What Does the American Association of Christian Counselors Foundation Do?

Next week, the American Association of Christian Counselors is holding a conference in Dallas, TX. According to the AACC’s owner Tim Clinton, nearly 2,000 people will attend, making it one of the largest gatherings of Christian mental health professionals in the nation.

While many think of the AACC as a professional association, it isn’t like any of the other groups for psychologists, counselors, or social workers. Those associations are not-for-profit and are run by representatives elected by members. Officers are elected and paid staff are accountable to the membership through the elected representatives.

In contrast, according to all evidence publicly available, the AACC is a for profit business owned by Tim Clinton. According to a 2003 filing with the SEC, Clinton is the sole shareholder of the AACC. Clinton is president for life and the other officers work for him. The AACC advisory board doesn’t have much of a role. I used to be on what is now called the Board of Reference (then called the Advisory Board) and we never met as a board. I was never told I was removed from it. It didn’t matter because we never did anything; it was just for show.

AACC Foundation

Many professional associations have foundations which seek donations to provide support for the profession as a whole. For instance, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation solicits donations to advance research in psychiatry and funds various innovative programs. However, that is not how the AACC Foundation operates.

AACC’s business model is complex and because it is a private business, can’t be known with certainty from information available to the public. However, in an effort to better understand the relationship between AACC and the Foundation, friend of the blog and former auditor Jason Watkins and I recently reviewed data from AACC Foundation 990 forms. Watkins compiled the data from 2002 through 2016 (see an image of his spreadsheet here). My analysis which relies on his work is below.

Essentially, the AACC Foundation collects donations and sells products to support the for profit business of Tim Clinton. Less than one percent of the revenue from the past 15 years has been spent by the Foundation on charitable causes which did not benefit one of Clinton’s businesses. More on that below.

According to the IRS 990 forms, the Foundation and AACC provide services to each other. On balance the for profit AACC wins. Here is how the Foundation’s 2016 990 form described the arrangement:

Over the past 15 years, $14.8-million was paid by AACC Foundation to Clinton’s for-profit businesses. As noted above only a fraction go to causes that don’t benefit Clinton’s businesses. The head of the Foundation is Tim Clinton’s brother-in-law Jimmy Queen. There is obviously no independence in this arrangement. Queen is COO of AACC under Clinton and he runs the Foundation. Clearly the Foundation isn’t independent of AACC.

Wildfire Weekend Bailout

The largest grant from the Foundation during the period we reviewed was given to one of Tim Clinton’s businesses — Wildfire Weekend, LLC. In 2014, Clinton canceled several Wildfire men’s conferences. These conferences featured testosterone and the Bible but didn’t get enough registrations to make money so some were canceled. To help make up the short fall, the AACC Foundation gave AACC (Tim Clinton) $230,000. See the 2014 990 entry below:

The 990 disclosed that the funds were used to “support the deficit the organization sustained in holding the conference.” Clinton didn’t make enough money on these conferences so the Foundation’s tax free revenues bailed him out.

It is worth noting that it took AACC two years in some cases to return registration fees to people who signed up but couldn’t go because AACC canceled the conference. Some of those bad reviews are still on AACC’s Better Business Bureau page.

In recent years, the activity of the Foundation has changed slightly. Revenues from media sales are down while contributions are up. However, on the most recent (2016), no grants to charitable organizations are listed. The Foundation is asked on the 990 (page 2) if any new program services had been undertaken and the “no” box is checked. No accomplishments are listed in the space on page 2 for such items. Funds just go to AACC.

Clinton and his folks run busy conferences with many options. They provide contact with Christian mental health providers who want to explore how their profession and faith interact. However, Christian mental health professionals do have other options (e.g., CAPS) when it comes to how they align themselves. This information is provided for my colleagues to make informed choices.


AACC Owner Tim Clinton Clarifies Relationship with James Dobson Institute

Recently, the owner of the American Association of Christian Counselors Tim Clinton sent an announcement clarifying his relationship with James Dobson and Family Talk Radio.

Clinton has recently been embroiled in a plagiarism controversy. Although he denies taking the work of others, through his spokesman and brother-in-law Jimmy Queen, he has acknowledged not writing the material attributed to him where the plagiarism has been found. Thus far, his defense has been to blame others when plagiarism has been found in a book or article. Despite some of those articles being on James Dobson’s website, that organization has not commented on the matter.



