Defrauding the Church

Recently I was looking at the résumé of a famous preacher who was outed as a adulterer some years ago by another famous preacher (who was himself then outted in the same way). I was looking mostly because he calls himself “Dr.” Under his education he lists “Correspondence Courses Continuing Education – Berean School of Bible”, then an honorary MA (who gets an honorary MA?), two honorary doctorates, and what purports to be a Ph.D. in Religion from North Carolina College of Theology. I had never heard of this institution, but you, dear reader, can probably can probably smell the same rat I did. It is just a bit unusual to go from correspondence courses with no certificate, diploma, or not to mention degree, straight to a Ph.D.

How do you get a doctorate from NCCT? Let them tell you how in their course catalog (spelling, capitalization, grammar and punctuation, including random elipses, from the original):

The North Carolina College of Theology does award degrees for LIFE-EARNED EXPERIENCE. The specific requirements for LIFE-EARNED EXPERIENCE Degrees are outlined in this catalog. NCCT DOES NOT sell degrees…Qualified applicants must submit proof of verifiable time in ministry in order to receive the degree for which he or she has applied….All applicants must meet NCCT requirement with approval of the President and Executive Board. Each individual application is assessed with consideration of various jobs and positions in which an applicant has worked within the church or ministerial realm. Many pastors and five-fold ministers are NOW deserving a Doctorate, and should rightfully be awarded. NCCT LIFE-EARNED DEGREES are identical to the degrees that are issued to students who graduate from the Satellite Extension Program or “Individual Study Program”. It is the desire of the NCCT President, Board, Staff, and Faculty to be a blessing to those in the field of ministry and offer confirmation of education to the many deserving men and women of God.

That’s right. If you have been in full-time ministry for ten to fifteen years, and you have $2,750.00 plus $60.00 application fee, plus $100.00 administration fee, plus the $860.00 graduation fee, you deserve a doctorate. They would like you to write a 25,000 word paper, which they even have the gall to call a dissertation, but that can be waived. That will get you a Doctor of Biblical Studies. If you want to have a Ph.D. you need to have been in ministry 20 years, have bought one of the other doctorates, and it will cost an additional$5,500.00, plus all the other fees. Because you deserve it. And because you have a ministry that can afford to spend the $10,290.00 in total from the offerings you have received from other people. The one thing NCCT is very clear about: no money, no degree, and absolutely no refunds if you ever realize that you paid for a worthless piece of paper.

From whence comes this idea that a degree of any kind is deserved? A degree is earned through a demonstration of academic achievement in a field of study.

NCCT will tell you not to worry about the value of your LIFE-EARNED EXPERIENCE degree, because it is accredited. According to the course catalog, NCCT is accredited through Accrediting Commission International, Inc. of Beebe, Arkansas. ACI is run by non-trinitarian Pentecostal preacher “Dr.” John Scheel who is the bishop of the Lighthouse Pentecostal Jesus Name Church of Beebe. “Dr.” Scheel got his Ph.D. from Toledo Bible College and Seminary, which had to be re-branded when it was run out of Ohio by the authorities. ACI is also a rebranding of the International Accrediting Commission (IAC) which was run out of Missouri after a sting operation.

But why have one fake accreditation with four is better? A real college doesn’t need the approval four accrediting agencies, but according to the NCCT website, they are accredited by three other bogus accrediting agencies in addition to ACI.

NCCT likes to keep things tightly controlled. The President is “Dr.” J. L. Cook. The Senior Vice-President is “Dr.” Judy Cook, the wife of J. L. Cook. The Executive Vice-President is “Dr.” Jon Cook, the son of J. L. Cook. The rest of the Executive Board includes “Dr.” W. L. Baltimore with two diploma mills doctorates, including one from NCCT;  “Dr.” Varnie Fullwood, who got his Bachelor’s from diploma mill Zoe University (also accredited by ACI) before getting his Master’s and Ph.D. from NCCT; “Dr.” Stephen Thomas, with two diploma mill doctorates, one from Rhema University (accredited by one of ACI’s competitors and not to be confused with Rhema Bible Training Center, which does not offer degrees) and one from NCCT; and Revs. Dan and Tim Cook, who bears a striking resemblance to the other Cooks and each other.

All of the Cook sons, Baltimore, and Thomas also serve on the Thesis/Dissertation Review Board, though how the two Cook non-doctors serve on a doctoral dissertation review board further boggles the mind. Ever other member of the Thesis/Dissertation Review Board about whom I can find any further information also appears to their doctorates from NCCT or another mill.

