctorate from ORU. No surprise there.
Honestly speaking you are losing site of the goal in life !
Don’t worry about all the external factors! Worry about your own salvation!
Also making money isn’t a sin !
Ask King David !
Warning people about scam artists is the right thing to do. I don’t applaud pastors that purposefully lie to the public
Also, no one is claiming that having money is a sin. You’re making a straw man argument
You will meet your maker !!
Generally and over all. Academics is academics. Fake degrees are exactly that … Fake. Most of those who brandish their fake title of Doctor are so obviously Scripturally illiterate it is almost amusing. However, I must point out that there a many (too many) legitimate Drs. of Theology … and students of theology … posting some of the most stupid and ridiculous writings I’ve ever seen. Examples: “The Bible is NOT the Word of God, only Jesus is.” And my almost favorite, “The Bible did NOT die for your sins.” Can you tell me, what ANY Bible believing Christian could possibly say, that would make a theology student respond with, “the Bible didn’t die for your sins?” I asked that question on another theology blog and the reply I received was, “that was a statement to those who worship the Bible instead of God.” Really? Then I asked the same question “What could a Bible believing Christian possibly say, that would give a theologian (or a theology student) the impression that they worship the Bible “instead” of God? My reply? I was banned from the blog. Please, at least admit that there is indeed such a thing as academic stupidity.
I would agree with you that obtaining a real degree doesn’t eliminate stupidity. However, it does decrease a significant amount of improper theological thinking. Most seminary students leave thinking drastically better than they arrived. But some students don’t keep up well.
As for the word of God debate, I think it would be difficult to state that the Bible isn’t the word of God… Although, many would argue that the Bible contains the word of God, but itself is not 100% equal to the word of God. There are a number of instances of opinions in the Bible that are clearly of the author only and a number of discrepancies that cannot be harmonized.
I would echo the sentiment that some Christians do tend to worship the Bible and not Jesus… They usually go on long pointless and misinformed diatribes about modern Bible translations being evil, etc.
But should you be banned for having a dissenting opinion? If course not. Anyone who bans dissenters are weak and should leave the kitchen.
You’re welcome to disagree or agree with me all you want.
This is interesting. Would you be able to tell if International Miracle Institute is a fake institution? They are accredited by one of the organizations listed on the fake list of accreditation teams. I knew someone who was able to get an AA, BA, MA, and Doctorate all in one year, same exact date. I wish there was a list of institutions that are considered degree mill.
No matter what any school claims… Nobody can achieve a 12 year education in one year. It’s a sham
James, “How are these ministers being (called) liars or (for) doing something wrong when their degree is legitimate in the eyes of the state government? ” Really?
Try applying to a state registered or accredited academic institution for higher education, or to teach there, with their ‘bible school’ pieces of paper and see how far they get. Then, get rejected on basic academic grounds because of some ‘conspiracy’ by Federal and National/international institutions? Really?
There are some religious school who are honest enough to state that their credits will not transfer and that their ‘accreditation’ is limited to certain ingrown religious communities only.
Admin, ” It seems that you don’t understand what accreditation is used for and why it exists…” Spot on!
No apology necessary!
After taking a few minutes to lookup James’ email address, it appears he might be offended because he also takes part in an organization that hands out fake degrees. It appears that the organization is led by Ludwig Otto.
This Ludwig Otto character also seems to have a host of deceptive degree listings and his website bios are absolutely outlandish. Here is the “about” blurb from the BCU website. Never have I seen such a trumped up bio from a collection of nothing.
* Senior Pastor of 5 Churches & President of 3 Universities (The 3 universities are all fake and he founded them.)
* Undefeated Professional Boxer (He boxed 6 matches, 3 of the opponents were in their debut match, the other 3 had boxed only twice.)
* Honorably Discharged U. S. Army Officer (Not sure why this is noteworthy)
* World Evangelist (Not a high bar. I’ve been on mission trips in other countries. Am I a world evangelist now?)
* Radio Talk Show Host & TV Performer (Still not impressive. What show was it? What was produced?)
* Computer Industry Pioneer & Multi-millionaire (I could not find what he actually pioneered but it looks like it was in the 60’s. However, he did start a successful PC repair/service company.)
* Political Leader & Consultant (Not really true. He ran for office once and did not get elected.)
* College Professor & Administrator (Of a bunch of fake schools and a few community colleges)
* Insurance Senior Executive (Not sure why this matter. It’s a job that anyone can apply for without prior experience)
* Newspaper & Book Publisher (Could not find a single thing they printed.)
