Differences in Degrees

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by tlange, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. tlange

    tlange
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    After being here in seminary for almost one-half a semester, I have been trying to figure out the difference between the ThM, ThD, and DMin degrees. Do you have to have one of these before a DMin or a PhD or how does it all work??

    Dont worry, I am just curious, I am still working on my MDiv right now...
     
  2. TaterTot

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    In the institution we are affiliated with:

    * ThM is usually preparatory for other doctoral work. Some who cannot or choose not to obtain entrance into the doctoral program go this route.
    * DMin - is a professional degree, emphasis is on actual work experience; usually the student can choose from pastoral ministries, etc.
    * PhD - usually preparing one to teach; emphasis on research
    *DMA - doctor of musical arts; its a research degree as well with a significant performance element

    My hubby is working on a PhD in Greek and New Testament, and the seminary has just now instituted a mandatory ThM degree as part of the PhD. So he will have two more graduations (at least!)
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    Typical training for the ministry would be
    BA/BS = Bachelor's - 128/132 credits from a university or bible college
    M.Div. = Master of Divinity - 96 credit graduate degree from a seminary
    Th.M. = Master of Theology, additional 32 credit graduate degree above an M.Div.
    Th.D. = Doctor of Theology, 32 more credits

    Find that there are NO parallels to this in the real world. What takes 10+ years in Christian circles, takes far less in secular.

    In education -
    BA/BS = Bachelor with 132 credits
    MA/MS = Master's degree with 36-54 additional credits
    Ph.D. = Doctor of Philosophy - whatever it takes to bring it up to about 128 grad credits above the 128 for the BA/BS.

    One thing I've found is that most schools will accept each others grad credits, so once you have a bunch of credits they can apply to a number of doctoral programs. IF you'd want! :eek:
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Another thought, terry -

    Seminary = 96 grad credits, BUT you can take it in "chunks" and get a degree at each level.

    32 credits = Master of Arts in Biblical Studies or Biblical Counseling

    32 MORE credits = Master of Ministry

    32 MORE credits = Master of Divinity (that is the "normal" seminary degree)

    I always recommended my preacher boys to take the classes to get the intermediate degree. You never know what might happen . . and a masters is a masters is a masters.

    I grew up at 4th Baptist (home of Central Seminary) with 200+ students. Most married, working long hours, and trying to master Greek and Hebrew, etc. MANY would have 60-70-80 credits after 5+ years and then QUIT without getting any degree to take a church.

    Get some sheepskin asap. Alphabet soup behind the name is not a bad thing.

    Robert E. Lee Griffin, BA, BS, MA, MS, DMin, EdD, CNC, AANC, LSMFT [​IMG] :rolleyes: :D
     
  5. LRL71

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    Dr. Griffin,

    Are you a prof at the Central Baptist Seminary in Minneapolis?? I went to a 'rival' seminary in Lansdale, PA.
    I know the rigors of seminary training, although I have never been married, and I didn't finish my M.Div. degree. I am not in the ministry since this is not the direction that God has taken me; you cannot fit a square peg in a round hole.
     
  6. tlange

    tlange
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    Dr. Bob,

    Central is much smaller now, I think we have 93 students enrolled this semester and that includes those that are in the night classes. But I think now that is going to change now that they are in Plymouth in a newer facility.

    For me personally, I have thought about transferring into the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies program, because I can get the degree, sheepskin, and the alphabet soup started early, and then go to the MDiv. There is no Master of Ministry here, but before I make that decision I will see how I do this semester. I am taking beginning Greek as a refresher since I havent touched any Greek since 1992. It is all coming back to me, so that should be a good thing!

    I might test out of Greek Reading & Syntax because in my second year undergrad Greek we translated Mark 1-4 and I John 1, and move on to Greek Exegesis.

    Hebrew will prove to be interesting since I only had one semester of it. I am surprised at my recall of both languages after a considerable absence from both.

    I am also looking to get past some of the Required classes which will occupy the remainder of this semester and next semester.

