The dissonance of the Evangelical world on the subject of higher education is always surprising to me.
In general, evangelicals tend not to value higher education unless it’s within their own systems. They discourage people from going to “secular” universities, and take a certain amount of pride in being self-educated or Bible educated.
Yet … evangelicals are often the first people to make a big deal out of PhDs from major universities, if those degrees happen to be awarded to an Evangelical.
I think what often happens, though, is that Evangelicals who pursue real advanced degrees end up like Bart Ehrman. They come to understand that the view of the Bible and Biblical history they’ve been taught is seriously lacking.
Perhaps this is the appeal of the fake PhDs. They can pretend that someone highly educated buys their odd points of view.