* Internationally Acclaimed Author (How many books sold? I can only find one and it looks like 3 people have read it)
After doing some more digging I was able to find his education listed on his old campaign webpage.
Fellow, Oxford Graduate School – Humanities and Religion (This is NOT Oxford in UK. It’s a tiny school in Tennessee that also goes by the name Omega Graduate School. Both are frauds. Here is the address: 500 Oxford Drive, Dayton, Tennessee 37321)
Doctor of Ministry, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary – religion, philosophy, and counseling (This is a real school that I highly doubt we graduate from since they don’t have Doctorate degrees that include “religion, philosophy, and counseling”. I assume it was a standard D.Min program and that his focus was in those 3 areas.)
Master of English, University of Dallas – literature and rhetoric (I assume this is legit)
Master of Liberal Arts, Southern Methodist University – history, philosophy, and literature (Seems legit.)
Master of Divinity, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary – religion, history, philosophy, and counseling (Legit school but MDiv students don’t have 3 concentrations)
Bachelor of Arts, City University of New York – mathematics and physics (Awesome)
Bachelor of Law, Blackstone School of Law – Constitutional and Business Law, Legal Ethics and History (Good for him)
Now that that is out of the way….. it looks like James likes to associate himself with and man that runs a number of sham schools. I am sure Ludwig Otto and his followers are nice people and they believe they are providing the world a service. But fake schools are still fake schools. Don’t had out fake degrees and I will leave you alone.
A school can’t issue a degree unless it’s authorized by its state government. If state law gives an unaccredited religious school the right to grant a degree, why is it wrong or shameful for any minister to earn a degree from that school? How are these ministers being liars or doing something wrong when their degree is legitimate in the eyes of the state government? I think people are being accreditation snobs looking down their nose at fellow believers. How could you shame the body of Christ before the world simply because you put a value on the opinion of the federal government and the education monopoly?
Accreditation in this country only started because a bunch of schools got together to make a trade pack. Later, the federal government got involved in validating schools because of GI Bill funding after World War II (It was about federal $$$). Now we have the Department of Education telling believers what’s a legitimate biblical education. How is that a good thing?
I would rather earn a degree from an unaccredited school that’s authorized to issue a degree by their state than to have a degree from some liberal accredited school like Harvard. These top accredited seminaries have Muslims teaching in their seminary and claiming that Islam and Christianity worship the same God. How can you call that a quality education? Liberty University and other accredited “Christian” schools allow yoga classes (eastern mysticism) on their campus. A growing number of accredited Bible colleges are becoming too worldly because they are beholden to the federal government that feeds them $$$$’s through FASFA.
Give me an excellent independent, unaccredited Bible college any day over these liberal religious institutions. Accredited colleges are government-protected monopolies that overcharge innocent young people for liberal indoctrination. I am not advocating for fake schools that require no course work and only wants money for a degree, but there are real schools with real course work offering legitimate degrees. Nothing is wrong with these real Bible centered schools simply because they don’t have the seal of approval from one of the accreditation cabals.
What’s shameful is not the ministers who hold a degree from an unaccredited school authorized to issue degrees, but the scandalous gossip taking place on this blog against fellow believers. I guess they didn’t teach about gossip in your accredited colleges.
It seems that you don’t understand what accreditation is used for and why it exists. Accreditation has nothing to do with WHAT is being taught. I could open a school teaching people that the world is being ran by hybrid human/lizard race and still get an accreditation. The accrediting process is to verify that the faculty are educated in the field they are teaching in, that study requirements are being met, and all kinds of ethical rules are recognized. You can read the ATS manual at this link. ATS is a generic accreditation for seminaries and Bible colleges and it’s really easy to get.
The reason why accreditation matters is because it sets certain standards. For example, the number of credit hours required to obtain your given degree. In seminary we also had a reading a requirement. Students had to read a certain number of pages each semester/quarter for every class. It was 1400 pages per class. The average accredited seminary student has read around 50,000+ pages of study and were also required to write research papers for the given classes.
Thus, accreditation sets a bar for academic studies. If your school only requires a student to show up to 3 classes and read 1 book and have no final exams…. then they don’t get accredited…. and they shouldn’t get accredited. That is why so many people are down on non-accredited schools.
Your assertion that “Now we have the Department of Education telling believers what’s a legitimate biblical education.” is so far from the truth that you should be embarrassed. You have spent zero time understanding what accreditation means and way too much time blindly repeating lines that you heard from somewhere else.
Your statement that “Accredited colleges are government-protected monopolies that overcharge innocent young people for liberal indoctrination” is absurd. Most colleges and seminaries are private institutions, not state schools. They are also independently owned which makes the monopoly claim just silly.
