Top leaders of a conservative activist group often quoted in Canadian media as representing Judeo-Christian moral values pad their resumes with degrees from unaccredited schools.
EthicsDaily.com reported last month that Charles McVety, identified as one of Canada’s leading culture warriors in the fight against gay marriage, received his doctorate from California State Christian University, an unaccredited extension of a Korean seminary affiliated with Victory Bible Colleges International.
Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics said advertising degrees that require little or no academic work, like Southern Baptist Convention President’s Johnny Hunt’s listing two honorary doctorates from non-accredited seminaries in an on-line resume, helps lend credibility to diploma mills, businesses that sell bogus degree titles for profit.
McVety is president of the Canada Family Action Coalition, a grassroots citizen’s group formed in 1997 with a “vision to see Judeo-Christian moral principles restored in Canada.” Recently the Calgary-based group made news with a formal request asking that Canada’s highest civilian honor be revoked for a supporter of abortion rights.
The organization’s co-founder and executive director is Brian Rushfeldt, a former pastor who acquired his theology degree by correspondence from Canada Christian College. McVety is president of Canada Christian College, which works closely with Liberty University and Oral Roberts University in the United States.
Rushfeldt is former dean of Victory Bible Colleges International, which enrolls a reported 100 full-time students both on and off campus and 200 “distance learning students.” The current dean is George Madden, an apostolic minister with degrees from Rhema Bible Training Center, a non-accredited school associated with Kenneth Hagin Ministries in Tulsa, Okla.
Madden got his master of divinity degree from Victory Bible Colleges International and a doctorate from the Evangelical Order of Certified Pastoral Counselors, which awards degrees through Victory Bible College in Canada and California State Christian University in the United States. California State Christian University, an American extension of Tae Han Theological Seminary and College in Seoul, South Korea, is not listed in a Council for Higher Education Accreditation database of institutions recognized by U.S. accrediting agencies. One of the contacts listed for the EOCPC is Stephen Hambly, who is dean of psychology and counseling at Victory Bible Colleges International.
Also on the faculty at Victory Bible Colleges are George and Hazel Hill, co-founders of Victory Churches International, a church-planting organization that sponsors Victory Bible Colleges in the Americas, Asia and Africa.
A Canadian political blogger pen-named Bene Diction has written at length about diploma mills, and says groups like the Canada Family Action Coalition would have more credibility if they would hand back their fake honorary doctorate degrees.
Robert Parham, executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics in Nashville, Tenn., said Southern Baptists have a widespread problem with diploma mills, which he labeled “a significant problem of moral integrity.”
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.
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Bob Allen was the managing editor at EthicsDaily.com from 2003-2009, writing more than 1,500 news stories during his tenure. He is currently the news editor at Baptist News Global.