What do we make of the claim that Bob Thiel holds a ThD from TCU? Click on the image to enlarge. Inquiries have been made by concerned AW readers. Leonardo is one:
...in the endeavor to "prove all things" I called the Registrar's Office (817-257-7825) of Texas Christian University located in Ft. Worth, Texas – and talked to one Kristi Harrison at the Registrar’s Office. She informed me of the following facts: First of all, Texas Christian University does NOT have a doctorate of theology (ThD) program. They do have a Masters of Theological Studies program, a Master of Divinity program, and a Master of Theology program – but not a ThD program. And second, the name of Bob (or Robert) Thiel does NOT show up on ANY student listing the university has. They have a computerized file dating from 1984 forward – and Thiel is NOT on this one. And they have a microfiche file for students who attended before 1984 – and Thiel doesn’t show up on this one either.
I've always found Bob a scrupulously honest person, so it will be intriguing to follow this as it develops.
The simple explanation could be that Bob started his own university:
Thiel Christian University (TCU)
You never know.
Maybe this is where Larry got his anonymous PhD.
The Apostate Paul
Well, Gavin, you're much more cheritable than I am, because I'm not sure if I would call anyone who makes the kind of absolutely ridiculous statements Bob has in the past "scrupulously honest" - at least INTELLECUALLY honest, but hey, I’m always willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Perhaps there is another educational institution that can be referred to as TCU that’s NOT Texas Christian University, though I searched the Internet for some time, and could not find one.
For example, UIU, where Thiel apparently earned his PhD from, can be Upper Iowa University. Or it could be Union International University, or even Union University.
Although visiting the Union International University website (http://ununiversity.com/admission/) would definitely seem to indicate it’s a diploma mill, as a recent blogger suggested. Take a visit and judge for yourself.
I mean, when was the last time you saw a legitimate educational institution that offered degrees in Astrology, or Driving, or Roofing, or Beauty Therapy, or Hairdressing Science, or Hypnotherapy, or Tennis Management, or Women’s Spirituality Zoology?
Don’t believe me, go out to the website provided above and check out the “degree” programs offered by UIU.
If THIS UIU is the one where Bob got his "PhD" from, then do we really need to take anything else he tries to say seriously?
I close my case.
Now, if Bob obtained his PhD from Union Institute and University in Ohio, then this truly does look like a legitimate educational institution.
On his COG Writer bio he claims this is the UIU he got his doctorate from, where he maintains that he studied “various biological sciences and research methodologies.”
Still, this is a rather vague doctorate – at least I’ve never heard of a PhD being granted in “various biological sciences and research methodologies.”
So, at least in my mind, Thiel's academic degrees seem a bit shady to me.
Well probably just drop him a note and ask him about it.
Here’s some more thoughts on Bob Thiel’s extremely dubious educational background.
Thiel boasts of massive amounts of formal education, but his claims are extremely sketchy, rather vague and very difficult to pin down with any degree of precision.
To illustrate, here they are, in his OWN words, from his COG Writer website, under the caption “What is Your Academic and Religious Background?":
“I have always considered that Jesus was Lord, God, and Savior, even when my understandings were somewhat different than I now hold. And have striven to always be a part of the true apostolic church. After high school I attended Allan Hancock College where I majored in Liberal Arts, including taking classes in writing, religion, data processing, and philosophy. I also have a bachelor of science degree in accounting (UL) and a master of science degree in systems management (USC). In addition, even though they were incomplete (e.g. the materials did not teach much is in the What Does Rome Actually Teach About Early Church History? or Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome articles as two of the schools tended towards ecumenicalism), I have studied graduate level Early Church History from Fuller Theological Seminary and other schools in and out of the USA like T of CU, where a Th.D. in Early Christianity was earned). A doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree was earned from the Union Institute and University where I studied various biological sciences and research methodologies. I also have other degrees/training, and have studied theology, both formally and informally.”
