11. August 2008 · 39 comments · Categories: General

By:  Lynn Green

Have you ever wondered how a well known minister can be without so much as an Associates degree today, yet a week from today, end up with a Ph.D?

Have you ever wondered how it is that some well know ministers never even finished high school, yet are running around telling people to call them “Dr.”  So-in-So?

Uh….um…Hicktowers, have you ever heard of Friends International Christian University? Me neither, at least not until our fellow Hicktowner, 2TheHilt sent me a tip about them—and suddenly….mystery solved!

Get to know that “university” because that is where quite a few well known and in some cases, distinguished men and women of the cloth received their doctorate degrees!

Let’s play a game. Go to the page HERE and come back and list the names you recognize. I’ll start off this game by listing all the names I recognize who got their doctorate degrees from this “distinguished” university.

Wonder how much they paid for those degrees. Hmmmm…..


  1. Fred and Betty Price
    Paul and Debra Morton
    T.D. Jakes
    Ira and Bridgette Hilliard
    Medina S. Pullings
    Clarence McClendon
    Ron Kenoly
    Helen Baylor
    Michael Freeman

    Those are the ones I recognize

  2. Billy Blanks?? And he is relevant to spirituality in what manner???

  3. In the famous words of Aresenio Hall….”things that make ya go..uuu mmm???

  4. Wow…just wow.

  5. I.V. Hilliard… LOL
    I long suspected that many of them go to these correspondence magazines, usually in the back of Ebony magazine and pay a few dollars for a ‘life experience’ degree. I was tempted at one point to go and get mine so people could start calling me “Dr. Diva”, but I work in corporate America and they would quickly point out that the institution was not accredited and embarass me every chance they get. ROFL

  6. Who has time for a REAL SCHOOL. We got money to make and ministries to fake.

    I Recongized 17 names

  7. Also, a lot of the ministers on the list never mention what school they went to get their PHD.

    I think its because they know if people start to research the school they’ll find out that the school is a joke.

  8. Oh yes Lynn, I came across their website last year. I was amazed at all the names of the so-called Dr’s on there.
    It came right at a time when I was wondering how in the world do these people become “Dr’s” seemingly overnight!
    God will always answer your earnest prayers/questions.

    My List includes all the ones you stated Lynn, also:
    Darryl Brister
    Dick Bernal
    Ed Montgomery

  9. I don’t know if that’s worse than Juanita Bynum or not. She didn’t attend college at all, got an honorary degree from an accredited school and now calls herself “Dr. Bynum.”

    Wow…just wow.

  10. I think that is just horrible! Especially in the black community where people just want to see anybody to look up to as being a positive role model for us today! They should have to work as hard as everyone else to receive their degrees! I never liked hearing of these honorary degrees handed to people because of their status!

  11. DeeLove: Why do you question, “Billy Blanks?? And he is relevant to spirituality in what manner???”

    “Ta, Ta, Taebo, Botae, Bo, Bo, my TaeBo…” Halleluyer!!!!

  12. All these so called fake educated negroes. I can’t believe they have the
    audacity to call themselves doctor. If there education is fake then there word is fake. It takes SPIRITUALLY RETARTED NEGROES to follow them!!

