How do you suppose Rick Joyner, with only a Grade 12 equivalency diploma, obtained his Doctorate in such short order? After all, a real, accredited, bona fide Ph.D. takes about 14 years of very rigorous time-consuming study. Now, I am not trying to infer that Joyner lacks intelligence—that is certainly not the case, but he is deceptive.
For those of you who may not have an academic background, a Bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete, and a Master’s Degree takes and additional two to three years. Both of these degrees must be completed before a Ph.D. is undertaken. As a rule, a Ph.D. will take twice as long as a Bachelor’s degree to complete. That means that to obtain a real (earned and accredited) Ph.D. recognized by the academic community, you would need to complete about fourteen years of post-secondary education. Now, there might be some slight variations in that timeframe based on the particular degree but it won’t vary by much. So, going back to my original question, how did Rick Joyner obtain a Doctorate so quickly? He didn’t.
The number of earned Ph.D. degrees in the United States is 40,000 to 45,000 each year. However, the number of fake PhDs bought each year from diploma mills exceeds 50,000! In other words, more than half of all people in the United States who claim to have a Ph.D., don’t. (statistics here)
As you might have guessed, Rick Joyner’s Doctorate along with that of his Missions Director, Jorge Parrott is fake. Their doctorates came from the North Carolina College of Theology, which claims to be accredited. Sure, and I could crawl into the oven and claim to be a biscuit—whatever. They state that they are a member and independent subsidiary of the Southern Accreditation Association of Christian Schools and Colleges, the American Association of Theological Institutions, and the American Accrediting Education Association of Christian Schools. That must count for something—right? Um no, I’m afraid not. Not one of those associations is recognized by the US Department of Education as a crediting agency—not one. The following is a screen capture of their website.
So, let’s take a look at the *ahem, doctoral program for the North Carolina College of Theology. By golly, would you look at that! It only requires a GED (grade 12 equivalency). Now, as a Master’s Candidate in English, and a holder of two earned Bachelor Degrees, I know full well that no accredited college will ever let someone enter a doctoral program with a GED! To enter a real doctoral program, you must have earned the preliminary degrees, and have an extraordinarily high, grade point average. Not so at the North Carolina College of Theology. No sir, all you need there is experience. Well, experience and money—let’s not forget the money!
North Carolina College of Theology claims accreditation through Accrediting Commission International, Inc. of Beebe, Arkansas (ACI) run by Dr. John Scheel. It turns out “Dr.” Scheel has a fake degree as well. Surprise! His Ph.D. came from the Toledo Bible College and Seminary, which was run out of Ohio by authorities for being a diploma mill. It then changed its name to Trinity Theological Seminary and moved to Indiana where there are fewer regulations. It continues to be a diploma mill. “Dr.” Scheel ran a false accrediting agency in Missouri but was caught in a sting operation by Eric Vieth, the assistant attorney for Missouri. He was subsequently charged with fraud. However, why let a good scam go to waste. He changed the name of his crediting agency from IAC (International Accrediting Commission) to (ACI) Accrediting Commission International and started back up in Beebe Arkansas (Holford, David. “North Carolina College of Theology.” Davids Daily Diversions. 30 July 2011. Web. 19 May 2015).
I guess I can understand why Joyner would get hooked up with a diploma mill. After all, if you are running a so-called University, it’s hard to attract paying students if professors only have a GED. I am in no way trying to demean those who have not obtained a degree, nor am I insinuating that those who have a degree are more qualified to be ministers of the Gospel than those who do not. What I am saying is that claiming you have attained a certain level of educational accomplishment when clearly you have not, is unconscionable and fraudulent.
Not only is Joyner’s own degree false, but he is issuing bogus degrees through his University. His degrees are granted through the same degree mill that his “doctorate” came from. In fact, it states right on MorningStar’s website that their Bachelor’s Degrees are awarded by the North Carolina College of Theology. Oh, and get this. You obtain a bachelor’s degree after just one year. That’s right, why slave away for four years for a real degree when you can go to MorningStar University and be granted a fake degree from a diploma mill after just one year. All you need is one year, oh, and money—don’t forget the money. To the left is a screen shot of Joyner’s School of Theology division within MorningStar University.
