DTS's PhD Program

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    Hey gang:

    Things seem to be a little slow. As most know I am trying to decide (and I probably will) whether or not to teach "Medical Ethics" for a local Christian U. here in my region.

    While I was on line reading, researching, surfing, and such I took a long look at DTS's PhD program. I was shocked, but it makes perfect sense after one thinks it through.

    Their PhD is based on their own ThM 120 sem. hr. program. YIKES! That is, if I have read the catalog correctly? If you have a 90 sem. hr. MDiv then you have to do something like 26 (more) sem. hrs. in Stage I with a thesis and then be accepted into Stage II where you have to do another 25 sem. hrs. and dissertation. I guess one could come in with the MDiv and the old STM degrees both or the MDiv & ThM one year post MDiv degrees and qualify.

    This type of thing makes me think that I have been wrong all the time to lobby for the old MDiv ministers degree. And then have to have that to get into a PhD/ThD at seminary. I am not sure that the paradigm of the 36-42 hr. university model to get into the PhD program, then the 60 hr. PhD university model is not the best route.

    Generally I would like some learned opinions on the Dallas PhD program. Specifically, I would like some DTS alums to "chime in" on the whole deal (or ordeal as it may be).

    Then again, I have never seen the need for someone getting another PhD/ThD!. Go figure!:laugh:

    Disclaimer: I have the utmost respect for all DTS people with whom I have been in contact throughout my life. This is in no way a negative criticism!

    Let me hear from you.

    sdg!

    rd
     
    #1 Rhetorician, Apr 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2007
  2. paidagogos

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    Downhill with the M.Div.?

    Rhet, I am probably Rip Van Winkle from the 19th century but I have never liked the seminary format since the B.D. was inflated into the M.Div. Also, there has been a blurring of the lines between an academic track to the Ph.D. and the Th.D., which I have always viewed as an advanced and specialized doctorate. The D.Min. is a purely modern creation for the professional who desires academic recognition. At this point, the distinctions are so muddled that I doubt they will ever be re-established. It’s rather like music with the pervasive crossover that the purist of whatever taste is not comfortable in any modern genre.

    Like you, I hardly see the need for multiple doctorates unless the Th.D. is an advanced doctorate beyond the Ph.D. As you know, education is comprised of scope and sequence. When we reach upper level programs (i.e. Ph.D.), it appears that the amount of coursework is broadening the scope but it is not advancing the sequence. At some point, more coursework becomes somewhat superfluous. Methinks folks are spending longer and longer in school with diminishing benefits. It’s time to get out of school and into the real world where one’s perspective will be broadened by real life experience.
     
  3. Broadus

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    I substantially agree with Paid, if I understand his post. I think DTS's program, and I, too, have great respect for DTS grads, is overkill. What other discipline requires such a prerequisite to enter a PhD program?

    I would propose something like this for ministerial training. If one graduates with a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than Bible/theology, that person should take 60 hours of upper level college courses for a second bachelor's degree in Bible/theology/ministry. Then, further training would entail a 36-hour master's program, which would then serve as a prerequisite for the PhD. A student so trained would be able to explore and gain expertise in a wide variety of fields.

    Bill
     
  4. greek geek

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    In a short 35 days I will be an alum of DTS with a ThM. But I am sticking around for their PhD program. (I'm a glutton for punishment!) So although I'm not an alum of the PhD program - I figured I could offer some appropriate response to the OP.

    I think the PhD program needs to be evalutated in light of its purpose, and not a perceived purpose. But let's start with the ThM degree since it too was mentioned. The catalog states on page 21 "The Master of Theology degree program is designed to produce competent Bible expositors who are qualified to serve God effectively as pastors, missionaries, or leaders in other areas of vocational Christian ministry."

    I will be the first to state that the ThM program is not for everyone. It adds emphasis on Greek and Hebrew, exegesis, and systematic theology and Bible exposition. Not that MDiv degrees do not cover these areas - but the ThM covers them in more detail.
    The ThM is designed for anyone entering any type of ministry as can be seen with the numerous concentration tracks available in the ThM.

