|Kong Hee and Phil Pringle|
*Master of Divinity, New Covenant International Theological Seminary (NCITS), 1989-91
*Doctor of Theology, New Covenant International Theological Seminary (NCITS), 1993-95
CHC's advisor and senior pastor "Dr" Phil Pringle holds a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Biblical Philosophy from New Covenant International University (NCIU), awarded in 1999.
NCITS and NCIU are the same outfit, also called New Covenant International University and Theological Seminary (in Lake Worth, Florida). It is a degree mill (or diploma mill), which sells bogus degrees with no regard for any academic standard. (Details here)
The founder and President of NCIU/NCITS, "Dr" Kevin Dyson, is apparently on close terms with Pringle and Kong Hee, and serves alongside Pringle as CHC's advisor.
Kevin Dyson holds the following degrees:
*BA (BTh) from Jubilee International Bible College (JIBC), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
*Master of Religious Education and Doctor of Divinity (Restoration Church History) from Jubilee International Bible Institute, California
*Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Counseling from Evangelical Theological Seminary, Missouri, 1981-85
Evangelical Theological Seminary, Missouri and Jubilee International Bible Institute, California are diploma mills. Jubilee International Bible College (JIBC), Brisbane (defunct) was most probably a diploma mill too. (Details here)
Anyone can buy a bogus degree, secular or religious, online to deceive the trusting or the naive. The following article, Degree Mills, dated 2004, might usefully alert the reader to such deceit.
News reports on Singaporean and Malaysian degree mills can be found at the end of this post.
Database of accredited educational institutions, Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA): here
List of unaccredited colleges and universities compiled by Maine Department of Education (2007): here
Higher education oversight and accreditation (by George Gollin, professor of physics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [UIUC]): here
Repository of news and information on diploma mills (by George Gollin): here
George Gollin and the toppling of a bogus diploma empire (Wired magazine article): here
Diploma mill news: here
Unfortunately, the trend has reversed and things are getting worse. With the winding down of DipScam in the early 1990s, and the advent of inexpensive laser printers, color copiers, overnight delivery services, 800, 888, 877, and 500 telephone numbers, faxes, computer bulletin boards, and other accessible technology—most significantly the growth of the Internet—diploma mills have made a real comeback, both in the United States and in Europe.
There are now dozens of places where one can buy Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorates, even law and medical degrees, with no questions asked, on payment of fees of anywhere from one dollar to several thousand. To demonstrate this, John purchased (for $53) an extremely authentic-looking law degree (Doctor of Jurisprudence) of Harvard University, from an outfit in Florida that has been advertising nationally, complete with an 800 phone number. Their ads have run for at least four years, and they even have a little retail establishment where they print diplomas while you wait. Transcripts are available as well. And no, we will not provide the address, or those of any other illegal schools. We have no wish to give them business. And our lawyer has advised us that we could be considered "accessories before the fact" should someone buy a fake degree and use it to defraud others. (We will, of course, cooperate with law enforcement officers and bona fide investigative reporters.)
One of the main reasons that fake schools continue to exist is that it is difficult to legally define exactly what is meant by the term "diploma mill" or "degree mill." Surely any school that will send you a Ph.D. by return mail on payment of $100, no questions asked, is a fraud. But what about a school that requires a five-page dissertation before awarding the Doctorate? How about 20 pages? 50? 100? 200? Who is to say? One man's degree mill is another man's alternative university. And nobody seems to want the government stepping in to evaluate doctoral dissertations before permitting schools to grant degrees. Would you want [insert the name of your least-favorite politician] grading your thesis?
Another large gray area is the one dealing with religious schools. Because constitutional safeguards in the United States guarantee separation of church and state, most states have been reluctant to pass any laws restricting the activities of churches -- including their right to grant degrees to all who make an appropriately large donation. In many states, religious schools are not regulated but are restricted to granting religious degrees. But in some, like Louisiana and Hawaii, if you established your own one-person church yesterday, you could start your university today and award a Ph.D. in nuclear physics tomorrow.
Many states say that religious schools can only grant religious degrees. A diploma mill in Louisiana took that argument to new limits, when they announced that because God created everything, no matter what you studied, it was the study of the work of God, and therefore a religious degree. Twice, the Louisiana courts upheld this argument!
Why Are Degree Mills Allowed to Operate?