Earning a degree means that you have undertaken the prescribed course of study. Having experience is not the same thing as having undertaken a rigorous and regimented peer-reviewed academic course of study over an extended period of time. I would think this goes without saying. I am not sure why someone would lie about this if not for pride or self-promotion.
Fake degrees seem to be rampant among charismatic pastors, and if you take the time to investigate, you will find that the vast majority of big name ministers have purchased and not earned their degrees. Names like TD Jakes, Joyce Meyers, Marilyn Hickey, Paula White, Mike Murdock, oh the list goes on and on but my energy wanes.
Could you tell me if the education system at JSM is accredited? Are the Theology papers marked externally? the Theology Degree accepted in other parts of America and the world?
No, it is not accredited and no the Theology papers are not marked externally. The degree is not even accepted in the United States let alone the rest of the world. I believe the only person with an actual university degree in their school is Mike Muzzeral (sp?). He has a masters degree from the University of Toronto I believe.
T. Heim says
Dave Smith has a BA or BS in psychology from a state university, I believe (which is ironic, as those at SBN don’t “believe in” psychology!)
Yes he does have a degree and he may have a Master’s degree. I know they needed him as head of the their school, Family Christian Academy, so they could get state funding. To my knowledge it was Robin Herd who was really running the school. I am not sure if Robin Herd is there anymore though. I went to the school’s website right now and there is nothing on it regarding the faculty which is very odd indeed. However there is a very large turnover in staff there so maybe they got sick of updating the website all the time.
T. Heim says
Robin Herd is definitely still there leading the worship team. I didn’t know that he was affiliated with the school. Over the last week, Frances has been advertising for a physics teacher for the school. They seem to be having problems finding one. I can’t imagine FCA would be the desired destination for any teacher interested in career advancement and/or academic reputation.
Thanks for your articles!
Mega Genius says
I have multiple degrees, since I am being changed from one degree of glory to another. Have you talked to them in person? Why is this such a thorn in your side? You sound like you are going to blow a gasket. Calm down. Why are you taking this so personal?
Mega, I guess you don’t understand the seriousness of this lie. I would never waste my time or money on a non-accredited degree. It is worth absolutely nothing! And I would never trust a single word from the mouth of a person who purchases a degree in this deceptive manner.
The State or Federal authorities are to blame and should regulate, the restrict the use of degree, masters, Phd etc. But having said that some German schools within universities don’t recognise each other’s accreditation. I understand Oxford has no accreditation just history. Many universities emerged from church attached bible schools in Europe. Then the state came along to control etc via accreditation bodies.
By the way, I am Pentecostal, can you explain your reasons for departure from Neo- Pentecostalism and dominion doctrine – I am not sure what you mean by those two.
I am born again and spirit filled. I am not against Pentecostals. I am against Dominionist Doctrine. I would suggest you do a search on Dominionism and do a bit of research as this is rampant in Pentecostal circles. It is false doctrine plain and simple. I have some articles on this site regarding Dominionism and there are many other fine blogs out there who also address it.
I find this interesting that you are unwilling to put your name on this.Why? Will the big bad Christians come after you?
where are your degrees from and who paid for them?
I am a Christian who wants to go back yo school,and can’t financially.how did you do it? Does dissing Cheistianity put food in your mouth?
My name is all over this blog. It is Mishel McCumber. I do not “diss” Christianity, I “diss” false doctrine and wolves among the sheep. If you really want to go back to school there are plenty of avenues. You can get grants, loans, scholarships, or work study grants. If I were you I would first find out WHAT you want to take and WHERE you want to take it. One you know that, go to the admissions office of the school and ask them for advise on how to pay for it. They will be able to tell you what you qualify for.
