Category Archives: education

Church Basement Bible Colleges

diploma2Have you ever run into a pastor who’s Doctor of Divinity diploma on the wall bears the name of “Baptist Bible Temple School of Fundamentalist Theology and Textus Receptus Studies”? Have you wondered where and why such a school might have started? You’re not alone.

The idea that fundamentalists are “anti-intellectual” is a myth. Fundies are very concerned with education provided that it is the right education. Therefore which college a person picks is a matter of paramount importance to their life and career in fundamentalist circles.

Why travel all the way to foreign locations like Greenville, South Carolina when you can stay right at home and learn all the theology you need from your very own pastor who is himself a graduate of a very fine college in a very large basement. There’s no need to be troubled with lots of reading and differing opinions about things like eschatology. There’s only one opinion that’s the right one and that’s all you need to know.

The basement Bible college also has an important second use: it can grant diplomas to all its own church staff and other people who are the pastor’s friends. An honorary doctorate in soul-winning costs so little but it’s a great return on investment in terms of prestige.

Honorary Degrees

diplomaIf you meet a pastor who’s business card reads Evangelist Rev. Dr. Bro. Phil Armenik Moe.D., D.D., D.Min, D.I.P., Th.D., Ph.D., D.Litt, D.Hum., D.Miss.1 you may well be assured that you are in the presence of a fundamentalist who has been the recipient of a good many honorary degrees from fundamentalists Bible colleges. Gird your loins and prepare to be in the presence of greatness.

Honorary doctorates are useful in fundamentalists circles not only for establishing who’s “camp” someone is in but also to provide their hosts with great material for introductions when they’re out guest speaking. For example: “Tonight we are honored to have with us Dr. Lazarus McSnuffy who holds not one but two doctorates in bus ministry and baptistry design from Hyles Anderson College.”

Even more noteworthy are the tiny church-basement colleges that award doctorates to their own faculty — but that’s a story for another day…

1.Read more about “Bro. Armenik” here