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)
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)
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.)
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.
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 Empowermenttemple.org 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.
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