Of late there have been a bunch of unaccredited "doctorates" floating around Protestant apologetics circles. Recipients of them include "Dr." Bart Brewer, "Dr." James White, and "Dr." Eris Svendsen.
I don't cotton to that.
I'm from an academic family. Grew up in a university family that ran in university circles in a university town. In fact, I was surprisingly old before I discovered that it was not normal for an adult male to have a doctorate.
I understand the importance of accreditation. One reason is that, as my experience of university families showed me, even those who have accredited doctorates in the hard sciences frequently do not have the sense to come in out of the rain. A doctorate is not only no guarantee of genius or even well-rounded intelligence, it's no evidence of a functional human being. If you yank the quality control that accreditation provides out from under a Ph.D, you're going to end up not only with people who have no horse sense but people who also don't know the field their Ph.D allegedly qualifies them for.
Now, I have nothing at all against distance education. In fact, I'm in favor of it--as long as it's accredited. I may well pursue distance education myself. But you won't catch me waltzing around presenting myself as "Dr. Akin" unless I've earned a doctorate from an accredited school.
Non-accredited doctorates can do a great deal of harm to society. Not only in areas like apologetics, where others' belief systems and the fates of their souls can be on the line, but in other areas as well.