  13. I totally understand the controversy of a lot of these minister having Dr. title in front of their names and people wondering huh?
    But we need to also realize that as a Private ‘Relgious’ Only School, which means that only offer degrees for Religious purposes only. No, what’s called, professional degrees are offered (Business, Science, Administration, etc..). They operated under exempt status as a school by the State in which they are incorporated. The Dept. of Education within the state they operate has to approve degrees that are offered in ‘Religion’ degrees only. It doesn’t mean that the Dept. of Education within the state is giving an endorsement of the school, but granted the authorization to operate and confer Religious only degrees. Many Private Bible Colleges/Universities opt not to go through the whole accreditation process by an agency approved under the US Dept of Education, because they don’t have to. Their objective is to teach and train people for Ministry! So what’s wrong with that–accreditation with US Dept. of Education is a Volunteer process. The main benefit is so the school and students can get governmental funding. So know that it doesn’t mean the schools that offer ‘Religious’ Only degrees are inferior or are diploma mills. Diploma mills are the emails I get stating to call them and I can order my degree! I’ve talked to the president of the school where the minister being mentioned (I.V. Hilliard, Mike Freeman, Billy Blanks, etc..) received their honorary doctorates and he is a true man of God and they operate their school with integrity.
    With what God accomplished through the ministers you all are talking about, I think they are more than worthy of their Hon. Doctorates. The key word is Honorary (showing honor due to recognizable achievements). For God to take some uneducated, insignificate men and women, who were willing to submit to God’s call and achieved what they have achieved, effecting the masses with training and teaching others to grow in God and be successful-I think tripping about an Honorary Doctorate is insignificant. Their fruit speaks for itself. Their are many who went through an US Dept. of Education accredited approved school and aren’t making a fraction of an impact–but they got the accredited degree. They put their time in at school did the paper work and tests and papers! Let major in the important stuff.

  14. RW….you took all that time and energy to say essentially nothing!

  15. I am Sigor from Germany.

    In our area is a man who was in former times working for a big chemical plant here in our town in a leading position.

    At the age of 50, he had some “meetings” with God, as he called it.

    Now he has “Professor Dr. Dr.” in front of his name.

    Because of my inquiries, I knew that all his titles originated from the FICU.

    Is the FICU really entitled to give titles which are accredited is the whole world as other regular Professors and Doctors?

    Ore are these only titles without any values.

    By the way, this man is predicting to know the real grave of Jesus and that he has seen some months ago the original Israeli arc of the covenant!

    What shall I think about his titles and his “observations” in Israel?

    You can also mail me to

    Sincerely from Germany


    8/22/2009 11:12:33 PM (German Summer Time)

  16. Garfield Havey

    I hold two Masters degree from Liberty University (Master of Religious Education, Master of Arts in Religion: Worship Studies) and also attended Berklee College of Music (Professional Music). I’ve never attended FICU so I’ll never vouch for them. Many of you fail to realize that most traditional Universities DO NOT have a post graduate degree that will translate in a local church. More importantly, if these schools exist, they’re NOT in your home state. Are you asking pastors to leave their home state in pursuit of a Doctorate degree? So what if they want to be called Dr.? I’m sure many of you would love to be called Dr…Plus, in most cases you have to have served in ministry for some 20 yrs to receive your honorary or be 45 yrs or older. Get the facts before you bash private Christian Colleges. Are you ready to bash me now since I have degrees and national designations from accredited institutions but choosing not to discredit FICU or any other private Religious school? Why don’t you guys who discredit these school reveal your degrees, University name and your full name? Better yet, have you done enough of ANYTHING where a school such as FICU would even think of offering you an honorary Diploma? Accredited schools are good but they don’t teach you how to pastor. For the record, I’m not a pastor and I don’t desire to be one. I’m a musician. If a school offers me an honorary degree down the road, I’m taking it because I’ve already attended accredited schools and would be honored someone is recognizing the work I’ve done. What have you done my friends?

  17. Garfield asked, “Are you asking pastors to leave their home state in pursuit of a Doctorate degree? ”

    Funny that you call yourself Garfield. Isn’t that a cartoon character? Surely you jest. I am not asking these so-called ministers/pastors to do anything beyond stop lying. And to purchase a degree and call themselves a “doctor” is a huge lie.

    No one here has to show our degree because we are not the ones purchasing degrees so that we can pretend we did the work to earn one.

    I have a Masters degree and chose not to pursue a PhD because I don’t need one and I don’t have the ego to cause me to go after something just to have someone call me by a title.

    Rest assured, however, that had a I chosen that route, I would have worked for it as opposed to purchasing it for a few thousand bucks.

    By the way, there are colleges in every state. They could easily have taken the path necessary to get an education but they were too lazy.

  18. MY, MY, MY, Garfield

    We are not asking Pastor’s to leave their home state to get a doctorate, We are just asking them to stop misrepresenting the truth.

