Here's an interesting chronology:
In February 1998, I received an email from a fan of James White's who described James as a "Th.D (candidate)".
That same month I wrote to Columbia Evangelical Seminary (CES) and requested information. They sent out a Prospectus (#4, dated January 1998) which was postmarked February 24th, 1998. Inside, on page 4, James White is included among their "outstanding faculty" and is listed as "James R. White, Th.D., Columbia Evangelical Seminary, Longview, WA."
In April 1998, I received the CES 1998 Catalog (#10, no date). This publication has a lengthy bio on James. But it has an interesting anomaly. The header reads, "James R. White, Th.M." But the penultimate line in the body of the text reads, "He has earned the Th.M. and Th.D. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary."
I also have an undated, unpostmarked letter from CES (From the President's Desk) which includes an undated (separate) letter from James White used to recruit others to CES. The letter ends with James' name at the bottom, then follows a bio on James. The penultimate line on that one reads as follows: "He has earned the Th.M. and is completing the (should be done by June 1998) the Th.D. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary."
What does all of this suggest to you? In my mind, it suggests that if the letter from and about James is correct, that is, if he completed his Th.D. in June 1998, then the catalog I received in April of 1998 (and the Prospectus I received in February 1998 but printed in January 1998) should not have indicated that James White had his Th.D. degree. I suspect that CES is one of the few educational institutions in the country that actually prints up people's names with degrees they don't yet have, under the justification that "we're certain they will earn them soon, and we want to go to press now and can't wait for them to complete the degree. We've got a marketing piece to get to the printer!" I suspect the integrity in this sordid example is in concert with the general level of integrity they apply to intellectual/academic rigor.