    However, the PhD is different. It is not created with the local pasor as their focus. Its focus is on research and scholarship. In the PhD handbook it states, "The program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree is designed for men and women capable of doing research at the highest level with a view to becoming scholars and educational leaders in various fields of Christian ministry." It is designed for those who want to work on the academic side of things. Those who want to write for scholarly journals and make unique contributions to their field, and teach others.

    For someone who is going to be a local pastor this might not be for them (or maybe it is) - perhaps they would be better prepared for their ministry with the preparation of a DMin degree.

    As for the DMin - I don't know much about the degree program itself. But I would argue that Paidagogos's claim that "The D.Min. is a purely modern creation for the professional who desires academic recognition" is a bit harsh. I have known many people who have a DMin, and they did not care about the "academic recognition" they cared about better preparing themselves for the ministry God had given them.


    And as for Paid.'s statement:
    I see that as a comment made with incomplete understanding of PhD programs. Made - most likely - with a misconception of what PhD programs are designed for. Perhaps, though, I misunderstand how you are using "scope" and "sequence" in this discussion. If you mean "broadining the scope" as just adding more work for no purpose - I adamently disagree. I have done a lot of research into the PhD classes - and it is not "busy work" that only serves to make the study think they deserve their degree. The type of work required is not "fluff" but hardcore research into new areas. And if by "advancing the sequence" you are referring to "making headway" in the fields of study - then I would disagree - there is amazing "headway" being made in all religious academic fields. But perhaps I'm misunderstanding you there.

    As for your comment to "get out of school" and "into the real world" That is a very shortsighted comment. And, honestly, I am offended by it. I have spent the past five years working on my ThM living in the "real world" as you call it with the type of ministry I've been working with. (A full time ministry - out in the "real world" as you call it) Not staying in any "seminiary bubble." But now God is leading me towards teaching in a college setting. And in order for me to be prepared for that future ministry God is asking me to give up my current ministry so that I can step back and prepare myself for what is to come. Honestly - I take offense at that last statment of yours. It shows prejudice, lack of understanding, and refusal to see God do something that you don't like or understand.
     
  5. Martin

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    Personally I wonder why someone needs 120 hours of undergraduate work (BA/BS), 120 hours of graduate work (DTS's ThM) just to enter a PhD program. I think Dallas Seminary is, in their ThM program, going over-board. Most other seminaries in fact do the same thing with their MDiv program. In order to get into a PhD program a person has to earn a BA/BS degree (120 +/-), a Miv (90 +/-), and then they can enter the PhD. That is just a lot of schooling. The amount of schooling conservative seminaries require is really amazing when one considers the fact that many of the leaders of those seminaries openly argue about people spending longer in school now then they did in the past (I think of Al Mohler).

    Secular schools do not require this extended education. In most secular programs such as history, religion, psychology, etc, a person gets a BA/BS degree (120 +/-), a MA/MS degree (30-36 hrs), and then they enter the PhD program. They are well prepared and well qualified.

    It is my personal opinion that seminaries in general try to push too much into a graduate degree program. The purpose of graduate school is to train a person in a specific field. It is somewhat like a technical degree. The seminaries, however, treat it like a second undergraduate degree. What I mean is that the MDiv degrees, and Dallas's ThM, are too general, too broad. There needs to be a tighter focus. Such a tighter focus could/would shorten the programs and would not sacrifice any of the quality. This is why I like the idea of MA degrees in Religion, Theology, Apologetics, Church History, etc. These degrees, usually between 45-60hrs, give the person the scholarly background they "need" (cutting out the extra). The graduates are ready for a PhD program. Sadly, however, many times these folks are forced into secular PhD programs in religion, philosophy, or history, because many seminaries will not accept them into their PhD programs. Some seminaries, such as New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, have programs that allow a graduate from such a program to enter their PhD program provided that their MA prepared them.

