10 June 2013

Pat Robertson's Regent University Collaborating with T.D. Jakes for International Education

Photo courtesy of Regent University
Regent University, which was founded by Pat Robertson in 1978 and claims to be "one of the nation's leading academic centers for Christian thought and action," today announced that it has collaborated with prosperity preacher T.D. Jakes' The Potter's House and TDJ Enterprises for the purposes of international education.

The press release reads in part:
As part of its mission to deliver quality educational programming, Regent University has entered into a multi-faceted educational collaboration with The Potter's House, the 30,000 member church in Dallas, and TDJ Enterprises, a for-profit entity led by T.D. Jakes.

"What a privilege for Regent University to join with The Potter's House and TDJ Enterprises," said Regent president, Dr. Carlos Campo. "This relationship with T.D. Jakes provides us with an incredible opportunity to powerfully connect with a broad-based international community, and we look forward to working together on many projects."
As part of this joint venture, Jakes will serve as a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the university. Regent also will begin providing registration and certification for educational programs offered by The Potter's House.

Both Robertson, who currently serves as chancellor of Regent, and Jakes are known for their controversial behavior and comments. Soundbites of Robertson's bizarre statements made on his television show, The 700 Club, often can be found floating about the Internet. One such example is his shocking 2011 advice that a listener should divorce his Alzheimer-stricken wife, though he later attempted to backtrack on that comment. Christianity Today also notes of Robertson:
CT has long reported on Robertson, including when he retired from his post as Regent's president in 2010. Shortly after, Regent debated CT's summary of the school's financial position, telling CT that a $95 million boost from Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network was not a signal of a financial struggle. (Source)
Since the 2012 Elephant Room conference, hosted by James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll, T.D. Jakes unfortunately has become somewhat of a household name among evangelicals. The embrace of Jakes by the popular MacDonald and Driscoll has allowed the heretical prosperity gospel to seep into evangelicalism with less resistance than before. And though James MacDonald does not believe that Jakes is a modalist, the charismatic preacher has yet to answer why it is he is so intimately involved in Oneness Pentecostal organization, Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies.

The collaboration between Robertson's Regent University and Jakes' organizations is an interesting one that warrants pause, but perhaps does not elicit surprise. It is indeed unfortunate, though, to see a Christian higher-education institution willingly link arms with T.D. Jakes, a man whose blatant disregard for Christ and Scripture is seen every time he twists the Word of God to his own gain.

Further Reading
T.D. Jakes, HGAA and the Lingering Questions of ER2
James MacDonald Celebrates 35 Years of T.D. Jakes
T.D. Jakes Tells 25,000 Women "Believing in God Is Not Enough," You Must Believe in Yourself

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