I assume you never attended an accredited seminary or Bible college or else you would know that they are far from liberal. In fact, most seminaries use text books from dozens of other schools. Professors are not given a curriculum to teach. They develop their own class material. Most of these classes use resources from experts at many different schools that range from liberal to uber conservative.
I don’t think you understand the whole point of theological education. The majority of theological schools, especially seminaries, are not in the game of teaching people what to believe. Their goal is to teach students to think for themselves and not just repeat things they heard. That is why they learn Greek, Hebrew, history, etc. So they can be a theologian themselves…. not so they can repeat things they heard in a sermon somewhere. If you attend a theological school that teaches a specific theology then it’s a junk partisan school and you should transfer to a real school.
Finally, calling out clear frauds is not the same as gossip. Everything in this post is fact. It’s a listing of facts. These people are tricking people into believing they have authority because they were educated, when they actually have no real education. That is not gossip. That is a fact and I make no apologies for warning people about these wolves in sheep’s clothing.
According to Wikipedia, Dr Riplinger uses her initials to stand for “God and Riplinger”: “Each discovery was not the result of effort on my part, but of the direct hand of God — so much so that I hesitated to even put my name on the book. Consequently, I used G. A. Riplinger, which signifies to me, God and Riplinger — God as author and Riplinger as secretary.” David Cloud calls this statement “amazing and frightful”, and says that “even the most radical charismatic prophets hesitate to use such intemperate language”.
This is terrifying. I don’t understand how anyone can take her seriously. Only conspiracy theorists stand a chance.
Actually, I think Tim is referring to the KJV, where the references to “doctor” is actually meaning TEACHER (which is actually the meaning of Doctor in a doctor’s degree, you are expert enough to be a teacher). When the Bible means a physician, it uses the word physician — at least in KJV, and I think most modern translations though I only checked ESV.
Another person whose degree listing is deceptive, though not exactly an out-and-out lie, is Dr. G A Riplinger who is the KJVO proponent. Yes, she (yes, it’s a she, hidden by using only initials, because in her circles a “she” lacks the standing of a “he” to teach about the Bible) has an earned doctorate … in home economics. Which gives her preciously little expertise in textual criticism and translation.
Good catch on the doctor matter. I avoid reading the KJV so I never would have noticed the connection. It looks like Luke mentions the type of doctor you are referring to.
Luke 5:17 – And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by.
Yet another reason to at least update the KJV to modern vocabulary.
Indeed, Gail is a snake among snakes. Have you ever read the “about the author” sections on her book? They are laughably misleading.
“G.A. Riplinger has B.A., M.A., and M.F.A. degrees and has done additional postgraduate study at Harvard and Cornell Universities. As a university professor, the author taught seventeen different courses, authored six college textbooks and was selected for the Honor Society’s teaching award and membership in a national Education Honorary. The seventh textbook, New Age Bible Versions, is an international best seller and for it the author was honored with a Doctorate from the College of the nation’s largest church. The author is in several editions of Who’s Who, and was invited to be a member of President’s Reagan’s Citizen Ambassador Program as a representative to Russia.
Following an exhaustive six-year, word-for-word collation (comparison) of the Holy Bible (King James Version of A.D. 1611) with the NIV and NASB, together with review of other modern versions, and extensive research into the original languages, Dr. Riplinger published one of the most extensively documented and illuminating works ever brought forth in the 20th Century, entitled “New Age Bible Versions.”
A lot of these preachers use those fake degrees so the IRS won’t bother them
I’m not sure that I follow you. What does a degree have to do with paying taxes?
Sorry – thought I provided that. it is email@example.com. Thanks!
John Hagee’s diploma from “Assemblies of God University” probably needs more research and clarification. Southwestern Assemblies of God University (now regionally accredited) was then named Southwestern Bible Institute (accredited by a recognized Bible college agency). They also had a high school at the time. I think he received a diploma from that high school, and then attended the college some, without graduating. At any rate, SBI in the 50s–like Lee and other institutions offering only ministerial degrees–adhered to strict standards which were required by the (non-regional) accrediting agency. My brother (now deceased) knew Hagee at SBI.
Would you reach out to me, please, by email? I need to request some information, if I may. Thank you.
Sure thing. What is your email address?
