Ontario college mum on cult pastor's PhD

Jamaica Observer/October 27, 2021

By Arlene Wilkins

Alberta, Canada — Mount Olivet Bible Institute and Seminary (MOBIS) in Ontario was yesterday mum on whether former Pathways International leader Kevin Ontoniel Smith received a Doctor of Ministry degree from that institution .

“Our official comment is 'No Comment',” an e-mail over the signature of Sonia Phillips-Campbell, the institution's registrar, stated yesterday in response to a Jamaica Observer query as to whether Smith — who died in a motor vehicle crash on Monday — had attended the college as is stated on his biography, when did he complete his studies, and what year the degree was conferred.

Smith's biography also states that he holds a doctorate in divinity from Vision International University in Ramona, California. Last week, when the Observer called the university to determine whether Smith, who has been accused of leading a cult, had been a student we were told that such information could only be provided in response to a written request and only students are allowed to make that request.

Mount Olivet, which lists its address as 88 Arrow Road in North York, Ontario, offers diplomas, associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.

On its website, the institution states that the doctoral programme covers Old and New Testament Survey, Christian counselling, chaplaincy, ministry, theology, and world religion and cults.

The world religion and cults course, it says, zooms in on the major religions of the world. “Students will gain an understanding and will explore various world religions and beliefs. Each of the religions will be studied under five major divisions — origin, history, doctrines, its comparison with Christianity, and its place in Biblical prophecy,” the college states.

According to the college, the “doctorate programme is designed to enhance your spiritual, intellectual and professional abilities in Christian ministry”.

“Areas of studies will include, but not limited to, academic studies, research, spiritual formation, and applied ministry strategies in your everyday life. This programme will assist you in strengthening and deepening your own ministry practices. This programme will aid in preparing students for the greatest level of ministerial excellence. This programme aims at teachers, evangelists, pastors, lay ministers, and other church leaders with a specific call to minister and teach the Word of God.”

On Monday, Smith was being transported from Montego Bay to Kingston where he was to be charged with two counts of murder, two counts of wounding with intent, and one count of illegal possession of firearm.

The charges stemmed from a bloody ritual at his church in Albion, St James on the night of October 17 in which two congregants were killed after their throats were slit in what is believed to have been a human sacrifice ritual.

A third congregant was shot dead by police who said he attacked them as they moved to enter the building.

Another member of the church was shot in the back, stabbed, and told the Observer that an attempt was made to cut his throat as well.

Yesterday, news emerged that Smith was convicted of one count of sexual assault of a 21-year-old man in Canada on November 5, 2007.

He reportedly served six months in prison and received probation orders for 10 years. However, on August 9, 2017 he failed to comply with the probation order.

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