I tried to go out to his nutritional website (www.doctorsresearch.com), but it appears to be (temporarily?) closed down. The reason I attempted this was because it seemed to me that on that particular website he said he had a degree in (or had studied) Biochemistry, though I’m only going from memory here.
Now, call me overly skeptical, but it’s just that I’ve encountered exaggerated educational qualifications MANY times before, most typically among religious types pushing fundamentalist doctrines and concepts – and Bob Thiel most certainly fits into that category without question.
Further, I visited the website of Union Institute and University (http://www.myunion.edu/about/regional-centers.html) and they offer no such PhD program in what Thiel’s claims above to have been “various biological sciences and research methodologies.”
So I find this very interesting indeed.
Perhaps I say this prematurely, and if I’m wrong, then I’m wrong – but it appears that Brother Bob is proving every bit as slippery and deceptive as Dr. Larry in regards to his hiding his actual educational background and degrees, in spite of his boastful claims.
Well actually, and I can't believe I'm defending this guy, on COG Writer his bio says, "and other schools in and out of the USA like T of CU, where a Th.D. in Early Christianity was earned.."
Nobody down here would refer to TCU as T of CU so, perhaps we need to look elsewhere (such as out of the USA) for that stellar education he received. Besides, he didn't once say, "Go Frogs!" so I don't think it's the same TCU.
The examiner.com website where Thiel posted his Thd. says:
If you believe you have what it takes to be an Examiner, we would love to hear from you. Our application will require a writing sample, short biography, a brief explanation of your expertise and basic contact information. Please note that spelling and grammar will also be evaluated as part of the selection process...Examiner.com is a division of the Clarity Media Group, and is wholly owned by The Anschutz Company, one of the largest media investment companies in the world...Examiner.com has the world's largest team of vetted and dedicated subject-matter writers, known as Examiners, who are credible, knowledgeable and passionate contributors from all walks of life. They are musicians, magazine writers, entrepreneurs, PhDs, college students, stay-at-home parents, seasoned journalists, retirees, etc...Examiners are Independent Contractors, meaning they choose where, when and what to write about within their selected topic...Examiners are paid a very competitive rate based on standard Internet variables including page views, unique visitors, session length, and advertising performance. This is not a full-time "quit your day job" kind of opportunity, but Examiners can definitely earn some extra cash while gaining exposure through their writing...Should you choose to become an Examiner, be prepared to submit three critical items within the first few days:
* A photo of yourself for your page
* A brief biographical statement of up to 35 words, written in third person
* Authorization to conduct criminal history background check and identity verification. We do not check credit history or contact former employers.
What page were you looking at? The bio page (cogwriter.htm) just brings up this statement:
I also have a bachelor of science degree in accounting (UL) and a master of science degree in systems management (USC). In addition, even though they were incomplete (e.g. the materials did not teach much is in the What Does Rome Actually Teach About Early Church History? or Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome articles as two of the schools tended towards ecumenicalism), I have studied graduate level Early Church History from Fuller Theological Seminary and other schools. A doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree was earned from the Union Institute and University where I studied various biological sciences and research methodologies. I also have other degrees/training, and have studied theology, both formally and informally.
Let's examine this Doctorate thing.
Uncle Bob might have been awarded an Honorary Doctorate which might account for him not appearing on any graduate list.
Here in the land of the Kiwi I know of a scientist whose qualifications have been queried, yet he still survives.In at least one other case,maybe two,doctoral degrees in government employees have been found to be spurious.
But in today's society, doctorates are two a penny.Each generation seems to elevate the entry qualifications required in many disciplines which means many do not start contributing to an economy till they are in their late 20s or early 30s.Perhaps we need to question the wisdom of so many doctorates.
I know of one family with two doctorates in theology (professors be they),one in medicine,one in medical bioscience,one in law, with another pending, and one in music.These are related by blood to yours truly and are in Northern Europe,plus one in the good old USA...medicine,General US Marines(Retd).Here in NZ, one family alone has seven (7) doctorates so it ain't necessarily such a big deal.