I DID study Koine Greek (only one quarter semester…financial restraints) at the Pastor’s Graduate School of Theology … an off-campus venue. My pastor at the time handed me a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper with the Hebrew alphabet and suggested that I should also sign up for a class in Hebrew. As I studied the Hebrew letters I answered in the negative and the pastor reached over and turned the page upright. I am by no means an expert or a scholar, but I DO know the Greek alphabet, I have a fairly decent understanding of the accents and the declentions, but anyone can conduct reasonably accurate word-studies with the lexicons and the interlinears, and I DO encourage people to do that. We can all access Strong’s Concordance (for free) on the good ol’ Internet … that’s how I found you sir, and I am right glad that I did.
If we are patient with each other I’m sure we can all learn from each other.
Arrogant is not too strong a word for you, sir!
There is no fix for stupid! (look the word up.)
As the Admin states, to which I will add, there are a lot of crazy and dishonest ( the overall subject of these pages), ‘false witness’ believers and preachers, far too many!
Scripture respects those who honestly question! Mark 9.
I think inquiry is healthy and honorable. Faith is isn’t faith because we have all the answers. It’s faith because we believe despite not having a complete knowledge of all things.
Booby Palooka … You are just a poor, stupid fool. Any atheist is a fool. You believe life “evolved” from a rock. Anyone, even with a real degree, is a person educated beyond their mental capacity IF they are atheists.
I’m not sure atheists are stupid. They simply believe things that religious people don’t. A different body of information. Christian have some crazy beliefs also.
Okay, perhaps “stupid” was just a bit strong. However, the Scripture does affirm that the “fool” has said in his heart there is no God.
That is true. But remember that many of us were fools before we meet Christ. I know I was. But it the was love I was given by Christ followers that changed me…. Not force of persuasion. Though, I’m as guilty as the next guy when it comes to abrasive language. Working on that daily.
Same here admin … abrasive language is my native tongue.
I think it develops from one’s environment. I learned to be that way as a young man. But I’m changing my ways. Pray for me.
A lot of these preachers are good people doing good for Spreading the word of God ! Instead of condemning them you should look at yourself!
Do you have the Christ in your soul, mind and heart ?
We will all meet our maker.
Prepare for this event in your life!
I used to think that also but their own actions prove that they are scam artists. Using church funds for mansions and vacations. Buying fake degrees so they can pretend to be educated. Getting plastic surgery because their ministry is really just a vanity project.
I have an earned doctorate. I worked very hard at it for a long time, while working full-time. I am offended by anybody who has an unearned doctorate, even if it is from an accredited university. I do not believe in honorary doctorates, period. If you want to honor somebody, give them a plaque. If you want a doctorate, do what I did…night after night of working until 4:00 AM, then going to work the next day, research, writing, peer review, defense. I am not being proud. It actually made me more humble. But, when somebody else uses that prefix that cheapens all the toil and money I sacrificed.
I agree 100 percent.
No Roxanne … Logos and Rhema are essentially the very same thing. You should get yourself a Greek New Testament Internlinear, and take a little time, energy and effort and look up (and actually read) how the word Logos is used in some verses of one Gospel, and Rhema is used in another Gospel, describing the very same discourse. One Gospel says that Peter remembered the word (Logos) that Jesus spoke, and the other says that Peter remembered the word (Rhema) that Jesus spoke. To my best recollection, Kenneth Hagin (spelling?) was the first to claim that false distinction, claiming that HIS super-duper, annointed words were the actual, God-all-mighty Rhema, while all other ministries could only quote the mere Logos. The so-called, “Rhema” ministry is a total sham.
I agree with Chuck, a simple interlinear is useful even for those who don’t know Greek or Hebrew
I just happened to click on your list and I want to correct your comments regarding Hal Lindsey co-authoring the Left Behind Series. Jerry Jenkins is the co-author. Where did you get your information connecting Hal Lindsey?
I’m very disappointed you didn’t choose to edit Vince (sewer mouth) as you stated you would do.
I realize this list is not going to include one who used Dr. as his title. He, also, embraced a false doctrine but you aren’t willing to be politically incorrect ….. The most disgusting part about this unnamed person…… Every sizable city in every state has a street and/or boulevard named after this fraud.
First off, good catch on spotting the mistake of the co-authors. My mind remembered Hal because he wrote books on the same subject, from the same view point as Tim. Usually when I write posts some of the information is by memory and some I look up. This one I simply had a lapse of memory.
In the case of Vince, I had a program at the time that filtered the website for language. It’s been removed for some time so I’ll have to manually change the comment. Though, I’m not really bothered by language. I cannot control how other adults choose their words but I do want to make the site safe for younger readers.