NCCT is just one of many purveyors of bogus theological degrees. I just picked them out by chance, due to their association with Marvin Gorman, mentioned in the first paragraph. I’m sure there are others who are making just as much money out of spreading false credibility throughout the Church. But be clear about this: it is fraud and it is rife.

It may be found predominantly, but not exclusively, in Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Baptist circles. Does that mean that there is anything wrong with these groups within the Church? Absolutely not. It does mean that there is a need to be extra vigilant. Does it mean that someone has to have a real doctorate or even a real degree of any kind to minister in the Church? No. God uses all sorts of men from all sorts of backgrounds and all levels of formal and informal education.

It does mean that no one should represent that they possess formal educational achievement that they have not earned. I don’t care what else they want to say about how great their ministry is, or how fruitful it is in whatever way their group acknowledges fruitfulness, they are defrauding the Church.

27 Responses to Defrauding the Church

  1. Paul Tshuma. says:

    I think people should aim at getting authentic education. However, as far as accreditation is concerned, it is a touchy issue. While i believe in accreditation, God may choose that some institutions be not accredited particularly if the money is supposed to finance crusades to win souls. What then is important? To issue accredited degrees or to win souls for the kingdom? To be honest, my thoughts on accreditation are still evolving. I will encourage those in leadership to listen to God for guidance. Otherwise, we should all desire accreditation if it will improve the quality of education and add value to the kingdom of God.
    Rev. Paul Tshuma

    • Michael says:

      I find that criticism regarding any “religious degree” is worthless bantering. The degree awarded to anyone desiring to be a genuine Christian gathering good fruit into the Kingdom, is a degree awarded by the King Himself. No man can “ordain” another man; only God can ordain men in Spirit and in Truth. The only fact written above is regarding any degree as “a worthless piece of paper”; my wife is in debt to State University, a big name school — with a useless degree she never intends on using. On the contrary, I have two Masters and a Ph.D. in Theology, recognized by my DEMONSTRATION of academic knowledge in Hebrew, Greek, Exegesis, Etymology, and all manner of Biblical knowledge and wisdom. Who is to say my credentials are “fake” when they are never inquired about? Besides, I earned them with over 20-years of studying and intellectual honesty, whereas the “mainstream” college system is full of robbery, academic dishonesty, and intellectual fraud as it were. The school system really is fraudulent for its creation of debt. Besides, the promise my wife received wasn’t a career, but instead, “expansion of your horizons” in all manner of general education topics, most of which are not remembered, were full of worthless papers, and spewing information onto papers.

      I tested out of my first 2-years of college while in the Air Force, taking CLEP (College Examinations) to simply pass out of classes I already mastered. I later dropped out with a 4.0 GPA from Penn State University, and decided to apply for my Ph.D. without further humiliating myself with worthless courses, painstaking hours of studying classes that had absolutely NO bearing on my area of true expertise, which is Theology. I also found that most religious institutions award non-accredited degrees and many of the so-called “accredited” institutions force students to learn intellectually dishonest things surrounding dogma, doctrine, and man-made traditions, most of which are centered on man’s superstitions and myths.

      No one doubts the authenticity of my credentials; I hold to the authority of what I earned in God’s sight, and no one stands against such demonstration of knowledge in all honesty.

      So, it’s really in the heart where the truth and genuine nature of these things spring forth. There are many “idiots” who go to college and get degrees. It’s a new trend. Those degrees aren’t worth anything if the student forgets all they learned soon after taking an exam. Also, there are many people who feel the schooling system is defrauding people, robbing the of their youth, their possible wealth, and ability to actually make a statement in this age about true academic learning. I know everyone I graduated with who went to college regrets ever going to “institutions of higher learning” to major in minor things, and to have their goals frustrated, changing majors 2-4 times on average, and graduating only to return to mommy and daddy’s house to live, and pay off their incredible debts.

