DMin's and Their Place in the Educational Scheme

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Nord, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. Nord

    Nord
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    On a couple of threads the question of the place of the DMin in the scheme of things has come up. I thought these links may be helpful. They are from the US Dept of Education/National Science Foundation classification.

    The first is a list of research doctorates that are equivalent to the PhD (DMin is listed with these). Now for anyone who is familiar with the issues, a PhD is considered the creme de la creme of degrees and is the usual route to academia. The DMin tends to be more practical in nature and frankly most folks with a MDiv/DMin have more years of graduate education and language requirements than your average PhD. The DMin is sometimes called a professional doctorate *but* this is not to be confused with first professional degrees.

    http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-research-doctorate.html

    Next is a list of first professional degrees with doctorate in the title (eg MD, JD, DC). These are not equivalent to a PhD and not research doctorates.

    http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-professional-studies.html

    Nord
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    D.Min. is not nearly the rigorous program that a Ph.D. or Th.D. entails at any seminary I know of.

    I was amazed to see the "official" status of equivalence of a D.Min with the Ph.D. Hmmm.

    (My D.Min. dissertation was about 280 pages; my Ed.D. dissertation over 700 pages/ Both were written in textbook format since one was geared to 8th grade and one to 12th)
     
  3. Martin

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    I think that most schools require the PhD for most teaching positions. Right?
     
  4. Rhetorician

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  5. gb93433

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    I can't understand why anyone would go the less rigorous route other than for the Dr. in front of their name.

    Presently I am studying to get a D.I.T. There is only one place that awards that doctorate. It has exactly the same requirements as a Ph.D. Politics was the reason it is a D.I.T. instead of a Ph.D. Many years ago a neighboring university did not like it that the university where I am wanted to give a Ph.D. and complained. They had a similar but lesser program and didn't want the competition.
     
  6. Broadus

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    There are, relatively speaking, so few teaching positions open for the number of PhD's seeking them, that without a PhD (or equivalent---sometimes one may have a DMin plus a substantial number of PhD hours without having finished the degree) one has very little opportunity for teaching at the undergrad level, much less the graduate level. Some DMin's do teach, but their number seems to be few.

    Bill
     
  7. Rhetorician

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    Hey Martin,

    Most RA shools want someone who has a PhD from a RA school in order to teach. Although, if one is at the "right place right time" you can teach with only a master's degree. The SAC (Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Regional body) says you need a master's degree in something and 18 graduate hrs to be allowed to teach in a particular discipline. All grad hrs & masters degree must come from a grad program that is RA in order for SACS to allow the institution where you teach to KEEP their accreditation.

    In my case I was already teaching with two accredited master's degrees from ATS & RA schools and had 39 addtitonal PhD hrs in another discipline. I was wearing "two hats" as it were teaching in two subject areas.

    Concerning my DMin degree; because of some life circumstances I could not finish the PhD program. I took my 39 hrs from a secular university where I had studied with a world class secular scholar and went to an Ecumenical seminary and finished and got my DMin degree. It is ATS & RA accredited from a prestigious and big name southern university. I consider it to be on the caliber of the PhD. (Although that may be "sour grapes" on my part). I did all of the work, wrote the dissertation which was academic quatlity, just did not get the sheepskin. Many seminaries (ATS & RA) use the DMin to teach in Pastoral Theology positions.

    I hope this is "griss for the mill." Email me with any comments, observations, or even any "angry exhortations!" This is what I know based on my own experience.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  8. untangled

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    Nord,

    I would think the difference between a D.Min and Ph.D would be about the equivalent to the difference between a Psy.D and a Ph.d in psychology. This may be wrong but the D.Min is intended for those whose main goal is a specific ministry besides teaching. For instance, a minister may want to earn a doctoral degree but not wish to teach. Most take the D.Min because it is more practical in means of studying an area of ministry to apply it to. Then again, I may be wrong I still have two and a half years left for my M.Div, but I do want a D.Min someday.

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    D.Min. is designed for pastors, to enhance their pastoral ministry. Ph.D./Th.D. is for teaching or research work.

    BTW, I taught at one college and was dean of another, but it was as a "fill in". Much of my teaching was in counseling, pastoral and bible, so that worked all right on the short term. I am a missionary, and when staff came on a permanent basis, I voluntarilly stepped aside.

    I would never equate my D.Min with a Ph.D.
     
  10. Greg Linscott

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    Dr. Bob,

    Do you see someone with a D. Min teaching pastoral subjects (homiletics, church administration, and so on) as problematic on an academic level?

    My primary influences in that area were men with a D. Min. and honorary doctorates. Much of what they shared was not something that could be honed through acadmic rigor. It was the years of practical ministry experience that was crucial to their effectiveness, IMHO.
     
