Earlier this week, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) released a statement addressing its namesake’s credentials, which have recently been under fire.
“In earlier years, ‘Dr.’ did appear before Ravi’s name in some of our materials, including on our website, which is an appropriate and acceptable practice with honorary doctorates,” stated RZIM. “However, because this practice can be contentious in certain circles, we no longer use it.”
According to the biography currently posted on RZIM’s website, Zacharias received a master of divinity degree from Trinity International University and “has conferred ten honorary doctorates, including a Doctor of Laws and a Doctor of Sacred Theology.”
Up until earlier this year, the RZIM bio had not used the phrase “honorary doctorates;” instead, it had stated that Zacharias had been “honored with the conferring of six doctoral degrees.” The site also previously referred to him as “Dr. Zacharias” through 2014, as did multiple press releases, news features, and event postings.
Apologist and religious studies professor John G. Stackhouse wasn’t surprised by the news.
“There’s a long and not very edifying tradition of Christian evangelists and speakers inflating their credentials,” said Stackhouse.
Stackhouse says that he personally confronted two RIZM employees about problems he saw with Zacharias’s credentials but that no changes were made after the conversation.
“Ravi Zacharias is the biggest name in apologetics currently,” said Stackhouse. “As he goes, so goes apologetics so it’s really important that he be ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more