Re-posted as requested from October 16, 2010
The following post is from a current member at Trinity Baptist in Southaven.
My dearest fellow Trinity members,
I am going to write to you because there are some things I feel you should know. Some of this you may know and some you may not, but I think this information may make some of the things we are seeing make more sense. I am not going to print opinions, unreliable information, or hearsay; I only want to give you the facts, although I will give you some of the conclusions I have drawn at the end. The following information comes straight from Chad Everson’s resume, and you can verify by following the links included at the end of this post.
Chad does not have a legitimate doctorate degree, nor is his master’s degree from a notable, accredited institution. As we all know, Chad does not have a problem talking about his time at Mid-America Seminary. It gives him credibility because MABTS is well regarded, especially in our area, because it is so close. He threw it around quite a bit when he came in view of a call because Dr. Mahony was there. He did not graduate from MABTS, though. He finished his “education” at Andersonville Baptist Seminary.
Why is this important? A Master’s of Divinity (the traditional program for those who want to pastor) at MABTS requires 88 semester hours, which is 30 classes and generally takes 3 years or longer to complete. The Master’s of Theology degree from Andersonville only requires 30 semester hours, which is only 10 classes and, according to Andersonville’s website, can be completed in as little as 12 months. What does that mean? It means that our pastor has less education than most of the rest of our staff, and I use “most” only because I don’t know Jon Rushing’s educational background. The major Southern Baptist seminaries don’t even recognize degrees or coursework from Andersonville.
The “Doctor of Ministry” degree from Lake Charles Bible College is no better: mail in a few hundred dollars, read and complete 5 workbooks, and anyone can have this degree. It is basically a diploma mill. What does MABTS require to receive a doctorate? A Master’s from an accredited institution with no lower than a “B” average, 2 years of ministry experience, and 32 doctoral level hours, including a major ministry project, seminars, and a final major exam. It also takes generally THREE YEARS to complete this program. Even the application process is difficult – it takes the doctoral committee 60 days to review applications to the program, whereas Lake Charles’ website states that you “can even start the day you apply.” Getting a real doctorate is NOT easy – talk to anyone who has done it or attempted it. It is so intense, many pastors have to take a sabbatical from their churches to finish it, and I have even met some ministers who have nearly lost their families due to the time consuming nature of the program. Calling yourself a doctor of anything with a “degree” like Chad’s this is a true slap in the face to anyone who actually put in the time and effort to really earn theirs. Would you let your open heart surgery be performed by a doctor who bought their doctor’s degree and put in little time or effort? I didn’t think so; neither would I. Why do we expect any less from one who we trust with our church’s spiritual health?
For those of you who were here when Bro. Jim was presented in view of a call 20 years ago: Do you remember the big stink created about his doctorate obtained through Luther Rice Seminary? Do you remember Dr. Skinner being so upset by the lack of requirements needed to graduate from LRS? This is so much worse. At least LRS requires that you actually do real work, even if it is by correspondence.
MABTS Master of Divinity: http://www.mabts.edu/templates/System/details.asp?id=23267&PID=69474
Andersonville Master of Theology: http://www.andersonvilleseminary.com/pdf/ThM.pdf
MABTS Doctor of Ministry: http://www.mabts.edu/templates/System/details.asp?id=23267&PID=69482
Lake Charles Bible College Doctor of Ministry: http://www.lakecharlesbiblecollege.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=34:doctorofministry&catid=14:doctors&Itemid=9
Why is this relevant? Why does this bother me, and why should it bother you? Because we have a pastor who is passing himself off as something he is not. THAT is a fundamental problem with anyone, but this is inexcusable for a pastor. Transparency of a pastor should not be optional! How can a pastor expect to build relationships with his church if he isn’t real? He never said that he did graduate from Mid-America, but he conveniently leaves out where he did finish. You can check this for yourself. Check out his personally posted profiles at http://bigsight.org/chad_everson , https://www.xing.com/profile/Chad_Everson , http://www.ziki.com/en/chad-everson+132964 , http://www.linkedin.com/in/chadaeverson , and so on.
If he is so proud of his time at Mid-America and lists it under “education”, why purposefully leave out Andersonville and Lake Charles? Because Chad knows that other pastors know the reputation of those “institutions,” and it will defeat the purpose. Why else would someone want to obtain a doctorate and not tell everyone where it came from? It is interesting that the very thing he has used to try give himself credibility, in my opinion, has discredited him in the deceptive way he has gone about it. And, while we’re at it, am I the only one who has a problem with a pastor promoting himself on these professional sites? What is the purpose? Shouldn’t promoting the cause of Christ be more important than promoting ourselves?
And why is it okay to take the “short route” with your “education?” Just to call yourself a doctor? Just to have the prestige and recognition? When does a pastor, above anyone, need to promote himself? Isn’t it his job to promote the Lord Jesus, not himself? Aren’t you only cheating yourself out of a proper education just to get a few letters to tack onto the beginning of your name? Aren’t you cheating your churches out of the knowledge and insight you would have gained by obtaining a real degree? And if a pastor is willing to take the “short route” to a degree, in what else is he willing to take a short cut?
I love you, Trinity! Remember to be like Peter. Keep your eyes fixed on Christ and not the crashing waves around you, and by all means, don’t sink!!