Also, degree mills that do not muddy their own local waters, but sell their products only in other states or other countries, are more likely to get away with it longer. A goodly number of degree mills have operated from England, selling their product only to people in other countries (primarily the United States, Africa, and Asia). Many British authorities seem not to care as long as the only victims are foreigners, and authorities in the United States find it virtually impossible to take action against foreign businesses.
After decades of debating these matters (even Prince Charles made a speech about the diploma-mill problem), Britain has taken two tiny steps. Step one is to forbid unrecognized schools to call themselves a "University." However, this law had been in effect for about three minutes when one of England's leading diploma mills" the Sussex College of Technology, found the loophole. The law declares that it pertains to everyone enrolling after April 1, 1989. Sussex immediately began offering to backdate applications to March 31,1989, which appears not to be illegal. They are still getting away with this ploy. Step two is to require that unrecognized schools must say in their literature that they do not operate under a Royal Charter or an Act of Parliament (the two ways schools become legitimately recognized in Britain). This, however, is unlikely even to be noticed by degree-buyers in other lands.
Other states and jurisdictions have tried to craft laws that would permit legitimate nontraditional schools to operate while eliminating degree mills. For instance, for many years California had a law that stated that the main requirement for being authorized by the state to grant degrees was ownership of $50,000 worth of real property. That law was apparently passed to eliminate low-budget fly-by-night degree mills. But $50,000 ain't what it used to be, and from the 1960s through the early 1980s, dozens of shady operators declared that their home or their book collection was worth $50,000 and proceeded to sell degrees with wild abandon.
In 1978, John had the pleasure of advising the "60 Minutes" people from CBS on which California "universities" they might wish to send Mike Wallace in to expose. The proprietor of California Pacifica University was actually arrested while Wallace was interviewing him, and soon after pleaded guilty to multiple counts of mail fraud, and went off to federal prison. Two years later, California Pacifica was still listed in the state's official publication, the Directory of California Educational Institutions.
California, thankfully, has tightened things up considerably since then, by eliminating the "authorized" category, and adding requirements that there must be elements of instruction provided by state-approved schools. Once again, of course, we have a law trying to define subjective matters.
In 1990, John had the further pleasure of appearing on the nationally syndicated program "Inside Edition" to help expose yet another major degree mill, North American University. Its proprietor, Edward Reddeck, who had previously been to prison for running another fake school, was convicted on multiple counts of mail and wire (telephone) fraud, and sent to federal prison for a few years.
Another reason for the proliferation of degree mills in the past is that the wheels of justice ground very slowly, when they ground at all. Dallas State College was shut down by authorities in Texas in 1975. The same perpetrators almost immediately opened up as Jackson State University in California. When the post office shut off their mail there, they resurfaced with John Quincy Adams University in Oregon. It took 12 more years and a major effort by the FBI before the Dallas State perpetrators were finally brought to justice in a federal courtroom in North Carolina in late 1987, nearly two decades and millions of dollars in revenues after they sold their first Doctorate. And when the FBI, the IRS and the postal inspectors raided a diploma mill in Louisiana in 1995, where they recovered more than $10 million in cash, the page-one newspaper account at the time said that these agencies had spent more than five years preparing for their visitation.
John consulted with the FBI on matters of degree mills from 1979 until 1992, when arch diploma-mill exposer Special Agent Allen Ezell retired, and DipScam wound down.
The FBI looked into hundreds of nonaccredited schools. Some were found to be harmless, innocuous, even good, and no actions were taken. When there was evidence of chicanery, a search warrant was issued, and FBI vans hauled off tons of papers and records. In many cases, but not all, a federal grand jury handed down indictments. And when they did, in many cases, the indictees pleaded guilty to mail or wire (telephone) fraud, and received fines and sentences in federal prison.
The wording of the federal grand jury indictments is quite wonderful. Here is a sample, from one indictment. (This is just a small excerpt from a thick document.)