      Who stands to reason against someone getting their “fake Ph.D.” so as long as they can demonstrate the knowledge of the subject they desire to master? I find those who have “fake credentials” are even more thoroughly prepared and more dedicated to the subject they choose, than those who aimlessly wander through college only to have their hopes fail and their academic dreams accomplished on the edge of failure — with the motivation being just to get by, and to spew the facts memorized and soon thereafter, to forget everything. This is a fallacy, and your article itself a moot point. Who cares about the opinions of those who are seemingly “jealous” of such “fake credentials.” Chances are you have referred to someone as “Professor” and 90% of people with that title have lied their way to the “top” and also have “fake credentials” that are only worthy of man-made titles, where respect for the subject they have “mastered” is completely lacking. Most students who are just getting by, don’t really “deserve” to get a degree, but schools like to shower students with good grades just to make the institution look good in a purely competitive sense. Who grades another person without judging their ability to read, write, and think critically? I’ve known all college-drop-outs to be more intelligent people than those who think the school system is “helping” them to accomplish their dreams.

      I accomplished all my dreams in life, and have the credentials to speak for what my young mind already expanded upon. I have no need of a “title” except to earn credit in the eyes of those who read my work. Suddenly, men see “titles” and have respect and admiration for what is being said, because men follow titles and are essentially vain in the academic world.

      The “school” is failing the world. Fake credentials are only fake if someone lies about what they have mastered. A master of martial arts, for example, can’t “fake” their mastery of the art; they might not even be called a master until they demonstrate what they know and can do in reality. The same goes for academic performance. My 4.0 GPA allowed me to pursue whatever I wanted, which began with dropping out and telling the University the TRUTH: “You couldn’t PAY me to attend your pathetic institution!” I left with those words, as I was being PAID to attend school for the majority of my life.

      Now, I’m proud to have accomplished what every genius accomplishes WITHOUT the so-called “help” of colleges and universities. Many “drop-outs” have this feeling about the school system; it’s a waste of time and money. What can anyone say against this now, in this day and age? Schools are slumbering giants in need of money; they used to have a purpose greater than cattle-herding. Every student is just a dollar-sign floating around their campus. There is no integrity in this. There is no hope for the plethora of undergraduates out there who can’t land a career unless they have at least a Masters degree. This puts the entire system to shame now. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but geniuses know that school is a waste, and even the Ivy League schools are just a pathetic scam, no better than any other average institution of higher learning and no more than a sick joke at best.

      That’s all I desire to say. The joke is really on those who believe a lie and who deny their own potential to pursue a dream that fulfills the pocketbooks of other men. I retired at age 24 because of my intelligence. Being a genius has its perks in today’s society. It means dropping out of the system to pursue a dream worthy of full commendation. Retiring at 24 was my dream. I’m now called honorably with the title I know I deserve: DOCTOR.

      Those who don’t like it can just go to college and get there “real credential” and do whatever they dream of doing. But those who go to school, do it for “money” on average. Those who say it’s not about the money, are usually lying to themselves. Most want the “title” that is most rewarding in the future. I’ve found my reward, and laugh at such articles like this one, where you disown those who have “fake credentials” but in truth, some people out there have REAL talent and simply want it to be recognized with the titles the world so desires to seek.

      Very Respectfully,

      Rev. Dr. Michael Steele, Ph.D

      • George says:

        If you are referring to legitimacy in a religious fantasy world, then I agree. However, if you are trying to justify diploma mills on religious grounds, you are doing a disservice to all the people out there who honestly earned their degrees. Do you really think it’s OK for people to forgo the thousands of hours of research and studying that are required for real Ph. D’s by paying a few thousand dollars in the name of God? I think it’s funny that you criticize the school system, when it’s the very diploma mill scams you condone that are doing the most damage to the school system in the first place.

        You are obviously free to call yourslef “doctor” if you choose to do so, but I, for one, am not fooled by your arrogance. You feign humility, and yet you are a self-proclaimed “genius.” However, since you “know you deserve” the title of “doctor,” there’s probably no reasoning with you. I just hope you realize that the real world is not fooled by your fascade. You are no more a “doctor” than is an unsanctioned, back-alley abortion doctor. I apologize for the vitrol, but I can’t stand the deplorable principles behind diploma mill schools, nor can I stand the fact that you actually think your Ph.D was rightfully earned or holds any value in the real world. The fact that you use your religion to justify and legitimize your dishonesty is most likley hypocritical (depending on the precise nature of your religious beliefs, of course), and, if your God did exist, he wouldn’t approve of what you are doing. Your school and your false education is idolatry.

      • Susan says:

        Amen. I am a witness that going through any institution, does not guarantee a quality education or a job. I am currently observing my nieces and nephews who have spent many, many hours at major colleges who are either currently unemployed or working outside of their major with hundreds of thousands of debt from attending those colleges and no way to repay them right now. When they could not find a job they returned to school for another degree, more debt. I think a good college education is needed for the 21st century, but obviously it is not the answer for the problems we are facing when there are no jobs. If you can’t pay your loans you will not get hire a lot places with bad credit.

