RaviWatch

Investigating the false claims of evangelist Ravi Zacharias

EVANGELIST RAVI ZACHARIAS’ ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS: 12 FISHY CLAIMS

Claim

Finding

1. "Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University"

False, per Cambridge. RZ removed the claim from his website after I informed him of my intent to expose it as false in the summer of 2015

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2. "Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University"

False. RZ held an honorary Senior Research Fellow position at an "affiliated institution" of Oxford University. RZ modified the claim at his website after I informed him that I was investigating his credentials. He has since removed the Oxford claim entirely from his website.

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3. RZ frequently claims to having studied quantum physics at Cambridge University and refers to Cambridge's Dr. John Polkinghorne as "my professor in quantum physics." (Autobiography p. 206)

False: Dr. Polkinghorne retired from physics in 1979 to become a priest. In 1990, the year RZ was on sabbatical, Dr. Polkinghorne taught two courses, “Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism” and "The Modern Dialogue of Science and Theology." He taught no physics class that year.

See my video on the issue.

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4. "Chair of the Department Evangelism and Contemporary Thought at Alliance Theological Seminary."

False. Such a department never existed. RZ fabricated the title to bolster his scholarly image.

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5. "I am an official lecturer at Oxford" where I lecture "three times a year."

False. The University informed me that it has no record of Ravi being on their payroll. Wycliffe Hall told me that Ravi has never held a formal teaching position there.

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6. "Cambridge educated"

False. RZ’s B.A. and M.Div. degrees are from fairly obscure institutions. While on a 2-3 month sabatical at a place called Ridley Hall, RZ attended some classes and lectures at Cambridge University on a part-time basis. This is the sole basis for the claim that RZ is "Cambridge educated."

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7. RZ's references to himself in his press materials as "Dr. Zacharias"

Misleading. RZ has no academic degree beyond a B.A. from the Ontario Bible College. (He also holds a non-academic professional M.Div degree.) RZ has not earned a doctorate degree.

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8. "Zacharias holds three doctoral degrees"

False. RZ has no earned doctorates, only honorary ones, and, despite criticism, has repeatedly failed to disclose that his doctorates are merely honorary.

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9. Ravi claims he won the "Asian Youth Preacher Award" at an international preaching competition.

False. The Award appears not to exist, and the only preaching competition Ravi won was India only.

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10. "I have spoken on almost every major campus - Berkeley, Princeton, Cornell, you name it."

Misleading. It appears that RZ's college lectures are mainly (almost exclusively?) self-organized or pursuant to invitations from student clubs, not invitations from the faculties of these universities. RZ does not clearly disclose this.

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11. RZ’s book bio describes him as a "Recognized authority on comparative religions, cults, and philosophy."

False. RZ has no scholarly publications and bears exactly none of the indicia required to make one a "recognized authority" in an academic field.

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12. In his autobiography RZ claims partial credit for the idea of The Veritas Forum

False. The Veritas Forum was fully underway before its founder, Kelly Monroe, ever heard of RZ.

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