SCHEME AND ARTIFICE: Count One: That from some unknown time prior to, on, or about [date) and continuing through some unknown time after [date] within the Western District of North Carolina and elsewhere in the United States, [defendants] did knowingly, intentionally, and unlawfully combine, conspire, confederate and agree with each other and with others to the Grand jurors both known and unknown, to commit offenses against the United States, that is, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud and for obtaining money by false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, for the purpose of executing said scheme and artifice to defraud and attempting to do so knowingly and intentionally placing and causing to be placed in a post office and an authorized depository for mail matter, and causing to be delivered by United States mail according to the direction thereon, matters and things to be sent and delivered by the United States Postal Service, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 2, and knowingly and intentionally transmitting and causing to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate commerce, certain signs, signals and sounds, to wit, interstate telephone conversations, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343.In other words, they sent fake degrees by mail, and made interstate phone calls to their customers.
In its earlier days, DipScam went after the fake medical schools-the most dangerous degree-sellers of all. They were quickly able to shut down the two worst perpetrators, Johann Keppler School of Medicine and the United American Medical College, and send their respective founders to prison.
DipScam's largest case came to its grand finale in a federal courthouse in Charlotte, North Carolina, in October 1987, with John present as an expert witness and observer. On trial were the seven perpetrators of a long string of degree mills, most recently including Roosevelt University, Loyola University, Cromwell University, University of England at Oxford, Lafayette University, DePaul University, and Southern California University, as well as several fake accrediting agencies.
More than 100 witnesses were called over a two-and-a-half-week period, including many who established the substantial size and scope of bank deposits and investments made by the defendants. Witnesses from Europe testified to the mail-forwarding services the defendants used in England, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, and elsewhere. The circus-like atmosphere was not helped by the fact that Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jessica Hahn, and company, were appearing in the courtroom right next door, and so the grounds of the courthouse were covered by photographers and reporters, none of whom took much interest in the DipScam trial.
Two of the minor players were dismissed by the judge for lack of definitive evidence, but the five main defendants were found guilty by the jury on all 27 counts of mail fraud, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy. They were sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to seven years.
Even though the DipScam project is no longer active, the FBI, the postal inspectors, and some crusading state agencies are still actively working to keep fake schools from operating and phony degrees from being sold.
Why Degree Mills Prosper
Unfortunately, many newspapers and magazines continue to permit the perpetrators to advertise. At this writing, for instance, some of the biggest phony schools advertise in nearly every issue of The Economist USA Today, Forbes, Psychology Today, Inc., Discover, Investors Business Daily, the International Herald Tribune, regional editions of Time and Newsweek, and dozens of other publications that should know better.
Indeed they do know better. As a public service, we routinely write to such publications to suggest they are doing their readers a disservice by running these ads. With the exception of the Wall Street Journal, which promptly changed its policies, we have failed utterly. In 1997, USA Today told us they were going to change their policies, but they apparently changed their minds. The Economist even wrote to us to say that their readers were smart enough to make up their own minds. Then, when we tried to run a "Diploma Mill Alert" in The Economist it was rejected, because "We don't run ads critical of our advertisers."
There have been occasions in the past when a class-action suit filed on behalf of fraud victims also named the advertising medium where the fraud advertised. We can only hope that such a suit will attract the attention of the lawyers for other such publications.
Two Other Insidious Academic Frauds
One is the so-called "lost diploma replacement service. " If you tell them you had a legitimate degree but lost it, they will replace it for a modest fee. That's why John has a Harvard "Doctor of Neurosurgery" diploma hanging on his wall (next to his real Michigan State one).The Harvard phony sold for $49.95.When the FBI raided one such service, in Oregon (they had been advertising in national publications), they found thousands of blank diplomas from hundreds of schools-and records showing an alarmingly large number of clients. The Oregon service no longer advertises, but others crop up from time to time, such as the one from which John bought his Harvard law degree. Since the services require their clients to sign a disclaimer saying they really had the original degree, and since the diplomas come with a "Novelty Item" sticker (easy to peel off), the services may well be operating legally. On one occasion, at least, the justice Department was unable to get an indictment from a federal grand jury for these reasons.
The other is term-paper and dissertation-writing services. Several of them put out catalogs listing over a thousand already-written term papers they will sell; and if they don't already have what you want, they will write anything from a short paper to a major dissertation for you, for $7 to $10 a page.
An Emphatic Warning
About the Authors
John's daughter Mariah earned her Master's degree in Journalism at New York University and is executive editor of Degree.net Books.