        I have a Doctorate degree from NCCT and it was NOT just given to me, I EARNED IT BEFORE I EVER APPLIED TO THE SCHOOL, NCCT JUST ISSUED ME WHAT I HAD ALREADY EARNED THROUGH BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS!! I also had to work for it at NCCT. I spent over 120 hours of study and testing before I got my degree from NCCT. I have attended other universities and this was the best $4,000.00 I ever spent for college. I am not a title person, my work and God-give abilities speak for me and bring Glory to the Father. People were calling me Dr. before I ever got the degree because of the excellence God allowed me to operate in.

        Talking about money making, that’s all accreditation boards are. As an educator by profession, I have participated on accreditation committees and it is definitely about $$$$, and power. A group of people, qualified or unqualified, gets to decide how your school needs to operate. Some of the people on the committee just made it out of college themselves. Of course, personally, I think they still have something to offer if nothing but what NOT to do!

        People with Honorary Doctorate Degrees from major universities have the same rights and privileges as those “earned”. Well, as far as I am concerned, if they have been considered for an Honorary Doctorate Degree, THEY HAVE EARNED IT!

        I think people feel like if they had to go to college and work for their degree, you have to go also, NOT! Some people just know how to work smart. Although some people work for pleasure and satisfaction, most people work for money. Some of the wealthiest people did not go to college. If you enjoy college and you are proud of your hard work, you don’t have to blow out another person’s candle to let yours shine.

        While I am not trying to justify diploma mills by no means and I would never agree that people should pay for any thing that will be worthless or bring no value to them or others. I worked in public education and the State Department of Education for over 30 years. I attended college, my husband, all three of our children have degrees. One child has a masters degree, one child has two masters and one child has a Ph.D, all EARNED from major universities.

        The truth be told, so many college graduates have not earned or worked for their degrees, They pay people to do their work, their research and even take their tests sometimes. Personally I have helped people with their dissertation, got paid for doing their research. My point is, having a degree from a major university does not mean you did everything right and honest to get it, so here we go, “IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE GOD AND ALLOW GOD TO DIRECT YOUR PATH.” You may even discover that the path God has for you is alongside a mentor and you may not have to go to college, Take relevant courses and be a life-long learner. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE DOING WHAT YOU LOVE AND LOVING WHAT YOU DO. NO $$$$ ON PEACE OF MIND!!

        As I close my comments, when I think back, having work with educators at many levels and even working at a major university, some of the most unhappy people I know have a Ph.D. Granted, I am happy for them and they deserve to be respected for their hard work just as a person who has worked hard and struggled for their high school diploma. But when you think people need to bow down to you and you are always trying to be the smartest person at the table, using that degree card and allowing your insecurities to show, nothing gets done.

        I probably have errors on these comments because I can hardly see right now.

      • Alice says:

        I too have earned a degree from NCCT. I worked for mine as well, and so did my husband. We have also taught at 3 different Bible Training Centers as the main instructors, and been students of the Word for over 30 years. My husband has taught over 30 different courses, and I have taught around 15 different courses myself. So to say that everyone that receives a degree from a particular school hasn’t earned it is just wrong!! Many other small Christian colleges use the same accrediting services. That doesn’t mean that all the students are just being handed pieces of paper with a degree stamped on it. The degrees are for ministry purposes only. They are not for secular use. They are to further the student in the Word of God. I have seen the fruit of the Word in the students I have taught. I have watched them grow in the things of God. So to say that it is a fraud is wrong.

  2. Dave says:

    Paul, my issue is not with accreditation or not. There are many fine unaccredited institutions, that choose that route for one reason or another. My issue is with pseudo-accreditation through bogus agencies like Accrediting Commission International, to attempt to create an air of legitimacy. These pseudo-accredited institutions then offer non-academic programs pretending to be academic, so that unknowing individuals will attribute credibility to them.

