I encountered a very strange phenomena when I was about 10 and my parents discovered the wonder scam of having all your sins washed away by the blood of Jesus, commonly referred to as being "born again."
Chief among the peddlers of this cultish, separation racket (divide and dominate) are the Fundamental Baptists. When the pastors of the mega-churches in this realm aren't busy having affairs with wives of the congregation—and youth pastors administering to the sex education of the girls—they're busy rubbing elbows with one-another such that their respective "bible colleges" confer honorary doctorate degrees on one another.
Consequently, every pastor, many assistant pastors and even some prominent deacons are all Dr. [insert name]. Hilariously, they all go around calling each other Dr. this and Dr. that, adorning every name tag, plaque, and written word with their title. When speaking of themselves in conversations with others, yep...and then he said "Dr. Nikoley, I feel so blessed to have your guidance."
Here, and I spent like 10 seconds googling for a list of conference speakers for a fundie event: Trinity Baptist Church, Arlington, TX Conference Page.
Out of 17 speakers, 12 are "Dr.," and I'd bet you anything that the vast majority are either honorary, mail order, or some other silly thing, like having a PhD in Mother Goose.
Actually, conferring honorary doctorates is nothing new at all. There are millions of them. Most prominent politicians, entertainers, business magnates and philanthropists have stacks of them—and from places like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc....not Bumfuck Indiana Baptist Bible College. Laf.
One other aspect is so-called professional doctorates, the most common being the juris doctorate: a law degree. But have you ever known an attorney to go around calling himself Dr? Moreover, while most law schools require a bachelor's degree for admission, not all do. Conceivably, you could go right from high school to law school and in three years get a JD. Then you can call yourself Dr. Smith, even if you never take or pass the bar exam.
And pursuant to getting a certificate to practice pharmacology at a Rite Aid or Walgreens near you, you'd get a professional doctorate called a PharmD, typically a 4-year program (compared to 3 years for a JD, and about 12 for an MD or PhD). Even the program at UCSD, however, does not require a bachelor's degree as prerequisite, but instead the equivalent of 2 years of core curriculum. So, in all, a PharmD is at best a master's degree, but could be as little as a bachelor's.
The more interesting question is why people go around calling themselves Dr., writing themselves as Dr. everywhere, when they are not some form of a Medical Doctor or have spent the 4 years as an undergrad, followed by an average of 8.5 additional years to earn a PhD (and most folks I know with earned PhDs don't often refer to themselves as doctor).
So why is it people do this? Feel free to speculate, but for me it's all about being perceived as an authority who:
- Doesn't like being questioned.
- Doesn't like to have to explain.
- Wants to have a scammy advantage over others who aren't "doctors."
- Wants to have an army of sycophants to defend them when questioned or "attacked."
OK, tune in again, where Dr. Nikoley will tell you more about what he thinks about everything, all of which you will be expected to accept without question.