This article is adapted from the 13th edition of Bear's Guide to Earning Degrees Nontraditionally (Ten Speed Press, 1998). The book covers night and weekend colleges; foreign medical schools; degrees by Internet and other e-mail avenues; and other ways to acquire a bachelor's, master's, doctorate, law, or medical degree through some unconventional method. It also lists schools to be avoided, analyzes educational trends, and provides information on more than a thousand sources.
Other Articles by John Bear
- Diploma Mills: The $200- Million-a-Year Competitor You Didn't Know You Have
- Great Moments in Accreditation: The Case of IAC, ACI, and The Three Stooges
- How to Replace the Law Degree Your Dog Ate
- Bernadean University: A Mail-Order Diploma Mill
- Donsbach University
- GAO Report on Diploma Mills
- Nonaccredited school and agencies
- Individuals with Dubious Credentials
- National Council Against Health Fraud Position Paper
The state of Maine maintains a similar list on-line at: http://www.maine.gov/education/highered/Non-Accredited/UnaccreditedSchools-112706.pdf (dead link)
The state of Oregon is a leader in the fight against fraudulent, substandard and illegally issued degrees. Oregon maintains a list of entities issuing invalid degrees on-line at: http://www.osac.state.or.us:80/oda/unaccredited.aspx.
In addition to checking the Michigan, Maine and Oregon lists of unaccredited institutions, one should also check the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) – Database of Institutions and Programs Accredited by Recognized United States Accrediting Organizations, on-line at: http://www.chea.org/search/default.asp and the U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (USDE) on-line at: http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/.
The CHEA and USDE databases list institutions that are recognized as having met certain standards in their education programs.
While being listed in the CHEA or USDE database doesn’t guarantee that a degree will be suited to any specific purpose, an institution that issues degrees and is not listed in either one these databases is at best highly questionable.
STATE HIGHER EDUCATION BOARDS
Next, contact the higher education board in the state where the “degree-granting institution” is located and get the board’s opinion of the institution in question. Every state has some type of governing body for higher education. When considering enrolling in any college, university, or seminary, where there may be a question about its legitimacy, it pays to contact the governing body for higher education in the state in which the institution is located and ask whether that institution is recognized by the state and whether the degrees they issue are legitimate.
At the time this article was written the U.S. Department of Education maintained a list of State Higher Education Agencies on-line at:
Several states are beginning to recognize the problem of fraudulent, substandard, and illegally issued degrees and are passing laws to combat this crime.
Currently it is illegal in North Dakota, New Jersey, Texas, Nevada, Washington and Maine to use unaccredited degrees. It is illegal in Indiana to use an unaccredited doctorate. Other states are considering laws to protect their citizens from diploma mills and substandard degrees.
In Washington State, issuing a false academic credential is a class C felony; and knowingly using a false academic credential is a gross misdemeanor. (RCW 9A.60.070)
Florida Statute 817.567 — Making False Claims of Academic Degree or Title.– provides that no person in the state may claim, either orally or in writing, to possess an academic degree, as defined in s. 1005.02, or the title associated with said degree, unless the person has, in fact, been awarded said degree from an institution that is: (a) Accredited by a regional or professional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation… [or run by a state or by the Federal government, or for schools outside the U.S. has been validated by an accrediting agency approved by the United States Department of Education as equivalent to the baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university in the United States...]
(2) No person awarded a doctorate degree from an institution not listed in subsection (1) shall claim in the state, either orally or in writing, the title “Dr.” before the person’s name or any mark, appellation, or series of letters, numbers, or words, such as, but not limited to, “Ph.D.,” “Ed.D.,” “D.N.,” or “D.Th.,” which signifies, purports, or is generally taken to signify satisfactory completion of the requirements of a doctorate degree, after the person’s name.
LIFE EXPERIENCE & QUALIFICATIONS
According to Roger H. Schmedlen (2006), writing in the Michigan Lawyers Weekly, “Some unsophisticated would-be experts may truly believe it is possible for them to obtain a legitimate degree without attending classes or performing any study activity–simply by using credit from lifelong career experience. . . . It isn’t!”
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board warns that another of the warning signs of fraud is an institution that “offers to grant a degree or generous amounts of credit for life experience. Claims that one can receive a complete degree for one’s life experience are a sure sign of fraud. Calculating credit awarded by years of service in a particular job or function is also a sign of fraud. Legitimate colleges that award credit for life experience require extensive evidence that the experience is the equivalent of coursework taught at a college. The average legitimate award by that means will be approximately 12 to 18 semester credit hours (about one semester). Many students who are assessed receive no college credit.”