    Right now I am working on my second MA degree. It is in history from a secular university and is made up of 36 academic hours. My first degree is in Religion, from a seminary, and contained 45hrs. What is really frustrating, and sad, is that the seminaries I have talked to (about a PhD in Church History) will not accept me into their programs. Why? Because I don't have MDiv equivalence. MDiv equivalence, I am told, is about 60 hours in theology and languages. I took Greek at Southeastern Seminary before transfering to Liberty but, to get into a seminary PhD, I will need to take more greek, learn Hebrew (which I would NEVER use), and then German and/or Latin. My question is why should I do that? I can enter a PhD program at a secular university and study American History focusing on American Church History. I can do that without having to add more courses after my second MA and I don't have to learn every language of the ancient world (hyperbole). In fact I could do that without my 45hr MA/Religion degree! What is even worse is that, with a PhD from a secular university, I have more academic employment options than I would with a PhD in Church History from a seminary. It gets even worse when I consider that with a MA in History and a PhD in History from secular universities I will also have a broader knowledge of the subject than I would if I entered a PhD in Church History program at a seminary. So why should folks like myself do all the extra work to enter a PhD program at a seminary when better options exist? And this does not just apply to Church History, it could also apply to others studying in the fields of New/Old Testament, Philosophy, languages, etc.

    Btw...pastoral programs may need to be more general than academic programs. However 60hrs should be more than enough even for that.
     
  6. Paul33

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    I would like to suggest that all seminaries reduce their requirement for entrance to earning the M.Div./Th.M degree to an A.A. degree.

    That would bring the whole process back in line with university tracks.

    Two years = A.A.
    Three to four years = M.Div./Th.M.
    Three to four years = Ph.D.

    This is fair, rational, and makes sense!

    Any student who has an earned B.A. in religion should be able to take a one year (two at most) advanced M.Div. degree.
     
  7. greek geek

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    Is it really fair and accurate to compare seminary degrees with secular degrees? Isn't that like comparing apples and oranges?

    The secular degrees have a limited purpose. Seminary degrees have a broader purpose. They are seeking not just to make a person competent in one small field - but to prepare a person and make them competent with the handling of the gospel.

    Apples and oranges.

    If a seminary only educates in exegesis then how is that person supposed to do anything with that knowledge? They need to also know how that exegetical information impacts theology, biblical exposition, spritual formation, etc. --- otherwise they may as well not do the exegetical stuff cause it serves no purpose.

    All the fields taught in seminary (and I speak specifically from the perspective of the ThM degree at DTS) are inter-related. If I only studied the languages what would be the point? So I could pick apart the original languages --- so what? whoop-ti-do. hurray for me. but so sad for Christianity.

    A secular degree may be achieved in a shorter amount of time and that amount of time is just perfect for the learning of that material. But face it, the purpose of a seminary education is not just to become competent in one isolated field. If that is the case then it is a degree that does not serve much purpose in the big picture. For example a theology major in a ThM track that knows enough about Greek and Hebrew to respect how the original texts should shape their theology - that is where good theologians come from. Theologians who do not know or care about the original languages face dangerous territory. The same can be said of how the other interrelated fields impact theology.

    Apples and oranges.

    If you want a shorter degree go for a non-seminary degree. If you want to become more competent in handling the Bible, gospel and all its implications - suck it up, stop whinning and go to seminary for three or four years.
    And if God leads you to more training go back for another 4 years for a PhD. Afterall why are we so concerned about how long it takes. If God leads you into a "long" program I'm pretty sure He already knows how long its going to take you and He's okay with that.

    And if you think that earning a degree in a secular school is a "better option" then by all means stay away from seminaries. With that attitude you don't need to be there. But be careful that you don't treat your field in isolation - church history is an important area of study that has many implications for the church today -- if viewed appropriately.
     
    #7 greek geek, Apr 7, 2007
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  8. Martin

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    ==Yes it is fair to compare them because both are graduate degrees and, as I pointed out in my reply, the secular PhD could have better results for someone like myself.