  3. Carole Lewis says:

    I agree with Dave. There are many, many people who work hard and very hard getting their degrees from authentically accredited institutions. However, to deceive people with a bogus degree from which may I add, from many places will give to you based on whether or not you have the money to pay for it, is just down right out deceptive. This should be stopped in the area of Christian education. In any other field, such as attorneys or medical doctors there is no such thing as bogus, false and deceptive degrees. And the shame of it all, from what I have experienced is many Christians are deceived into thinking these bogus degrees are legitimate and thus provide legitimacy in education to the minsters who engage in these deceptive false degrees. Many universities, colleges and post graduate programs will allow you to test out of courses if you have the knowledge. On occasion I did this in my undergraduate studies and thus showed I truly had the knowledge to receive accredited credit for it. So why not let these ministers who if they have the knowledge to deserve a degree rightfully test out of the courses and earn their degrees by knowledge and not by “money” or “who they know to get what they want without working for it.”

  4. Bob says:

    Hey Dave! I have a problem with people hanging out a shingle on the NET with degrees from these mills cruising for people in the grip of real mental health issues. Want to Preach? Cool. People get what they buy. Need mental health help? God help you if you find yourself in the care of one of these “Alumni” or “Healers.”

  5. Bobby says:

    I think we all need to revisit what is supposedly an “authentic degree” So just because the godless secular government says that a school has been approved and can offer a regionally accredited degree that is so called “authentic” but when a group of brothers and sisters in Christ form a small accredidation board then that is “scamming” people when if anything they should have more credit than a degree approved by our godless government officials. Also if the NCCT wants to set their own standards about what it takes to get a degree through them it’s not like you don’t have to work, you have to work and study the Bible to get your degree through them which if anything is more practical in many seminaries. I could criticize these so called authentic big name seminaries in many ways. For example, is it really necessary to spend time and your hard earned money in a class where you are learning about a some guy from 1800 in Europe who criticized the authorship of Hebrews. So you can go to a big name seminary and it’s ok to spend your time and money studying this nonsense that is completely useless but a streamlined degree that focusing on what is really important and that is Biblical Studies is supposedly a diploma mill? Why is one standard right and one standard wrong? Who determines which standard for a degree in Spiritual things is correct? I think it is up to Christians to determine what is right and what is useful even if it breaks the traditional mold. The heart of a man, his relationship with the Father and his works determine his success, trying to say one piece of paper is better because it is supposedly from an “authentic” school over another piece of paper is useless. That is the most secular thing we can bring into the church is the separation of church and laymen because of a piece of paper that supposedly makes us better than the rest in Christ. I find it ironic because I know some regular Christians who haven’t even been to seminary that could sit there and break down the book of Zechariah for me but I have also met guys with PHD’s from big name seminaries that couldn’t even tell me what the book was about because they have never studied it before because most their time in seminary was not spent on important and practical things like the Bible but spent in criticisms of manuscripts and other things that you will probably never use in your entire life. I also don’t see how real life experience to you is not considered academic, you learn more in real life situations that you do in a book any day. I would trust a man that has been serving real people for 15 years than a man that has read books for 15 years but has no experience with the real world and people. If anyone deserves a degree it’s the man with the hands on experience.

    • Rob says:

      Hear, Hear! Well put and as Bro. Paul stated, “know no man (person) after the flesh”! Much learning has made much of the body “mad”!

  6. Too ashamed to tell says:

    I have recently received, not one, but two degrees from NCCT in the last eight years and i was indeed proud of my accomplishments and hard work put in to graduate. my decision to go to NCCT was bassed on their presentation of the acredititing bodies they were validated by. Unfortuanely, I applied for a counseling position based on the coursework i had done in that area, (18 credits) only to find out that none of the credits were recognized by the U.S. Dept. Of Education. I am stunned to find that all of that work meant nothing and forget the money, the degrees i received are not worth the paper they are written on. As an alumnus, I even began a satellite program in my area, which spread to another state and over 50 students. I touted the fact that we were “fully” accredited. There is no way i can, in good conscience, conceal this information from those who trusted me, because i trusted and promoted this schools “accreditation!! Even in the body of Christ, there are those who lack integrity!!

    • baba says:

      Did you learn anything while in school? If so, was it worth it? I am thinking about going to this school, but its not to get a better job. Please respond.

    • WRBIII says:

      While I do understand the accreditation process, I will speak in defense to those who have matriculated through this institution. The program does require that you do the work. So the content as well as the doctrine is basically sound. No, the degree is not recognized or accepted in many cases. It really is a glorified local bible school. Again, you do gain a great deal of information through study. The problem however, is that the degree is not recognized as coming from an accredidated learning institution. There is nothing deceptive about the material offered. Everything is biblically based. Yes, it allows for you to enter with life/ ministry experience as does many other accredited institutions. Yes, you have to submit letter(s) of recommendation as other accredidated institutions require.

