The King's University Will Now Accept Credits from Charis Bible College

The King’s University is a ministry training school founded by preacher Jack Hayford and later moved to Southlake, TX to be housed at Robert Morris’ Gateway Church. In May, I reported that TKU was losing students and considering the closure of several branch campuses around the country.  Nonetheless, Morris and the school leadership continue to promote the school.
TKU is not regionally accredited but rather boasts accreditation by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Although credits from TKU may not transfer to regionally accredited schools (e.g., University of Texas, Grove City College), they are accepted by other TRACS accredited schools.
Charis Bible College is an unaccredited school also set up to train ministers. However, recently David Barton has been instrumental in helping to start a School of Government at Charis. Thus, Charis is setting sights on training people to go into politics.
A part of that vision is a recent articulation agreement between TKU and CBC for the transfer of credits from CBC to TKU. This means that a student can take courses at unaccredited Charis and transfer them to accredited TKU. This agreement with Charis greatly enhances the value of the Charis credits.
To me, this seems like an end around accreditation for Charis Bible College. The leaders of that school have even less incentive to become accredited because their students can simply transfer them to TKU where they will become a part of an accredited degree program. From there, a student could transfer credits to another TRACS school.
I asked TRACS about their rules concerning transfer of credits. While no one has answered as yet, I did find these criteria to help guide credit transfer arrangements.

The institution’s transfer of credit policy governs both the consideration and acceptance of transfer credit and: a. It is fair, equitable, and equally applied. b. Considers the quality of the offering, timeliness of the work, student performance (grade requirements) and the comparability, equivalency, and appropriateness to the courses and programs offered. c. Considers the accredited status of the institution as a major factor, but not the sole determinate of the transfer decision. d. Informs students of any special situations they may face in transferring credits earned. e. Includes reasons for refusal of acceptance of transfer credits, including the appeal process for transfer credit which was refused. f. Includes information on student responsibilities. g. Provides students with accurate and realistic information, plus guidance concerning the likelihood of transfer of the institution’s credits. h. References any articulation agreements with other institutions. i. Includes counseling and print or electronic assistance for students considering transferring to another institution. j. States the minimum grade required for transfer courses. k. Requires official transcripts from all institutions attended and does not award transfer credits before receiving the relevant official transcript(s). l. Identifies the office(s) responsible for evaluating transfer credit. (emphasis added)

Note letter b and c. Letter b requires the quality of course to be comparable between schools. TRACS guidelines require those teaching BA students to have a masters degree. Very few of Charis faculty have masters degrees. David Barton claims to have an earned doctorate but on examination, it appears that his doctorate is from diploma mill, Life Christian University. Charis’ agreement with TKU all of a sudden makes Barton’s use of a degree based solely on life experience even more relevant.
Letter c requires TKU to consider the accredited status of the sending school. Charis is not accredited by any agency. Although other considerations may be taken into account, accreditation status is supposed to a “major factor.”
The announcement contained this statement:

Students that graduate with a Charis Biblical Studies Degree will have the opportunity to earn an accredited degree by The King’s University.

While technically true because TKU is accredited by TRACS, it is still misleading if it is not explained that TRACS is not considered comparable to regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is what opens up wide spread transfer of credits from school to school. Texas schools are evaluated by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
In practice, this often limits opportunities for students. For instance, a TKU student with a degree in Christian counseling may find that graduate schools will not accept it as a non-regionally accredited degree. When TKU and Charis promotional materials declare TKU accredited, I fear that some students will misunderstand and make future decisions on inadequate information.

David Barton: Christian Professors Oppose Him Because They Were Taught by Pagan Professors

David Barton has said things like that before but at Charis Bible College last week he claimed he has the truth because he has “all the original documents.” Watch (original video lost in server move):

In this video, David Barton renews his war on Christian college professors. He claims we were all trained by “pagan” professors and just say what they taught. However, he is right because he has all the original documents. It is hard to imagine a more arrogant position. He surely knows that any documents of consequence in addressing historical questions are archived and available to historians and scholars. We all have access to the same information. He may have some original letters and other documents but the works of the founders are easily available for review. I challenge Barton to produce an original document of consequence to any of his historical claims which cannot be found elsewhere.

In my case, my history training came at Cedarville College, hardly a bastion of pagan professors.

Historians reading this post: Who is the Christian historian who debates him on Facebook that says America is inherently bad? Does that describe anyone? I think he must be exaggerating.

Another question: Who has parsed his Charis Bible presentations and said how wicked Barton is? Wrong yes, many times. But wicked?

Many Christian historian believe God had a role in history. However, they believe He also wants us to bear true witness, to get the facts right. His role in history isn’t an issue. What is important is telling the story as it was, not making up or embellishing narratives.