While one should understand that no legitimate accreditor enforces any particular theological understanding, doctrine, or theology; it is just as important to understand that states have a responsibility to ensure that the public is not put at risk by fraudulently issued degrees and credentials. Ask yourself whether you would trust a medical doctor who received an immediate medical degree based on life experience. Would you trust a psychiatrist whose degree was based on a 4 to 8 page paper? No? Well, if you will not trust your physical and mental health to a person with a fraudulent or substandard degree, why would you trust someone with this type of degree to guide you in your spiritual and religious well-being?
John Bear (2007) offers an emphatic warning concerning fraudulent degrees: “We must warn you, as emphatically as we can, that it is very risky to buy a fake degree or to claim to have a degree that you have not earned. It is like putting a time bomb in your resume. It could go off at any time, with dire consequences. The people who sell fake degrees will probably never suffer at all, but the people who buy them often suffer mightily. And — particularly if their “degree” is health-related — their clients may be seriously harmed.”
We consider a religious degree to be health-related in any case where the degree-holder is involved in offering counseling or spiritual guidance. One’s spiritual health is just as important as one’s physical, mental and emotional health.
Fraudulent, substandard, and illegal degrees endanger the safety of the American public. Persons who use a fraudulent, substandard, or illegal degree and provide health-related services, to include counseling, providing life-skills and religious guidance or therapy, put the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of their clients at serious risk.
Using a fraudulent, substandard, or illegally issued degree is likely to have dire consequences for the person who uses it, both in employment and licensing issues and in matters of trust and integrity. It is in fact illegal in several states to use an unaccredited, fraudulent, substandard or illegally issued degree.
A serious question should arise in regard to any individual’s integrity and competence, who claims a fraudulent, substandard, or illegally issued degree regardless of any other credentials or experience that person may possess.
109th Congress – Diploma Integrity Protection Act of 2006 – H.R. 6006 http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc109/h6008_ih.xml
Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
Bear, John, Quackwatch, Degree Mills,on-line at: http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/dm0.html (May 2007)
Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
Federal Trade Commission, “Facts for Business Guide on Avoiding Fake Degree”, February 1, 2005 on-line at: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/02/diplomamills.shtm
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education – http://www.okhighered.org/student-center/college-stdnts/academic/diploma-mills.shtml
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (42 U.S.C. § 2000bb (1993)
Schmedlen, Roger H. CPP, CFE, CII, MIPI – Michigan Lawyers Weekly, “Doctor Who? Avoiding Fraudulent Opinion Experts”, April 24, 2006 Edition; on-line at: http://www.securityexpertonline.com/fraudulent_security_expert_article.htm
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Frequently Asked Questions, May 2007 http://www.thecb.state.tx.us//AAR/PrivateInstitutions/FAQ.cfm
President of Southern Baptist Convention lies time and again about his "education"
June 12, 2008 (source)
|"Dr" Johnny Hunt|
Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Ga.,
identifies himself with the title "Dr." and lists two accredited
educational institutions on his personal Web site from which he did
not receive a doctorate. Yet he is often identified publicly as having
degrees—degrees that come from two diploma mills.
On his personal Web site, It's A New Day Ministries, the "internet
home of the preaching ministry of Dr. Johnny Hunt," his educational
credentials are Gardner-Webb College and the Southeastern Baptist
Theological Seminary. No reference is made to the terminal or honorary
degree which affords him the prestigious title of "Dr. Johnny Hunt."
When Hunt is named in conference programs, he is listed as having
degrees from schools other than those on his Web site.
For example, the February 2007 evangelism conference program of the
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention said, "Hunt is a graduate of
Gardner-Webb College, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and
Immanuel Baptist Theological Seminary."
The October 2007 Southwide Annual Conference program said Hunt "holds
Honorary Doctorate degrees from Immanuel Baptist Theological Seminary,
Covington Theological Seminary, and Tennessee Temple University."