As to the unnamed person that I’m to politically correct to name…. My question is: what exactly is political correctness? Didn’t you just chastise me for not editing someone else’s fowl language? Is that not calling the kettle black? Also, the tone I took in this piece is anything but politically correct. In fact, it’s down right snarky and aggressive. Sometimes it’s I think it’s too snarky for its own good. I would wager that if that’s my tone in this piece then certainly no person would be off limits as long as they fit the criteria.
So who is the person that you were unable to mention?
Oh I just figured it out. You’re referring to MLK….
While I don’t approve of his plagiarism on his dissertation, I’m not sure he belongs on this list for a few reasons. First, he’s not a televangelist. Second, he didn’t go to a fake school or purposely try to deceive people into believing he was more educated than he really was, in order to collect more money or to have a higher status. Thirdly, the fact that he actually completed his program at Boston and his master’s degree makes him 100 times more educated than the blokes in this list. Lastly, he’s been dead a while and this list was primarily for the living with the exception of the guy who died after it was written.
Also, MLK’s plagiarism is morally wrong but it’s been my experience that most research plagiarism is from lazy citation work, not from trying to purposely trying to steal one’s work.
Can it be said that knowledge is knowledge no matter where you get it? I understand that getting a “fake” degree would simply require just paying money. Now an unaccredited degree (although there are some reputable programs out there) may not sit well with most people. Why not just use the degree as a knowledge base and get a real one in the process if you feel you need one to preach the Gospel? A lot of these schools fail when they use fake accrediting agencies, whereas the ones that do so well (in a sense) simple say they do not wish to be accredited and are in fact programs like the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) which is charged with regulation of private postsecondary educational institutions operating in the state of California. The agency is not an accrediting agency, and its primary purpose is to prevent fraudulent diploma mills. Having said that, institutions that are approved to operate in California by the Bureau still need to separately obtain educational accreditation from national or regional accrediting body recognized by the USDOE in order for its students to qualify for any type of federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants. To me this makes sense and if a person want to attend a program that is only state sanctioned then it is their prerogative now isn’t it. Doesn’t this sound familiar:
Matthew 7:1-5 7 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Now that misrepresented verse has a way of backfiring in all directions, so what’s wrong with a person wanting to go to a program for knowledge would and should be the question, however in this case I don’t care what all those folk listed above do as I choose not to listen to them any longer as I have continues my quest for knowledge within the scriptures. Those verses should serve as a reminder that we can still teach others and be non-biased of what others do in that aspect, they will get theirs; as you have seen with some of the “televangelists you have listed there. I can only say that every message good or bad serves as a lesson and reminder as James 3:1 says. I am a Christian counselor in my church and I will help as needed no price, only help, and when I cannot help I will find a faith based counselor that has a better view of client in which I am dealing. I say this as many don’t have the money to pay for counseling or insurance, but they are willing to give back to the church via mowing the lawn, fixing something, or simply devoting their time. I get that having a “fake” degree is wrong for the purposes these people use them, but also knowledge is knowledge, and even those who attend programs that are not accredited or no formal schooling at all who may have a broader knowledge base in spiritual matters and the scripture.
I would mostly agree.
I have no problem with people using their knowledge, whether from a real school or from personal study, to enrich the lives of other or to preach the gospel. I DO have a problem with people claiming to be authorities in Bible teaching and using fake doctoral degrees to demonstrate that they are learned men and women. That is what scam artists do, not authentic Christians.
“Knowledge” can be anything about anything and no education and no guarantee is required. One, anyone is free to accept or not whatever is said or claimed, equally. However, if persons claim a level of education, which is based upon specific standards of certification in the wider society and historically, and it is not, then that pretense is simply a wolf, dishonest, a lie, false witness and needs to be called out for what it is – a scam, as the admin has stated. Anyone can also claim, “…god told me, god spoke to me….” without any recognized, accepted, reference discipline. Valid? Claims to be subject to no checks and balances? There is another commandment that deals very well with the ‘what ever’ claims and taking God’s name…!
“Judging” others claims based upon recognized certification criteria is not only appropriate and ethical, but necessary to fearlessly expose those who make false claims for what they are. Failure to do so makes one complicit with their wrong.
Hey I’m just a regular guy who has had a stroke but can really see through the deceitment of these so called “DR’s
Who cares if they have a degree or not, I don’t listen to them anyway, anymore I should say. Used to listen to a few of them but I ran out of money to help them buy another bizjet……..a multi-million dollar bizjet.I don’t fit in with the rich and famous.
Most of us don’t either
The discussion is persons with “…Fake Educations and Degrees”. The 8th commandment, bearing false witness (deceptive, false claims) comes to mind.
