James White's Bogus Doctorate

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Kizmet, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    We've had a number of threads that mention James White and his education credentials. Now there's another

    James White

    James White
  2. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Interesting that the author questions James White's highly questionable doctoral degree, while mentioning Walter Martin approvingly (whose doctorate was at least as questionable as White's).
  3. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    It's difficult to say, I think, that Walter Martin's degree is "at least as questionable" in this case.

    In a sense, you are absolutely correct, both men obtained doctorates from unaccredited schools. I get that.

    There are two big differences though:

    1. Timing - Walter Martin obtained his Doctorate in the mid-70s. The attitude toward accreditation, while I cannot personally attest, appears to have been very different. Cornell University still held accreditation through the NYS Board of Regents and there were a smattering of small schools throughout the state that held only Regent registration (not accreditation). State registration was seen, rightly or otherwise, as more authoritative than it is today.

    2. Eventual accreditation - CCU did, eventually (and well after the death of Walter Martin) become accredited. While this does nothing to change the status of his degree it does give his alma mater the presumption of legitimacy. Even though accreditation doesn't backdate, at the end of the day, those records are held by an accredited school and printed on the same paper. Even when the dates don't match up that can have a very serious impact on how the degree is received by other schools and employers.
  4. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    In the article cited by Kizmet in the o.p., the difference between White and Martin is that the article appeared on a Catholic apologetics website. White was far more hostile to the Catholic Church than Martin was (although Martin did engage in debate with Catholic apologists).

    Another difference is that Columbia Evangelical Seminary is essentially a one-man show in the form of Rick Walston. Cal Coast (California Western at the time Martin received his degree from them) was already a highly corporate operation. However, Martin claimed that his doctorate was in comparative religion, and Cal Western was never authorized to offer a doctoral degree in that field.

    In short, the author of the cited article has more of a chip on the shoulder against White than against Martin. It’s that simple. For a good example of a chip against Martin, there was a series of books written by Robert and Rosemary Brown, two Mormon apologists, called They Lie in Wait to Deceive. The Browns devoted an entire volume in this series to trashing Martin, and they did a spectacular job of it (including his degree mill doctorate). But then, Martin spent more time trashing Mormons than even White spends on Catholics.
  5. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Isn't James White one of your New England Patriots running backs?
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Yes indeed, that James White holds the Super Bowl record for most receptions in a single game with 14, set in Super Bowl LI against the Falcons.
  7. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Not a massive Martin fan (a very close friend dated his son, long story, heard nothing terrible about Mr. Martin, but nonetheless from what I know it keeps me from hailing Martin as a hero) but Mr. Martin was quite accurate about Mormanism and based on my biases which I think well-grounded, Robert and Rosemary Brown themselves are well-equipped to do a spectacular job of lying in wait to deceive. No sympathy or respect for either one of them, blind guides both.
  8. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Actually, no. The New York Board of Regents has had a unique relationship with the U.S. Dept. of Education, which considers it as a regional accrediting agency--the only state board with that distinction. California state approval/authorization has never enjoyed an equivalent relationship.

    The fact that California Coast University received recognition from the DETC (now DEAC) in 2005 (nearly 30 years after Walter Martin received his "Ph.D. in comparative religion" from California Western) does nothing to establish the legitimacy of a degree awarded in 1976. With all due respect, it is difficult to see any "serious impact on how the degree is received" by other schools (at least not regionally accredited ones). Employers, of course could be a different situation.
  9. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    One can certain debate Martin's accuracy regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and whether Robert and Rosemary Brown's work spend too much time straining at gnats. However, Dr. Levicoff is correct in his observations. Indisputable is the fact that Martin was not an honest man as he consistently misrepresented the nature and status of his degrees (only one of which was accredited). He stated that his two Shelton College bachelors degrees were accredited, when they never were, that Cal Western was not a correspondence school (which it was) and that it was accredited (which it was not).

    From its founding in 1974 until now, Cal Western/Cal Coast has never been authorized to offer religion degrees, so his repeated claim to have a 1976 doctorate in comparative religion was not truthful. While James White's one-professor Th.D. program should not be considered anything close to to that of a doctorate from an accredited institution, at least White has not publicly lied about which degrees he possesses. The same cannot be said about Martin.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2017
  10. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I have only passing knowledge with this stuff, but isn't James White considered to be pretty good at whatever he does?
  11. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    He might be good at it, but it depends on whether you like what he does. Not a fan. And theologically, I'm on the same team as the guy, but personally I think if one's theology doesn't affect the manner in which they treat people--i.e., not acting like a supercilious ass--then I don't care if one can tick off the theological boxes, they don't know the meaning of them and are probably more dangerous and despicable than one who's merely ignorant of the whole theological thing.
  12. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    You practically cannot swing a stick through a religious convention without hitting three clergy with fake academic credentials. It's really a travesty, these supposed servants of God who preach of humility and hard work and integrity who simply cannot resist the elite academic labels such as "doctor", refuse to do the hard work to earn them the honest way, so let people think honorary degrees are earned and bask in the glow of being called "doctor" (which is vulgar and improper at any place in the world other than the campus that recognized your contributions) or get them from places that are outright mills or garbage (such as the mom-and-pop shop that is CES, which is not legitimate to grant even an associate's degree) and do not have the integrity to just be honest and let their actual education do the talking.