Tim Clinton Channels Urie Bronfenbrenner with Borrowed Quote

Urie Bronfenbrenner was a legendary developmental psychologist who is best known for his influence on the creation of Head Start and his theory of environmental influences on child development. Family Talk Radio head and Tim Clinton’s boss, James Dobson, thinks highly of Bronfenbrenner. In his book What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women, Dobson said:

Dr. Bronfenbrenner, is in my opinion, the foremost authority on child development in America today, and his views should be considered carefully.

Dobson’s new understudy, American Association of Christian Counselors president and Trump advisor Tim Clinton apparently considered Bronfenbrenner’s views so carefully that he channeled them into a quote he is now claiming as his own.

Bronfenbrenner believed that parenting should be child centered in such a way that children feel secure and significant. Capturing that sentiment is a popular quote attributed to Bronfenbrenner:

Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her.

The quote exists in various forms and may never have been used by Bronfenbrenner himself. After an extensive search, I have been unable to find it in any primary source. However, about 1979, the quote began to be associated with him by child psychologist Henry Maier due to his frequent assertion in his writings and talks that every child needs an adult to have an irrational involvement with him or her. Bronfenbrenner often followed that claim by saying: “In short, somebody has to be crazy about that kid!” Several of Bronfenbrenner’s colleagues and followers summarized this sentiment in the now popular quote associated with him.

There is no mistaking that the quote represents Bronfenbrenner’s work to his colleagues and students. For instance, a 2005 obituary published by the International Child and Youth Care Network, concluded with the quote:

We remember Urie Bronfenbrenner for one of the best known and most evocative dictums in our work – that “Every child needs at least one person who is really crazy about him or her”.

Bronfenbrenner taught at Cornell University. The quote is considered a fitting conclusion to a tribute to him published by the college newspaper.

A proponent for the power of family ties to help children reach their full potential, Bronfenbrenner saw Head Start as a buffer against the stress experienced by impoverished parents. Day care would allow parents to spend more time with their children, forming the passionate attachments he saw as a cornerstone of lifelong success.

“Every kid,” Bronfenbrenner frequently declared, “needs at least one adult who is crazy about him.”

It is very possible that Bronfenbrenner said this informally and that it will eventually turn up in a speech or obscure source. However, no published citation which points to the quote actually contains it.

I will provide just one more instance (of many) where the quote is considered a representation of Bronfenbrenner’s work. Larry Brendtro considered the quote Bronfenbrenner’s epitaph.

Urie Bronfenbrenner was a deeply compassionate man committed to the belief that there are no disposable children (Brendtro, Ness and Mitchell, 2005). His vision was rooted in boyhood memories of his father struggling to reclaim cast-off troubled children in an institution. For all of his fame, the spirit of this pioneer is his enduring epitaph: Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her.

Brendtro told me via email he never heard Bronfenbrenner say that but the quote was always associated with him because that was exactly what he taught his whole career.

Enter Tim Clinton

Clinton in several places take credit for a quote which, in essence, is the same. Most recently, it appeared on the AACC Facebook page. Perhaps anticipating that attention would come to that quote, someone has removed it from the page. The image which was on the page is at the top of this post.

Clinton takes credit for various versions of the quote (some closer to Bronfenbrenner than others) in notes to his radio show, in a 2008 Christian Counseling Today column, a 2012 book with Gary Sibcy, and a book with John Trent. In a 2013 interview with Tony Wheeler and John Trent, Clinton expressed the quote verbally without giving anyone else credit for it. Here is a tweet from his personal Twitter account:

I did not do an exhaustive search so there may be others.

If there wasn’t a pattern of this sort of thing, one might consider this an oversight. One hears many quotes over a long career and can easily bring something back from training or a lecture and think it came from your own thoughts. I do know what should be done about it and it will be worth watching to see if it happens.

Concerning Clinton’s use of the quote, it doesn’t matter that Bronfenbrenner may not have used the exact words. What matters is that the quote existed for many years before Clinton came along, was attributed to Bronfenbrenner, and was well known to people in the developmental psychological community as representing Bronfenbrenner’s work. There are many sources which Clinton could have cited for the quote. I don’t see how he can blame an intern or employee for this one.

Bronfenbrenner was a giant in his field and a true innovator. I can’t think of any other psychologist who was more passionate about the needs of children and families. His concepts of “irrational involvement” and parents being “crazy about their kids” weren’t new ideas but his manner of expressing them was unique to him.  On the whole, his ecological approach was truly innovative and for many people this quote embodies the Bronfenbrenner approach to children and families.

