June 25, 2007

Did Jamal-Harrison Bryant Graduate from Oxford? Graduate Theological Foundation Says He Might be Misleading the Public. (*Updated*)

by @ 12:36 pm. Filed under Nuts on Parade

One trademark of false teachers, is that they often mislead people about their educational background. To make themselves appear to be far more highly educated than they actually are. So that people trust them as an authority, who has studied to show themselves approved.

2 Timothy 2:15 (New King James Version)

15) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Not that formal education is required for someone to study. However, when someone claims formal education, but is a false teacher who wrongly divides the word of truth, you must wonder about their claimed academic credentials. It appears false teacher and all around pulpit pimp Jamal-Harrison Bryant is no different. And unless other information is produced my opinion is that he’s a liar regarding his educational background.

When you view a short biography of Jamal-Harrison Bryant, you get information like the following.

Short biographical data on Jamal-Harrison Bryant from Baltimore Sun 8/6/2006 article titled Feeling Empowered. (from bottom of page, emphasis added)

Jamal-Harrison Bryant

Age: 35

Wife: Gizelle

Children: Topaz, 8; Grace, 19 months; twins Angel and Adore, 3 months

Education: Morehouse College, bachelor’s degree in political science, 1994; Duke University School of Divinity, master’s of divinity, 1997; Oxford University, doctorate of ministry, 2005

Occupations: national youth and college director, NAACP, 1995-2000; assistant pastor, Bethel AME Church, Baltimore, 1997-2000

Other achievements: Led a memorial service for rapper Notorious B.I.G. in Brooklyn in 1997, two weeks after he was slain; self-published a book, Foreplay: Sexual Healing for Spiritual Wholeness, and has signed a three-book contract with Penguin Putnam; developing his own clothing line.

The claimed Oxford University education is what is in question here. We got into a chat about this over at Pulpit Pimps and Matt Green came up with some startling information. Please read his entire post. I’m just putting a copy of just a portion here. Just in case something happens that results in his post being lost. We’ve seen so many defenders of the faith attacked and their material taken down in the past, so it’s good to copy at least some of it to ensure its preservation. (I’ve seen users of Google’s “blogger” service lose data in the past.)

An Oxford Tale (You are highly encouraged to read the entire post over at Matt Green’s blog.)

Interestingly, The Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana, has a document on its site that lists a Jamal-Harrison Bryant in their 2005 graduating class as having earned a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.). If you visit the link and then do a word search for “jamal” and you’ll see the class of ’05. Of course, this is not Oxford, but a look at the foundation’s Website will indicate that students at GTF can visit Oxford for a summer seminar, after which they get a certificate and a lapel pin.

Did he go to Oxford? Maybe for a few weeks in the summer during his D.Min. studies. But he wasn’t given a degree by Oxford. Does he have a Ph.D.? No, he has a doctor of ministry from an unaccredited online school.

So there you have it. Some bios for JHB mention he has a Ph.D., which he does not have and it’s apparent he didn’t graduate from Oxford either. Unless he graduated from both GTF and Oxford at the exact same time. And who would waste their time with GTF if they actually received a degree from Oxford?

I decided to call GTF and ask if anyone with one of their degrees can claim they went to “Oxford”. Not only was I told “NO”, I was also asked to forward them the information I found regarding JHB claiming he went to Oxford. (You know I sent them the information without hesitation.) They say they want to have a little chat with him. Nobody who receives a degree from GTF is to claim Oxford and I was told their degrees have The Graduate Theological Foundation across the top, not Oxford. As you’ve read, the Oxford deal is simply a summer session for a certificate, which I also confirmed during my call to them.

A church leader is supposed to be HONEST, but we already knew JHB is not at all a man of his word. Anyone who misrepresents the Word of God is not going to have a problem lying to you about most anything else.

Related posts:

update 6/30/2007 3:54PM:
Some have questioned if whether the Baltimore Sun article I cited simply made a mistake in mentioning Oxford. I must say, they did not. It is Bryant who has been lying. So to further prove my point, I am including a graphical screen shot of a portion of Jamal-Harrison Bryant’s “bio” page from the web site. (He is the head pastor there.) The screen shot is large and you will have to ensure your browser is showing you the graphic at its full size in order to read the text. Check out the screen shot from Bryant’s so-called church web site here. Note that it explicitly states the following:

This year Reverend Bryant completed a Ph.D. in Theology at Oxford University in Great Britain.

