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Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Jesus is Lord, Dec 6, 2003.
Where is the difference?
A D.Min. is a doctorate of ministry. In the states, seminaries usually require that a man be out in ministry for some years before they are allowed to earn this degree. The degree emphasized practical ministry skills, not research skills. Cynics will be happy to inform you that it qualifies one to be called Dr. in public, but not to teach at a high academic level. They will also want to point out that the degree used to be called the Master of Ministry and few took the time to earn it. When the title changed to Doctor of Ministry, it became the most popular seminary degree!
The Th.D. is a doctor of theology. I think that this degree is being slowly displaced by the Ph.D. The Th.D. does have academic standing but probably does not require the extensive language work that a Ph.D. requires.
Depends on the subject area probably. At one of the few remaining places offering a Th.D., the requirements for the Ph.D. are identical, but the Ph.D. tuition is higher (University of Toronto). There are subtle differences at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and at Harvard Divinity School.
Interesting trivia about the D.Min. nomenclature. I figure the transition probably took place at the same time the name of the Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) was changed to the Master of Divinity, and the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) to the Juris Doctor (J.D.)
This was all about a century after Americans had upgraded the Bachelor of Medicine (M.B.) and Bachelor of Surgery (Ch.B.) degrees to the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), and required a six- or even ninth-month curriculum for graduation--and sometimes even required some previous college training, too! Meanwhile, a European M.D. required years of study culminating in a dissertation.
128 credits undergraduate = Bachelor of Arts
+ 32 credits graduate = Master of Arts
+ 32 more credits (64) graduate = Master of Ministry
+ 32 more credits (96) graduate = Master of Divinity
Now the shift.
IF you have been pastoring and desire pastoral training
+ 32 more credits graduate = Doctor of Ministries
IF you are going to teach in upper level college and seminary
+ 32 more credits graduate = Master of Theology
+ 32 MORE credits graduate = Doctor of Theology
Hope this helps (btw, Ph.D. and Ed.D have very different credit base)
I think you are mistaken here. In the European scheme, I believe the ThD was the higher or advanced doctorate over the PhD. South Africa, following the English system, awards advanced doctorates (e.g. D. Litt. et. al.). (See UNISA. BTW, the D. Litt. is usually honorary in the USA.) In America, however, work beyond the doctorate is commonly listed as post-doctoral studies.
Furthermore, the language component of the ThD was more rigorous requiring not only Greek and Hebrew but also the theological languages of German and Latin as well as the minor Biblical languages (e.g. Aramaic, Ugaritic, etc.). In the old Oxford system, the ThD required 10 years of full-time study. Recall that many seminary profs of the last century went to Germany for their ThD after earning a PhD stateside. Which is higher?
On the other hand, all these requirements change with time. After all, we grant so-called professional doctorates (e.g. DMin, DVM, DO, EdD, DA, etc.) that are not necessarily academic in nature at all. These are practitioners, not academicians. Yet, all these have claim to the title doctor as well.
As a rule of thumb, doctoral requirements are generally less exacting today and doctorates are readily accessible to most college graduates with a few smarts and enough drive. Additionally, the supposed “original contribution to knowledge” is usually trivial and majoring in minutiae. PhD’s just ain’t what they used to be. Since doctorates are so common and truly represent so little, I wonder if they are worth the time, expense and aggravation. What do you think? Phooey! Let’s get on with life.
Dr. Bob, you are no doubt correct for some colleges and seminaries in the good ole USA. For most programs, however, there are more differences than similarities. In a major research university, for example, coursework is secondary at upper graduate levels. There is no prescribed curriculum but each degree is tailored individually. Competency is valued more highly than getting the requisite grade in a lecture course. (No graduate student gets less than a B just as no varsity athlete or cheerleader gets less than a B. At least, I was given to understand this when I was teaching at the school that just won the PEACH BOWL! GO TIGERS! I think you may have some knowledge of them.) If you are good enough in your qualifying exams at a research university, you can go from BA/BS to PhD without bothering with the masters.
Now, consider the English universities. The MPhil and PhD are research degrees that do NOT require taking taught courses (BTW, postgraduate degrees can be earned through taught courses in some programmes). One does research and a dissertation. At one time, Cambridge awarded it BA (Hon) alumni with masters if they were able to stay out of jail and were not convicted of sedition after a number of years. Neat, huh?
