Looking for recommendations

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by iknowsomething, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. iknowsomething

    iknowsomething
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    Ok - a brief explaination is in order. I'm hoping to one day teach at a seminary, and looking to get a PhD to enable me to do so. I'm located in the Midwest, and looking to go to a solid, fundamental seminary. I've grown in GARBC churches, but I'm not closed to other viewpoints on lesser issues (In fact I welcome it, it would enable me to engage my professor and classmates). Pre-mil, Pre-Trib, perhaps leaky Dispensational, calvinistic (hate all these labels - don't we all - I've dumped them here for your reference). I want a degree that will prepare me for PhD work, but not keep me in school forever. I'm also inclined towards a degree that is no-frills - meaning no forced "how to" classes (like preaching, evangilizing, etc). And definitely no forced clases like learn your style of leadership, church growth, engaging a post modern culture, etc. I'm looking for a good time of hard study and learning. What can you recommend? I'm assuming I would have to rule out online or distance learning degrees (I'm open to them, but would prefer in class at seminary) in order to get a PhD? Is this true? My real question is, however, what seminary to go to? I don't want to move far away (indeed this is becoming the biggest obstacle, even more than money). What seminary is near Toledo, Oh and has the following charateristics, in order of importance:

    1) Has solid ciriculum, as ranted on above
    2) is close
    3) Has a MA in Theology, Mdiv or something similar, that would enable PhD work, and still allow completition in 2 years or less (think <65 hours)
    4) Is affordable (considering I paid 250 an hour for undergrad, and I'd be thrilled just to have someone inform me of something that met the first three - cost is a non-issue)
    5) Has your alls recommendation :tongue3:

    I've looked at alot, here's a few I'm seriously considered, with pros, cons:
    DTS - too far +Chafer's Systematic Theology was wonderful
    Liberty - too far? +Affordable +Dean seems interesting +Ma and Mdiv in three years
    Grand Rapids +close -expensive +Seems like a rigiorus program -64 hours for Ma!
    BBC +the crown jewel of GARBC (lol) +close? -no Ma, only Mdiv and pastor oriented

    Anything I've missed? I know I'm not asking much, lol, but I was hoping to start this fall. That's quickly becoming (and has become, welcome to August :-( ) an impossibility, so now I'm shooting for Spring. One last note, I'm got a secular undergrad degree, and no formal biblical training in Greek, Hebrew, etc.
     
  2. Martin

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    Hi.

    The schools you metioned.

    Dallas Theological Seminary is a great choice if you wish to be a teacher. They have a strong ThM program. However it is expensive and it will require at least three or so years.

    Liberty is a good school as well. However their distance programs offer no language courses. Therefore if you wish to go directly into a PhD program Liberty's distance program would not be a good choice. However you could go to their campus.

    Have you looked into the requirements for a PhD? I assume you want a theological PhD? You need to look into this. Most theological PhD programs "require" a MDiv with a certain amount of Greek and Hebrew.

    Two Examples...

    Southeastern's PhD program.

    Dallas Seminary's PhD.

    Those two are rather typical. Make sure that any graduate degree program you enter meets the basic requirments for the PhD program you want. So you will need a MDiv if you want to go directly into a PhD program. That means you probably are going to be "forced" to take classes you are not interested in. Sorry but it happens to all of us. :laugh: I hated the ministry classes so I know how you feel.

    Now, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary does offer a MA/Biblical Studies and a MA/Theology that would allow you to go directly into "their" PhD program. However you have to have at least 24hrs with a "B" average in theology, Biblical Studies, historical stuides, philosophy, and ethics. You also have to submit a theological research paper for admissions. So that is probably a no go, right?

    My suggestion is simple:

    A. Get the graduate degree that will get you into the PhD program you need. That means it may take longer than you wanted it to and you may have to take some classes you could live without. However if you want to get into the right PhD program that is just something you will need to do.

    B. Earn very good scores in your graduate program. Most PhD programs have a minimum graduate GPA requirement.

    C. Earn your graduate degree from a regionally accredited school. The Southern Baptist Seminaries are great choices, as is Dallas Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.
     
    #2 Martin, Aug 1, 2006
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  3. Rhetorician

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    iknowsomething Response

    iknowsomething,

    Martin has told you well and with a great deal of accuracy.

    One thing you have to remember and this is hard for someone just starting out such as yourself. The SBC seminaries almost to a fault want someone who is "trained as a minister." That means they want someone who has the basic ministry degree, read MDiv, as the basis for all they hire. In the SBC ranks most want and believe that training as a minister is the main thing. This will vary from case-to-case but not very much. I, like Martin, hated the "how to" classes. They are a necessary evil to get "to the front of the class" as it were.

    I don't know for sure, but I would venture an educated guess that most of the bigger name Evangelical seminaries that Martin mentioned also want the MDiv degree.

    You could possibly get around the MDiv component if you were so outstanding in your MA/PhD work or you had written widely. But if you plan to go the seminary route to school and to teach, it will be almost impossible to get where you want to be w/out that credential.

    I am not saying that our Sovereign Lord cannot open doors for you. I hear so many on the BB and at other places who want the "short and easy way." I do not however, believe that to be you!