The February 2008 annual pastors' conference of the First Baptist
Church of Jacksonville program said Hunt "has received a Doctorate of
Divinity from Immanual [sic] Baptist Theological Seminary and a
Doctorate of Sacred Laws and Letters from Covington Theological
When Georgia Baptist Convention editor Gerald Harris wrote about
Hunt's nomination, he included a paragraph about Hunt's education:
"Immanuel Baptist Theological Seminary in Sharpsburg, south of
Atlanta, awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree and
Covington Theological Seminary in Rossville honored him with a Doctor
of Sacred Laws and Letters degree."
Clearly, Hunt's colleagues know about his degrees from two dubious,
Georgia-based entities that lack credible academic standing and
Located outside of Atlanta, Immanuel Baptist Theological Seminary
offers an "external degree program" that allows students "to earn
college and/ or seminary credit at home."
Three of Immanuel's faculty members, including its president and
executive vice president, are family members. Many faculty members
appear to have residences in Ghana, India, Indonesia, Korea and
Nigeria. An Internet search of a number of faculty members turned up
only links to Immanuel.
"If the student cannot come to college or seminary, IT can come to the
student through Regional Campus classes, the External Degree Program,
or through the Immanuel-Judson Bible Institute," explains the
seminary's Web site.
Covington Theological Seminary offers night classes, "allowing the
students an opportunity to have daytime jobs while earning a Bible
Three of Covington's staff members—its president, executive secretary
and director of administrative services—are family members. The
school's president holds "the B.R.E., Th.B, M.Div., D.Min, D.R.E., and
Th.D. degrees from Covington Theological Seminary."
The school's vice president for academic affairs has a Ph.D. from the
Southern Baptist School for Biblical Studies, a degree that the school
does not appear to offer.
Addressing the issue of accreditation, Covington states, "We have not
nor will we seek governmental acceptance, accreditation, or funding
for the effectiveness of our programs."
Covington's accreditation comes from the Accrediting Commission
International, the "world's largest non-government school accrediting
association," which has only a handful of Web pages with little
Covington identifies itself as affiliated with the Association of
Christian Schools International (ACSI), an organization with its own
questionable standards of accreditation.
Neither Covington nor Immanuel is accredited by the Association of
Theological Schools, as are all six Southern Baptist Convention
Covington and Immanuel fit into a category known as "diploma mills,"
entities that demand little, if any, real academic training, enable
students to bypass rigorous education, have no legitimate
accreditation and award impressive sounding degrees.
One of Hunt's own "sons in the ministry" was forced to resign from the
prominent First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, Fla., in part
because of his diploma mill degrees.
Highly recommended to the church by Hunt, Steven Flockhart was forced
out "over a controversy involving fabricated education credentials,"
reported Baptist Press, which noted that the Palm Beach Post had
discovered that Flockhart had obtained correspondence degrees from
Covington Theological Seminary, "a Georgia school not accredited by
any recognized accrediting agency."
"Covington, based in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., claims its accreditation
through an agency that is not recognized by the U.S. Department of
Education and is an outgrowth of a company that was once charged with
fraud," reported Baptist Press in October 2006. "As of mid-October,
Covington's website said the school is accredited by Accrediting
Commission International (ACI) of Beebe, Ark. ACI once was known as
the International Accrediting Commission based in Missouri but changed
its name and moved to Arkansas after it was charged with fraud and
barred from doing business in Missouri."
Two dubious institutions gave the new SBC president a title that he
proudly bears. By identifying himself with the "Dr." title, Hunt
legitimizes these diploma mills and encourages by example other
ministers to take educational shortcuts—shortcuts which deceive
churches about the real quality of the academic training of their
That places the question mark of integrity over the SBC.
Steven Flockhart, First Baptist pastor in West Palm Beach, quits abruptly over bogus credentials
Palm Beach Post, USA
Aug. 27, 2006 (source)
Steven (Steve) Flockhart started his own church, New Season Church, in Hiram (suburb of Atlanta), Georgia in Feb 2008 (source).
* Steven Flockhart in July 2004 (here)
* Steven Flockhart on his mentor Johnny Hunt, Dec 2011 (here)
Malaysian degree mills
New Straits Times, July 27, 2012 (source)
Tun Hisan said the two suspects, who operated from an office in USJ 10, were believed to have raked in about RM5 million by selling fake academic scrolls since 2003.
"The company used agents and online advertising to sell the fake documents.
[ed. Buxton University, possibly from Singapore, is also on the list.]