    ==The problem I have with that is that all Christians are required to be "competent with the handling of the Gospel". Seminary should not be the place where a Christian learns the Gospel and how to accurately explain it to people (one on one or to a group). In theory a person attends seminary to learn theology, the languages, and things like that. That kind of education can be done properly in a 60hr program. Sadly far too many people graduate with MDivs who have a very poor knowledge of theology (etc). Why? In my opinion many seminaries (Not DTS) have gotten side tracked with too many "ministry how-to" classes.

    ==A person can study the languages they "need" to study, along with the theology, and history, in a 60hr program. There is no need for a 90hr+ or 120hr graduate degree program. Notice that I underlined "need". A preacher does not "need" Latin, German, and one other research language beyond Greek and Hebrew. Basic Greek and Hebrew classes is probably about all many will need. Someone studying church history does not need Hebrew, however, in some cases they may need German or Latin. 60hrs is plenty of room to get done all that "needs" to get done.


    ==No field is totally isolated. Fields such as theology, history, philosophy, and sociology bleed into one another at various points. My point was not that seminary should train a person in one subject but rather that the seminary programs should be more focused on what their individual students will "need". Thus cutting out classes that the student does not need. For example a student who is going into an academic field probably does not need to take classes in preaching or church managment and a person going into preaching/pastoral ministries probably does not need advanced classes (graduate level) in philosophy.


    ==A person can get all the languages they need in a 60hr graduate program. Even Dallas Theological Seminary admits that with their 62hr MA/Biblical Exegesis and Linguistics program (for translators). I could also point to Piedmont Baptist College's MA/Biblical Studies program. That program is 55hrs and contains a good grounding in the languages. Of course that program is geared more towards pastors but the point is that the program gives them all the language grounding that they "need". Again this is about "need".


    ==Well I have a seminary degree (45hrs) and I will have a secular graduate (36hrs) degree. All together that will give me 81 hours of graduate level education. That, of course, is not included the PhD program I will enter. So I am certainly not looking for a short cut. Personally I believe I am learning more in this second MA than I did at either of the seminaries I attended. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed my time in seminary and I learned a lot of great things but the secular MA is much more demanding. The professors expect their students to be scholars/historians and not just students. My experience, and that of others, has been that the work load in the secular university graduate program is much heavier than it was in seminary. Not that seminary was easy or anything like that. I am just comparing the work load and what was generally expected of the students. So going the secular route is far from a short cut. Besides, as I pointed out, the secular route makes much more sense for folks like myself. It opens more academic doors and it cuts out courses that I simply don't "need".

    As far as becoming more "competent in handling the Bible" (etc) I assure you I can more than stand my ground with any ThM or MDiv graduate. I know others who can stand their own as well who don't have the MDiv, or ThM, degree but rather have a MA degrees from some seminary or Divinity school. My point? There is little need for a 120hr/90hr graduate degree program.


    ==I am a seminary graduate (MA - '05) and the reasons I claimed that the secular route is better for me were clearly laid out in my previous post. Every point I laid out was "fact".

    ==Considering my rather strong back ground in systematic theology I don't think there is much danger in me treating church history as an isolated subject. I fact I am the first to argue that it is not. I am also the first to argue that understanding church history, apart from "secular" history, can lead to misunderstandings as well.
     
    #8 Martin, Apr 7, 2007
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  9. gb93433

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    You are right. The problem is that most of the churches are doing nothing to train people. When I was in seminary I as well as several others had already been doing discipleship for several years and then show up to seminary to learn how to give my testimony and write out on a piece of paper the "procedure" to talk with people about the plan of salvation. Seminary is supposed to be a graduate school not a place for someone to learn what every Christian should already know before coming.
     
  10. TCGreek

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    Maybe DTS is doing something right, for a lot of their grads are heavy hitters in the theological marketplace, despite theological differences with others. A lot of their grads are leading profs at other seminaries.