    The way you have circumscribed your case above it is going to be very difficult to find the program that fits.

    Check out Wheaton. I have not looked lately but they did have an MA/PhD in sequence. It is outlandishly expensive. It may be just what you had in mind?

    Check it out:

    http://www.wheaton.edu/Registrar/catalog/bible_grad.htm#_Doctor_of_Philosophy

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  4. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews
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    I see Grand Rapids on your list. Isn't that GARBC affiliated? I know several people who have gone there and loved it. I don't know what their PhD requirements are, or what they offer. I'm surprised they are expensive, are they more than DTS?
     
  5. iknowsomething

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    Thanks - you've been very helpful. To summarize, it appears it's going to be harder to get a PhD and take a little longer than I thought (5-7 years at least). Wheaton I can definitely rule out (they want you to know 4 languages Greek, Hebrew, German, and one more) Can anyone say anything about Grand Rapids Seminary? It's the closest on the list, and also the most expensive. They don't have a PhD or Doctorate program, so is this a bad idea?

    Should I go to a school were I can get a Masters and Doctorate from the same school? It would be easier, I'd reckon

    And I guess I should ask - do I need a PhD or Doctorate to teach at a seminary (not a big name school)? If so, can I survive on a smaller school salary (money's not an issue, if it was I would stay in Computer Engineering, but I gotta eat too)?

    Should/Could I get an Ma or ThM and teach while working on my doctorate?

    It also appears that I should choose my PhD or doctorate program in advance (esp if not at the same school), in order to ensure I meet the requirements, correct?

    Here and I thought I had thought alot of this trought. Thanks guys!
     
  6. iknowsomething

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    Jack, you replied while I was typing.. Grand Rapids GARBC afiliated? not sure, I don't think any schools are anymore, they did anway with it, if I remember correctly. They are 370 an hour, Dallas is *ony* 320.. I'd pay that much, I suppose, if it was going to get me to my ultimate goal. I'd rather see something closer to 250-275 range.

    Oh - I guess I should also mention, it appears I'd lean towards getting a DMin, not a PhD. I'm not philosophically bent. Now I guess the question begs to be asked as well, which is better (for what I want to do, study theology and teach), and what's the diffference?
     
    #6 iknowsomething, Aug 1, 2006
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  7. ichthys

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    Word on the street (well here at sebts, in my circles) has it that the D.Min. is for experienced pastors to come back after 6 or 8 years and get a doctoral degree in a ministry-related field, the PhD is for them dudes who want to teach and keep it more theoretical and "broad-based," not specific to ministry.

    Incidentally, you can't go wrong coming here. Unless you're an atheist or lazy. I think I have conquered the former, and am always fighting the latter, so I feel you on not being "philosophically-bent." :laugh:
     
  8. Martin

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    ==You will find those "type" language requirements with alot of PhD programs. They do very on how many and exactly how the requirements are fulfilled.



    ==If it is a good school that would be fine (Dallas, Southeastern, Southwestern, etc).

    ==Any graduate level program "should" require a PhD for their teachers. You would "probably" be better going into the PhD program

    ==Any teaching experience you can get will help.

    ==You should have a general idea, yes. I would have several programs in mind just in case, for whatever reason, something does not work out with one of them.

    Personally I "try" to take things one step at a time. A bit hard for me since I am famous for planning things out to the minute. Get your graduate degree from a good school, make sure you meet admission requirments for any PhD program(s) you are interested in, and trust the Lord to guide you where He wants you. Doing that I just don't see how you can go wrong.
     
  9. Plain Old Bill

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    A lot of the fellas on the board here feel it is a good idea to get the masters at one school and the PhD at another school. You have a good start with a secular degree.

    If DTS still offers the ThM it is a 4 year degree.You will need to do a couple of years of Greek and at least a year od Hebrew I think to qualify for the Mastters program( otherwise you get to go to the greek and hebrew for dummies courses and get no credit).DTS does have a lot of financial aid and you can do some of the study by distance.I don't think you will do much better than DTS for language studies.

    Depending on your ultimate goals you should take a very serious look at the big 6 SB seminaries. They are good.I think they are only 185 per semester hour and for teaching at the seminary level they are an excellant place for getting your ticket punched.I don't think you even want to consider not taking all of the language you can get, you will need it.

    Talk to Dr. Bob about Maranatha(MBBC) , I think that is his alma mater and he seems very proud of thier programs and several others here seem to agree with him.

    Good luck in your search.:thumbs:
     
  10. iknowsomething

    iknowsomething
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    Well I must say I never knew the big 6 were so affordable. Looking at SEBTS tution rates, there's a big difference in cost for SBC vs Non-SBC student

    On-Campus Southern Baptist $150.00
    On-Campus Non-Southern Baptist $300.00

    How does one qualify as an SBC student? And I wouldn't want to work the system, but being an SBC student would certainly help persuade me in moving so far away. Any chance I could qualify? From what I've read, and what ya'll been saying, SEBTS/SWBTS are two affordable, good choices for places to go. I believe they are also the largest, right? SEBTS seems a little closer and NC sounds like an interesting place to live, so . . .
     