      But what much of it boils down to is the integrity in which the individual and the professor operate with. Some professors no doubt allow for people to slide through and not do all of the required work. This happens in other acrtedited institutions as well. I don’t think that it is of any benefit to judge the visionary of this college nor the college based on the lack of integrity of individuals. I have interacted with some of the faculty and they are attempting to operate with integrity. While I don’t know them personally, they seem to be attempting to build something that is beneficial for the kingdom of God. I think that those who are operating in some of the satellite locations are the ones to be in question. Dr. Cook and the faculty issue degrees based on the grades reported and the work done. They are relying on the honesty of the faculty and students.

      So from a stand point of getting more learning I would have to say the college is great. As for accreditation, no the college is not recognized. So if you are not interested in accreditation, until such time NCCT becomes accredidated I would say this may not be the learning institution for you. Personally, it was good for the learning. But again, the learning was based on the the effort that I had to put forth. But as for accreditation and recognition for jobs it has not been beneficial. I hope and pray for that at some point they will become an accredidated institution.

  7. SAD, BUT TRUE says:

    I am an alum of NCCT, that would advise you to spend your money elsewhere. During our graduation ceremony the minister-in-charge brow-beat the graduates and attendees during offering saying if you did not give; dr. cook could possibly lose his home due to trying to keep the college up and running. This went on for approx 30 minutes not sure because my oxygen left the room. I was so embarrassed that I had invited so many people and the kicker was when they received the offering in KFC buckets. My large party was traveling on to Myrtle Beach to continue our celebration; needless to say I cried all night until my husband just held me in his arms. He felt so bad and helpless. All said, I paid for my degree, but unfortunately “CLASS” was not included in the price. I am still sad over the experience and can not face some of my family members to this today. I was mortified! I’m sure they got a good laugh; it was kinda funny a year later! LOL!!! I believe this confession just set me free, thank you God! Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. A knot just moved from my stomach that has been there ever since that night. I never had a chance to talk with grads that day, so this was a blessed opportunity to purge this devastating experience and move on. Other alumni should be honest about their experiences it will help someone else. Don’t get me wrong; the world’s system is a trap, which could leave you in debt for decades to come; so be wise when seeking education especially if you are looking to secure a job based on your education. Community college is the best investment. Love and Peace!

  8. Purpose Driven With A Purpose says:

    I attended the North Carolina College of Theology (NCCT) under one of their Satellite Programs for five years and can testify that the level of Christian education I received was excellent. Prior to attending NCCT, I attended two other “authentic” (as the critic might say) schools. The level of education received at these two schools did not contain the depth of knowledge I received at NCCT. I completed the required course work during my first year at NCCT to receive a bachelor degree and continued on for the next four years completing course work required to achieve a masters and a doctors degrees. NCCT’s curriculum completing aligned with my passion and God-given call to serve in the capacity of a Christian Educator of the Bible. While I’m not knowledgeable of the quality of education others received during their tenure at NCCT, I can say I have been equipped with knowledge of the word of God to enhance my God-directed purpose in serving the kingdom of Heaven. As far as accreditation and the unprofitable conversation these post have engaged concerning it, one needs to understand their purpose for attending any institute of higher learning. If it’s to enhance your knowledge of a particular subject area and it does just that, then does accreditation from an “authentic” institute really matter? Now if you are simply looking for a reputation and don’t really care about being enhanced, then you just might want to attend a school the world classifies as “credible”. Unfortunately, this just might be all you possess. As for my experience at NCCT, I worked extremely hard in completing the curriculum. I was driven to spend countless hours with my head in the Bible and other biblical resources to gain insight and knowledge required to respond to the requirements outlined in my curriculum. My instructors were well versed in their biblical knowledge and expected nothing less than the best of their students. The Dean of Education at my school always challenged the students to seek greater heights. By the time I completed my fifth and final year, I knew beyond all doubt that I had earned the Doctor of Christian Education degree I received. On a lighter side: I could be heard telling my friends and family that after all the hard work and long hours of school, I was soooo done school and ready to walk across that stage to receive, as the critics call it, that piece of paper. In closing, I thank God for the opportunity to study at the NCCT and to receive the level of Christian education I have. While I am ready for a break from school, being a NCCT student and gaining such an awesome insight into the word of our God, I have decided to extend my Christian education to include studying in the area of Grief Counseling. The body of Christ needs those who possess a strong foundation of the word of God to serve the world in their time of grief using the power of the gospel to strengthen them. Thanks NCCT for affording me the blessed opportunity to grow into the godly woman I am; I am Purpose Driven in my pursuit.

