Christian Education Degrees and Ministry

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hear ye, Hear ye!

    Allow me to post an idea that has been running through my head as of late.

    What do you all think has caused the demise of the Master of Arts in Christian (MRE, MACE at certain places) education degree? And with its demise the whole ministry program of "Christian Education?"

    Or, am I wrong in my observation totally? And I hope on some level I am or can be wrong?

    Please convince me either way! Please.

    "That is all!" :smilewinkgrin:
     
  2. RG2

    RG2
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your not alone, I've kind of gotten that feeling as well. I think it's a combination of factors.

    1) I think more people are just going ahead and opting for the MDiv. All the jokes about the MARE/CE being a "inferior" degree to the MDiv or the MDiv rejects has shifted more people to just go for the MDiv.
    2) I think those who aren't, are opting for shorter MATh (MA in Theological Studies) or MACM (MA in Christian Ministry) degrees.
    3) Or they are just not going for the Masters level. There are simply just less people going to seminary these days it seems.
    4) There seems to be less "Minister of Education" positions out there. Seems churches are becoming more specialized, or you see more of the combination positions.
     
    #2 RG2, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2013
  3. Martin

    Martin
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Likes Received:
    0
    ==I have noticed the same trend. I'm not sure, but I think there are two factors that "might" be at work.
    1. There are more MA programs options for people (mainly in the online format) to select from. Many of these programs might open doors other than just Christian school administrator or Sunday School director (ie. associate pastor, etc).
    2. It might make more sense to earn a Masters in Education degree since it is much more widely accepted. Again, the rise in online MEd programs may play a role in this.
     
  4. RG2

    RG2
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think degree options has a lot to do with it. I was talking to my Pastor and Worship Pastor the other day about that. In the past if you wanted to pastor you got a MDiv, if you wanted to do music you got a Masters in Church Music, if you wanted to do youth or education ministry you got a MACE. It was pretty cut and dry. Now it seems with new degrees like the MATh, MA Christian Ministry, MA Religion, and others... there are a number of other options. Most of which are shorter than the standard 60-65 hour MACE degree. I wonder if most seminaries converted their MACE to be a 42 hour degree (similar to Dallas Baptist University's) if there would be less people choosing the alternatives.
     
  5. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    This seems legit to me. For examples, even many online Christian univerisities are offering MA in Teaching (like Liberty for one). And this is distinct from the MEd since that degree has the prereq of a bachelors degree in that field (typically). So why bother with a focused degree on religion when you can get 2 MA's, 1 in theology and 1 in teaching. You wouldn't need the MDiv anymore either. I've considered doing LU's MA in Teaching, but I'm not sure I can handle another 30 credits when I would prefer to do a PhD (nearly completed my ThM).
     
  6. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    I don't think you're wrong at all, in fact it is something I've observed as well. One of the transitions going on at our seminaries is the confinement of Education, Worship/Music, and some other masters degrees to "Schools of Ministry" next to the "School of Theology." Granted, almost all (actually I think I can reasonably say all) seminary music programs are terrible, just terrible. When was the last time a healthy church went out to hire a new worship leader/minister and they started at the seminaries. (Sorry, I'll get off my soap box)

    The MACE, MRE, MAEd, etc degrees have been, largely, pushed to the side in our seminary structures. Perhaps it is largely because the MDiv is a bigger money maker. (Just being honest, 90 hours versus 30 hours is a big difference in money) While I am not overwhelmingly against this I do see its impact. Too often we've made the senior pastorate the ultimate goal of your seminary experience and have lacked validating associate ministerial roles.

    Personally I'm a fan of making the MDiv the core degree of a seminary. It seems to fit well as the charter degree of a theological and ministry oriented school. Then we can offer additional tracks once you get our of your main coursework. Perhaps this is a direction some seminaries are heading. You do 36-46 hours of core studies and then the rest of your time in Education, Ministry, Music, etc.

    I just think the money point is the bigger issue. Get a crew of people in and tell them you want them to do the 90 hour degree inevitably brings in more cash than the 30 hour degree. Also, churches don't generally notice the difference in the degrees. Maybe we should be pushing the education degrees more. :thumbs:
     
  7. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    Which makes an MA in Teaching as well as an MA in Theo Studs or Bib Studs a good option for seminary students.
     
  8. Martin

    Martin
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Likes Received:
    0
    ==The MAT is more of a technical teaching degree. It is really designed for people who have undergraduate degrees and who now want to move into teaching (lateral entry, etc). While it is a masters degree it is not considered a scholarly degree. It is really a "technical" or "practical" masters. Most colleges/universities (not sure about LU) required MAT students to complete internships as teachers. It would be a great degree for someone who desires to move into teaching.


    ==I'm not sure that would work with most seminaries. I have an MA in Religion and a MA in History and I've looked at various PhD programs in Church History. Most of the theological seminaries want the MDiv or it's equivalent. Since my MA does not include enough of the languages it does not prepare me for seminary PhD work. I'm looking at NOBTS since they now have Graduate Certificates in Advanced Church History and Biblical Languges. At some point in the future I "might" earn those two certificates than try a PhD in Church History program (not sure...may not).

    ==If you can get into a PhD program after your ThM that is "what I would do". However, the MAT is something to consider if teaching is a possible interest of yours.
     

Share This Page

Loading...