Of course those who do will make ‘claims’ that their qualifications, institutions and inspirations are ‘adequate’, if not self applied. Then coupled with the 2nd, taking God’s (and what God represents) name in vain, simple tests needing to be passed? Similar claims made!
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten that response from the KJVO people. Their pastors are almost universally untrained or educated but somehow they “know” they are right because they talk to God and I’m justa devil worshipper awash in a “worldly education”. Because learning things is now worldly lol
So are you saying one has to have a degree to be qualified to preach the gospel? Not true. Jesus gave ALL His followers the great commission before he ascended into heaven to preach the gospel, heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out devils. No degree needed.
No one said you needed a degree… just that having fake ones is deceptive.
Also, preaching the gospel and professing to be expert Bible teachers are two different things. One requires a person to understand ancient customs and traditions and languages. Preaching the gospel can be done without being an expert in those fields.
Yet, the whole point of this discussion is that there are so many out there claiming fake degrees. Why claim a fake degree when “no degree is needed?” For some reason, they feel they do need a degree so they get a fake one from a diploma mill.
They just wanna appear to be wise without doing the hard work
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. -James 3:1-
There is the written (Logos) word and there is also the (Rhema) word – a word from the Lord spoken personally to me).
Not sure what this was in response to…… though the word logos is not as simple as “written word”. Logos (λόγος) was an entire life force in Greek thinking. The Jews would have compared it to the concept of the all-knowing and powerful wisdom of God that holds the universe together.
Rhema (ῥῆμα) also is a bit more nuanced. ῥῆμα could refer to any snippet of teaching, proverb, lesson, and yes a spoken word. But to say that it’s specifically a word from God to us would be drastically narrowing down it’s semantic range.
Doctor is mentioned one time in the Bible. Gamaliel in Acts 5 and he was and unsaved Pharisee. Doctors was mentioned 3 times and again the only people in the Bible that had this title was UNSAVED men.
I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make but when the Bible was written doctorate degrees didn’t exist. Any reference in the Bible to a doctor is referring to a physician.
Love your work. Very eye opening stuff. Two things… West Georgia is part of the university system of GA and has been for decades… and I’d love to see a piece from you on preachers WITH legit doctorate degrees. Thanks!
Correct, West Georgie is a real University. I was not claiming that it’s not. If I did it was by mistake and I need to fix it.
Believe it or not but many preachers do actually have doctorates. They just aren’t on TV. I’ll see make a list though. Thanks for reading and thanks for the suggestion.
What about “Dr” Rodney Howard- Brown?
The only thing perhaps more pathetic than unearned degrees from unaccredited schools is someone that lists they have a “B.A., MBA, and PhD.” from a school that doesn’t even exist. “Golden State University”. No such institution. It is where one Mark T. Barclay says on his ministry’s website he attained degrees from. Sad.
This is however a Golden Gate University which is accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and has been since 1959, Golden State University (GSU) on the other hand is a private institution approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. Approval to operate means the institution is compliant with the minimum standards contained in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (as amended) and Division 7.5 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.) §94897. That is all and that school has no religious programs that I know of, however there is a Master in Asian Science.
According their accrediting institute they only have one accredited program which is Oriental medicine.
I have heard Rod Parsley introducing his guest on his program as “Dr.” Perry Stone and Perry didn’t correct him…he accepted the title. So Perry hasn’t shoved that title into the back of a drawer somewhere. And is it not revealing that Perry would even appear alongside Parsley, the scammer extraordinaire?! Yes, indeed, it is, for those who care to be discerning.
I used to listen to Perry and thought he was so wise. Not any more. Now I realize that all his “wisdom” is actually extrabiblical mumbo-jumbo that he’s conjured up in his own mind. He doesn’t exegete scripture. He searches for signs, miracles, experiences, omens, patterns, codes, repetitions, etc., that others haven’t recognized, then preaches it as truth. He preaches his (and others) dreams, visions and (false) “words from the Lord.” That’s not how a preacher of the gospel is to deliver the word of God…from scripture ALONE. There’s no new revelation coming forth from God. I’ve heard him teach correct doctrine on the rapture, so some people may be deceived into thinking the remainder of his teachings are correct. But that’s a component of deception. Listener, beware.
Anyone who can preach alongside Jessee Duplantis and appear on the Jim Bakker Show and not recognize them as being biblically illiterate and frauds has a major problem in discernment. But he invites them to speak at his church! I truly hope God has rescued some people away from his church.
Let’s not forget, too, that Perry had his father appear on his show to tell of his dream of going to heaven and how his best friend who was dead came back to deliver the message that he was to preach. So God didn’t call his dad to preach. His dead best friend did. Necromancy, which God forbids. Familiar spirits. Yet, Perry discussed the event with his dad on his program as if it had validity. That’s a problem, folks.