    • Dave says:

      Purpose Driven With A Purpose,

      You seemed to have missed my point. The point of getting an alleged doctorate from NCCT is to be considered credible as the world classifies credible without actually doing the work. If you weren’t concerned with credibility, then why get a “doctorate” at all? What is the point putting the letters after your name? The lack of credibility of a degree from NCCT is not just testified by the other comments on this blog, but by NCCT’s own admission, as quoted above.

      NCCT gives out degrees because people deserve to have them for being ministers (and paying enough money in fees). No one deserves a degree. A degree denotes academic accomplishment to an objective standard.

      If you completed coursework delivered and marked by people with real doctorates under the authority an institution governed by people with real doctorates, and then wrote a dissertation of between 80,000 and 100,000 words reflecting about three years of original research, including research in at least one foreign language of which you have working knowledge to do doctoral level research, making a substantial contribution to the knowledge of a field of study, constantly reviewed by a doctoral adviser (who had done the same thing) until it was ready to be submitted to a full dissertation committee, before whom an oral dissertation defense was successful, then yes, you are doctor of something or other.

      Otherwise, you just have letters after your name that make people think you did that.

  9. David Watson says:

    Thanks for shining some light on this bogus degree mill and sham theology program. North Carolina has a very long and infamous history of bogus ‘spirit filled’ evangelical,
    ‘hocus,Pocus’ Bible Colleges and providing credentials for many sketchy Christian ministries.
    The reason some standardized level of Institutional credibility is important goes to a comment another reader made. A PhD degree in ministry often carries an inferred component of legitimate counseling component,as,part of the process. Legitimate standardized and fully accredited Doctoral programs also adhere to standardized ,accepted mental health protocols in developing their counseling programs. They are usually designed and coordinated through the assistance of an accredited University or Medical School. It is important for setting some acceptable limits for the type of service a minister or pastor should attempt to provide in their daily practice of ministry. Knowing when and how to refer a congregant for more specific help than a minister can provide is one of the most important aspects of learning for any candidate seeking a post graduate degree. For many emotionally disturbed or mentally ill individuals, using a minister to address their discomfort may be their first encounter with seeking help in the wilderness of emotional turmoil. All treatment models should be based first on the principle of ‘DO NO HARM’. I often hear the term ‘Christian counseling’ thrown around loosely when discussing primitive paper programs like the one offered at ncct. This loosely defined non-clinical and unspecific title too often translates to convincing someone that if their faith is strong enough, they will be cured or made whole again.It doesn’t take into account where the thresh hold may lay between day to day problems and serious mental illness.
    We all know the damage ‘false’ ministries like Jim and Tammy Baker of PTL , Jim Jones and Jimmy Swaggart brought to their followers through their self-inflated quackery. Theological schools or degree mills like ncct are hollow and should be regulated. The potential for abuse of authority is endless when considering how programs like ncct’s function. They should be scrutinized closely. Thanks for your investigative work in exposing it.
    David R Watson
    Black Mountain, North Carolina

  10. Mack says:

    Great article. I just discovered this fraud of a school after reading about some guy known for being a liar named “Luke Holter” who started calling himself a Doctor and a Prophet so he could be recognized in ministry. I looked up his “Phd” and found the NCCT website. Couldn’t stop laughing, especially when I read about the life-earned experience Doctorate which “you deserve!” What a joke. You are right; this institution is not only a fraud, but helping others defraud the church. Reader, be aware and beware, of NCCT, of scams like these, of the Luke Holters of the world. And Michael, how long have you been working with NCCT? “Worthless bantering” ? No sir, this author is exposing a scam that sells degrees.

    • Mack says:

      PS And Susan, I’m sorry, but “120hrs” of study is nothing. Really NOTHING. Most college students I know put well over that in a semester, and many in one quarter. You’ve been robbed. You degree is worthless. It’s a scam.

      • Mack says:

        Susan: “People were calling me Dr. before I ever got the degree because of the excellence God allowed me to operate in.” Wow. Really? I think Snoop Dogg has a “Doctor” friend too.

  11. Ralph says:

    Try practicing medicine in any state with a degree mill M.D., or try becoming a nurse under the same circumstances – see if you can even get a seat at an NCLEX exam with the kind of credentials offered at NCCT. I don’t think many would be willing to undergo surgery by a self proclaimed physician who thought she deserved to be a doctor even without attending med school. And how much greater importance is eternal health?