Because of this, Clinton should do more than remove all obvious signs that he ever tried to appropriate this great man’s work.  This seems more serious than some of the other instances which have come to light previously. He needs to step up and personally explain what happened.


After I published this post, I ran into a wrinkle. Clinton attributed this quote in the past to Fran Stott who was once the Dean of the Erikson Institute for Advance Study of Child Development. Others have also attributed the quote to her. I wrote to the Erikson Institute who in turn reached Dr. Stott about the origin of the quote. A representative of the Institute said that Dr. Stott said that the quote might have come from Bronfenbrenner (as demonstrated above it has been associated with him since the late 1970s). The representative also said Stott reiterated the quote in her classes, but the “takeaway being that attributing this directly to Fran would be an incomplete/inaccurate attribution.” The earliest I can find anyone attributing the quote to Stott is 1995. Henry Maier attributed the quote to Bronfenbrenner in a 1979 article based on a 1977 Bronfenbrenner lecture.

The fact remains that Clinton has for years borrowed a quote that he knowingly took from another source and has continued to use it as his own. Now others are attributing it to him (see also herehere and here). If his defense is to blame interns or employees, then my next question is: what, if anything, that has his name on it did he actually write?

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Image: Fair use from AACC’s Facebook page. 

The Tim Clinton Saga: Twitter Plagiarism is Still Plagiarism

I’ll just get right into this. Here is a tweet from American Association of Christian Counselors president and Trump evangelical advisor Tim Clinton (I have screen caps of all of these):

Who do you think came up with this pithy quote? Doesn’t it look like Tim Clinton who is now affiliated with James Dobson’s Family Talk Radio is taking credit for it?

Actually, it comes from a chapter by Everett Worthington on forgiveness. The chapter was in a book Clinton helped edit but he didn’t write the chapter. Ev Worthington did. The quote is verbatim from Ev’s chapter.

Lest you think Clinton didn’t know about this tweet, he retweeted it (or at least someone managing his account did).

Here’s another one.

This quote posted on Clinton’s AACC Twitter account actually comes from the same chapter by Ev Worthington on the next page.

One might protest and say surely Clinton doesn’t keep up with his social media pages. His interns and underlings are probably doing this. Allow me to point out that in many of these tweets his Twitter account is included in the tweet: @DrTimClinton. Unless he doesn’t do anything for himself, he has to wonder when he said or wrote the things attributed to him. Here is another example of a quote attributed to him and brought to his attention via his Twitter account.

Note the quotation marks and the attribution to @DrTimClinton. However, this was really written by Ed Stetzer in Chapter One of a book edited by Clinton. Again, Clinton is listed as an editor but Stetzer wrote the words which are quoted here verbatim and attributed to Clinton.

The sleuth who sent these to me has uncovered 14 more of these, some of which involve taking sole credit for quotes from books where Clinton had one or more co-authors. It would be proper to give all authors credit for a quote unless it was clear in the book that the quote came from a specific author.

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(In the image, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

Tim Clinton’s American Association of Christian Counselors Removes Members Benefit

The American Association of Christian Counselors is controlled by Trump evangelical advisor Tim Clinton. The AACC is the largest association of Christian counselors in the world. Recently, in part due the discoveries of psychology professor Aaron New, I have demonstrated that material from other authors has appeared without attribution or citation in some of  Clinton’s online articles, one published book, and AACC’s flagship journal Christian Counseling Today. Now, the AACC has removed volumes 15-19 of Christian Counseling Today from the online archives which are available to members only. Currently, AACC members can access volumes 20-24, but nothing before that.

The AACC member who related this information to me didn’t get a notice about the loss of this benefit but simply discovered it when attempting to access older issues.

The choice of volumes is interesting and may reflect an awareness of additional problems in those issues. Indeed, I am aware of concerns in at least one of those issues. I wonder if the AACC will recall those issues from members and/or the many libraries which subscribe to the periodical.

There are more examples of material taken verbatim from online sources into books by Clinton and co-authors which I have not yet published. Perhaps I will get to some of that tomorrow or next week.

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Image – Public domain

Tim Clinton’s Co-Author: I Always Check My Sources

Defending himself against charges of academic misconduct last week, American Association of Christian Counselors president and Trump advisor Tim Clinton blamed a former employee for lifting material from other sources for use in articles which carried Clinton’s byline. Even though AACC’s code of ethics discourages ghostwriters, Clinton blamed an employee who functioned in that manner for material in his articles which came from other sources.