For all Perry’s claimed hours of bible study, he fails to recognize false teachers when he’s talking to them (the ones I’ve mentioned, along with others, such as Paula White.) When I began listening to him, he was braggadociously claiming 80,000 hours of bible study. The last I heard, he was claiming 160,000 hours, jumping from 120,000 hours previously. Call me a skeptic. I simply don’t believe it, as he’s constantly writing new books, travelling, building a new building, conducting classes…busy building his legacy and working to build himself a great reward in heaven…I’ve heard him admit that, too.
I feel so sorry for all the young people he’s deceiving with “Joel’s Army” and “spiritual” experiences. Some families have even relocated to Ohio so their children can participate in activities under his leadership. Pity. What a shame that parents would misdirect their children so. May God have mercy on those whom He will that they may be enlightened by His truth and not be led astray with promises made in error.
I would advise any followers of Perry Stone to examine his teachings against scripture. There is much that he says that cannot be found in the pages of the bible. He keeps people coming back for a “fresh word from the Lord.” God’s words have not grown stale. They are living and active. If you are not content with the words God has spoken through Jesus, the apostles and the prophets (there are no new ones today), then you need to examine your heart and repent. You’re looking to the wrong source.
I saw Stone preach once at a church in Toledo when I was younger. I feel like he tried really hard to sound wise. But a wise person doesn’t need to create fake credentials.
Thanks so much for writing. Can you provide any info on this group? Are they legit? I have close friends connected and ordained by these folks. https://www.facebook.com/InternationalApostolicPropheticCouncil/
I actually kinda like Sid Roth but the supposed “Dr.”s on that list are fake.
Lol! Thanks so much. I thought this would be the case!!
If you look at Dr. Kynan’s LinkedIn profile the only education listed is from CLU and he never completed any degree…. Which is irrelevant since it’s a diploma mill
LCU’s credits are transferable to ORU and other places like Andersonville Theological Seminary and many others. I’d look again with LCU.
Toby, ORU is not exactly recognized as a rigorous school and surely they wouldn’t deny credits from another prosperty preaching school that has given so many fake doctorate degrees to students who once went to ORU. ORU is what Liberty was 30 years ago. They are nowhere near being a credible theological school yet.
As for Andersonville, they also lack any credible accreditation. They give out DOCTORATE degrees for only two years of working remotely. That is simply ludicrous.
They don’t even have a campus. Any school that can get you a full degree for 1000 dollars is a scam.
I wonder how relevant any of the rankings are when you consider the scandal at UNC Chapel Hill? UNC validated over 20 years of fraudulent classes in the AFAM department. Liberty has real classes with real professors who require real academic work. Those honorary degrees, however, do not shed a favorable light on the school. But, I would still rather be a Liberty grad than a UNC grad with a degree in AFAM.
I totally understand your point of view. But I’m mostly focusing on divinity degrees. And liberty certainly is not a bad school. But their association with televangelists is concerning.
Any university that refuses to teach real science, insisting instead to teach creation “science” is not worthy to be called a respected university. Add in the easy to blow up idea that the Bible is the perfect word of God and you have a silly group of religious basket cases refusing to investigate the claims for fear they’ll lose their faith.
There are two religious universities in Best Schools top 200; BYU #63 and Norte Dame #122. I’m excluding TCU and SMU who were founded as religious school but now are just classed as private. Look up Forbes, Best Schools, or any other rating of universities and try to again make your claim. No school with a primary purpose of training pastors can be regarded as a great university.
Please do not even try to associate Liberty University with all of these diploma mills. Liberty University is a level 4 SACS accredited school. I hold four graduate degrees form Liberty, and I can tell you that Liberty’s seminary is extremely difficult. Liberty was ranked by Newsmax as the # 1 evangelical university in the world. Emory University was ranked # 2.
My twin brother and a few friends went to liberty. Ranking in size is not the same as ranking in academics. Do you honestly think Liberty is on the same level as Harvard, Fuller, Princeton? Of course not.
The Newsmax article was not based on academics. They said so themselves.
“After carefully weighing several factors, including the average financial needs met, class sizes, student-to-faculty ratio, average ACT scores, and student retention rates, Newsmax has selected the top 100 evangelical Christian colleges in the country.”