  12. Gloria says:

    There is no way that we can compare secular academic achievements/accreditations to the spiritual realm of education. For the reward comes from 2 different grantees – man and God, respectively. Matthew 6:33 says to: Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    This is my first year attending NCCT and I really love the curriculum study which is strictly, a disciplined Bible Study. If we study to show ourselves approved unto God, by rightly dividing the word of truth as instructed, (2 Timothy 2:15) the Holy Ghost will do the rest …

    P.S. I also have an Associates and Bachelor’s degree, along with post graduate work in the field of business administration from well-known secular institutions. I thank the Lord for all of my learning in both realms.

  13. Ricky says:

    Dear running off at the mouth don’t know what you’re talking about: have you ever been to this school? I didn’t think so. That happens all the time, people talk when they don’t know what they’re talking about. Churches and people have gotten a bad name just because people like you talk and critics without the facts. I read what you had to say and checked it out. I noticed you never said anything about the degrees that are earned by people who are not preachers. While you went on and on about something you had no clue about, I ordered the catalog from the school, I look over the degrees and how you earn them and just as I thought you don’t know what you’re talking about. It sounds to me like you just might be jealous. So the the next time you talk about something, please do your homework like those that have earned their degree from this school. You have a blessed day now ya hear?

    • Dave says:

      I don’t have to visit every diploma mill to know that it’s a diploma mill. As a lawyer, I learned the duck rule very early on: if it walks like a duck, if it talks like a duck, if it swims like a duck, it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s a duck.

      I don’t know why you went to all the trouble of ordering the catalog. It is available on the NCCT website. The website say everything that needs to be said and verifies everything I said. I have looked over the degrees and how you earn them. This is not a legitimate way to earn a degree. The accrediting “agencies” are frauds as well. And yes, I have researched them thoroughly.

      It defrauds others in the general public – including the Church – who assume that those carrying these “credentials” acquired them though recognized, legitimate means that demonstrate verifiable academic competence.

  14. Ricky says:

    sorry I was so long getting back to reply ,I didn’t know you were a lawyer, that so funny, and you have the nerve to talk about someone defrauding other people. That’s so funny I just about wet my pants. Now I understand. you should know the old saying, what’s worse than someone that knows everything, it’s someone who argues with them. don’t have time to waste.

  15. J says:

    Giving credit for Life Experience is also given consideration at Cornell, an Ivy League school, and I believe that Duke does as well. I daresay no one accuses those institutions of being ‘degree mills’. If the sole reason for pooh-poohing degrees is because Life Experience is a part of the process, I cannot agree. My father has a graduate degree from Emory however now that he is 40 years into the ministry, he has a proficiency level that experience, not a 3-credit hour class on Malachi, has provided. If the life experience an individual has allows them to demonstrate proficiency, I’m more inclined to listen to that person than someone who has no life experience. This would be like a 23-yr old male medical student writing a book about childbirth and childrearing when they are neither parents nor have they experienced anything outside of the classroom. What they have to say may be spot-on, but I give more weight to the individual who has experienced it and studied the topic for 20 years. I wouldn’t automatically dismiss the young degree holder, but neither would I state the 20-yr veteran with experience in the field but no official paper was irrelevant or unqualified. If coursework and demonstration of proficiency is part of the process – and the life experience satisfies this – how is this invalid? Because they didn’t pay a lot of money and sit through lessons? Earning knowledge through coursework, or earning knowledge through experience…. Both approaches have ‘earned’ proficiency. If someone tests with proficiency, in undergrad classes it is Clepping the requirement. I fail to see how proficiency all of a sudden is not proficiency once you would move to Master’s or higher levels. I have two degrees from a brick and mortar university that I paid dearly for, but also recognized my pieces of paper meant nothing compared to the experienced people already working in my field. My only caution is the anger directed at your original observation of a man who does a disservice to Christianity held certain honorary degrees, and therefore concluding that ALL of these institutions who grant degrees with a consideration for life experience must be corrupt, does a disservice as well and is fallacious. Ironically, this is from someone who typically finds honorary degrees laughable. The corruption, rather, is in the character of the original man in question. He may well have demonstrated proficiency, you have no way of knowing how he tests. It is his lack of application of those principles that is the problem. Not the institution providing the ‘paper’.

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