How A Televangelist Becomes A “Doctor”…

There seems to be a proliferation of “Doctors” in the church today.

While many black pastors have called each other “doc” over the decades, there are many pastors who are pursuing their doctoral studies to be more effective in Gospel ministry.

There are also pimps, pimpettes, and false teachers who seek to acquire the title of “doctor” to make you think they’re more knowledgeable about scripture so that they can shake you down for more money.

Sorry for being so blunt, but it’s the truth. Think I’m wrong? Take a look at Friends International Christian University.

Founded in 1978, FICU bills itself as a school whose goal is to accommodate the busiest of students, regardless of educational background. FICU is committed to education; the education of persons preparing for service in Christian ministry”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a believer in ACCREDITED online education like Walden University, the University of Phoenix, or American Intercontinental University – but this place sounds fishy to me.

First, they’re not accredited (and they make that perfectly clear), so why waste your time pursuing a worthless education?

Second, they’re dirt cheap (it only cost $110 to apply and $3600 for a Doctorate…I haven’t even started paying off the bill for my MBA yet and I could’ve received a Doctorate for a fraction of the cost 😦 !), and they have “open enrollment” (meaning they’ll accept anyone).

Don’t have time to study? No worries – they give you “lifetime learning credit”. That means you simply detail some of the aspects of your life (your involvement in ministry, career highlights, etc.) and you don’t have to waste your time in a pesky Homiletics or Hermeneutics class.

Want to offer an “extension program” for FICU at your church? Again, no problem – you can help their campuses grow by becoming an “affiliate partner”. I’m sure it won’t cost you much – just sow a small seed 😉

If that were all, I could end this post right now…but wait, there’s more…

Who are some of FICU’s “famous” alumni, you ask?

Well, none other than some of the most prolific pimps stalking the pulpit today:

  • I.V. & Bridgette Hilliard
  • T.D. Jakes
  • Clarence McClendon
  • Orrin & Medina Pullings
  • Fred Price
  • Paul Morton
  • And many more…

They’ve also been able to squeeze $3600 out of Helen Baylor, Ron Kenoly, and Billy Blanks (who knew?).

I’m not saying that a pastor couldn’t get a legitimate degree from Harvard or Morehouse and still not fleece the sheep – or that a pimp is only a pimp because they got their degree from an unaccredited diploma mill.

I do find it interesting, however, that many of the wolves who empty the pockets of the saints decided to get their phony degrees from the same “university”.

Remember Christ’s observation about how fruit is produced.

Hmmm. “Birds of a feather…”

9 Responses to “How A Televangelist Becomes A “Doctor”…”

  1. 1 gcmwatch April 15, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Hmmmm, a couple of questions…
    IST are these honorary degrees?
    I noticed that they offer degrees in other fields (business, education, etc). Why are they only highlighting the p**ps and their self-laudatory accomplishments in theology?

    You are absolutely right. This new “Dr.” this and “Dr”. that phenomena has produced a false industry to help fleece the sheeple.

    The more important you pretend to be with all the degrees, the more likely the sheeple will want to give you money because they trust your expertise.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with obtaining a degree honestly or even being awarded an honorary degree. But the motivation of some of these people are telling.

    Why dont they give a degree to someone who is truly deserving but have no influence or reciprocal capital? That would truly be honorary.

    They should offer degrees in church scamology.

  2. 4 Speaking Truth April 15, 2008 at 8:55 am

    I don’t have a problem with honorary degrees either – at least you know that they were given as a courtesy as opposed to “earned” at the institution. I wouldn’t turn down an honorary doctorate in “humane letters” from anyone 🙂

    It is interesting that although FICU offers “degrees” in other fields of study, they go out of their way to acknowledge the famous pimps who’ve “attended” the institution (it’s OK to use that word here GCMW – especially when it’s warranted).

    There have been rumors that these televangelist gave donations to the school in order to “earn” their “doctorates”, but it seems as though the cost of the degree is low enough to absorb if it means you can fleece much more from the sheep by lauding your “credentials” in the future.

    It’s sad indeed, but I’ve learned not to be too surprised by what I see anymore…

  3. 5 gcmwatch April 15, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    lol, IST. I treated p**ps as a bad word. Pun intended.

    I agree the tradeoff is huge. Minimal overhead to get the degree and major payoff in using it as leverage to get more dinero. Im sure some will argue that they already had the “stuff” before they ever got the degree and that it is inconsequential in the big picture. If that were the case, why are the degrees so prominent in ther public personas?

    I have seen where some of the folks will start their own “univeristy”then award themselves PhDs and only to close the “school”.

    I mentioned on IC’s blog ( I think he covered this too sometime back) that it seemed like this was more prevalent among black clergy.

    I found one case with The Fellowship, and of course there’s Randy White so its across the board.

    Good post.

  4. 6 anointedvessel April 16, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    hahahaha I was wondering what diploma mill was pumping out all these Doctor’s when I wrote my blog Back in the beginning of April and you answered that question for me ! “since-when-did-being-called-dr-become-so-popular”
    Now I got to go back and add the name of the school. What a crock!!!! What is really sad is, these people are exchanging their sacred God given ministerial titles for contemporary ones. They are going from Apostle to Doctor. That’s not an upgrade it’s a downgrade. That’s like going from Teacher to toilet plunger. They just want to sound better to the world at the cost of laying aside their sacred office! Soooooo Stupid!!!
    Thanks Truth speaker for what you do best! and that’s speaking the truth and keeping it real!!
    God bless
    Anointed vessel!!

  5. 7 Speaking Truth April 16, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    @ AV –

    Thanks for stopping by. If I had known that you wrote a similar article, I would have saved a few keystrokes and just linked over 😉

    It’s troubling to see how many who proclaim the Gospel feel that they have to be “doctored up” to be seen as legitimate. It’s especially troubling when pimps, pimpettes, and wannabe’s (the illegitimate representatives of the Gospel) are the primary culprits.

    @ GCMW –

    I checked out your post on the bishop from “The Fellowship”. He’s got a whole set of problems – from serving under a lesbian bishop to buying degrees (that sounds like a bad country and western song).

    Also, “bishop” Randy White is so transparently phony that anyone who believes anything that comes out of his mouth (or from his bio) needs to (as Paul said) “examine themselves to see if they’re in the faith”

  6. 8 PimpMyChristianity November 12, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Just call me DOCTOR Jesus Christ ya’ll.

  7. 9 Dr. James Wilcox November 21, 2008 at 3:46 am

    As a minister who has an earned doctorate in ministry, it is sad these individuals have to go to this level to impress people. I knew how to preach before I went to seminary; however, this degree is for the building of God’s kingdom. We are all co-laborers in this work for the Lord, but a lot of work went into earning this degree. If you are going to call yourself a doctor, go through the process. We know we can not get to God unless we go through Jesus. You can not be a Ph.D or D.Min. unless you get a M.Div. or M.Div. Eqiv.

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