Christian pseudo-historian David Barton doesn’t have a real Ph.D. He has a couple of honorary doctorates from Christian colleges and one “earned” degree from (what is almost certainly) Life Christian University, an unaccredited school that seems to hand out those degrees to famous preachers who might give them free publicity… even though there’s no actual work or thesis required to earn the diploma.
My Patheos colleague Warren Throckmorton did a little more digging and found out some verrrrry interesting details about another degree recipient, Joyce Meyer.
Check out what her website says:
Joyce holds an earned PhD in theology from Life Christian University in Tampa, Florida; an honorary doctorate in divinity from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and an honorary doctorate in sacred theology from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.
Besides the two honorary degrees, she, too, mentions that “earned” Ph.D. from Life Christian University (which means she didn’t actually do any work).
But pointing out that her ministries are headquartered in Missouri, Throckmorton noticed an interesting fact:
In Missouri, it is a class C misdemeanor to use a false or misleading degree.
He then contacted the MO Department of Higher Education, and later the Attorney General, to report the problem. Will the state do anything about it? We’ll see.
But there’s one easy way for Meyer and Barton to fix this problem: Stop promoting the fake degree. Don’t mention Life Christian University, don’t pretend like you’re a “doctor” of anything. Just take that degree, burn it, purge any mention of it from your work, and issue an apology to the people who bought into your lie (along with the actual Ph.D.s who put in all that time and hard work).
I guess the Commandment against lying doesn’t count when it boosts your credentials.
(Image via Shutterstock)