Furthermore, there’s great variation among American colleges and seminaries. Take Central Baptist Seminary for example. At one time under Clearwaters, the MTh was a 94 credit hour degree with thesis. (BTW, didn’t you attend Central when Geo. Dollar was there?) I have seen 60 credit hour EdD’s without dissertation. There are even a few PhD programs with projects replacing the traditional dissertation.
Thanks for your time and ear. Bye!
I think this is a genuine problem. In the some fields, original contribution to knowledge is fine. In theology, there is nothing new under the sun. I am convinced that the pursuit of novelty has led us to many stupid ideas. People felt compelled to come up with a new idea in teh text or to see something that no one has ever seen before. Then you write a dissertation on it and put this nonsense in a binding on the library shelf and people think it is worhty of consideration.
Would disagree. There is no such "corner" on truth, just because Augustine or Anselm or Ambrose or Abelard or (I'm running out of "A" names) already discussed it.
Some truths lie dormant or even not thought through until someone gets a hold of the idea and shows its biblical relevance.
Thinking of the emphasis on the pre-trib rapture that, until 120 years ago, was on the back burner of theology.
Who knows what "minutia" might pique the brain a continent away to a fuller understanding of the Word of God.
Two DIFFERENT ways of gaining advanced degrees:
My D.Min program in 79-80 (above the seminary degree and life experience I already had) included course study -
8 credits OT - via taped lectures from classroom
8 credits theology - via taped lectures
8 credits pastoral counseling - campus classes with Henry Morris, Jay Adams, Ed Hinson
4 credits denominational study (36 page booklet on History of Fundamentalism in Wisconsin)
8 credits dissertation (240 page, 6 workbooks on History of Wisconsin - for use as text in Christian Schools, published by Heritage Press)
Contrast to my Ed.D. in 85-87 - was almost all just teaching/research as I developed 9 entire 3-credit college courses for study (all were video-taped, texts printed) in 3rd World countries.
My dissertation (650+ pages) was printed by Southeastern Educational Associates in Virginia on Global Studies in Geography and used in some 3000 schools.
Nice to get $$ and royalties from some of the work! But one was class-intensive, the other was project-intensive.
I think this is a genuine problem. In the some fields, original contribution to knowledge is fine. In theology, there is nothing new under the sun. I am convinced that the pursuit of novelty has led us to many stupid ideas. People felt compelled to come up with a new idea in teh text or to see something that no one has ever seen before. Then you write a dissertation on it and put this nonsense in a binding on the library shelf and people think it is worhty of consideration. </font>[/QUOTE]I agree and disagree. The idea of an original contribution to knowledge is not a bad idea, even in theology, but the application of the idea leads to craziness. People will come up with any kind of nonsense to get their degree. There are more and more documented cases of actual fraud and fabrication in every field.
You can't even trust the so-called scientific research in major universities. Some years ago, I sat in a graduate seminar and listened to one student present his research. His hypothesis and research design seemed sound enough until he told how he doctored his experiments to force the results. The time was running out to complete his research and to write his thesis before graduation. I almost swallowed my pipe and spilled my wine (just kidding )but not another person sitting in my row--all doctors-- blinked an eye. The fellow got his degree. My scientific idealism evaporated in smoke.
Theology is a dangerous area for new knowledge--it can easily mean heresy. However, there are still many areas that need filling in and understanding can broadened. Just don't get creative. Dr. Bob has addressed this well in his post.
Finally saw a statistic the other day that I felt was "not" doctored up by spin:
75% of Americans make up 3/4 of the people.
what's really important is what you learn after you know it all.
I agree that the Doctor of Ministries is to improve the pastor in all aspects of his or her ministry. Personally, I think it has great value in that it brings out the best of a pastor who really wants to 'improve his serve.'
The Th.D. is more of a scholastic degree with an emphasis on all aspects of theology. I do not know if everyone who has a Th.D. has studied Hebrew and or Greek, but in my case I took two years of Greek, because at the Bible College that I attended it was to train men for ministry and we were told that no one could correctly interpret the N.T. if he did not know the language in which the apostles wrote down God's exact words of truth in the Gospels and epistles. As they thought, it does help the interpreter of the Word when you work with and study what the Greek scholars have said. On the other hand, the laity or pastor can use Greek helps when he wants clarity of thought.
One can get a Ph.D. in almost any area of professional study; for example a person can get a Ph.D. in Psychology. There is a Ph.D. in theology and it used to emphasize that the scholar had done some study also in the area of philosophy. But, today I do not think this has to be the situation.
Pastor Berrian, Th.D.