  11. PastorSBC1303

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    I think that the DMin has a place in our educational system. I am currently working on a DMin in Expository Preaching at Southern Seminary. I have found it to be extremely challenging and I am thoroughly enjoying it. However, I personally would never consider it equal with those who have a Ph.d. And at some point in my life and ministry I may go on to pursue a Ph.d.
     
  12. Broadus

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    Hello PastorSBC1303,
    I consider SBTS's DMin in Expository Preaching to be a valuable exercise. Congratulations on pursuing it. Too bad Danny Akin is not still there. I had him for a PhD seminar at Southern a few years back.

    BTW, with solid DMin programs available at accredited, evangelical seminaries, why would anyone go through the substandard institutions to get one?

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  13. Martin

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    "BTW, with solid DMin programs available at accredited, evangelical seminaries, why would anyone go through the substandard institutions to get one?"

    AMEN to that! My answer would be, and I am only guessing, that they either don't have the ability to get through a real program or they don't have the money. The later is sad and is a good example of why people should take advantage of all forms of financial aid. As for the former, that is sad as well. However instead of trying to by pass a real education they should start at the BA level and work up. It may take time, and alot of hard work, but in the end it is worth it.

    Martin.
     
  14. Rhetorician

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    Martin (et al),

    I may be looking through my own "rose colored glasses," but I started at the bottom when I was 30-31. Quit a lucrative job, came to Mid America Baptist Seminary and did a (96) semester hr Diploma of Theology that was the same curriculum as the MDiv. (-Biblical Languages). Then I went back to Crichton College and did the B.Sc. Then I went on over a period of time and did an Master of Arts in Religion and MDiv., one at a university and the other at The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville respectively. (And I commuted from Memphis to Louisville for two semesters and a J-term). I did PhD work at the University of Memphis and finished with my DMin from The University of the South's School of Theology (Episcopal) @ Sewanee.

    With God's grace, determination, perseverance. and a GREAT WIFE I was able to do all this. I really have a hard time listening to folk who say they can't make educational (or other type) sacrifices for the Lord and His work. It just comes down to what and where one's priorities are.

    I say all of this by way of testimony and give all praise to the Lord!!!

    As to the price of a degree; the six SBC seminaries and Mid America are soOOOOOOOOOOO reasonable (even cheap) how can one not go!!!??? Now they even have centers placed around the country. This is one reason other denoms come to our seminaries to get their PhDs. You can get a world class education some cheap.

    From what I have been hearing/reading on the Board, it seems MABTS's diploma/Associate of Divinity is better than some of the "Master's of Divinity" and "Doctoral Degrees" that some are getting/have gotten.

    Dr. Bud Bickers @ MABTS told me something as I was finishing my Diploma of Theology in 1985. He said (knowing that I wanted to go on and get an earned doctorate so I could teach): make sure that you get the best education you can as an offering to the Lord & one that you can be proud you received!!! This was one of the major motivations for me to take my circuitous route!

    I don't intend to be unkind. But I would like to quote Florence Nightingale: "I never gave nor did I take an excuse!"

    Why should "the man of God" take short cuts or do shoddy work when we are handling the very "breath of God!!??"

    No intent to offend--only to make us think!

    I have always (even before I had any formal education) contended two things:

    First, every pastor should be a scholar.

    Secondly, every pastor should be a theologian.

    These can be done WITHOUT ANY FORMAL EDUCATION!! But, our prepartion demands the best for the Master and for souls!!

    sdg!

    rd

    PS. For the record: The Doctor of Ministry is an EARNED degree and it is also a TERMINAL DEGREE.

    The person who has ATS credentials and has the DMin degree has:

    A full 4 year BS or BA from a RA school.

    A full 3 year (90-105)hrs MDiv from a RA School.

    A full 3 year full time internship like an MD

    A 30-50 hr intense study in a particular aspect of the ministry such as preaching, admin, OT, NT, a major writing project (dissertation) or portfolio and takes at least 2-3 years to do while remaining in a full time ministry position.

    Come on now--let me have!
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    My answer to that is that at this level, you aren't getting a degree for the title it brings, but for the education. The "less rigorous" route is designed for a different purpose. It is designed to enchance a pastoral ministry, not to be an academic teaching degree. I have toyed with both, but don't have the heart to do either right now. I would want the PhD for the title; I would want the DMin for my life's work. since I don't have a lot of interest in teaching.
     
  16. gb93433

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    If one expects to lead people or teach then he should be the best example of a learner. A learner pays the price for whatever is necessary to become the best he is capable of becoming.