    Bill Cosby, Oprah, George Bush, Madona, Janet Jackson and hundreds of other celebraties have recieved HONORARY doctorates.
    However, only super star pastors actually choose to put “Dr” before their name after they recieve it.

    Garfield’s, We are not bashing Christain Colleges, we are bashing pastor that feel it neccesary to use the tittle of Doctor when they haven’t done the work.

    If they feel the need to go to an unacredited school to better understand the Bible, GREAT. But don’t use ” DR” to give people the IMPRESSION that they recieved a doctorate that the state accepts.

    If you had to have an operation on your spleen, would you go to a Doctor from FICU ( unaccredited, 3K for a masters, and issue Doctorates in less than a year) OR would you go to a Doctor from Stanford University who did his rounds and worked the 7 or 8 years it takes to recieve a Doctorate?

    If you want to stay alive, pick the latter.

    One more point and I am done.
    If you tried to get a job claiming a Doctorate from an unacredited school or because it was honorary 99% of all employers would throw that resume in the trash. (Of Course the Churches would take it.)

  19. FICU gives those that SEEK POWER something else to lord over people…a fake title. It is not accredited. I will tell you something else…IF you actually listen to their sermons, their exegetical ability is non-existent. The way these guys twist scriptures, there is NO WAY they sat through even an elementary hermeneutics class. That is the danger of having a fake title…people take your words more seriously because of it. Therefore, if you want the title…do the work! It’s not about “wanting to be called doctor” but actually putting in the work. I hold an advanced degree from an accredited school in Chemistry by God’s grace. I take offense at those that get degrees simply because they pay $$. If I am not mistaken, I have heard that Jamal Bryant’s dissertation was 10 pages long. What is that?! I have written sermons that were more than 10 pages man. All in all, the degree mill that FICU is gives charlatans a chance to give themselves some credibility and to lure unsuspecting Christians into being hoodwinked by a false gospel. Look at the list of luminaries that have doctorate degrees from there man and then listen to their message. It’s all the same “prosperity” gospel which is no gospel at all. It’s not about going out of state either…it’s about being willing to DO THE WORK!

  20. This “university” is not eve accredited. Check this link:

    What a farce!

  21. Wow. And some of these church leaders got an HONORARY degree from this UNACREDITED school, and still want to be called DOCTOR!!!

  22. FICU is a diploma mill headquartered in Merced, CA. I have been to their office and their claim to fame is doing weddings their “chapel/back office”. This is a sham from the word go.

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
    (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

  23. Many pastors and leaders who do not attend an accredited institution do so for many reasons. Yes, their degrees are not accredited, but this does not mean their education is invaluable. It is so easy to criticize . . . anyone can do that. However, we have to realize that these “mega churches” are full of highly educated people from accredited institutions who respect their Pastors and leaders. I am sure they don’t care where they got their education from and are more interested in the life changing results they have in their life. No to mention that I have been to an accredited school and an unaccredited (not FICU) ministry training school and know for sure that my unaccredited education was MUCH BETTER. My teachers came to class DAILY and actually TAUGHT the subject matter instead of throwing assignments at me. Isn’t a higher education about being self motivated and showing initiative so you ar actually learning, but at the same time teaching yourself too? Well, anyone that has been a Pastor for 25 years or more will tell you that a bible college, university or seminary CANNOT prepare you for reality. So before you continue to judge and criticize try to put yourself in their shoes. And if you can’t do that then by all means cast the first stone.

  24. @mistyj

    It is true that their are some great unaccredited schools people can attend.

    But when people start using the title of “Dr” before their name it is misrepresenting the truth. YES you may have worked hard for it and learned a lot, but it is unlawful to claim the title of Doctor if you DID NOT attend an accredited school (period).

    When you truly want to know the word of God for yourself, your title should be the last thing on your mind.

    Get the knowledge, spread the word.

  25. Since there is so much talk about walking in honesty and integrity, lets uncover some truths here. It seems that the idea that someone with a Honorary degree should not bear the title “Dr” , is the arguement here. Truth not opinion is this: this is not unlawful, it is based on the guidelines of the awarding school whether honorary graduates may or may not bear the prefix “Dr.”