    Thanks for the advice
     
  7. TomVols

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    If you have good enough grades, ministry experience, and GRE scores, you can get into some Ph.D. programs with an M.Div.
     
  8. Rev. Joshua

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    Tom,

    In my experience that's true of even the most competitive Ph.D. programs. It helps to have an M.Div. from a "name" seminary, but an M.Div. is considered adequeate preparation for most types of Ph.D. in Religion.

    Some M.Div. programs offer a research track that can also ease the Ph.D. application process. As many of you know, the good programs are ridiculously hard to get into right now, so every little bit helps.

    Joshua
    (who just sent his packet to Emory - again [​IMG] )
     
  9. Daniel Dunivan

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    I am currently working on a Ph.D. at Saint Louis Univeristy in Historical Theology. It all depends on what you want. If you are wanting to teach in a seminary, then a seminary Ph.D. or Th.D. is the best bet. You can get into a Ph.D. straight out of an M.Div. if you have straight A's from a name school and a 1200 on your GRE, otherwise a Th.M. or MA at your school of choice (for your Ph.D.) will generally do the trick. I was accepted to Drew University's Th.M. program straight out of my M.Div. with the understanding that my coursework on my Th.M. would apply to my Ph.D.; however, I decided to study Historical Theology rather than Systematic. If you are wanting to do research or teach in a university, a university Ph.D. will be what you are wanting. These programs typically require additional coursework of an M.Div. grad, but they provide a better (in my opinion)opportunity to do research, because of the wider community in which you are studying.

    Rev. Josh, I feel your pain. I missed Emory last year by the skin of my teeth.
     
  10. tlange

    tlange
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    Now to add more confusion to this alphabet soup.

    1) Can you get a DMin after an MDiv or do you have to get a ThM first?

    2) If you are not wanting to teach on the seminary level, but lets say Bible College level or Pastor a church, is a DMin enough for those functions?
     
  11. TaterTot

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    depends. I worked in a Dmin office for awhile, and students could get a Dmin after an Mdiv, but only after 3 years of field work between the two. Its definitely good enough to pastor a church, and it would probably depend on the intitution at which you wish to teach.
     
  12. Rev. Joshua

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    I actually took a few years off from applying after the birth of our son. Knowing what the odds are these days (even with very strong grades and GRE scores), I'm no more hopeful this time around than I was the last time.

    Once you're in, though, it's a nice place to be. It's a shame you missed out on studying with Roberta Bondi.

    Joshua
     
  13. Daniel Dunivan

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    Rev. Josh,

    It is very difficult. I had a 4.0 and an 1190 on my GRE and still didn't get in. However, have you looked at the Th.M. program there. I know they have it geared more to international student's, but after I showed a little interest they wouldn't stop calling. Just a suggestion.

    tlange,

    In reference to the usefullness of a DMin, the dean of my seminary had a DMin in spiritual formation. I worked as his graduate assistant the three years I attended seminary. He always used to tell me that you can get a job at any level of education, if you can find someone to hire you. What you need to weigh out is whether you want to be involved in the practice of ministry (then do the DMin) or research and education (then do the Ph.D.). NOT ALL DOCTORATES ARE CREATED EQUAL!

    At this early stage in your seminary career, you have the advantage of time to prepare. A word of advice, if you are going to do the Ph.D., begin looking at what programs you want to get into and look at their requirements. Start making yourself a good candidate for their program. If you take these three years to mold yourself into their image, they will be more likely to accept you. Find a professor in your field of interest that you would like to work with, and see what it would take to study with him/her. Also, work on the languages! Not just the Greek and the Hebrew, but also German, French, and maybe Latin (if you're wanting to do theology). This language requirement is one of the many differences between a D.Min. and a Ph.D.
     
  14. Rev. Joshua

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    Daniel,

    I've decided that I'm simply not going to do another Master's degree. I started one at UGA, and realized that I was just spinning my wheels hoping to gain more credibility for a Ph.D. program.