One online article by Clinton, “Press On,” (cached)* which contained plagiarized material was first published in the book Ignite Your Faith by Clinton and Max Davis. Because I wanted to find out how the copied content got into “Press On,” I contacted Davis for comment (I also contacted Clinton with no response).

When I contacted Davis, he said he did not have any part in writing the devotional “Press On.” He added that he always checks his sources and “never once in all my years as a writer has this happened” referring to copied content ending up in one of his books.

He also wanted me to know that he was not the fired AACC employee blamed by Clinton for academic misconduct to the Christian Post.

*The same article with the title “Strive to Excel” was once posted on Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk website. It is archived here.


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(In the image, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

Tim Clinton: Who You Gonna Blame? Ghostwriters!

On Wednesday, I documented that 59% of a 2005 column with American Association of Christian Counselors president Tim Clinton’s byline in Christian Counseling Today came from op-eds by Chuck Colson and Pete DuPont. When asked by the Christian Post about the matter, Clinton through his spokesman Jimmy Queen again blamed a former employee for lifting the material.

For the president of the AACC, this defense seems like a leap out of the frying pan into the fire. Blaming the ghostwriter lets Clinton maintain his “zero tolerance for plagiarism” but creates another conflict with his own code of ethics. Enter AACC code of ethics 1-880-c:

1-880-c: Avoiding Ghost Writers
Christian counselors shall resist use of ghostwriters, where the name of a prominent leader-author is attached to work substantially or wholly written by someone else. Authors give due authorship credit to anyone who has substantially contributed to the published text. Order of authorship should typically reflect the level of substantive contribution to a work.

Nearly 60% of Clinton’s column came from material we now know he did not write himself. He may have rearranged a few sentences but most of it was taken verbatim from op-eds Chuck Colson and Pete DuPont. Thus, even if Clinton didn’t know where that material came from, he knew it didn’t come from him. Mr. Plagiarizing Ghostwriter should have gotten first author credit if the AACC code of ethics is a guide.

Other Problems with the Defense

Clinton’s column, “Judicial Tyranny and the Loss of Self-Government” contains personal elements clearly intended to communicate that he is speaking in the first person. He begins with a personal anecdote involving his children. He wrote, “I don’t often write about political matters” leading the reader to believe that the words to come are his words about political matters.

In the middle of the two borrowed sections of text, he or someone inserts a connecting paragraph. Then at the end, it is Clinton writing again about a CounselAlert sent out in April 2005 on the issue of voting rules for judicial appointments. Only Clinton knows what he knew. However, if the situation is actually about ghostwriting, then I wonder what happens now?

The issue of ghostwriting came up in a big way for evangelicals during the demise of Mars Hill Church when Mark Driscoll’s “content management system” came into public view. No doubt many big name Christian authors use them. However, the AACC took a stand and said Christian counselors don’t do it. Now we learn that apparently at least one of them does and has done so for years.

What now?

Check a side-by-side comparison of Clinton’s “Judicial Tyranny and the Loss of Self-Government” and the op-eds by Colson and DuPont.

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(In the image, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

The Silent Clean Up Continues

(In the photo above, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

As Professor Aaron New documents today on Twitter, AACC owner and Trump evangelical advisor Tim Clinton continues to quietly clean up his citation problems. Good thing too because failure to attribute your work properly is a big problem in professional circles. Look at what the American Counseling Association code of ethics (2014) says:

G.5.b. Plagiarism
Counselors do not plagiarize; that is, they do not present another person’s work as their own.

G.5.c. Acknowledging Previous Work
In publications and presentations, counselors acknowledge and give recognition to previous work on the topic by others or self.

Let’s see what Dr. New brings us today.

If you look at the right side of the tweet, you will see Dan Allender’s name added recently. This has happened since my articles on Clinton’s citation inadequacies have appeared. According to New’s count, 28 articles were on Clinton’s website (owned by AACC which is owned by Clinton) without the true author listed.

Good for Clinton that he is getting those authors names up there. I just wonder how he is going to address the other issues, such as the one I wrote about yesterday. The print article can’t be withdrawn and corrected quietly.

Prof. New asks a good question: Are any AACC members concerned about this? Mainly I have heard from people who don’t feel they can speak up because they fear repercussions. It remains to be seen how seriously Christian counselors take the matters raised over the past week.

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Once Upon a Time, Tim Clinton Borrowed from The WSJ and Chuck Colson

(In the photo above, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

Good sources, but you have to cite them.