Notice the site looks like a fancy car? That’s what happens when you fall for the heresy known as prosperity doctrine.

To see it yourself on their site, you would have to go there, click “our pastor” and under that click “bio”. It’s in the text there and you have to scroll down a bit to get to it. What I have provided is what is currently there at the moment of this update. I can’t say if it might be changed, but this proves that Jamal-Harrison Bryant claims to be a Ph.D. graduate of Oxford.

update 7/22/2007 3:07AM:
It has been mentioned that GTF is not an “online” school. Maybe my friend Matt Green made an unintentional error in saying it’s an “online” school, but the fact remains, that JHB is misrepresenting himself as an Oxford graduate.

You decide for yourself what the school is, the link to their site is offered and I’ll note that they offer some classes by “e-mail”, which means they do have an “online” school option of sorts. Here is the page on the GTF web site about that option.


E-Tutorials use e-mail as the sole mechanism for communication between the student and the Foundation. Each course is taught as a one-on-one tutorial between the student and the faculty person offering the course. This curriculum is offered exclusively by Foundation faculty.


Courses cost $500.00 and are valued at three graduate credit hours/one Unit of Study each.

Notice, they count as actual credit hours. So they do offer some actual online courses. I think a class done by e-mail is “online”, although I don’t see evidence that someone can attain a full degree online. This was not the area of focus in my research and a secondary matter. The focus was, is it appropriate to attend this school and claim to be an Oxford graduate? It is not. Which I contacted the school directly to confirm.

22 Responses to “Did Jamal-Harrison Bryant Graduate from Oxford? Graduate Theological Foundation Says He Might be Misleading the Public. (*Updated*)”

  1. DL Foster Says:

    JHB is part and parcel of a trend among African American clergy.
    That is the unethical claim of educational superiority. The truth is the great majority of them have not attended a bonified school. They are simply handed a document from an unaccredited religious school. Generally that school is seeking prestige therefore the name of the “honoree” brings that attention they are looking for.
    Of course as you pointed out it makes the recipient’s credentials look impressive. What a sham!
    Remember Dr. Jaunita Bynum-Weeks? She got her “doctorate” from some obscure church school in Florida. Yet 10 minutes of hearing her speak and you know she has no training.
    I know of a “Bishop” here in Atlanta, who is claiming a doctorate. When I researched the school I found that it didnt exist. It was something he and another “bishop” started in Houston but never materialized. But he still awarded himself a doctorate and then covered up the internet links to what he had tried to start.

    I wish P-P or maybe you would do a research on this and publish the results. This type of deception seems very prevalent in the Word of Faith movement.
    I’d like to see a list of all those with honorary doctorates, to know what qualifies to receive these “honorary doctorates”, the qualifications of the schools to hand them out, and what type of monetary support have they received from the honorees.
    Please somebody help us by exposing this deceptive trend in the black church!
    Thanks IC, for the awesome work you do!

  2. IndependentConservative Says:

    Eddie Long has more than one honorary degree. The schools that awarded the honorary degrees gave them to him either at a time he was invited to speak at their school or because they felt he was doing a lot in the “community”. In other words, he’s on TV a lot and putting their name next to his makes them look good in the public eye. A school can grant honorary degrees for anything they wish.

    The idea is, that the person who receives the “honorary” degree has done so much work in the “community” (ie get on TV a lot), that they’ve certainly worked as hard or harder than anyone who actually worked on obtaining such a degree. Never mind all the bogus doctrine. It’s promotion for the giver and the receiver.

    At least with the “honorary” degree, the person can say the school actually printed a document that is some form of degree with their name on it 😀 .

  3. DL Foster Says:

    IC, youre right and contextually it should be no problem.
    But as you said regardless of doctrine, practice or lifestyle the only requirement seems to be visibility or at least the promise of visibility.
    The “awarding” of the hds seems now to be simply for promotional purposes only. And the recipients waste no time in proclaiming themselves doctors as if they had actually earned the degree. Its not the degree as much as it is the purpose they use it for.