    I don’t agree that just anyone should be allowed to purchase an honorary, but this is the truth not opinion:

    No one can just call this school FICU and request to purchase an honorary degree, as was posted by someone earlier.

    The process actually involves first someone being recognized for a substantial contribution to the Christian body, and then are brought before several commitees for consideration, at which point further background information is collected and a decision whether to nominate them or not is attained. (yes I did my homework before just posting random opinions)

    Honorary degrees date as far back as the middle ages, and are not just given by FICU, I wonder why this is the only school mentioned here…. Yeah things that make you go ummmmmm…??

    Lastly, the individuals listed on their website are obviously anointed to do a great work for the Kingdom of God, So the question of whether they actually earned the honorary is a mute point. Thats why they are called Honorary Degrees. For individuals who feel they should have earned a formal education, all I can say is many institutions for many years obviously feel differently. I believe there are character traits, and contributions from certain individuals to society, all throughout history that have been rightfully recognized whether it was thru an accredited, unaccredited, formal or informal source.

    And yes I expect some angry responses but we all know WHO is really mad….

  26. We can talk in as many circles as we want to talk in. They are buying those fake degrees and calling themselves “Dr.”

    Not surprising, though.

  27. I watched “Paradise Lost” which is a documentary that chronicles the case of the West Memphis 3 that were accused and convicted of murder. The star witness for the prosecution was an occult “expert” that called himself Dr. Griffis. Well, it turned out that this “expert” PURCHASED his Ph.D. from a correspondence school and NEVER took a class. SO his title bestowed undue honor upon him, his testimony led to 3 men spending years in jail for a crime that they didn’t commit and his title led folks to proclaim him as an EXPERT! That is quite dangerous if you ask me. The first question of the defense on cross examination was: “how many classes did you take to get your doctorate?” His answer was” “none.” When preachers get fake degrees it conveys to their parishioners that they are basically more than what they really are- which is dangerous because you know that as fallible as man is, the more you are able to beguile us, the less we dissect what you say and the more of it we take at face value. No one can say without a doubt that the list of ministers on that FICU roster has not engaged in some serious scripture twisting…they ALL have. And it’s accepted because people see the degree and immediately say, “oh, they have a Ph.D. so obviously they know what they are talking about.” Think on that.

  28. There is such tragic and devastation in our nation right now on the east~coast. No disrespect to anyone here…but what is the real reason for certain comments made about these ministers?

    Give honor to whom honor is due. There are people who will honor these ministers with their respected titles. No matter what.
    We evidently, are not intimate enough with these ministers to call them Doctor Peanut Butter.

    GOD isn’t going to let any of us get away with anything. We are all going to stand before the judgement seat of GOD. So, let God handle it.

    JESUS gave a new commandment, that we love one another. By this commandment all men shall know that we are his disciples,if we have love for one another. The HOLY GHOST is the only one that can judge.
    1Thessalians4:6, That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because the LORD is the avenger of all…

    I came here because I was watching Dr. Joel Mcleod. An up and coming dynamic teacher on The World Network. One of the many titles behind his name was FICU.

    Father GOD in the name of JESUS please forgive us, of all thoughts and words of judgements against any of these ministers. I ask you to bless all the people who lost so much on the east~coast and everyone that has made a comment on this site with your divine wisdom and love. Protect all of us and all our love ones from all hurt harm and danger. Teach us to be slow to speak and quick to hear…your voice only. Bless our nation LORD JESUS. In JESUS MIGHTY NAME. Amen and amen. And so it is so. GOD bless you all.

  29. @ J

    HELLO J, WAKE UP!!!!

    This post was written over 4 YEARS AGO!!!

    WELL before Sandy hit the east coast

    Move along

  30. LOL…..I was not going to say anything, Cop. I was just going to let her speak into the wind….LOL

  31. I wanted to let it go, but my fingers just started typing.

  32. @Cop
    Greetings Cop, in the name of our LORD and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST. Thank you for your response to my post; I bow my knees humbly in surrender to the (HOLY GHOST) within you. I truly beg your pardon and pray your forgiveness if I have offended you, or anyone else. God forbid if I have pushed my opinions off on you or anyone!

