The general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Samuel Kobia, says he was shocked and surprised to discover that the institution that gave him a doctorate in 2004 lacked accreditation to award degrees.
"The revelation of the status of Fairfax University came as a shock to me," Kobia told journalists at a media conference on 14 February during a meeting of the WCC’s main governing body, its central committee.
The church grouping said it had removed details of the doctorate from Kobia’s official curriculum vitae after WCC leaders discovered in December 2007 that Fairfax University, which had been registered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was not recognised by state authorities in the United States.
The WCC said that Kobia pursued his doctoral studies through Fairfax University from 2000 to 2003 and he was awarded the degree in 2004.
"I followed a programme of studies with them in good faith, and the information I had at that time was that this school was accredited, so it really came as a shock to me," Kobia stated.
Kobia was elected in 2003 to lead the Geneva-based grouping that has 349 member churches representing 560 million Christians around the world.
Ecumenical News International
Photo : WORLD NEWS