The Adventist Podcast: Degree Fraud & Barely Adventist

This episode of The Adventist Podcast includes: Jared Wright, Spectrum Online Managing Editor, on reporting the SID president’s doctoral degree fraud; Ron du Preez, theologian, pastor, former Communication Director, Michigan Conference, discussing why he signed the open letter regarding the fraud; The anonymous creator of the Barely Adventist humor website on why satire is constructive for our faith community.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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I enjoyed this conversation with Ron Du Preez. In my limited personal interaction with him, I found him to be very much a Christian gentleman.

The Kwazulu-Natal Free State Conference has just issued an excellent Statement of Affirmation and Commitment regarding the issue of academic integrity, pledging that measures will be taken to ensure that employees do not claim degrees that are fraudulent. It would be nice if Ted Wilson would also make a statement, formal or informal, expressing his support for academic integrity. Furthermore, what Elder Wilson should do is write a responsive letter to the academic scholars in Africa who in their letter to him expressed concerns and requested action. In that letter, he should express his gratitude to them for being vigilant in support of academic integrity and for their love of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that catalyzed their activism regarding that issue. Maybe that letter has already been written. Obviously, it would be rude not to respond. If such letter has been written, please report on it and post it.


Ted is following in the leadership style of his father. Recall his father’s testimony in the Marikay. Silver trial. The. Buck starts here! Tom Z


The introduction and importation of an American-founded religion which, in the last 25 years has recommended and offered higher educational requirements for ministers, has set the standards world wide.

While African pastors are proud of their traditions and cultures, they have also chosen to equip themselves with the degrees held by many leaders in the western nations. But in striving for those academic qualifications, a few have sought instant credentials without the hard and diligent work necessary and have short circuited the process. Such degrees are not only worthless but claiming them is both immoral, illegal, and possibly criminal.

Is this the leadership that the world church accepts?


It took courage for Ron Du Preez, (and others) to speak up in this situation, as well as to speak up with his wife when he was in Michigan regarding the Pipim situation. His actions have increased my opinion of him and his wife, especially when so many keep silent when it is politically inconvenient. We should recognize and applaud examples of transparency and openness, as they are too often lacking in our church. Openness and transparency strengthens our church, but sweeping things under the rug weakens it.

“The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” Education, EGW p 57


Where is the likes of Dr. Don McAdams, Glen Cole, Esq. or Dr. Steven Spruill when a need such as this magnitude evolves? Any one of the aforementioned, with intelligent focus could help to lay bare the primary problem; examining Ted Wilson’s doctoral dissertation without jaundiced eye would be like starting at the very beginning, it seems, with informative disposition.


Wilson’s degree from NYU is legitimate; but why the university granted it on the basis of ("In partial completion of . . . . ") his dissertation is difficult to understand, given the incomplete research that lies behind it and the quality of the academically immature language in the dissertation. The document is simultaneously superficial and condescending. Let’s assume that his grades were stellar, even though, apparently, little, if any, of his coursework worked its way into his final project. The document is academically myopic.


Excellent. “The problem of humor” is a serious one; the hyper religious confuse seriousness with solemnity, are unable to see themselves from the outside (of themselves or their church), which is necessary for personal growth, and quickly become reactionary. I think it was Meg Wolitzer who said in a panel discussion years ago that the very religious and the very beautiful have poorly developed senses of humor because they are so taken with their notion of self-value that they simply can’t stand outside of that and evaluate themselves from any other viewpoint. This was a general statement, not an argument worthy of legal/istic value: Wolitzer is a humorist.