Evangelical preacher Bryan Loritts has joined Trump endorsing mega pastor Darrell Scott as a prominent alum of diploma mill St. Thomas Christian University. Julie Roys has the story on Lorritts; I wrote about Scott’s honorary doctorate in 2017.
Roys traveled the same road I did in 2017 and found much the same thing. The school isn’t accredited by a state or federally recognized accrediting body and isn’t licensed as a university by the state of Florida. In Florida, religious schools can become exempt from the requirement to be licensed if they file an affidavit with the state that their degrees are only religious in nature. St. Thomas was out of compliance when I researched in 2017 and they remain out of compliance today according to Roys.
I have researched the use of honorary doctorates and the vast majority of schools discourage the use of the title “Dr.” by those who possess only an honorary degree. This is one of the credentialing issues Ravi Zacharias eventually admitted and apologized for.
This is a significant violation of trust and integrity. Loritts should quickly acknowledge this, apologize, and correct any false presentation of his credentials.
Image from Bryan Loritts Twitter page.
10 thoughts on “Bryan Loritts Joins Darrell Scott as an Alum of Diploma Mill”
I am extremely grateful that I have no idea who these people are. Thank you, Dr. Throckmorton, for keeping up with them and their attempts to get recognition for a degree without the work the rest of us have to do before we can call ourselves “Dr.____.” Honorary Doctorates are one thing, meant only to recognize the achievements of the recipient; but diploma mills are another. They perpetrate fraud, and devalue the time, effort, and learning of legitimate PhD’s.
I find it ironic that all these Evangelicals, Prosperity Gospel, and IFB Fundie Types constantly berate academics, scholarship, and the like (calling seminaries cemeteries for example), but still go out of their way to get a bogus degree or honorary degree from a diploma mill so they can fool people into calling them “Dr.”
Warren, I do not know the procedure to get a PhD in Psychology. For engineering in the US, one has to take the PhD qualifying exam in the beginning. Since a PhD is for an original contribution to the field, one has to come with up a PhD research proposal and then submit it. Then you have your research proposal defense. At some point your research is completed and you submit your dissertation. This is followed by a dissertation defense with your advisors which typically consists of 5 members (one of which is always someone from outside your academic department). Once that passes, only then you can submit your dissertation.
Your description of the PhD process is accurate across most disciplines. the only exceptions might be for the Arts (art, music, writing, etc), where the candidate might produce a new original work rather than a dissertation. Although the arts are definitely something I know little about 🙂
Thanks for the feedback. I took the money and ran after the More S**t degree and didn’t stay to get it Piled higher and Deeper. That being said, in lieu of doing a master’s thesis, my university department gave the option of taking the PhD qualifying exam (and ironically having to make a higher passing score than those enrolled as PhDs) to earn a non-thesis MS. So I took the PhD qualifying exam.
I think PhD in the arts follow the same process. I checked Stanford. There is a Doctor of Musical Arts which requires a large-scale composition but also a PhD in Music which requires a thesis.
Thanks for the added information.
For a Ph.D. in Go.D. you apparently just need to pay your $200 for the diploma.(Jeepers, I shoulda thought of that 4 decades ago, before going through the process CM’s described…)
Just of out curiosity, what field did you get it Piled higher and Deeper?
I went to a friend’s dissertation defense 33 years ago, one of the scariest days of my life. I just sat in a corner and listened and got progressively more terrified as the time went on. It became clear that two of the five wanted to grant the doctorate with no changes to the dissertation, two wanted to grant the doctorate with a few changes to the dissertation…but number five. He thought the dissertation was trash because he’d done fieldwork in X country decades ago and of course this couldn’t be reality. After the defense, we were escorted out of the room and made to wait in another room with very thin walls. We could hear raised voices. Finally, we were escorted back in and the decision was to grant the doctorate with a few changes to the dissertation. Ironically, the professor who had objected most strenuously to the dissertation asked my friend to come and speak to his graduate students that evening. Go figure.
He looks so proud!
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