Posts Tagged “accreditation”

Ergun CanerI blogged four years ago about lying preacher Ergun Caner, who lost his job as dean of theology at Liberty University but ended up skipping immediately off to another job in evangelical academia. He and his brother had built careers on the evangelical Christian circuit, telling everyone they’d once been Islamist extremists who’d seen the error of their ways and converted to Christianity. That whole thing turned out to have been a lie.

Well, it turns out Caner hasn’t been able to avoid problems. As Religion News Service reports, the school he now heads, has come under siege (WebCite cached article):

A small Baptist college now led by Ergun Caner, the outspoken evangelical who stirred controversy over his story of conversion from Islam, has lost its accreditation.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges recently voted to remove Brewton-Parker College in Georgia from membership one year after it placed the school on probation over finances.

RNS goes over the reasons Caner had been tossed out of Liberty University (which, as I’d explained in my blog post, never managed to actually fire him … rather, the school just sort of let him drift off on his own). Three years later, Brewton-Parker decided Caner’s lies and disingenuity were, in reality, a credential:

Brewton-Parker chose Caner in 2013 because of his past controversies, saying he has endured “relentless and pagan attacks.”

Ergun Caner finds himself in good company once again, as RNS explained, since his lying brother is also having problems at a different evangelical institution he’s currently running:

Caner’s brother and co-author, Emir Caner, has also weathered controversies at Truett-McConnell College, the sister college of Brewton-Parker. The school, also in Georgia, was named by Time magazine as one of the worst “dropout factories” in the U.S. The school graduates just 14 percent of its students within six years of enrollment, one of the lowest rates in its peer group.

I guess if Brewton-Parker and Truett-McConnell colleges want to hire known liars — and specifically because they are known liars — then I guess they have no one but themselves to blame if they find themselves falling apart.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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A strange situation has unfolded in North Carolina. Some four years ago, a trustee of North Carolina Central University named Bishop Eddie Long set up a “satellite campus” of that university at his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, GA. It turns out this was not properly authorized, and the program was never accredited, so all the degrees that have been awarded there, are worthless.

In case you’ve never heard of NCCU, it’s part of the University of North Carolina system, making it a public university. UNC’s current administration is mystified as to where this program came from, how it operated for four years, or how it managed to get started outside of the usual satellite-campus creation program (which — had it been followed — would have ended up with the New Birth/NCCU program being properly accredited).

I’m mystified as to the following:

  1. How, exactly, is it that a church (i.e. a religious institution) was allowed to operate a public university program in the first place? Have these people never read the First Amendment?

  2. What reason was there for a North Carolina public university to operate a program in another state (Georgia) — a state which already has its own public university system?

  3. How could this program have been created without the knowledge of NCCU’s chancellor or director of distance education?

I truly doubt this was a rogue, stealth program operated by a lone trustee … I’m sure — contrary to their denials — that NCCU’s administration was fully aware of this. Essentially, Bishop Eddie Long and NCCU scammed the students, making them believe they’d end up with accredited degrees after four years of coursework. I wonder if anyone will be prosecuted for fraud? Probably not … North Carolina is, after all, part of the Bible Belt where clergy are considered perfect and can do no wrong, and anything done in the name of a church is God’s will and never to be questioned. Just another example of how Christians will do anything in Jesus’ name … including break the law, violate university rules and procedures, scam students, and worst of all, trample separation of church and state. After all, Jesus was an unaccredited teacher, wasn’t he? That makes this all OK, no?

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