    Recently, I wanted to enroll in a doctorate and I was leading strongly toward Wheaton college, for a person moves from the MA to their doctorate as the prerequisite, not the MDiv or ThM. Plus they have a good program as well. But it all depends on what the learner is looking for and how much they have to spend.

    A person with a DTS PhD or a person with a Wheaton PhD, who would you choose?
     
  11. gb93433

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    Just because someone has several degrees does not always give him much temperature. If more degrees created more temperature then we would have a lot of people on fire. We have more pastors and people with advanced degrees than at any other time in history.
     
  12. Broadus

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    As posted above, part of our problem is that churches do such a poor job in teaching. Pragmatism, the git-r-done (or would that be "dun" ;) ) philosophy, is what drives most local churches. Seminary should be for teaching languages and exegesis, theology, church history, and such matters.

    Do I really need to take a masters level classes on how to witness? Do I really need a class on leadership? Flame me if you will, but I did not find such classes very helpful. Reading and doing and asking helped me much more than taking such classes.

    Seminary should give us the tools to be life-long learners, not take a lifetime of classwork to learn. I applaud our DTS brother above entering the PhD program. Such a route takes much self-discipline and sacrifice. I'm not convinced, though, that it is necessary to produce well-equipped scholars. I think Wheaton has the right idea.

    BTW, I've been in vocational ministry for 29 years, have 2 complete MDivs (long story), a DMin, and a PhD from SBTS.

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  13. gb93433

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    I agree. The problem is that many students in the seminary have never shared their faith. When I was a student in seminary there was a young lady in class whose dad was a deacon, she had gone to a Baptists college and was now in seminary. She had never given her testimony and had never shared her faith.

    No amount of book knowledge will ever make one a scholar in the faith simply because some things cannot be taught and achieved by intellectual knowledge only. That is what makes a real relationship with the living God.

    Too often churches and seminaries equate discipleship with head knowledge.

    Every future seminary student should have demonstrated his faith in tangible ways as a leader especially if they are entering a program designed for leadership.

    It is the responsiubility of every Christian to share their faith. So the minimum standard for every student entering the seminary should be at least what is required of every Christian. Some churches especially encourage some people to attend seminary so it will help the person with their ill. Often the admissions office notices that and the person is refused admission.

    When I applied to SWBTS I had some non-Christians down as references because I thought that pastors were to be above reproach and have a good reputation in the community. They sent a letter to those people and when one of the refernecs contacted me I was surprised. Later the seminary told me that those kind of references would not work and I needed to have Christians as all of my references. Anyone who has been in ministry knows that at times the church is a hideout from the real world for people who do not have a very good reputation in the community.
     
  14. Paul33

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    Let's just admit the real history of the M.Div. It started as a B.Div. - an undergraduate degree!

    That's why there is this long drawn out process at the seminaries.

    Seminaries should be just like dental schools. An A.A. degree should be more than sufficient to then earn a B.A./M.Div. at the seminary in three years of additional schooling.

    I agree with Bill. Most of the practical courses in leadership, administration, etc. were absolutely useless. Teach history, Greek/Hebrew, exegesis, theology, homiletics - and do it in TWO years!
     
  15. greek geek

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    Martin, I disagree. The purpose of a degree from a secular school is different than a degree from a seminary. I have already laid out my reasoning for stating that. A secular degree is solely focused on gaining knowledge in a field, whereas a seminary degree is concerned with a broader range of fields - bc they all interact in major ways. And it is ultimately all about the Word of God - the Gospel --- and not just gaining knowledge in a specific area.

    I agree that all Christians should be competent to handle the gospel. That is clearly seen in the Bible. However, leaders in the church are held to a higher standard (James 3:1) As such seminaries do not exist to impart knowledge but to prepare people for the higher responsibility that comes with leadership in churches. If some seminaries have gotten sidetracked on too many "ministry how-to" classes - that is sad. But all seminiary classes - even the exegetical classes - need to bring it all down to the practical "what difference does this make in my ministry" aspect. I am not against 60 MDiv programs. As I have stated before a ThM is not for everyone. If God leads you to do an MDiv - go for it! Me - God led me to a ThM not an MDiv. God does not have the same plan for everyone.

