St. John's University of Practical Theology was a school licensed by the State of Louisiana, formerly located in Springfield, Louisiana, It was founded by Rev. E. Arthur Winkler, Ph.D., a Methodist minister and clinical psychologist who died in 1998. He also founded an inter-faith church, the Congregational Church of Practical Theology. In 2005, the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina forced the university to close.
St. John's University (Springfield, Louisiana) Wikipedia
In 2007, a Florida journalist reported that St. John's had listed 11 branch campuses as of 1988, including branches in St. Petersburg, Florida; Misty Mountain, North Carolina; and Ibadan, Nigeria. St. John's University was incorporated in the state of Florida from 1987 until 1991, registered to June Bletzer, compiler of the Encyclopedic Psychic Dictionary.
In 2007, a school spokesperson told Florida journalists that the school had "private accreditation". A university catalog from 1998-1999 stated that the school was accredited by Accrediting Commission International, an unrecognized accreditor.
Several books by Dr. E. Arthur Winkler are listed with St. John's University Publications as their publisher. Titles include Hypnosis and God (1976), The Power of Suggestion with Hypnosis (1989), and Hypnotherapy (1989).
Alumni include psychologist, author, talk-show host and product salesman Eldon Taylor, an exponent of what he claims is a subliminal learning method. He received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from St. John's.
Walter McNeil, former Tallahassee police chief who in 2007 became Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and in 2008 became Secretary of the state's Department of Corrections, obtained a master's degree in criminal justice from St. John's in 2001. In 2007, after his appointment by Florida governor Charlie Crist to direct the state's juvenile justice programs led to the revelation that his master's degree was from an unaccredited school, McNeil said that he had selected St. John's because he wanted to attend a "faith-based university" and acknowledged that he might have been deluded by the institution. He reported that his St. John's program had taken somewhere between 18 and 24 months to complete. Journalists who obtained McNeil's academic transcript reported that it listed credit for three St. John's courses taken by McNeil, additional credit for teaching undergraduate-level online courses, and 19 credits for prior experience, which McNeil said included 13 transfer credits for other graduate study and six credits for professional experience.