    There is no excuse today with all the wealth in America why one could not get through a seminary with some sacrifice and discipline. We have foreign students coming from places like Africa with little or no money going to the same seminaries and universities we go to. Some of those people are very poor. One student I met in seminary wanted to be able to take enough money back to buy some bicycles for pastors where he was from so they could ride a bicycle rather than walk.

    Just a few days ago I met a lady who came from communist China in 1986 to this country to get her doctorate. Before she left the Chinese government required her and her husband to reimburse their government for the cost of their bachelor's degrees. Both her and her husband came to this country with about 100 dollars when they arrived in 1986 speaking very little English.

    It is the first step of faith that is always the hardest.
     
  17. Broadus

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    My answer to that is that at this level, you aren't getting a degree for the title it brings, but for the education. The "less rigorous" route is designed for a different purpose. It is designed to enchance a pastoral ministry, not to be an academic teaching degree. I have toyed with both, but don't have the heart to do either right now. I would want the PhD for the title; I would want the DMin for my life's work. since I don't have a lot of interest in teaching. </font>[/QUOTE]Larry,

    I take issue with the common idea that the DMin is for the pastoral ministry and the PhD is for teaching. Please understand what I'm about to write in no way is to denigrate those who pursue the DMin. Find a strong one and go for it.

    Nevertheless, having both, I find my PhD more helpful, if I have to compare the two, for my ministry as a pastor than my DMin. In our culture, IMO, we put too much emphasis upon the practical. The practical, of course, is important, but I think the pendulum has swung too much in that direction. I think our people need to understand theology and church history. They need to understand the insidious attacks upon the inerrancy and authority of the Bible which are being made even by some calling themselves evangelicals. They need a ministry which seeks to be both deep and wide (don't start singing!).

    Of course, one can have that type of ministry with neither a DMin or a PhD. The pursuit of the PhD in church history, however, helped me understand better our heritage as Baptists in particular so that I can better lead our people to recover that biblical heritage. In addition, it sharpened my reasoning and communcative skills.

    Again, my purpose is not to denigrate the DMin. It can be extremely helpful. Instead, I want to challenge the idea that the PhD is only for those going into academia and not the pastorate.

    BTW, you're right to pursue neither until your heart is in it. The rigor and time involved will make quitting look attractive. It has been well said that obtaining a PhD is more a matter of perseverance than genius.

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    I understand what you are saying, and I agree to a large extent. I think being both deep and wide is good and necessary. But I still think the purpose of a degree is a big factor. Given the two options, I would prefer a PhD, because to some degree I think a DMin is the easy way out. However, you can do a DMin non-resident and there is only one PhD that is that way (BBS). I have looked into it and talked to them about it. I just don't want to do the work right now at this current stage of life and ministry. And the reality is that I could have had a PhD for less work than I did for my current degrees.

    I would never denigrate a PhD nor underestimate its value for pastoral ministry. I didn't mean to communicate that. I was simply referring to the design of the degrees.
     
  19. Nord

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    In Biblical Studies and not taking into account foreign options, you are correct. However, as for PhD's in general, there are several accredited options with residencies that are equivalent to what one would do in a DMin program (Walden, Capella, Union, Nova). All regionally accredited and with very limited residency (not cheap either).

    There are also 2 PhD programs that are *regionally accredited* and *100%* residency free. Those two are:

    Northcentral University (PhD's in Psych, Business, and Education with different concentrations)
    http://www.ncu.edu
    (relatively inexpensive)

    Touro University
    (number of concentrations)

    On another note, Dr. Bob's EdD dissertation is among the largest I have heard of. I think the norm is around 200 pages although, that varies. I have heard of as little as 90 in the math field. I am sure that the good Dr was glad to be done with it (wow).

    There are always degrees of prestige among degrees. For example, which school you went to often matters, and PhD is simply the tops in the academic field (what Jason Baker called the creme de la creme). Even though for all intents and purposes an EdD is the equivalent of a PhD, I have seen on degreeinfo an EdD have to keep explaining that to folks. I had a friend who slammed anyone with "Education" in their degree title as having taken the easy route to a masters or doctorate (I do not believe that). A DBA (Doctor of Business Administration), DMin (Doctor of Ministry) have practically oriented doctorates, have earned them, may have even done equivalent work to a PhD in some programs but when stacked up against a PhD, the PhD carries more prestige.

    There is much variation among DMin programs. I have seen some that are basically PhD programs (60 credit hours, etc). Other have a more practical bent. Someone in this thread compared them to the PsyD degree (Psychology degree that is practical in orientation).

    Nord
     
  20. Broadus

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    Good insight, Larry and Nord.

    Bill
     

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