    So JHB Oxford degree is not a degree but a certificate?

  4. IndependentConservative Says:

    He did earn a doctor of ministry degree from The Graduate Theological Foundation, an unaccredited online school. That school offered a summer program as part of their degree program, where students could go to Oxford for a summer and get a certificate for being part of that summer program. But that certificate is not the doctor of ministry degree.

    It’s like if you were working on a BS in engineering at Morehouse and they had a summer program where you could go to GA Tech and get a certificate for attending a summer of class(es) at GA Tech. At the end, you get a Morehouse degree, although you’ve got a certificate from the summer program at GA Tech as well. But the certificate is really is nothing to BRAG about. If JHB were in this example, he’d be saying he went to GA Tech and earned a BS in engineering rather than Morehouse. I don’t know a thing about Morehouse and engineering, just using it as an example, since we both know GA Tech is one of the best engineering schools in the country.

    One summer at Oxford (if he actually went) does not an Oxford doctor of ministry make.

    When I called The Graduate Theological Foundation I just checked if the Oxford summer program existed and if there was a way to attend their school and claim you graduated from “Oxford”. They confirmed the summer program exists, but said you can’t go to their school and claim you got a degree from “Oxford”. I did not ask if JHB went to Oxford for a summer. I had heard enough. Whether or not he went to Oxford, he’s still lying unless he got 2 degrees at once. And what would be the point of that when GTF has no accreditation?

    If JHB even had an honorary doctorate degree from Oxford, this post would never have been made.

    (update, it has been noted that GTF is not an “online” school.)

  5. art123 Says:

    Did the apostles need a degree to spread the gospel? Can anyone show me anywhere in the bible whereas it is a requirement? Who came up with this and what year? Why?

  6. IndependentConservative Says:

    I agree Art123. There is no requirement to attend a seminary. And I say, depending on where one goes, the seminary can do more harm than good.

    We had some fun with this a while back over at Pulpit Pimps. There was one post not promoting and another promoting seminary. As you can see from the comments, it was a lively discussion.

  7. BlackApologist Says:

    Dear Art123:

    I think you missed the point of JHB situation. We all agree that one doesn’t neccessarily “need” a Seminary education to be in Ministry. The main point is Mr. Bryant is a deciever and a liar! Why mislead people about your so-called education when you know all too well that you don’t have what you claim to have??

    I continue to be amazed with folks (especially black folk) that try to justify the pimps and their inappropriate behavior. Why don’t you ask JHB to “come clean” and demonstrate some level of “Integrity?”


  8. healtheland Says:

    I know this is off topic, but did anyone see Carlton Pearson on CNN Sunday, perchance? He alleges that he is suffering such great persecution for preaching universalism. He claims that he decided that homosexuality was OK and that the Bible was not to be taken literally when this “doctor friend of his” said that he was gay, and of course he felt “this man is a family friend, a good person, and no good person like this can be sent to the lake of fire by God.” Now, in a 10 minute segment on Pearson, they did not show his wife. Just Pearson. Who was, shall we say, flaming from time to time. I think that there is more to this “doctor friend of his that ‘happens’ to be homosexual” than Carlton Pearson is telling. Yet gospel radio in Atlanta is still playing his “By And By” song. “You yet holding on?” Apparently not.

  9. art123 Says:

    I do see the point made by BlackApologist,especially when I read the article again but what do you expect from a false prophet. It is sad for what I am about to say, but true. If Bryant told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then this so-called prophet couldn’t profit. False prophets fall into their own destruction as the Bible says and it is only a matter of time that they do.
    In response to a comment by Healtheland, I haven’t seen CNN, but it sounds like something isn’t right about this Pearson fellow. Also, I have read your website and I found it to be very helpful especially one of your articles on how to fight demons when it is messing with your mind. Thank you.

