In most academic circles, the gratuitous use of “Dr.” is considered pretentious. In right wing Christian circles, however, the honorific is almost mandatory; So much so that they have created their own degree mills just to “award” worthless Ph.D’s. These “institutions,” in turn, have created vanity Christian accrediting agencies that are unrecognized for any educational purpose.

Take, for example, the case of “Dr.” (he insists) Patrick L. Wooden, Sr., one of the preachers who is part of Peter LaBarbera’s bigot brigade at the SPLC. According to his biography at his Upper Room Church of God in Christ:

Dr. Patrick L. Wooden, Sr.

Dr. Wooden has received national notoriety for his work and efforts. The North Carolina College of Theology recognized the work of Dr. Wooden and afforded him the opportunity to use some of his years of experience as credits in his pursuit of a Doctorate of Theology of [sic] which he received in June 2007.

That, in turn, leads us to The North Carolina College of Theology.  According to them:

Accreditation: The North Carolina College of Theology is 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.

The problem here is that not one of those “accreditors” is recognized by the US Department of Education as an accrediting agency. Not one!

But it get worse. The “college” goes on to claim:

Very Important: We do not sell degrees. Many pastors, missionaries, and
church workers have earned their degrees and should have them. NCCT is
accredited by Southern Accreditation Association of Christian Schools
and Colleges . . .

Furthermore, the “doctoral” program requires no more prior education than a high school diploma or GED. However “a thesis is required.” Not surprisingly, that requirement can be waived.

Just to sum it up, the devout Christians have created worthless, unrecognized accrediting agencies in order to provide mail-order Christian degree mills with worthless accreditations in order to provide Christian pastors with worthless degrees. This is done to mislead people into believing that the good preacher has a level of erudition and educational accomplishment that he or she simply does not possess.

Whatever happened to that “bear false witness” thing?

     The Very Highly Reverend David Cary Hart

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.