  11. Rhetorician

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    How to be SBC"

    iknowsomething,

    You join an SBC church, spend time there so the folk will know who and what you are, then they can recommend you in a duly authorized business meeting. There is form each seminary has in its applications packet that the church clerk will have to fill out.

    This all has to be done before you move to the school you want to attend.

    I would certainly NOT DISCOUNT The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville!!!! It is the flagship of the "Big 6."

    That is it!

    sdg!

    rd
     
    #11 Rhetorician, Aug 2, 2006
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  12. Martin

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    Yes North Carolina is a great place to live. Wake Forest, where SEBTS is located, is just north (or so) of Raleigh. There are plenty of employment opportunities as well as nice places to live in the Raleigh area. The weather is usually nice though it can get cold in the winter and hot in the summer. You are also within two or so hours from the beach (if you take I40).

    Southeastern is a great school and they have several great MDiv programs. For example they offer a MDiv in Ethics, Apologetics, and Advanced Biblical Studies. I would love the MDiv in Apologetics!

    I attended SEBTS for about a year in the late nineties before I had to transfer to Liberty Seminary. There are some great professors at Southeastern.
     
    #12 Martin, Aug 2, 2006
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  13. gb93433

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    I found that the best professors I had were those who were good students but had also pastored awhile. People in the pew will challenge your theology. Students are easy to deal with compared to the real world.

    When a person has been in the real world there is a difference in their teaching. You know it and so do the students.
     
  14. iknowsomething

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    Well thank you all for the replies, you've been most helpful. Although, lol, I'm even more unsettled in my descision, I'm much more informed to make it. I was seeking input from those who actually gone and done the things I wanted to do; seeking advice - you've given it warmly. Thank you all.

    Ohh, I should add to Rhetorician, my father grew up in the sticks of Kentucky, so no, I won't discount or rule that one out either. Techinically it's the closest ! :)
     
  15. El_Guero

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    If I remember correctly, Wheaton did have a really nice fellowship program - but they did not take many people.
     
  16. El_Guero

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    IMHO! Nothing personal, but if a tuition discount is your only reason for becoming SBC, I would ask you not to become SBC.

    Maybe I am just old fashioned.

    Then please don't 'work the system'.
     
    #16 El_Guero, Aug 2, 2006
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  17. iknowsomething

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    El_Geuro and others rest assured, I will not being joining an SBC church merely to get a discount. I'm sorry if I implied such a thing! I don't see myself joining one at all, but if I did, that wouldn't be the reason. I was asking because I thought that's what would be required, and if so, would count myself out. SBC seminaries aren't the only one to discount tution at their seminaries, it's one of the nice benefits of having a large body of churches willing to work together. $300 an hour is still less than $370 at GRTS, so if I were to go I would pay.

    Also, I guess I do have another question for Martin. In another thread you said you got your MAR degree from them via online. Were you able to roll this into a traditional MDiv at the Liberty or elsewhere? I see your seeking to still go ahead and get a PhD from your blog (most helpful btw). Where are you at in that cycle? How long did it take to finish the MAR? Any of your comments would be appreciated. Since I missed the boat on getting into a seminary this fall (just can't decide), as I had intended, I was thinking of hopping on to there online MAR degree, and go from there to finish at Liberty or elsewhere if needbe. At some point, obviously I would need to get an MDiv and some language training - something that's missing from Liberty's program.
     
  18. El_Guero

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    Thank you for relieving me of my worries.
     
  19. El_Guero

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    While I am not Martin,

    Yes you can roll in an MA into an MDiv.

    The rest of this is from memory - The usual allotment is up to one third of your hours can be reduced at a different institution (ATS guideline not always followed). ATS also allowed 1/2 of your MA to roll into your MDiv degree at the same school.

    There is (was when I checked) some significant difference in how individual institutions applied these rules. Some will not consider non-ATS credit - they do have to accept ATS credit. Some will accept ATS credit, but not give you a one to one transfer (i.e., your school had 3 OT classes, so the 2 you took will not count as one of our 2 classes we require - these become electives*).

    That said. I will give you my undivided advise in a second.


    * This IMHO is probably the most painful part of the transfer experience. It does not stand to my reason that a mutually utilized course (the basic kinds of courses are required for all ATS institutions) would not transfer and eliminate a mutually required course.
     
  20. El_Guero

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    Are you really going to teach? And I mean really? Are you really going to teach at a seminary?

    Then decide which seminary you want to teach at. Decide what their theology is. Study at the schools they consider safe. While some will consider Liberty or Luther Rice safe, other schools will flame Liberty & flame Luther Rice. Kinda that academic snobbery we mentioned in a separate thread.

    If you are really going to teach - be careful, but try to get a rounded education. I don't mean that you have to go to a liberal school, but do try to at least visit some liberal schools and events - these schools are also accredited by ATS. So you will associate as a professor with the academia that include those schools in the future. Maybe consider taking a summer school class for Greek at one.

    Make certain that you start teaching as soon as you can - and please do not become a snob . . .

    Thanks!

    Wayne
     

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