    I've got a 3.8 and a 1400 on the GRE, which puts me on the borderline at Emory (as I assume you were as well). I think I'll just keep knocking on the door until the judge lets me in. [​IMG]

    Joshua
     
  15. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    Rev. Josh,

    Many of Th.M. or M.A. programs (if done at the school where you are wanting to study) not only give credibility, but their credits are often transferable into the Ph.D. program. The only time you would lose would be time spent on a thesis or comprehensive exams.

    Its an emotionally tasking position to be in. I wish you good luck. [​IMG]
     
  16. Circuitrider

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    Dr. Bob, if I am not mistaken you have confused your cigarettes with your degree package. :eek: "LSMFT" was on Lucky Strikes and means "Lucky Strikes Means Fine Tobacco." Nice try, but no cigar :D [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. TaterTot

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    Goodness, yall. Those that posted their GRE scores - I consider you to be very intelligent. I am surprised, though, because after my husband took the GRE, several professors congratulated him on his score. I didn't know how he stacked up to his peers b/c no one discussed that. He made 1860. So THATS why when he comes home talking about his PhD studies, I just nod my head affirmitively, as if I really understand. [​IMG]
     
  18. Rev. Joshua

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    TaterTot,

    That must include the third (Analytical) score - which still means your husband has an excellent score.

    There are three sections on the GRE (with a max score of 800 on each section - that's how I knew your husband's score includes all thre sections):

    Verbal - Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary
    Quantitative - Math
    Analytical - Logic

    Most schools only consider the Verbal & Quantitative (sadly - because the Analytical is always my best section) so most folks give the first two sections as their score. My 1400 - for instance - is a combination of a 710 v and a 690 q.

    Interestingly, either a lot more future science Ph.D.'s take the GRE or the verbal skills of future Ph.D.'s are in steep decline. My scores were almost even, but my percentile rankings were 25% apart. The verbal score put me in the 97th percentile, but the quantitative score only put me in the 72nd percentile. Dad-gum engineers [​IMG] .

    Depending on how your husband's score broke down over the three areas, my guess is that his 1860 would have made him competitve in any Ph.D. program in the country (depending on grades, research interests, etc.).

    Being competitve, however, doesn't mean someone will get in these days. Daniel and I were both very competitive at Emory; but of the 300 or so people who applied for the ~ 15 slots there roughly 50 of them were equally competitve. At that point it goes to whose research interests match whose and also no small amount of politics. Most schools also look for an ethnically diverse group of people - so being a white male can be something of a problem.

    (Can you tell I've been thinking about this a lot. I was actually just on the phone yesterday seeing if my packet arrived. I've been applying to Ph.D. programs for almost 10 years now - since before I answered the call to the ministry - so I've become something of an expert on the application process. Now if I could just get to the acceptance process. [​IMG] )

    Joshua

    [ October 18, 2002, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: Rev. Joshua ]
     
  19. Daniel Dunivan

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    Rev. Josh,

    I didn't want you to think I was stupid. I made a mistake on posting my GRE scores. I don't know where I got the number. I scored a 2120 (770 Analytical; 760 Mathematics; and 590 Verbal). When I went to Baylor for an interview for their Ph.D. program, they asked me why I didn't get 10 points higher on the Verbal. This is the most important to most schools.
     
  20. Rev. Joshua

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    Daniel,

    Just call me "Joshua" [​IMG]

    I didn't think you were stupid at all. I just assumed you were reporting your verbal and quantitative scores - as I did.

    As a side note, your Analytical score qualifies you for membership in the Triple Nine Society.

    You're right about that 600 on the verbal. Ph.D. programs really like to see that, although surely the standard deviation can encompass a 590 ;) . Heck, on this new computer adaptive test, 1 question early on can cost you 100 points! (That's why I'm a paper and pencil man.)

    Of course, the good news is that since you've actually gotten in (ah, what a nice ring that has to it!), you'll never have to take the dern thing again. My scores expire next year (as the original ones did back in '98), and if I don't get in by 2004 I'll be breaking out the old #2 yet again. :(

    Joshua
     

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