Has Huckabee Been Lying About Having a Theology Degree?

Election '08

About a month ago, Republican presidential candidates were trying to position themselves as the best suited to combat global terrorism. Giuliani pointed to 9/11, McCain pointed to his military service several decades ago, and Mike Huckabee pointed to his ministerial training.

"I think I'm stronger than most people because I truly understand the nature of the war that we are in with Islamo fascism," Huckabee told the Christian Broadcasting Network. "These are people that want to kill us. It's a theocratic war. And I don't know if anybody fully understands that. I'm the only guy on that stage with a theology degree. I think I understand it really well."

Now, on its face, it's a pretty unpersuasive pitch. After all, how much could Huckabee have learned at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the 1970s about 21st-century fundamentalist Islam? Probably not much.

But as it turns out ,the theology-degree claim may be more than unconvincing; it may also be false. The New York Times Magazine article that's been getting lots of attention this week included this tidbit (thanks to J.N. for the tip):

If young Mike Huckabee was ever rebellious or difficult, there's no record of it. He preached his first sermon as a teenager, married his high-school sweetheart and went off to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. There he majored in speech and communications, worked at a radio station and earned his B.A. in a little more than two years. He spent a year at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Tex., before dropping out to work for the televangelist James Robison, who bought him his first decent wardrobe and showed him how to use television.
Huckabee's a seminary-school drop-out?

To be sure, I don't care about Huckabee's theological training. More to the point, I realize that people, even presidential candidates, tend to exaggerate their resumes a bit. But isn't it a little odd for a preacher running on a religious-right platform to tout a theology degree that doesn't appear to exist?

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