Bachelor of Theology

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To whom it may concern:

    Is there any amongst us who have the Bachelor of Theology degree?

    Why have this degree over against the BS or BA?

    Any pluses to having this degree?

    Is it strictly a Bible College degree?

    Is it even to be found among the academic community any longer?

    Please advise when possible?

    "That is all!" :smilewinkgrin:
     
  2. Greektim

    Greektim
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    I do not have a ThB, but I came from a school that USED to offer it. From what I understand (and I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know), it was really a 5 year degree. It started graduate level classes and most often transfered into an MDiv or ThM program. If I understand it correctly, it was designed to complement the Dallas ThM (both long academic degrees) in order to get a headstart on the Dallas ThM. But I don't know that for sure.

    My guess is that a ThB is not recognized outside of the realm of church and seminaries. Therefore, Bible colleges went with the BA (and some a BS) in order for clarity. I think this is similar to seminaries offering PhD's rather than ThD's (though of course some still do).
     
  3. Crucified in Christ

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    I thought that the ThB was a throwback to the old Seminary set-up. You came in with a secular undergrad degree and would then go on to earn the ThB, which was a standard degree for those entering ministry. You could continue on and very quickly (I believe another year) receive the Masters degree. Perhaps I am wrong, but I knew a Chaplain who had done this... Undergrad degree in the late 40's, then went to SBTS for his ThB, stayed on an extra year in order to earn the Masters degree.
     
  4. labaptist

    labaptist
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    I think the Bachelor of Divinity is the degree that seminaries used to offer. South African Theological Seminary offers a 3 year and a 4 year version of the degree (In British systems the 3 year degree is standard but the 4 year version is for those that want to further their education.) Andersonville also offers a THb but I know alot of people on here consider it a mill.
     
  5. Jim1999

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    Back in the 40's through 60's, the Bth was the most common degree earned in a recognized Canadian seminary. Prior to that, a simple diploma from Bible college was the ticket to evangelical ministry. It was a 4 year program including theology, church history, Greek and Hebrew. It was not an easy course of study, but very demanding. Most of us pastored churches at the same time. My seminary was accredited under the University of Toronto, and so the degree was duly recognized.

    In the USA, degrees were all over the place and one hardly knew what they meant, to be honest.

    Still, a Bth was a starting point to higher education, and on a par with a BA,,but in theology and not general studies.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  6. exscentric

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    Mine is from a Bible College and it was a fifth year of mostly theological courses. (B.A. required for entrnace)

    The school was a Bible college/liberal arts combo that has turned into a "university" according to their tv ads of late.

    Just an added emphasis to the Bible College B.A. Personal opinion, it would not prepare one for ministry backed by a secular B.A.
     
  7. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Rhet, are you up to something? lol, are you plotting an educational plan? :)

    I know my degree is a B.S. because that is what was offered. I'm not opposed to a ThB at a seminary but still will advocate that the primary role of a seminary is graduate work and not undergraduate degrees (i.e. I'm not a fan of our SBC seminaries adding the colleges...sorry.)

    It could be useful for someone who already has a B.A./B.S. to take in order to level up for their MDiv. I think taking people without requiring some leveling courses for their MDiv is not helping our seminaries. I remember sitting in NT Survey 1 courses with people who had never had an entry level NT course that were way behind the class curve. I don't think we should apologize for requiring leveling courses for seminary, it would seem to be necessary.

    One thing to consider is whether or not the degree will harm candidates who go out to churches and ministries with it. They will be holding a different degree than other people who will be applying for ministry positions. Will search committees and personnel boards consider them equally qualified, better qualified, or less qualified. This is a big deal.

    For instance, right now I've got ten resumes on my desk for a position on staff at the church where I get to serve. Two of these guys state they have degrees through their doctorates all from unaccredited schools that are (essentially) diploma mills. (One of the guys is 26 and I'm not saying he's not bright but he's got an undergrad, two masters, and a DMin from the same unaccredited school) Also on my desk are four candidates with MDivs, two with MACE/MARE, and two with just B.S./B.A. from universities. Now sorting through these (after paring down fro fifty resumes) I'm considering education and experience and calling. If I'm a personnel committee member who doesn't have a ton of experience with specialized ministry degrees how do I know the difference between a ThB/BD/BA/BS/MDiv/MACE?

    Also, if the ThB is for academic studies maybe we should help our students in the rapidly diminishing humanitarian degree offerings by culling the degree, pushing them to more standardized degrees, and seeing who stands out amongst the others. Not saying this is a great way to do, but if you're blessed to with the stuff to do a PhD then you'll stand out. I'd hate to see an institution offer middle of road or worse students a hope of an academic professional career when they don't have the stuff.

    Maybe that isn't what you're looking for. I don't know. Hope it helps. :)
     
  8. Havensdad

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    Rhet,

    I have a 3 year BTh from SATS. I know it helped me to be able to express myself in writing, and study scripture.
     
  9. Rhetorician

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    HD Response

    HD,

    Could you say some more about your SATS experience? I see they, in the last year or so, have changed their ThD to a PhD program.

    I have considered doing that degree from them but it seems a waste with my age and all.

    Tell me more. :wavey:

    "That is all!"
     
  10. Havensdad

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    Research and writing, research and writing; oh yeah, did I mention writing? And research?

    Seriously, I have to say in terms of rigor the BTh from SATS was probably moderately more difficult than the M.Div. classes I have taken from Liberty and New Orleans Baptist. I currently have a 4.0 at both Liberty and New Orleans, while when I was at SATS I think I got an "A" equivalent in 4 classes total. Of course, some of that comes from the writing skills I gained at SATS, but still. It sure did feel harder.
     
  11. UZThD

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    My ThB was a 5th year degree based on a BA in Bible. SATS offers an undergrad BTh
     

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