The Problem of Fake Degrees

In a previous post, I wrote about bogus academic degrees for sale. That post included a link to an article published in the Chicago Tribune about bogus degrees sold by St. Regis University. At the end of my post, I asked the following question: “I wonder if some of the degrees sold by St. Regis University were in the area of biblical studies.”

Now, I have the answer and the answer is YES.

According to the US Government, Exhibit A, 197 degrees in religion and theology were sold by St. Regis University. According to the report, the following degrees were sold in the field of religion and theology:

Associate Degree 3

Bachelor’s Degree 51

Master’s Degree 51

Doctor’s Degree 77

Professor’s Degree 5

In addition to these, 23 degrees were sold in the area of Religious Education and 16 degrees in the area of Religious Healing.

These numbers reflect a huge problem faced by religious institutions. Most of them will never check the transcript of a candidate because they believe ministers would never lie about their credentials. Even if religious institutions would check the credentials of candidates, many of them would not be able to discover that St. Regis University was a diploma mill.

Now, I worry about those five professors who bought their degrees from St. Regis University. Are they teaching in Christian schools? How about those 77 doctors with (false) university degrees? Are they also teaching?

In a few minutes, I will be going to my dentist. According to that same report, 10 people bought fake degrees in dentistry. Is my doctor one of them? Perish the thought!

For the ladies reading this post: 36 persons bought their ob-gyn degrees from St. Regis University.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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14 Responses to The Problem of Fake Degrees

  1. Anonymous says:

    >So do you think that one "Dr" Steve Gerali was passing off fake degrees during his time at Northern & Judson when he inferred that he graduated from "Oxford", with the full realization that it was "Oxford" from Tennessee. Do you think that the picture that hung in his office was misleading? Former Student


  2. Anonymous says:

    >In case my previous post was vague, Dr. Gerali graduated from “Oxford” of Tennessee; yet he wore “Oxford” from England sweatshirts around campus and had a picture of that campus on the wall of his office. So, while this may not have been a “fake degree” it goes to the matter of deception.


  3. >Dear Friend,In response to your two comments, let me say this: Oxford University of Tennessee is not an accredited school and is not associated with Oxford in England.Claude Mariottini


  4. Anonymous says:

    >Dr. Mariottini…during this election year, perhaps you will want to consider running for office. You did a masterful job at avoiding the question, “do you think Dr. Gerali attempted to deceive us by graduating from Oxford in TN and presenting images of Oxford from England???? You’re a masterful professor and perhaps could be a masterful politician!! 🙂


  5. >Dear Friend,Thank you for the compliment, but I am not and have never been interested in politics.The problem with your question is that I do not know and cannot know Dr. Gerali’s intention.You asked: “Do you think that the picture that hung in his office was misleading?” I have never been in his office, thus I cannot say anything about the picture.You wrote: “He wore “Oxford” from England sweatshirts around campus.” I have never seen him wearing this sweatshirt.Since I never talked to Gerali about these two items, I cannot know Gerali’s intention. So, the answer I gave to your question was the only answer I could give.Thank you for visiting my blog.Claude Mariottini


  6. Anonymous says:

    >Happen to know someone use fake degree, where to report it?


  7. >Dear Friend,Anyone who has a fake degree is dishonest because that person is claiming to have a specialized education when in reality that person has none.First, you must be sure that the degree is fake. It is wrong to make false accusations.Then, if this person is teaching in an academic institution, go to the Dean or Principal of that institution and present the evidence. If the person is in a church then contact an official of the church with the evidence.It is sad that in our society people try to get ahead with fake credentials but it happens.Claude Mariottini


  8. >Dr Mariottini I saw the blog and I felt it only appropriate to address the issue since the anonymous student boarders on libel. I have never faked a degree. My credentials have been scrutinized by every institution where I have taught. The degree listings under my name in the faculty sections of the school websites and catalogs clearly state that my degree is from Oxford Graduate School, USA. When I began teaching, Oxford Graduate School was not accredited which was not an issue for the institutions that employed me because my Loyola University degree was an accredited degree. The issue of tenure and promotion became an issue with the degree being unaccredited, meaning that I couldn’t be promoted to full professor until the school became an accredited institution which it did. At that time I was promoted to full professor. The picture of Oxford that hung in my office was a gift. And for the record I did some study and research at the University of Oxford in England. I made many friends there, one of which was Peter Ward, who at that time was the advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury on Youth Ministry. Our friendship and shared passion in youth ministry allowed me to frequent Oxford England and even lecture for Conferences there. So I am very endeared to the City of Oxford which is what that picture portrays. The degree that hung on my wall is clearly inscribed with "Oxford Graduate School", under which is emboldened "Dayton, TN. USA". The Oxford Graduate School was birth in the tutorial style of British education. The letter abbreviations after my name (D.Phil. and D.Litt.) follow the British abbreviations instead of the American (PhD). My regalia has some of the traditional colors of American Vestments but also has some unique flamboyancy of the UK as well. I have no control over that, it is an issue to be taken up with the Founders and Board of Regents from the Oxford Graduate School. This often creates a misunderstanding that I and the OGS continues to correct. There have been times when I will speak for a conference and the program will have me credentialed with a University of Oxford degree. This has been annoying and I correct it as often as I can. The Oxford Graduate School is very clear to state that they are not associated with the University of Oxford but they do distinguish themselves by their philosophical and methodological approach. As a matter of fact, any student who has had me in a class has experienced the effects of that, in that I don’t always resolve issues for my students.I fully agree with your advice. If there is a question regarding someone's credentials the Dean of the employing University should be contacted. If proper channels are not followed and accusations are made, the slander that ensues is far more damaging and as wicked as falsifying credentials.I assure you that ALL of my degrees (BA. MEd. DPhil & DLitt) are real, accredited, costly and fully earned. I also have tee- shirts and other apparel that has various school and organization names on it – all of which I wear. I even have a White Sox baseball cap, and for the record, Im not on the team.


  9. >Steve,It was nice to hear from you. I hope all is well in your life.I am sorry that my anonymous reader raised the issue of your credentials in my blog. I do not know who this person is or the reason he asked those questions.I am glad that you took the time to present your side of this story. Your explanation will put this issue to rest.Claude Mariottini


  10. Anonymous says:

    >Oxford Graduate School is indeed accredited by TRACS, a Dept of Education recognized agency.


  11. Fake degree says:

    Great post that will really going to be helpful to education.


  12. phonydiploma01 says:

    Appreciating the time and energy you put into this post and detailed information you offer. Great post that will really going to be helpful to education.


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