Johnny Hopkins says
Are you aware that WEBC has an online program advertized on SBN? I hear about it throughout the day when I watch SBN. The televangelists you mentioned in your post got their doctorates from Friends International Christian University, another diploma mill. If Robin Herd was running FCA, did he have a degree in educational administration? Just curious.
No he did not- that is why they had Dave Smith there as figure head.
T. Heim says
WEBC has no accreditation from anywhere, online or otherwise! The administrators and “professors’ have primarily been graduates of WEBC! The curriculum consists of 100% Swaggart’s written material, including use of the Expositor’s Study Bible by Swaggart, an elementary, partially plagiarized, inaccurate, redundant and ridiculous commentary of the Holy Scriptures!
The proliferation of non traditional means to obtain educational degrees does not limit itself to Charasmatic or Spirit Filled Christian Circles but Military, online educational and other programs targeted for working people. What used to take four years for a BA or BS degree often can be obtained in a much shorter period of time. Some Masters degree programs such as what Webster University and others offer may be obtained in a year to two years for some disciplines.
I have often wondered how so many Ministers as well as other secular motivational speakers and others obtain their doctorates…I assumed many of them were honorary. Is this what you mean by paying for them?
It is not correct that all Ph.D programs require a Masters Degree first. This is usually the case but not always. Most always there Post Graduate and preliminary acedemic work required whether it results in an actual Master’s Degree or not.
As to “Dominion Theology” why do you consider it sinful for Believers in Jesus Christ to cover the Earth and every area of life with the Life Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ? If Believers were really taught to take Dominion in their sphere of infulence, instead of giving up and giving in, our Nation wouldn’t be in the alarming shape it is in today and needless suffering could have been averted….
God has created us to stand up, to love and to shine brightly in great darkness…We should be pulling together, honoring and loving each other as never before, not fighting one another…
If great evil prevails when “…good men do nothing”. we have only ourselves to blame…
Doug Evans says
Why do Christians believe Dominion Theology is sinful? Because it is. God does not call us to rule the world, HE rules the world. God calls us to submit to His authority and to the authority that He has put on earth, and to do otherwise is rebellion against God which is a sin. It’s very, very, VERY clear in the bible – we are called to submit, not to rule.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. [a]Let them do this with joy and not [b]with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17)
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. . (Romans 13:1-5)
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed (Titus 3:1)
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. (1 Peter 2:13-15)
All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. (1 Timothy 6:1)
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable (1 Peter 2:18)
These are God’s marching orders for us. If you don’t like your ruling authorities, take heart in the fact that you’re not called to like them, you’re called to pray for them and obey them, and show them that you, as a child of God and a brother/sister of Christ are obeying His will.
John J says
I guess these schools will exist as long as people keep going to them. I actually have a degree from an unaccredited bible college. However I also have an acreditaed Masters Of Theological Studies and the quality of the two is not even comparable. I am considering applying for Doctoral studies in theology. Unaccredited schools seem to each have a particular agenda and I am sure some of them have some good programs but I have never understood wanting a fake degree that is not recognized.
gedion ghiday says
hello, i just heard your interview on you tube. thank you very much and please keep up the good work. and may our Lord Jesus Christ Bless you.
Ian Francis says
I am so sick of the lying and conniving going on among so-called prophets and apostles in the church of God. These people are going to have to give an account on judgment for “not many of you shall profess to be teachers”, because the accountability standard is higher with God. Don’t these leaders who have wormed their way to the pinnacle of the charismatic movement realize that judgment must begin in the house of God.? Have they no fear (reverence) of God?