    But he who is spiritual (THE HOLY GHOST) judges all things, yet HE HIMSELF is judged of no man. I just know, that we as the (BODY OF CHRIST) need one another. Cop, I think…. you mentioned a few times the words truth and true, if I have counted correctly…in your posts relating to this site. Whose truth? Let GOD be true and (every man) a liar.
    I pray that you and I might be found free and justified by HIS grace through the redemptiom that is in CHRIST JESUS. I pray my written words are not and were not with evil motives, or with the intent to entice or deceive people.

    Proverbs 6:16-19 (KJV)
    (16) These six things doth the LORD hate: yea seven are
    (an abomination) to HIM:
    (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
    (18) A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
    (19) A false witness that speaketh lies, and (he that soweth discord among brethren).

    By the way Cop, you were correct this site was posted four years ago. We do need people like you to monitor us and keep us in line, (respectfully) of course. No disrespect to you…but I must remind you just as you have First Amendment rights in the the Bill of Rights of the Constitution, so does every American.

    Consequently Cop, I know now that I did offend something in you that caused you to respond to my post with such an egregious, condescending rebuttal.

    Yes Cop, I do need to wake up! But only through the revelations of the gifts of the HOLY GHOST will I be awakened and truly enlightened. I am always looking within to put myself in CHECK.
    …it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.

    If I could recant my words…I would do it just for you.

    Romans 14:19, (KJV)
    Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

    GOD’s blessings to you bro.Cop and may you and your love ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Yours in CHRIST J.

  33. @ Lynn

    And yes Lynn…I was spealking to the wind. Have you not heard?

    Acts 2:2,(KJV)
    And suddently there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

    The great and MIGHY WIND of the SPIRIT of GOD! The only OMINIPRESENT ONE. HE who is always moving throughout this earth looking to commune with the saints of the MOST HIGH GOD.

    I pray that you and your love ones will be wrapped up, tied up and tangled up in the blessings of DADDY GOD. In JESUS’ GREAT and MIGHTY NAME. Amen and amen.

    For only with my eyes will I behold and see the reward of the wicked. And so it is so.

    May you and your family have an awesome and blessed Thanksgiving.

    ~yours in CHRIST~

  34. @ J

    I was not offended in anyway by your post, but like many of us (myself included) we sometimes forget to look at the date of the postings of blog stories.

    So there is no need to “Bow down to the HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN ME”
    (Not sure what that means)

    Thanks for the scriptures from Proverbs
    There is no need to recant your words.
    HOWEVER, you could have saved a whole lot of typing with a simple

    There is no need to ask for my forgiveness, or give me any honor.
    Although I am concerned that you actually went through some of my post on this site to find out when I mentioned truth or true. Seems like a bit of over kill of my background & a bit concerning.

  35. J,

    Many of those who read this blog are non Christians. So in other words, even though most who sign the board are born again Christians, this is not a “Christian” blog, per se. I just happen to be the owner of the blog and I’m Christian, as are many here.

    With that in mind, imagine a visitor coming here who does not know God. The visitor is simpy a lurker who reads but rarely, if ever signs. Don’t you think that visitor would be totally confused and possibly even amused to see such strong responses to simple statements?

    I mention the wind, and you give this long scripture and diatribe which has nothing to do with what I said. You tell Cop something about bowing down.

    I wonder if you are that way during a regular lunch gathering or at the local exercise class or in a networking group. Does every conversation turn into a scripture reading?

    It’s that type of thing that turns off non Christians, cause them to accuse us of being “holier than Thou” and quite frankly, cause them to call us crazy hypocrites.

    I don’t like to give place to the devil. Not everything needs to be met with a looooong scripture. Even Jesus talked “regular talk” to people.

