If I were a seminary president...

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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  2. Martin

    Martin
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    Interesting read.

    If I were a seminary president I would focus on quality theological education in a variety of formats (traditional, online, hybrid). Modern higher education must recognize that students do "shop" and I would want my seminary to do what it could to attract the best possible students. I would also work to raise the standards of seminary work by doing away with "introduction" courses. I would require that intro course such as New Testament Introduction, Church History, and Systematic Theology be done at the undergraduate level (i.e...pre-reqs). These courses would be replaced with advanced, graduate level courses in textual, historical, and theological areas. Of course the seminary would offer the intro courses at the college level (thus, students would not have to go to a different school). I would also require all graduate students (MDiv, MA, ThM, etc) to complete a graduate level master's thesis.

    Martin.
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    Rhetorician Response

    My Dear Martin,

    How are you--well I hope?

    I understand your thesis. But what do you do with someone who has an engineering BS degree or a Masters in English Literature? How are they to enter into the seminary community or discussion or education? Do they not need the "intro" courses? Surely we cannot just throw people without the biblical / theological backgrounds straight into the "advanced" courses?

    That brings up another issue in my thinking. Do you required of them these courses "they should have had" in their BA / BS, to do them with no credit? There seems to be a "professional problem" here that must be considered.

    I have always understood the MDiv to be a generalist's practitioner degree with the "intro" courses used as a "leveling device" for even those who did not have the BA / BS Bible backgrounds.

    Have I gotten your point? Have I expressed mine so it can be understood?

    This is a very good dialogue, I appreciate the input.

    "That is all!" :thumbs:
     
    #3 Rhetorician, Jul 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2012
  4. Martin

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    ==I would treat the intro courses as remedial or prerequisite courses. The person you speak of would come to the seminary, take those intro classes through the undergraduate program during their first semester (or two), then move into the graduate program. I base this on the model established by "secular" colleges/universities. For example, if you want to enter a MD or nursing program you must have certain prerequisites. Thus, the person you speak of could still enter the program but would need to finish the prerequisites first. By following this model, when the seminary student actually enter the seminary masters program they are true graduate students on par with graduate students at any university. The result would be that the MA or MDiv program could focus on advanced courses instead of covering the basics.

    The students would get "college credit" for the prerequisite courses but those courses would not count towards their MA or MDiv. Again that is the same idea behind making nursing students take microbiology before they enter the nursing program.


    ==That is the current model and there is nothing wrong with that model. After all, I believe both of us went through that model. I'm just speculating on ways to make seminary work more like actual graduate studies. I'm sure my ideas have some problems that would need to be worked out if put in place in an actual seminary setting. However I think the idea of advancing the seminary masters to a higher level is a good one even if it is done in a different way than I propose.


    Things have been going fine on my end. Staying busy as usual. Hope things are going well for you and yours.

    Martin.
     

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