One of my coworkers just finished his PhD in chemistry, and was very excited to learn last week that his paper will be accepted by Science magazine, the most prestigious scientific journal in the world. The story behind his PhD thesis and the Science paper is a classic of scientific enquiry: Insights and hypotheses, followed by years of hard work, setbacks, advances and discoveries. The results of his work are a genuine advance in human knowledge, and will ultimately improve our health and save lives.
We helped him celebrate with a dinner and champagne in a restaurant with a view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. It was great.
This morning, I opened my local newspaper and found this article, about a Christian college offering a "PhD" in "spirituality." This is so bogus it's an insult to every scientist who ever sweated and toiled for four years to get a real doctoral degree, and published a real thesis that advanced human knowledge.
A doctoral degree in any scientific field requires new, original research and discoveries. You have to actually do something relevant, discover something meaningful, and prove that your research is valid using proper scientific techniques.
What does a doctor of spirituality do that's comparable? They read the same book — the Bible of course — that has been read more than any other book in history, and has been analyzed ad absurdum. Then maybe they read some other books about spirituality and compare them to the Bible, mostly to show why the Bible is better. Finally, then they make up some new drivel about some purported insight about the Bible and spirituality, and that's their "doctoral thesis."
It's a complete hijacking of the term "PhD". They're riding on the coat tails of honest, hard-working academics who do real research and add genuine knowledge to the human ideosphere.