    Truly nauseating, but, for those who share my faith, it's not like Jesus didn't warn the world that there would be monsters running about parading themselves as angels of light. Kind of dog-bites-man prosaic.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes - and p-l-e-a-s-e keep swinging the stick! :smile:

  14. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Jesus' preferred method was to crack a whip at that crowd and scatter their money on the floor. :)
  15. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    What is it that he does that's bad?

    I'm truly just curious, I honestly don't know and am not trying to start any theological brush fires.
  16. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    There's plenty to look up about the guy. Five minutes of search should suffice. Just a very, very negative vibe. There are people who claim to be within my faith who I simply do not think share my faith, they're fakes, and the way they treat other people is evidence of this. If a person claims to be a Christian and claims to have the authority to be a public teacher of others, such as Mr. White claims, they better first of all be kind and humble, they better be quick to judge their own wrongs and slow to point a long bony finger at everyone else. They better be just a little bit like Jesus, maybe just a tiny bit. But when I see the way the guy treats his adversaries, the absolutely ridiculous arguments he makes to justify his millish "Th.D", the way he debates, the way he conducts himself generally, I want to vomit. If anyone claims to be a follower of Jesus, they better first be patient, kind, decent, good, self-controlled and they better love other people first and foremost. This is stuff straight from the Bible. When someone claims to be a leader and fit to teach others about truth within my faith yet acts like a total ass, I just have the tendency to say they wouldn't know Jesus if He walked up to them and planted a kiss on their cheek. I call them a phony. I haven't met Mr. White, but what I know about him places him squarely in this category.
  17. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    I have no verifiable research data that confirms swinging a stick in a six foot circle will knock down three questionable degree holding clergy, but what FTF describes above is absolutely true. Ironically, I was in a meeting two weeks ago with about 40 clergy and personally encountered three of them touting degree mill credentials (two masters level, one doctorate). The guy with the "doctorate" sat beside me, and although he never mentioned it, on his portfolio case was engraved "Dr. John Doe." The guy doesn't even have an undergrad degree. Sad indeed!
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It appears that James White has a religious exempt degree and not a bogus degree. One can legally claim a PhD from a religious exempt school, if not, what is the point of having a law that allows an institution to grant a degree based on a religious exempt law?

    Religious degrees are normally valuable if recognized by a denomination, if I want to practice as an ordained minister in a particular church, what should I care that my degree is accredited by an agency recognized by the department of education when my goal is not to become a scholar or teach at the University level?

    I have seen many similar types of articles bashing people with PhDs from religious schools. I guess people have lots of free time in their hands to be wasting it in a trivial matter.

    Simple and plain, if I finish a degree from a religious exempt school, it is with the knowledge that this degree would be useless for me to meet the degree requirements of a secular job and it would need to be accepted for a denomination for non secular jobs. People just get upset because someone is using a title Dr but this is irrelevant as the Dr in question is really not breaking the law and not using the degree for a regulated profession. So, who cares? only those with plenty time on their hands to write pages and dedicate blog sites for people that hold religious degrees.
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    C'mon - let's go get us some data, then. I'll bring an extra stick for you, if you like. :smile:

    I don't consider this dishonesty trivial. And even if you do -- then yeah, I DO have the gift of free time - LOTS of it - and I'll use it as I see fit. Watch this space. The more squawking I hear, the more I'll pursue it. Looks to me like honest academics - e.g. FTF and RAM don't feel it's so trivial either.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2017
  20. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    When a person claims religious authority, as Mr. White certainly does, that implies that their authority is based at least in part on their ethical standards. I teach some ethics here and there, and following the law is generally considered a moral minimum, not the end of the story. So the question about his credentials is not taken off the table because he isn't technically in violation of the law. Surely he has a higher calling to be open and not obfuscate, to be honest with himself and others about his "doctorate". It is not a legitimate Ph.D by any measure, whether it is from a religious exempt school or not. The arguments he makes to justify it are so absurd as to betray him as wholly ignorant of the requirements for an academic doctorate or intentionally misleading people. It is relevant because ethics are relevant, especially in the field in which he purports (and I think not very convincingly) to be an authority.

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