Fraud at Ravi Zachiarias International Ministries: Fake Qualifications Exposed


Ravi Zacharias of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries is being called upon by the public to respond to allegations of manufacturing his theological and academic qualifications. Touted as a “Dr” who is alleged to be a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, UK, Ravi Zacharias is facing claims of being a fraudster. Popular YouTuber FriendlyBanjo attempted to verify the academic qualifications of Mr. Zacharias and found them to be absolutely false. In a damning video, showing clear manipulation of academic credentials and falsifying biographical details, the inter-faith community is calling on Mr. Zacharias to tender his resignation, and return monies stolen under false pretenses. Mr. Zacharias is the founder of an international evangelical ministry which attempts to spread the “Gospel” worldwide, specifically targeting Atheists and Muslims. An acclaimed author and international speaker, Mr. Zacharias is now being labeled as an Ergun Caner 2.0, a complete and total fraudster who attempted to pass of honorary degrees as having been academically qualified.

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Questions are now also being asked about monies collected under these false pretenses, which are said to have been used in the publication and promotion of the Qadiani Nabeel Qureishi’s latest publication, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”. Written in a similar style to Ravi Zacharias’s biography, as well as funded and promoted by Ravi’s Ministry, many are now asking if Nabeel’s biography also contains similar embellishments as have now been indicated in his mentor’s manufactured biography. As pictured above, Nabeel closely works with Ravi and is featured heavily in RZIM’s Toronto tour on September 12th of this year. Many faithful believers assumed that Mr. Ravi’s theological and academic qualifications were accurate given his popularity in evangelical circles, today that assumption is causing many to regret donating thousands of dollars to a fraudster on par with internationally condemned Ergun Caner who also falsified academic and theological qualifications, as well as having been accused of manufacturing his biography in exchange for monies, academic positions and paid speaking engagements.

It remains to be seen whether or not these allegations will be clarified by Mr. Ravi Zacharias, or by those profiting from monies donated under false pretenses, such as Nabeel Qureishi. See the shocking video below:

and God knows best.

7 comments

  • time line 1:18

  • Wallahi I knew something was wrong about this guy ..subhanallah !!

  • I am genuinely shocked 😦

  • Reblogged this on Blogging Theology and commented:
    this is genuinely shocking. Well done to Ijaz for making it more widely known..

  • “Dr. Ravi Zacharias never got a PhD” – He never claimed to have gotten one. He has received honorary doctorates from respected accredited universities – “not Bible buddies.” He faults RZIM for not saying that they are honorary. However, if you google the titles and where he received them, you will notice that those institutions do not offer those degrees and often those titles like Doctor of Laws and a Doctor of Sacred Theology are honorary degrees. He never claimed to have earned these degrees.

    “In fact he never even got an academic advanced degree, but a pastoral degree.” No, not a specialized one, but one that is more rigorous than many specialized MAs. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School of Trinity International University is a very rigorous institution with many students going on to PhDs straight out of the Mdiv program. It contains practical classes, but those classes only take up a portion of the overall program. And Ravi majored in Philosophy of Religion and was supervised by scholars with their PhDs in Philosophy from respected secular universities. Check out the current MDiv program for yourself in the Appendix (which is similar to what Ravi did at the time). Ravi had to study Hebrew, Greek, Scripture, history, theology, and philosophy of religion. He received a rigorous education.

    When in the town of Cambridge, he was supervised by Dr. Jeremy Begbie, B.A. (University of Edinburgh), B.D. (University of Aberdeen), Ph.D. (University of Aberdeen), A.R.C.M., L.R.A.M, F.R.S.C.M, who has acknowledged this. At the time, Dr. Jeremy Begbie held a joint appointment at Ridley Hall and Cambridge University itself. Ravi Zacharias took a scholarly leave to study at the time and was visiting to study under Dr. Jeremy Begbie. Therefore, although not precise, he did take scholarly classes at Cambridge and was supervised by a Cambridge scholar Dr. Jeremy Begbie. In that sense he was a visiting scholar, doing his own research. Since then, RZIM has made this more precise.

    Do you think that Nabeel has embellishments in his biography? What is your evidence for this?

    Appendix: Masters of Divinity Degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School – a 3 year program full time:

    Scripture and Interpretation – 35 hours

    ID 5000 Biblical Theology and Interpretation 3 hours
    NT 5210 NT Greek Exegesis I 4 hours
    NT 5211 NT Greek Exegesis II 2 hours
    NT 5212 NT Greek Exegesis III 1 hour
    NT 6600 Preaching from the New Testament 1 hour
    NT 6221 Synoptics and Johannine Literature 3 hours
    NT 6222 Acts, Pauline, and General Epistles 3 hours
    OT 5240 Elementary Hebrew I 3 hours
    OT 5241 Elementary Hebrew II 3 hours
    OT 5242 Hebrew Exegesis 4 hours
    OT 6216 Pentateuch and Historical Books 4 hours
    OT 6217 Prophetic and Poetic Books 4 hours