Charis Bible students, if by chance you are reading here, check this, this, this, this, this and this out.

Dear David Barton: Virginia Law Allowed Manumission of Slaves After 1782

In his pulled-from-publication bookThe Jefferson Lies, David Barton took the position that Virginia law did not allow Thomas Jefferson to free his slaves. In our book on Jefferson, Getting Jefferson Right, Michael Coulter and I demonstrated that slave owners were allowed to manumit (free) slaves after Virginia lawmakers passed the 1782 Law on Manumission. However, Barton keeps spreading the misinformation.
In February, Barton told Charis Bible College students George Mason was not allowed to free his slaves (at 1:38 into the video). Prior to 1782, slaves could only be freed by the Virginia legislature due to some meritorious service by the slave.  Mason died in 1791 so his window of opportunity to free his slaves came near the end of his life. However, despite his strong rhetoric against slavery, he did not manumit his slaves in life or at his death. Barton told the Bible college students Mason didn’t free his slaves “because in the state of Virginia, it was illegal to free your slaves.” Not so.
More recently, he told the pastor of Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs that Virginia law didn’t allow manumission. It is beyond me why he keeps saying this when it is an easy to look up Virginia’s manumission law as well as the many deeds of manumission which were filed after 1782 (Utah State’s Michael Nicholls is the go to person on this). In prior posts, I have pointed out the amazing story of Robert Carter III who began a process of manumitting more than 450 slaves beginning in 1791.
Barton’s remarks to Hibbs on his show Real Life with Jack Hibbs are below. I provide the video and link to the transcript.

Barton: So just—Let me jump in again on that because one of the blemishes is Washington owned slaves, Jefferson owned slaves, they could not have been good people. It’s interesting that Washington who did own slaves and inherited slaves and Thomas Jefferson inherited most of his slaves when he was fourteen, he got almost two hundred slaves between his inheritance and his and his in-laws. Virginia law made it illegal to free your slaves.
Hibbs: Listen why, yeah.

At 14, Jefferson was not allowed to free his slaves. As an aside, Jefferson did not inherit most of his slaves at 14. This is easily checked by examining Jefferson’s Farm Book. He acquired many of his slave through inheritance from his father-in-law John Wayles. By 1774, Jefferson listed “187 in all.
Barton asserts that “Virginia law made it illegal to free your slaves.” Before 1782, that was true; after 1782, Virginia allowed manumissions. Jefferson owned slaves until he died (1826) and so it is misleading to say Jefferson could not have freed slaves. In fact, he did. He freed two slaves before he died and then he freed five more in his will. Barton is simply misleading his audience.
In The Jefferson Lies, Barton made the claim that Virginia law did not allow manumission. In a prior post, I pointed out that Barton cited the Virginia law of 1782 in his book but left out the part of the law which allowed slave owners to free slaves by a deed of manumission. Here is what Barton cites from the law in his book:

[T]hose persons who are disposed to emancipate their slaves may be empowered so to do, and…it shall hereafter be lawful for any person, by his or her last will and testament…to emancipate and set free, his or her slaves.

Now, here is the entire relevant section of the 1782 law on manumission:

[T]hose persons who are disposed to emancipate their slaves may be empowered so to do, and the same hath been judged expedient under certain restrictions: Be it therefore enacted, That it shall hereafter be lawful for any person, by his or her last will and testament, or by any other instrument in writing, under his or her hand and seal, attested and proved in the county court by two witnesses, or acknowledged by the party in the court of the county where he or she resides to emancipate and set free, his or her slaves, or any of them, who shall thereupon be entirely and fully discharged from the performance of any contract entered into during servitude, and enjoy as full freedom as if they had been particularly named and freed by this act.

Note the second selection above in bold print. This is the relevant portion of the 1782 law Barton omits. This section allowed living slave owners to release their slaves by filing a deed. Emancipated slaves needed a document which was recorded according to the law as proof of their status. This law allowed slave owners when they were alive to free their slaves, provided slaves were of sound body and older than eighteen if a female and older than 21 if a male, but not above the age of 45. Thus, Jefferson could have freed many of his slaves within the law while he was alive. Not only was Jefferson legally permitted to free his slaves, he actually freed two slaves in the 1790s, Robert (1794) and James (1796) Hemings.

Barton clearly knows what the law on manumission said but chose to remove the part of the law that contradicts his statements to the public. Even though this has been pointed out, he still fails to tell audiences that Virginia law allowed manumission.

While it would have been economically difficult for Jefferson and Mason and Washington to manumit large numbers of human beings, it is simply false to say there was not an opportunity to do it.