    I'm just going to have to disagree with you here. I think there is a need for 90+ and 120 hour degrees. But it is not for everyone. I think your generalization on what Pastors need is a bit broad. It is true that there are many pastors with limited training who do quite well - God blesses their ministries. But there are many pastors who God calls to gain additional training. And I would greatly argue that pastors desperately need more than a basic knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. Just a basic knowledge of those languages has led to many grossly incorrect sermons, and even heresies. A little knowledge in the languages is dangerous. (But that is a discussion for another thread.) As for German and latin those are required for PhD's - research degrees. (German and French for my intended program) Those languages are required for a reason. Part of doing a PhD is doing research in primary sources and in theological writings that are not in English. To adequately do research at the PhD level you must be able to read what has been written in French or German that has not been translated into English. So yes the average pastor does not need French, German or Latin --- but to pursue a research degree it is absolutely necessary. If you don't want to learn those languages then do not purpuse a research degree.


    Again, I am going to have to disagree with you here. I think your understanding of "need" is lacking. I am going into academic ministry but I am extremely glad that I took preaching classes. Admit it - how many times does a prof at a small christian college get called up to serve as an interim pastor or fill in for a day? Christian profs in small towns especially have numerous opportunities like this - they are not just stuck in front of the classroom all the time. And I would greatly argue that someone going into preaching and pastoral ministries needs advanced classes in philosophy. Or at least one class that will help them understand philosophy. What pastor is not going to run into philosophical people who want to argue religion. Unless they are prepared and understand how to approach philosophy how are they going to respond to such a person?

    DTS's MABEL (linguistic) degree serves a different function and purpose than the ThM degree. The MABEL degree is for those going to work with Wycliffe or another similar organization. The DTS portion of the program gives them a solid grounding in theology, bible, etc -- as well as a good grasp of the languages. The language requirement is the practically the same for the MABEL as it is for the ThM. The only difference is it requires one less Greek class. But they require 24 hours in langauges (12 in each)
    (Whereas many MDiv degrees only require 15 hours - which barely scrathes the surfaces.) The MABEL student also takes many classes at the Wycliffe school on translation. The purpose of that degree is to train people who will be BIBLE TRANSLATORS not for a typical ministry.

    I would never try and say that someone with an MDiv is less than a person with a ThM. As I have repeatedly stated a ThM is not for everyone. If God leads someone to do an MDiv -- Go for it! But again - I completly disagree with your statement that there is "little need" for a 120 or 90 hour degree. Perhaps there is little need for you - but to make a blanket statement is a refusal to acknowledge that God doesn't always do things the way you think He should. With your comment you are degrading my degree that God has lead me to. God has different plans for everyone - for you it apparently does not include a ThM --- but for me it has included a ThM. You may not understand it but God works however He so desires.
     
  16. gb93433

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    The primary purpose of a college education is to make good citizens. The good colleges today are looking for leaders not just attenders who may happen get good grades. Those with good grades may not get accepted over those who are proven leaders.

    I do not know what you studied but a good college education encompasses a greater variety of classes than the typical seminary degree. The seminary I went to was very weak and far behind in teaching than the college I graduated from. The majority of teachers teaching in religious education do not have a background in education. The curriculum development classes did not develop curriculum but rather took a look at denomination curriculum. In the secular school I learned to write, develop and evaluate curriculum.

    In my field alone students in the undergraduate program will take statistics, calculus, chemistry, physics, business law accounting, decisionmaking, productivity improvement, economics, English, undergraduate research, managing information systems, management, statics, and quality control in addition to a number of other major and general education requirements. Those in graduate school will have to take a comprehensive exam covering each class they took in their program.

    You are right it is about the Word of God. That is the reason why anyone should be at their job or place of study.
     