Again, Professor Aaron New brought a potential citation problem to my attention and sure enough, it doesn’t look good. In the fourth issue of volume 12* of AACC’s flagship publication Christian Counseling Today, Tim Clinton’s byline rests on an article titled, “Judicial Tyranny and the Loss of Self-Government.” However, much of the article seems to be lifted verbatim from op-eds by Pete DuPont and Chuck Colson.

A fair use copy is reproduced here. The first page is clean as far as I can tell. However, when he begins to write about filibusters and the Democrats on page two, Chuck Colson and Pete DuPont enter in.  Here is the second page of Clinton’s article. You may have to click it to enlarge it. The material outlined in red is from Chuck Colson’s article, and the material outlined in black is from Pete DuPont’s op-ed.

Clinton’s Judicial Tyranny and the Loss of Self-Government

Check a side-by-side comparison of Clinton’s “Judicial Tyranny and the Loss of Self-Government” and the articles by Colson and DuPont.

Here is the link to Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint piece. The content from Colson’s piece included in Clinton’s column is reproduced below. Clinton rearranged some of it but there is much that is simply copied.

 The President “is to nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint . . . judges of the Supreme Court.”

Publius, of course, was the pen name used by three of our nation’s founders when they wrote the eighty-five newspaper essays now known as the Federalist Papers. Among the authors was Alexander Hamilton, who wrote essay number 76, from which I just quoted. These fading words on a yellowed document reveal that what a handful of U.S. senators are doing today is a constitutional travesty.

These fading words on a yellowed document reveal that what a handful of U.S. senators are doing today is a constitutional travesty.

Democratic senators have for months been filibustering judges chosen by President Bush to serve on the federal courts. If the full Senate were allowed to vote on these fine judges, they would easily be confirmed. But a hostile minority is using the filibuster tactic to prevent such a vote — purely for ideological reasons.

In so doing, they are behaving as if the Senate is supposed to have equal say with the president in deciding who sits on the court. That is nonsense.

The Constitution could not be clearer. The nomination is made by the president alone. The Senate is to give its advice and consent — not demand ideological purity. Alexander Hamilton explained the intent in his essay number 76. “It is not likely,” he wrote, “that [the Senate’s] sanction would often be refused where there were not special and strong reasons for the refusal.”

The advice and consent clause, Hamilton continued, was intended to provide a check upon a president who would, say, appoint his brother, or engage in favoritism, or reward family connections or personal benefactors — nothing more.

And yet, today a Senate minority is using the filibuster to prevent a vote on highly qualified judges, like Bill Pryor or Miguel Estrada, an able Hispanic lawyer who was nominated and had to be withdrawn, and Janice Brown, an African- American judge from California. And the grounds for opposition is not what the constitutional framers intended; it’s ideological. They just do not like what these judges believe.

This filibuster should offend us for another reason. America’s founders, informed by their Christian understanding of the Fall, provided for a system of checks and balances so that no one branch of government would have power over the other. But today a minority in the Congress is holding hostage judges named to the court. This is a fundamental assault on an independent judiciary and, thus, a violation of the balance of powers.

Below is the material taken from the DuPont op-ed.

Sen. Barbara Boxer is a longtime opponent of judicial nomination filibusters. Or she was. Suddenly the light has dawned, and she realizes how wrong she was to oppose them: “I thought I knew everything. I didn’t get it. . . . I am here to say I was totally wrong.”

Other Democratic senators have had similar changes in belief: Joe Biden and Robert Byrd, Tom Harkin, Ted Kennedy, Joe Lieberman, Pat Leahy, Chuck Schumer and their erstwhile colleagues Lloyd Bentsen, and Tom Daschle have all vigorously opposed the use of the filibuster against judicial nominations. Mr. Schumer was for voting judicial nominations “up or down” without delay. Mr. Leahy flatly opposed a filibuster against Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination: “The president and the nominee and all Americans deserve an up-or-down vote.” Mr. Harkin believed “the filibuster rules are unconstitutional,” Mr. Daschle declared that “democracy means majority rule, not minority gridlock,” and Mr. Kennedy that “senators who believe in fairness will not let the minority of the Senate deny [the nominee] his vote by the entire Senate.”

But that was then, when Democrats controlled the Senate. Now, they are a frustrated minority and it is different. Mr. Leahy has voted against cloture to end filibusters 21 out of 26 times; Mr. Kennedy, 18 out of 23. Now all these Senators practice and defend the use of filibusters against judicial nominees.