Ian Francis says
I am so sick of the lying and conniving going on among so-called prophets and apostles in the church of God. These people are going to have to give an account on judgment day, for “not many of you shall profess to be teachers”, because their accountability standard is higher with God. Don’t these leaders who have wormed their way to the pinnacle of the charismatic movement realize that judgment must begin in the house of God.? Have they no fear (reverence) of God?
cody stromberg says
When I received a BFA from SMU there was a student receiving her Masters in Theology from Southern Methodist University. She had never read the bible, she was a voodoo witch and was getting her degree for her study of voodoo. She informed me that “theology” only means the “study of God” but that it does not specify which “god” you study!!!! So I guess there are a lot of people with masters in theology from places like SMU (or Yale or Harvard) that are not Christians, in fact hate Christianity, and I wonder how many jobs and doors open to them because people assume a Masters in Theology from a supposedly “christian” university makes them “Christian” I would add that I learned more after the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in a poor church, than all those years of academic scholarships to listen to arrogant educated experts that did not believe in Jesus and would in fact not allow the name Jesus to be mentioned on campus, one could only use the term “spirituality”. LOL!!!! But good gumshoe work. Thanks.
Christian McDaniel says
I laid the stone in the quadrangle where the students are standing in the background of the MSU photograph, in 2007. The two weeks I spent there were an interesting bystanders peek at cult-like atmosphere of Morning Star Ministry. I’m glad you are speaking out about your experiences with them and other ‘ministries’ of its kind. May God bless and keep you through Christ Jesus.
Charles Ripley says
It is even more incestuous then you describe Mishel. As best as I can piece together, Mr. Joyner was awarded his degree by Jorge Parrot, who is employed in Mr. Joyner’s organization as its Mission Director. Mr. Parrot received his phony PhD from North Carolina College of Theology and then went on to open up what essentially looks like a franchise of this college, which is called the MSU college of theology, where Mr. Parrot now awards phony degrees. The accreditation for MSU is the same story: it consists of several ‘accrediting organizations” with fancy-sounding names that are themselves unrecognized. Both the college and the accrediting agencies are on the US Government black list that would disqualify degree recipients of any type of federal employment. Mr. Parrot’s wife is listed as “professor”, but there is no listing anywhere of her educational background. Mr. Parrot lists several awards, including Knight in “Order of John of Jerusalem”, which is a post office box in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and one of many so-called “pseudo-orders” which vastly outnumber the genuine Knights of Malta, and which are recognized by no one except its own members. And for the kicker — the person who awarded Mr. Parrot his Knighthood was none other than Mr. Joyner. So Mr. Joyner gives Mr. Parrot a knighthood, then Mr. Parrot gives Mr. Joyner a degree — and neither are not worth the paper they are printed on. But this does not stop either of these guys listing these among their credentials.
It just seems to me that these guys make a living by trying to impress people who don’t know any better. If you make your pitch sound pompous enough, you can impress those who want to believe, and who themselves might get a piece of paper with “doctor” written on it.
Johnny Hopkins says
People who obtain fake doctorates are cheapening the experience for those of us who worked for our graduate degrees. These issues give Pentecostals a very bad name and is one reason for its derision by cessationists believers. There are Pentecostal schools such as Regent University that provide rigorous academics and a spiritual atmosphere. Plus, those schools are legitimately acredited.
Thurza Heim says
Great point! Thanks for your comment!
A.P. Gillan (Revd.) says
15 Years to get a Ph.D?
I took a full-time BD degree (3 years) with the University of Wales.
Then studied for an MPhil. (which studying full-time takes approx. 2 years)
I had the option of converting my MPhil. to a Ph.D, which would have added another year of full-time study.
Therefore a Ph.D degree can be obtained within 6 years (full-time).
I believe you but not all degrees are that length- a typical BA is 4 years a Master’s can be 2-4 years and I have never heard of a PhD which only added a year but apparently there is. However, it does not negate the fact that Joyner got his PhD from a diploma mill.
Kevin Kordes says
A lot of Christians involved in ministry work (including bonafide missionaries) are compelled to obtain a “fake” doctorate or whatever simply to work in a third-world country.
Unfortunately, big, organized Christianity demands these documents. I’ve heard of people that have volunteered to be missionaries without pay and were turned down simply because they did not have a college degree!! Some have even pastored churches for decades here in the US and have been turned down for missionary work!! Sounds crazy?
If the 12 Apostle were to apply to a modern church they would probably turned down for lack of any educational documents!!!
Javier Mendez says
I miss you where can I find you talking