  36. By the way, since you love quoting scriptures so much, I suggest you read Acts 16:16-18.

  37. Cop, as for the counting of those few words, I truly beg your pardon. I did not intentionally mean to cause you to feel concern. I was merely using your few words as a point of reference to support the context of your posted dialogue. There was absolutely no hidden agenda towards you personally! Not to be petty, but you did not respond with distaste to the post before mine…also posted in 2012…rhetorical of course.

    No need for an explanation from you. Unless you just choose to post one. Because I will not come back to this blog, unless otherwise unctioned by JESUS.

    ~May GOD continue to bless you~


  38. Lynn,

    Forgive me, and GOD forbid that I would deliberately and intentionally compartmentalize anyone’s opinion as nonessential in content.

    This would only compound our misunderstandings. It was never my intentions to contend with you about the linguistical context of your blog or the bible.

    I beg your pardon, I truly don’t wish us to misunderstand each other over philosophical semantics. I would want to believe your grammatical structure was rhetorical in some of it’s context. Some of the elements and components of your comments toward me I want to believe were theoretical…seeing as we personally don’t know one another.

    Consequently, since we don’t personally know one another we should not try to impose any forms of a factual statistical analysis variance. In other words, neither you nor I fit the psychological traits of said statistics, which are usually abstract at best. I refuse to think I can walk around all sanctimonious or pious. I need JESUS’ GRACE AND MERCY waaay to much. I need HIM to help me in e~v~e~r~y area of my life. I am nothing…except by HIM.

    I also want to thank you for those scripture references in Acts 16:16-18, they were my affirmation. I just recently taught bible study on those very scriptures. The HOLY GHOST within me has done quite a few deliverances. It is soooo imperative that I keep myself delivered, because of the gifts that JESUS has placed me steward over.

    I am not ashamed of the gospel of JESUS CHRIST; for it is the power of GOD to everyone who believes: If I deny CHRIST before man HE will deny me before the FATHER. I am exceeding and abundantly blessed beyond all that I can even think to ask.

    In answer your general hypothesis about my casual interactions with people: Yes, I am always open to minister everywhere I go. Even with people of a different ethnicity and serving another god. When people are hurting their need is the same… they want affection. The agape love of GOD in me compels me to touch HIS people.. I have yet to have someone tell GOD no! Particularly when the circumstances are favorable for HIM to show out! I have even quoted scripture in a court of law.

    Lynn, I’m sorry, but I’m doing what GOD has told me to do. No one has (ever) taken offense to my praying for them or exhorting them to be edified through JESUS’ written WORD. I don’t want to put restraints on myself or anyone else. Especially GOD. I’m not intimidated by anyone I choose to make a (GOD) conscious decision to agree to disagree. So I have learned, I can choose to explore the validity of why people–hypothetically speaking–come up with certain ideologies I don’t spiritually agree with. Especially where the bible is concerned. We can’t script the bible…can’t add to it and can’t take away the WORDs that have been written.

    Lynn, I beg to differ with you. I could never say JESUS had regular conversation with anyone. We’re talking about the the CREATOR of all creation. Scientists, botanists, astronomers, etc still desire to acquire a full understanding to this great big wonderful script we are trying to live out! Even Job’s knees was shaking. Just one divinely spoken WORD from the MASTER is so profound and illustrious…waaay too mind blowing to classify as regular talk. SORRY! My opinion.

    Lastly, JESUS spoke in parables….even HIS disciples didn’t understand them. HE had to open their minds to receive HIS sovereignty.They were even confused and astonished, along with everyone else who heard JESUS speak.. HE took HIS disciples apart from the crowd…in a house…and gave them understanding of HIS parables….the WORD became flesh and dwelleth among them. I can’t comprehend who, what, and why JESUS died for my many sins. Let alone the sins of the world. I hear Karen Clark Sheard singing in my mind “I’m Nothing Without YOU’.

    ~GOD bless you my sister~

    ~forgive my verbiage…I haven’t learned to put it all in a nano~nut~shell yet~


    In this vast system of formal rules the tire is still a wheel…but, it will still not properly function if the parts which make it property function are not properly oiled.


  39. I see that this oddness could go on forever on this old thread that no one cares about any more.