I don’t think the intent was to discredit Liberty here, but I do understand your point. I have a BS from an accredited state school and completed half of an MBA. Later I completed a MA and am current completing a MDiv at Liberty. Liberty is a fantastic school and seminary with rigorous academic standards. I received some of my best and most rewarding education from Liberty. Additionally, Liberty now has a fully accredited law school and medical school (offering DO degrees). Once a school adds that type of technology to their University their quality and subsequent respect by donors, potential professors, potential students and the community goes up several notches.
I think you’re correct Ed. Liberty has really improved in the last decade. From academics to sports they have continually moved upward.
With no doubt, you need to add David Jeremiah to your list. David is a blatant liar when it comes to education. The man has NO earned doctorate, yet he stamps Dr. in front of his name EVERYWHERE. What a liar.
Dr. Dr. Herbert Barber
Yep, those two doctorates were earned, and they are complemented by two MS degrees and a BS.
Looking into it
Checked up on David J and sure enough, his doctorate is only honorary. Not surprising.
I don’t know how i ended up here but this has been one of the most eye-opening blogs i have ever had the great pleasure of reading! There are only two types of people alive today: those who are born again and those who are not. The wheat; and the chaff. They are growing in the world which Jesus plainly said “… the field is the world.” Those who post against your truth, are the chaff. Those who agree and support you — we are the wheat. To summarise: if “men of God” act deceptively in order to better enrich themselves at the expense of others through using fake degrees or by using “Dr’ so and so; when they are lying or deceiving people; what ELSE are they willing to do, in order to achieve their ungodly goals or to fleece the flock? If the will of God is to be done on Earth and the Kingdom is to come, then, plainly, what you are doing is achieving that, in no small “degree”.
I would rather a pastor have no degree than a fake one.
I don’t know how i ended up here but this has been one of the most eye-opening blogs i have ever had the great pleasure of reading! There are only two types of people alive today: those who are born again and those who are not. The wheat; and the chaff. They are growing in the world which Jesus plainly said “… the field is the world.” Those who post against your truth, are the chaff. Those who agree and support you — we are the wheat. To summarise: if “men of God” act deceptively in order to better enrich themselves at the expense of others through using fake degrees or by using “Dr’ so and so; when they are lying or deceiving people; what ELSE are they willing to do, in order to achieve their ungodly goals or to fleece the flock? If the will of God is to be done on Earth and the Kingdom is to come, then, plainly, what you are doing is achieving that, in no small “degree”.
God does not recognise any man as the Word says exllicitly “… for He is not a respector of persons.” Sir, if you believe God will, in any way, “respect your achievements” i am sorry to tell you that you are not born again, were never born again; and you are not going to Heaven. You are ignorant and still in your sins.
What about the International Miracle Institute? Is the seminary and its leaders credible?
IMI is not a credible school and is definitely not a seminary. They have no educated staff or any staff at all. Its just the one family teaching and none of them have an education either.
Please do not give these people a dime. They are not a read educational institution.
Please consider a real accredited seminary in your local erea.
Add another using ..DR.. Who is totally not a dr of anything
Dr….jerry o lee
Originally from the states moved to dawson creek bc ran lumber mill
Moved to spruce grove alberta
I will definitely add
My take on this issue is that these people are probably atheist. They laugh all the way to the bank with peoples money. Their followers are like lost sheep who do not have the ability to discern actual truth from fantasy.
That’s accurate. Plus, their audience is usually poor and in dire need. They are looking for anyone to tell them it will get better.
All these televanglists are a bunch of C*nts – Dr. ? Of what ?
They are nothing but f***ing cons and can suck my big D*ck
While I agree with your overall sentiment, I’ll have to edit your language sir.
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…..
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!!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I know this old but ORU is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.
Did someone insinuate that ORU isn’t accredited?
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.
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.
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.
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.
This web site really appeals to those of us who have been in the ministry for a long time and want a fancy title so that people will supposedly respect our ministry more (the pride of life):
Faking a degree is the same as lying…… Which is not how a Christian minister is supposed to operate.
It is actually an offense.. Against the law to use the title DR without accreditation by recognized authority.
We have two local pastors who claim to have accredited Ph;D’s. Neither of them has a Master’s and “earned” those doctorates in a VERY short timeframe. Kinda sickens me that they lie like that.
Any pastor that calls themselves doctor but doesn’t actually have an earned doctorate that’s accredited should be sued for fraud.
Those who claim earned doctorates/degrees from unaccredited ‘schools’, without clarification, are guilty of false witness/lying/deceit (8th Commandment …).
And, all of those those who support them, and/or fail to protest or speak out about them are complicit, or by omission as well, in that deceit. For religious institutions, in particular, claiming the moral high ground not to address this, is disgraceful.
Admin., sadly it is not only …”any pastor.” … but also… !