    Theology and Tradition – 20 hours

    Required:

    CH 5010 History of Christianity 4 hours
    PT 7410, 7412, 7415 Denominational History and Polity course 1 hour
    ST 5101 Theology I: Introduction to Theology 3 hours
    ST 5102 Theology II: Christ, Man, Sin, Salvation 3 hours
    ST 5103 Theology III: Holy Spirit, Church, Last Things 3 hours
    ST 5200 Christian Ethics 3 hours
    Choose one of the following:

    CH 5060 American Church History 3 hours
    CH 7450 Christianity in the Non-Western World since 1700 3 hours
    ME 6410 History of Missions in the Modern World
    (This is an alternative only for those in the Cross-Cultural Ministry focus) 3 hours
    Worldview and Culture – 8 hours

    Required:

    ME 5000 Foundations of Christian Mission
    ME 6240 The Intercultural Missionary may be substituted for those in the Cross-Cultural Ministry focus 2 hours
    ME 5001 Foundations of Evangelism 2 hours
    PR 5500 Apologetics 2 hours
    Choose one of the following:

    BE 5900 Bioethics National Conference Course 2 hours
    CC 5610 Cultural Hermeneutics 2 hours
    ME 6610 Anthropology for Ministry 2 hours
    PT 7860 Social and Cultural Exegesis 2 hours
    Ministries and Practices – 31 hours

    Includes required, ministry focus, and elective courses

    Required:

    CM 5000 Introduction to Pastoral Ministry Counseling 2 hours
    CM 6000 Issues in Counseling Ministry (Possible substitutes for this include CO 5210, CM 5110, CM 6572, CO 7140) 1 hour
    EM 5000 Educational Ministries in the Local Church 2 hours
    HM 5000 Theology and Methodology of Biblical Preaching 2 hours
    PT 5000 Personal Assessment and Ministry Orientation 1 hour
    PT 7280 Christian Worship 2 hours
    PT 7460 MDiv Capstone Seminar 1 hour
    PT 7465 / 7466 Internship 2 hours
    Field Education and Formation Group:

    An additional 18 hours in the Philosophy of Religion (In Ravi Zacharias’ case).

    ID 5080 Formation Group (2 semesters)
    (recommended during first two semesters) 0 hours
    PT 5090 Field Education (2 semesters) 0 hours
    PT 5095 Cross-Cultural Field Education (1 semester) 0 hours

  • Thanks for the response Nick, but this does not help his case. His ministry, which carries his name and which advertises him as a Dr. in all promotional material, refers to him with this academic title. Either he has for several years been completely unaware of what his ministry does, and should thus resign for such poor management, or given his active participation in the organization, he allowed this perception to build and did not correct it until questioned.

    If Ravi did an MDiv, then he is not a Dr. He does not have a PhD. I think that is clear. Now that you agree that he does not have this qualification, on what grounds do you justify his usage of a title which carries absolutely no academic merit, but which is found in his personal biography, in his videos, all promotional materials, etc? How can that be justified? It cannot. This was intentional, unless he was not in control of his mental faculties and was unaware that by using this title, it would carry the connotation that he did possess a PhD.

    Given the information you have provided, he was not a visiting scholar at Cambridge. That’s like claiming you attended a seminar by lecturers at UoT and somehow that made you a visiting scholar at UoT. It is laughable. I know that you are a person of great intelligence, so to see you using these excuses is quite below your stature. There is nothing wrong in conceding that Ravi has made a mistake and that he needs to own up to it, to take responsibility for the mess he has caused. He is human, Nick. Human like you and I, with human flaws. Can’t you accept that he honestly erred and that he needs to clear his name now?

  • I am a full professor at a law school (i.e., an academic). The vast majority of lawyers do not have a Ph.D., yet there are times when I am called “Doctor” by someone. For these short conversations I never correct them–it seems out of place. I think this addresses your concern that Ravi has been called “Doctor” by others in public settings. Second, there are people that use the word “doctor” for honorary degrees. Not something I would do, but I recognize that it is not that uncommon. Third, when I saw the degrees that he listed on his website I immediately recognized them as honorary degrees. I see no reason to list the obviousness nature of the degrees–he was not hiding anything. By the way, it is a great honor to receive one of these degrees. He has six. Fourth, when you go to the Ridley website it is unclear what their affiliation is with Cambridge University. The British University system is quite different from our own, so it is possible that Ravi was unaware of the loose affiliation Ridley now has with Cambridge University.

    So it comes down to this. Do we impute ill motive to Ravi or do we use the same grace we extend to ourselves when we are misunderstood by others. From what I understand, as soon as any question was raised about his credentials he quickly clarified them on his website. That demonstrates he is operating in good faith. Why not also assume that his prior representations were also made in good faith. When I have encountered charlatans, there have been no half measures. They completely lied. That is not the case here. So given the circumstances I would err on the side of an innocent representation rather than assuming this is scandalous.

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