Doctor Bob's degree may be from a mail-order uni.Who knows.At least he gives us opportunity to bloggerise on a number of occasions.
"Nobody down here would refer to TCU as T of CU so, perhaps we need to look elsewhere (such as out of the USA) for that stellar education he received."
Good catch, Baywolfe, I had not noticed that subtlety.
But also - just to "spot check" - I'm currently looking into Thiel's claim of a Master of Science degree in Systems Management from USC, which I presume to be University of Southern California - although USC could mean any number of places outside the United States.
Of course, all this guesswork could easily be eliminated if Bob just openly stated in FULL the EXACT names of the educational institutions he has attended, where they are located, and the exact title of the degrees he claims to have earned.
Wow, think about it - if Bob has as much higher level formal education as he boasts, then he must have been either a full or a part-time student virtually ALL of his life.
But WHY then is he so secretive with regard to specific names, places and exact degrees earned. This just doesn't add up in my book.
Though, ultimately, even IF all his degrees are legitimate, still, his many claims with respect to fundamentalist prophecy, etc., have no legitimate backing whatsoever, so perhaps I’m wasting a lot of time unnecessarily here.
Thielgate provided some basic information from the site Thiel was writing on.
But notice that although they require "Authorization to conduct criminal history background check and identity verification. We do not check credit history or contact former employers" - nowhere does it mention that they check and verify claimed ACADEMIC credentials.
This is significant because apparently ANYBODY who doesn't have a criminal background and provides a digital photo can contribute here, and then claim to be a "published author."
Jorgheinz, the real question is whether Thiel has been telling porkies about his quals. The Th.D just seems to have come out of thin air. Given his propensity to write about himself, I doubt we'd be unaware of any legitimate honorary doctorate. The evidence indicates - so far - that Thiel has had a sudden rush of blood to the brain and... how to put this gently... indulged his "creative imagination." Fine, but if that's the case he has just shot himself in the foot. Who will ever believe him again?
Option 1: Thiel can demonstrate that his Th.D is legit. Don't hold your breath.
Option 2: He claims there was a misunderstanding and examiner.com got his bio muddled with someone else. Nobody is going to believe that.
Option 3A. He fesses up to lying, apologizes and goes on as if nothing happened. If so he'll never be regarded as credible again.
Option 3B. He fesses up to lying, falls on his sword and takes his website down. What do you think the chances are?
I can't see a "win" situation here for Bob no matter what. Hoisted on his own petard.
Unless of course he can explain the claim and document it.
We wait with bated breath.
If doctorates are two a penny can you please tell me where to get them? It'd save me an awful lot of work with an assignment due on Monday and exams next month - and hey, that's just for a bachelor's degree!
Dr. Thiel’s prestigious and highly documented credentials from these highly respected worldly institutions of higher education make him a prime candidate…..for a Professor Emeritus and/or Adjunct Professor and tenured Chair at the highly respected and prestigious Living University. :)
Ah, Living University - where a stock photo of a beautiful young female student with books in arms was used on their website even before LU was open for business or had admitted any students.
Like all Armstrongism, the secret of Dr. Thiel is in the marketing! Who cares if the marketing embellishes the story?
Or, like the Living University stock photo of the beautiful young female student - looks good, tastes bad!
Union Institute has its origins as a correspondence program. No respectable state university would give much credence to a degree from UIU.
Furthermore, no respectable Ph.D. program would graduate someone with such a poor command of the English language as Bob.
I'm very curious to learn the results of Leonardo's investigations into the backgrounds of the other degrees Bob claims to have earned.
vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
"The simple explanation could be that Bob started his own university:
Thiel Christian University (TCU)"
That won't work because Bob says it is "T of CU". I can't find a T of CU anywhere.
It must be "Thiel's of Central Uganda".
It was certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.
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