  10. IndependentConservative Says:

    healtheland – I was half asleep and Pearson came on CNN at a moment when I opened an eye a little. I turned the channel. I already knew the deal. If everybody is going to Heaven, that little old lady had no reason to “hold on”. (The old mother that he mentions in his rendition of “By and By”) Pearson is a heretic and CNN loves that. They have a whole week dedicated to homosexual mess and Pearson is a feature because he’s telling the homosexuals they can live in sin and go to Heaven too. Pearson has adopted the heresy of Universalism and thinks everybody is going, never mind considering Jesus if you listen to him, you’re going anyway and Pearson is a liar just like Satan who spawned that lie and is now Pearson’s father. Person was always a pulpit pimping false teacher. Even before now, he preached prosperity doctrine, even had a conference named “Azuza” after the event that brought all manner of mess into the church. Something I’ve been warning folks about and notice Pearson is very much the singer… And yea, he looks light in the loafers too.

    John Macarthur noted how the heresy of universalism is spreading into the church like cancer.

    art123 – JHB is like the guy who lies on his resume, for more money and worse because he does it in the Lord’s name!!! It’s all about the dollar for him. Whatever makes him look good so he can convince more people to follow his false doctrine. If only more people read more of their Bibles, JHB would not be able to get away with any of this.

  11. BlackApologist Says:

    I think that most people really know in their “heart of hearts” that Carlton Pearson himself is indeed Gay! He was actually in my hometown of Tampa, Florida giving his support to a well-known church there who supported same sex marriage. Mr. Pearson is probably tired of “hiding in the closet” seeing as how he is actually someone’s husband! More could be said, and I will tell you that many of your most prominent Ministers, epsecially in the Black Community are into some things that will make you literally cry!


  12. RevIke Says:

    The Graduate Theological is “an online unaccredited school”? Their doctoral program is run by the Vatican and the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. It is no more “an online unaccredited school” than you are “an online unaccredited so-called Conservative organization.” For shame, and you should apologize.

  13. IndependentConservative Says:

    RevIke – You’re kidding right? I mean you really are funny 😆 .

    They are not accredited and they make no effort to hide it.

    The Foundation bases its academic integrity on its affiliations with Rome and Oxford and has chosen from its inception in 1962 not to formally associate with any government agency for the validation of its educational agenda or programs.

    All work transferred into the Foundation from other institutions, however, must have been completed at institutions which hold regional accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education and all foreign credits must comply with similar guidelines.

    Because the Foundation does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Association of Theological Schools or the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities, the Foundation neither holds nor will it seek these accreditations.

    They are not accredited and make no effort to be. They rely on associations with the church of Rome, that is an organization that base salvation on works and things like praying to Mary – Jesus instructed how to pray in Matthew 6:8-13 – no mention of Mary, seeking a “priest” to forgive sins when the old priesthood no longer exists – all Christians are of a new priesthood – Jesus Christ is our High Priest and the ONLY one who can forgive sins – Hebrews 7 & 8, they laud men who are treated JUST LIKE JESUS WARNED AGAINST regarding the scribes in Mark 12:38-44, from the “pope” down the organization emulates the scribes and the Pharisees Jesus warned of in Matthew 23, the group is not truly rooted on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    And an “affiliation” with Oxford does not an Oxford degree make. That is the real issue here. Regardless of whether they were accredited or not JHB is misrepresenting his educational background.

    JHB claims to be a Protestant minister, yet he attended an unaccredited university that is rooted in the misguided doctrine of Roman Catholicism. I could mention some, although not as tightly bound Catholic links even if it were Oxford, but let’s not play like ties to Rome is something to brag about! JHB lies to trump up himself.

    Sorry, but claiming “Rome” does not register as accreditation with me. In fact, being under control of Rome is more of a minus to me than a plus!

  14. RevIke Says:

    IC, don’t put words in my mouth. Of course Bryant is a fool for claiming a degree which is not his to claim. My point has to do with Graduate Theological. The fact that a school chooses not to be regionally or ATS accredited may mean something to its detractors, but not to its reputation, if it’s well-earned. Most Jewish rabbinical seminaries in this country have chosen not to be regionally-accredited, and if you tried to tell the members of a Jewish Orthodox congregation that their rabbi graduated from an unaccredited seminary they’d roll their eyes and assume that you were an ignoramus.
    Regional accreditation is of utmost importance to colleges in the context of being able to obtain federal student loans, and that’s about it. As the old saying goes, the Lord did not go to a regionally -accredited seminary.

