We Finally Know the Truth Behind Christian Pseudo-Historian David Barton’s Pseudo-Ph.D. September 8, 2016

We Finally Know the Truth Behind Christian Pseudo-Historian David Barton’s Pseudo-Ph.D.

Christian pseudo-historian David Barton doesn’t have a Ph.D.

His own biography is clear on this: It says he has an “Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College,” but anyone could tell you that’s not at all the equivalent of a Ph.D. It’s an award, nothing more. Barton didn’t earn the doctorate.

Barton’s only real degree is a bachelor’s in Christian education from Oral Roberts University. (Though someone should really check on that, too…)

Still, it hasn’t stopped him from pretending his fake Ph.D. is a real one. Back in February, he said on TheDove TV’s “Focus Today” show that he didn’t have a Ph.D. before immediately contradicting himself and saying he did.

Usually [critics] say, “You haven’t been trained in history, you don’t have a Ph.D.” Well, that’s true. All I’ve got is the original documents. I’m sorry, I don’t have a Ph.D.; actually, I do have a Ph.D. but I’ve got the original documents as well. I just don’t consider myself an academic; I consider myself a lover of truth.

That’s… weird. In part because, if you earned a Ph.D., you would know it. You would remember the sacrifice it took and all the time you spent studying and researching and writing your dissertation.

And then, last month, Barton did it again! Appearing on Glenn Beck‘s radio show, he was asked point blank about his own educational history.

BECK: You have your doctorate, don’t you?

BARTON: That’s what they claim. I’ve got papers for it.

BECK: … You have your doctorate in education.

BARTON: Yeah, that’s right.

BECK: So he’s a doctor of education. David has an actual doctorate.

Look at Barton’s body language immediately after telling his lie! He rocks back and forth like a toddler who just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Needless to say, Barton does not have a doctorate in education.

This week, maybe feeling under pressure from all those people questioning his academic credentials, Barton posted a video attempting to explain the confusion… instead, he dug an even deeper hole for himself.


***Update***: David Barton changed the setting on his video to private, perhaps hoping no one will be able to watch it. But don’t worry. Knowing Barton is a liar who gave away a little too much information in the video, I downloaded a copy of it before he could take it down for good. So here you go:

Right Wing Watch has more on the privatization of the video here.

Back to Barton:

Something I’ve noticed about progressive and liberals is how careless they are in throwing false claims around. For example, I was recently on a national television network where I was introduced as having a doctorate, and progressives instantly ran stories proclaiming that I don’t have a doctorate.

That false claim is amusing on so many levels. First, things like health information and tax information and college educational information are fully protected by privacy laws. So they don’t know whether I have a doctorate or not! And I’ve always chosen not to talk about it.

Second, just for the record, I do have an earned doctorate. There it is.

And third, not only do I have an earned doctorate, I also have two honorary doctors of letters from other colleges. And according to West Virginia University, the doctor of letters degree is reserved only for individuals who have the highest level of knowledge in their chosen subject matter. Hmmm.

So for all of you critics, sorry to pop your balloon, but I do have an earned doctorate.

A few things about all this, courtesy of Right Wing Watch’s Kyle Mantyla:

1) When Barton points to his “earned” doctorate, it looks like he points to the degree from Pensacola Christian College… which is the school that gave him an honorary doctorate.

2) West Virginia University’s website actually makes clear the honorary degrees really are just honorary.

Honorary degrees are not Ph.D.s, nor do they entitle the recipient to the same professional privileges as individuals who have earned degrees.

Barton lied about something anyone can look up to prove he’s right about one of his obvious lies. This is also how he writes his books.

3) Look at what happens if you zoom in on those degrees.


On the left is the honorary degree from Pensacola Christian College. On the right is a “doctor of letters” honorary degree from Ecclesia College. Does that mean the center degree is the “earned” Ph.D.?

You can’t really see it… which is odd since that’s the degree at the center of this controversy… but my Patheos colleague Warren Throckmorton says it appears to be from Life Christian University. (It certainly looks like it.)

Life Christian University is an online school (with “campuses” at various churches) that has handed out degrees to people like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and Joyce Meyers, all of whom can now say they have Ph.D.s in Theology. The school makes very clear that this is an “earned” degree.

But Throckmorton points out some pretty large problems:

The requirements say that a student must first get a masters and DMin to go for the PhD. Did Barton do that? He has never said he had anything other than a BA from ORU.


The school is not accredited by a regional accrediting body which is perhaps why he didn’t name it in his video.

The school isn’t accredited! Barton’s Ph.D. might as well have been from Trump University.

No wonder he’s so damn confused every time he talks about it. He has a “real” degree from a fake school. It means absolutely nothing.

You know what’s really sad? Life Christian University doesn’t even list Barton on their page of “distinguished degree holders.” When you’re not even good enough to make a fake school’s list of successful graduates, it’s time to find a new career.

At the very least, Barton needs to stop bragging about his so-called Ph.D. It’s not worth the paper on which it’s printed. He doesn’t have a Ph.D. in History. He doesn’t have a Ph.D. in Education.

He has a pseudo-Ph.D. Which I guess is appropriate for a pseudo-historian.

(via Right Wing Watch. Portions of this article were published earlier)

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