  17. TCGreek

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    Now that I am a pastor I who does not settle for sermonetts and sermon outline books, I see the need for seminaries to properly equip future pastors. Remember, the great pastors of old, like Spurgeon and Wesley, were theologians. This what I will like to see at seminaries:

    1. A Heavy emphasis on Theology Proper and some systematics
    2. A Heavy emphasis on the Biblical languages, and then Latin.
    3. A Heavy emphasis on exegesis, sound hermeneutics, and expository preaching.
    4. A Heavy emphasis on Biblical counseling.
    5. A Heavy emphasis on Biblical leadership.

    Now this is what I have drawn from my years as a pastor and what I think makes for an effective pastor. A solid MDiv would yield the above; the ThM and doctorates would all be optional, unless the pastor wants to enter academia or be specialized in a particular field. So is the MA or MS or MMin adequate for the pastor? DTS might be onto something, but a solid MDiv is just as good, I think.
     
  18. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Effective pastors are not effective because of what they know so much as whom they know. We are seeing an increasing number of pastors who are bankrupt spiritually and are womanizers and caught stealing from churches. Too many are interested in preserving their image before men rather than letting God take a look at them. When they start preaching truth and making disciples then things will turn around. When those pastors start believing that God is God and he holds the key to life then they will have passion and not be afraid of losing their "jobs". Often we hold those old pastors up in high esteem but we fail to forget often times that many of them were fired from churches for preaching the truth. Too many in the church today, both pastors and congregation, have bought into the "success syndrome" instead of the truth.
     
  19. Martin

    Martin
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    ==Not really. Both programs are designed to prepare individuals for careers in their chosen field. Seminaries prepare folks to be pastors, missionaries, authors, seminary professors, and college professors. Universities prepare people to be many of the same things plus historians, accountants, teachers, etc. My point, and the point of others, is that a 90+ hour graduate degree program is not "needed" to prepare people for any of those jobs. A person can learn, in a 60hr MA program, enough to be a great pastor (though no degree program makes a person a great pastor).


    ==I don't agree with that. The job of a seminary is to give them the education they need. It is the job of the individual to make sure they are prepared for their higher calling. They should be prepared for that through their church, family, and friends. That burden, in my opinion, should not be carried by an academic institution.


    ==If people wish to pursue such degrees I say great, go for it! I am not saying anything bad about anyone. If God has called a person to Dallas Seminary's 120hr ThM program then they better get busy. My only point is that these seminaries should look into trimming these programs to make them more focused. Maybe they can offer the extended ministerial tracks along with the more focused academic tracks? Then both groups would be ready to enter the DMin program or the PhD program of their choice.


    ==Your not going to get an argument from me on that one. My point is not to cut out the languages, or to cut them down, but that the languages can be properly taught within a 60hr program. That means leaving out certain "how-to" classes and focusing more on the languages, theology, and history. Those who desire further training in the languages should seek that training but that would not require extended programs.



    ==You are correct on that point. My point was to focus the MA program on what the person needs language wise. If they are focusing on church history, for example, maybe greek and german would be better than greek and hebrew. This is a more focused, need based, approach.


    ==Yes, that happens and if someone thinks they are going to be in a situation where that may happen then they should take a preaching course. However there are those who end up in religion departments at secular University/college or Christian university/college, etc, and will never preach a sermon. After all the theology/history fields are very competitive and people sometimes have to accept jobs wherever they get an offer. A person does not need preaching classes to "fill in" or do conferences (etc). After all they do give speeches/lectures every day of their lives. If a person has not had experience preaching and/or preaching courses then maybe they should turn down interim invites.

    I am not saying that preaching classes are a waste of time. I am just saying that not everyone "needs" those classes.

    ==I know. My point was that schools don't have to require 90/120 hours to give students proper training in the languages.

    ==This has to do with academic institutions and not how God works in individual lives.

    ==I have said nothing to "degrade" your studies. I am talking about how these schools could focus their programs.
     
    #19 Martin, Apr 9, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2007
  20. Martin

    Martin
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    double post
     

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