This fundamental change in deeply held liberal beliefs has made a difference. Sen. Orrin Hatch notes that in the 108th Congress (2003-04) the Senate “voted on motions to end debate on judicial nominations 20 times. Each vote failed.” Of the 51 judicial nominees President Bush has put forward for the circuit courts of appeals, 35 have been confirmed, 10 have been “debated” without conclusion–filibustered–and six were threatened with a filibuster so no action has been taken on their nomination. Mr. Bush nominated Justice Priscilla Owen of the Texas Supreme Court for the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals almost four years ago. She has the highest possible rating from the American Bar Association but has been filibustered four times by a Senate minority that once devoutly believed filibustering was morally wrong and clearly unconstitutional.

Some of the above was omitted by Clinton (e.g., the sentence about Orrin Hatch), but most of this ended up without attribution in Clinton’s column.

In his response to Inside Higher Ed, Clinton said through his spokesman that he wasn’t directly involved in all of his online writing. In this article, it seems hard to make that case since the first page was personalized (“I don’t often write about political matters…”) and the end of the article was personalized. It would be great to hear directly from Dr. Clinton but he has yet to reply to my contact.

This isn’t the first instance like this. To see all articles in this series, click here.

UPDATE (8/16/18): To the Christian Post, Clinton blames an employee for this. I would like to be a reporter asking some follow up questions. For instance, the first page contained personal illustrations which Clinton clearly wrote. Did he not read the rest of the article and wonder where did all of that other information come from?  Also, 60% of the article came from Pete DuPont and Chuck Colson. If an employee really contributed 60% of the content for the article, then why didn’t the employee get first billing on the authorship?

See this post for a longer response to Clinton’s “blame the ghostwriter” defense. In essence, the AACC code of ethics discourages Christian counselors from using ghostwriters or failing to give proper attribution to those who write articles with well known authors.

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* The dating of Christian Counseling Today is confusing because the footer on the pages say the magazine was published in 2004. However, this can’t be true because in the editor’s introduction to that same issue Archibald Hart said that he wrote his column the morning Terri Schiavo died. Schiavo died March 31, 2005. Also, Clinton referred to quotes from Barbara Boxer which she did not say until March of 2005. Thus, the magazine couldn’t have been published in 2004 or even until sometime after April 2005. Furthermore, Clinton referred to legislative actions in Congress which happened in 2005, not 2004.

As additional evidence that the issue was published later in 2005, I was able to secure a photo of a copy of this issue of CCT received by the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary in Jacksonville TX with a date of receipt: September 1, 2005. Somewhere around 2010, it appears that the AACC corrected this confusing dating and changed the date to match the calendar year of publication so that issues 1 and 2 were published in the last half of one year and issues 3 and 4 were published in the first half of the next year. In any case, when one considers the other statements in the magazine and Clinton’s article, it is clear that he wrote after Colson and DuPont, not before.

AACC President Tim Clinton Blames Employees, Grad Students, Etc. for Missing Citations

(In the photo above, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

This morning to Inside Higher Ed, American Association of Christian Counselors owner and Trump advisor Tim Clinton blamed former employers, grad students, research assistants, and third-party partners for the missing citations in his online publications.

Significantly, Clinton also told Inside Higher Ed through spokesman Jimmy Queen that some of his published works “have involved more of his direct involvement than others since he has often been assisted by graduate students or research associates.” To me, that sounds like he acknowledged that he didn’t write everything with his byline. If that is true, then why didn’t the grad students and research assistants get co-authorship as the AACC Code of Ethics requires?

Consider Jimmy Queen’s defense in light of the AACC Code of Ethics:

1-880: Writing and Publication Ethics in Christian Counseling
Christian counselors maintain honesty and integrity in all writing and publication ventures, giving full credit to whom credit is due. Christian counselors recognize the work of
others on all projects, avoid plagiarism of another’s work, share credit by joint authorship or acknowledgement with others who have directly and substantially contributed to the work
published, and honor all copyright and other laws applicable to the work.

Deja Vu All Over Again?*

This defense reminds me of how people close to Mars Hill Church described Mark Driscoll’s “content management system.” His stated intent was not to plagiarize but rather to pump out as much content as possible. For some of the online work, Driscoll functioned as a manager of content or as a kind of editor. He put his name on things others wrote which he approved but didn’t always double check (e.g., his book on I Peter).

To read all articles on this topic, click here.

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*Attributed to Yogi Berra – I thought I’d better footnote that.