The Monticello website explains:


During his lifetime, Jefferson freed two enslaved men.  At his death, Jefferson bequeathed freedom to five men in his will.  At least three other slaves were unofficially freed when Beverly Hemings, Harriet Hemings, and James Hemings, son of (Critta Hemings Bowlesto leave Monticello without pursuit. 

A single paragraph cannot do justice to the issue of Jefferson’s failure to free more than a handful of his slaves. Some of the possible reasons include: the economic value of his human property (at certain times, his slaves were mortgaged and thus could not be freed or sold); his lifelong view that emancipation had to go hand-in-hand with expatriation of the freed slaves; his paternalistic belief that slaves were incapable of supporting themselves in freedom and his fear they would become burden to society; his belief in gradual measures operating through the legal processes of government; and, after 1806, a state law that required freed slaves to leave Virginia within a year. Jefferson wrote that this law did not “permit” Virginians to free their slaves; he apparently thought that, for an enslaved African American, slavery was preferable to freedom far from one’s home and family.

Jefferson did free slaves. It might have been economically difficult for him to free the rest of them at various times between 1782 and 1806 but Virginia law allowed it. Barton misleads the audience when he says without qualification that the law did not permit it. Jefferson said in a letter that the law did not permit Virginians to free slaves, but he wrote this in 1814, long after the laws had changed to make it difficult to emancipate slaves. Barton then has to account for George Washington’s actions to free his slaves at death in 1799.

They would not let you free your slaves, now there was a period of reprieve for a short time starting in 1782 and so when George Washington died he freed all of his slaves on his death, there was a loophole in the law and the legislature goes “oh my gosh we didn’t see that,” they changed the law, so Jefferson was not even able to free his slaves on his death.

This is a misleading story from The Jefferson Lies. Barton here mentions “a period of reprieve for a short time starting in 1782” and then correctly says that George Washington freed his slaves in his will in 1799. However, the “loophole in the law” is a fiction. As noted above, Jefferson freed five slaves at his death via his will in 1826. There was no loophole. Virginia made it more difficult for freed slaves after 1806 because freed slaves needed to leave the state. For some slaves, this was deterrent because it meant leaving family.
There are many other things Barton told Hibbs and his audience that are inaccurate. For now, I hope it is clear that Virginia law allowed manumission of slaves after 1782 and that many such slaves were freed by owners in Virginia.


Update on the HIV Vaccine that David Barton Said Was Halted

Yesterday, I pointed out that David Barton tried to prove his belief that God would not allow researchers to find a vaccine for HIV by misrepresenting research on the subject. Barton first pointed to a successful vaccine trial (RV144) but then led his audience to believe RV144 was halted by showing them a headline announcing that another study (HVTN505) had been stopped by the NIH. In fact, as I demonstrated, RV144 was deemed safe and modestly effective (see that post for video of Barton’s slight of hand).
Curious about the current science involving RV144, I wrote to the NIH to learn the status of the program. As it turns out, a new development was reported by the NIH in February of this year involving the vaccine Barton said was halted. From the 2/18/15 NIH press release:

NIH-Sponsored HIV Vaccine Trial Launches in South Africa

Early-Stage Trial Aims to Build on RV144 Results

HVTN laboratory staff

(View larger image. HVTN laboratory staff Nomzamo Tabata (left) and Owethu Mahali process specimens at The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa. Credit: Brooke Auchincloss)

​A clinical trial called HVTN 100 has been launched in South Africa to study an investigational HIV vaccine regimen for safety and the immune responses it generates in study participants. This experimental vaccine regimen is based on the one tested in the U.S. Military HIV Research Program-led ArchiveRV144 clinical trial in Thailand—the first study to demonstrate that a vaccine can protect people from HIV infection. The HVTN 100 vaccine regimen was designed to provide greater protection than the RV144 regimen and has been adapted to the HIV subtype that predominates in southern Africa. The results of the HVTN 100 trial, expected in two years, will help determine whether or not this vaccine regimen will be tested for efficacy in a large future study in South Africa.

“A safe and effective HIV vaccine is essential to reach a timely, sustained end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. “The launch of HVTN 100 marks an important step forward in building upon the promising results of the RV144 trial to produce an HIV vaccine that could have a significant public health impact in southern Africa, where the HIV/AIDS pandemic is most pervasive.”

So Barton was not only wrong to mislead Charis Bible College students by using one study to claim something false about another study, he failed to tell them that progress is being made currently toward the creation of a vaccine. Who will reeducate them? They are now ill-equipped to discuss these issues intelligently with their congregations. It is hard to calculate how many people they will mislead as a result.