  15. IndependentConservative Says:

    RevIke – You are the height of obfuscation. Be gone. You’re out of here. I don’t know if you are the real Rev. Ike or just a fan, but either way, your lauding of one of the kings in the dark art called the prosperity gospel movement is disgusting! Not to mention the MANY legal efforts against Ike regarding actions of a sexual nature.

  16. IndependentConservative Says:

    And by the way, SHAME on you for trying to treat the Lord like a mere man. As if The Son sent from Heaven by The Father can be reduced to statements about men who attend seminary! Of course God does not attend seminary. People who wish to learn about God might attend a good seminary though. And those who attend one should be honest about where they went.

    JHB lies about his education and lies about The Word of God. JHB is a FALSE teacher and binds his listeners in heresy.

  17. GaryV Says:

    Hey IC………..weren’t you a little harsh on Rev Ike?? After all, I think his theology is splendiferous and HE got his degree at Barney’s Bible Barn and Paintball Emporium.

    And it was REALLY uncalled for to make fun of his chosen screenname. Who are YOU to deride his hero?? You need to show more love brother.


  18. dr.stan Says:

    I happened on to your website and I find your conversation interesting. I am a Fellow and Distinguished graduate of the Graduate Theological Foundation. First, it is not an online school. I took courses at the campus in South Bend and I transferred credits from another doctoral program I attended. Second, The Foundation is affliated with Oxford University and you are free to take courses at one of thirty-someting colleges at Oxford. The summer program is just that a summer program and you can use those four week intensives as a part of your degree requirements.
    I do not know much about online schools, I have a BS and a M.Th but if this is an on line school then most people would not qualify to enter or complete the requirements for the doctorate of ministry.
    I teach at a local seminary with my “online degree” and my knowledge of biblical studies, church history, systematic, moral theology and Ecumenical thought is second to none. Please before you denegrate a school that offers real degrees to committed professional please get your facts straight. Dr. Bryant is incorrect when he says that he received a Ph.D from Oxford, but a mistake by him does not mean that you need to belittle a good school.

  19. IndependentConservative Says:

    Hi Doc Stan, get over it. The issue here is that JHB is misrepresenting himself. Your school, no matter how proud you are of it, is little known and is the reason one of your fellow graduates does not use the name himself.

    I never referred to GTF as an “online” school in the post, I cited a quote from Matt Green there, take your issue up with him. But I did myself say it was an “online” school in a comment here. I apologize for that. An update has been made to the post.

  20. Independent Conservative Says:

    Oxford Claim Removed From Jamal-Harrison Bryant’s Bio….

    Well I said I thought he was lying and although he’s made his bio a little more honest, the change supports the assertion made by me and others that he was lying before. Lying about his education, although the more important issue remains, that …

  21. D-Life Says:

    This is amazing, I have to ask myself this question….who are you and why have you put all of this energy into getting and revealing this information? It’s quite obvious that you have some type of personal vendetta against this man and you are using all that you can to try and destroy him—this is quite apparent! Regardless of what you have posted or whatsoever be the “truth” that you are claiming, Jamal Bryant is a man that speaks truth. If the truth be told the majority of pastors don’t have a word to give like he does. Why haven’t you posted any fyi: on catholic priest or all of these men of the cloth that run around claiming to be holy sexing boys and destroying their lives. Why don’t you do that since you have taken on this responsibility to out so called men of God. I dont think anyone who has a mind of their own will listen to you because it’s quite obvious where you are coming from. If Jamal Bryant is indeed a liar, indeed in time he will be seen for who he is PERIOD!!! Get a life and do something constructive instead of foolishness like this. Regardless of what you have said here Jamal has a word!!! Plain and simple that will be an asset to those who are in need of it!

  22. IndependentConservative Says:

    Either you didn’t read all the information posted above, or you enjoy defending a false teacher.

    After the post made here and similar posts by other bloggers on their blogs, Jamal-Harrison Bryant’s bio changed. Try asking Bryant why his bio used to claim Oxford.

    Obviously my mentioning something that was in plain public view offends you. Try finding a pastor who speaks the true gospel and not a false money-gospel. It will bring much more peace to your soul.

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