Master Degree

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by pcs1991, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. pcs1991

    pcs1991
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    Some one that wants to go on and get a master degree in some Bible/Theology form. What degree and why would you recommend?
     
  2. go2church

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    I was advised by a college president that if I wanted to teach at the college level to get a Masters in Theology and then move on to a PhD, but if I wanted to pastor get an Masters of Divinity. For whatever that's worth.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    I grew up in a church that was home to a large ifb seminary, with hundreds of men STARTING the rigorous 96-credit M.Div. program, but comparatively few COMPLETING the program. Family, work, weekend ministries took a horrendous toll and many extra years of commitment.

    I always recommend every young man start with a MABC or MABS (biblical counseling or biblical studies). This is a 36-42 hour program including language and theology and is almost ALL transferable to the M.Div.

    That way after 2 years the student gets a valid Masters degree and if deemed appropriate, may go out into the pastorate. Or continue on for the full program.
     
  4. untangled

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    I would like to go the route Dr. Bob is talking about but I believe SEBTS requires to get an extra thirty hours to get two degrees. I think...????
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    It depends on what you want to do. If you want to teach on a Bible college level, a masters and a PhD is probably appropriate. If you want to pastor, an MDiv is the minimum. If you want to teach in seminary, an MDiv, ThM, and PhD or ThD is the way to go.

    Don't short circuit your education because you don't have the discipline to see it through. I have a 34 hour masters degree and it was absolutely worthless. Bite the bullet and commit to an MDiv. It is an education well worth having. I don't know how anyone pastors a church without one.
     
  6. Broadus

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    I agree with Pastor Larry---go for the M.Div., and don't settle for an unaccredited seminary where most of the faculty have their terminal degrees from that seminary. Discipline is required of the pastor-teacher, and the discipline required in the minister's study is even more difficult than the discipline required of the student.

    In our day, high quality theological training is accessible to almost everyone in the U.S., whether on campus or through extension. For those with families and full time jobs, the going is difficult---I know from experience. You will not regret, however, taking the more challenging route.

    I suspect that seminaries that require 60-plus hours for their MABS or MACC (Christian Counseling) do so because those degrees are not typically built upon the BA.

    If you already have a bachelor's degree in Bible, theology, or some similar area, a thirty- to forty-something hour Master's program would be a good way to go. I seem to recall that places such as Wheaton and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School have such masters programs. I think, in fact, that they allow entrance into Ph.D. programs to students holding such degrees.

    Bill
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    Explanation: I was suggesting the MA route for someone with pastoral major from a good Bible college. You will begin with 36 hours of Bible and Theology and 18 hours of Greek from college.

    If attending a liberal arts college, those 54 credits are "missing" and will be needed in grad work.
     
  8. UZThD

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    If one wishes to teach Bible or Systematic Theology in an evangelical school, then I would suggest this route toward the PhD or ThD:

    First do an MA in Biblical Studies, but do so with the intent to transfer that work into an Mdiv (or in the case of Dallas the ThM). Make sure that all or most of the MA is transferable to the higher MDiv . If one has the option of either doing the MA thesis or more MA coursework, opt for the thesis.

    Some evangelical seminaries as the Baptist in PA or Dallas or The Masters consider the ThM ( one year past MDiv) as the prerequisite to enter PhD/ThD studies. The MDiv might get one in (except at the Masters), but addl work is required.

    So, after doing the the MA go on to the MDiv. Then into a ThM or directly into the doc.

    Prereqs, languages, and coursework are all rigorous in accredited (real accreditation now, regional or ATS) , but some programs require more. The Master's ThD seems more demanding than the Baptist PhD in Pa. Some foreign ( UK, Aus, and South Africa) offer docs by research only--no classes to those sufficiently prepared.
     
  9. pcs1991

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    Why do a thesis over more course work if there is a class that you want to take that you could not if you do the thesis route?
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    IN all seminaries that I am aware of, the MDiv is a prerequisite for the PhD/ThD. ThM grads are given advanced standing. For instance, at BBS in Clark's Summit, A PhD requires 60 hours from an MDiv, but only 37 hours from a ThM.
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    PCS,

    In answer to your question, my reason would be that the discipline of research and writing is necessary for the PhD. When you apply, they will want to see your original writing to judge your skills of research and communication.

    If you want to take another class, then take that too, but don't pass up the writing.
     
  12. Siegfried

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    SEBTS will transfer credits from MABS/MABC programs at accredited schools and some unaccredited schools. The catch is that they will only accept half of the credits that are applied to a degree you earned. For example, if you stop 2 credits short in a 30-hour program, you get to transfer all 28, but if you complete the program, you can only transfer 15. They don't make you re-take classes, so you wind up with more elective hours.
     
  13. just-want-peace

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    As a lay person, I would make only one comment re: advanced degrees; and I say this because of much of the discussion on various topics I've observed on this board!

    MAKE SURE THAT YOUR EDUCATION DOES NOT EXCEED YOUR INTELLIGENCE!
     
  14. UZThD

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    ===

    Fuller allows one to enter the PhD with an MA in Theology. So do many foreign schools.
     
  15. UZThD

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    ===

    Because you will acquire research skills which are applicable to all future learning--formal or informal. If you wish to study a particular topic not covered in your coursework, you can always cover that in your thesis .
     
  16. Broadus

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    At SBTS, at least as of a couple of years ago, M.Div. grads desiring to enter a Ph.D. program were sometimes advised to go the Th.M. route in order to strengthen some deficiencies before pursuing the Ph.D. Acquiring the Th.M. did not provide advance standing above those accepted with an M.Div.

    Also, Ph.D. students who completed course work but, for whatever reason, did not desire to complete the requirements by writing the dissertation could opt for a Th.M. degree.

    Bill
     
  17. El_Guero

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    PCS

    What Dr. Bob was saying about starting with a smaller graduate degree is an intelligent option.

    The PROBLEM is a problem of perception.

    Most Church search comittees are not looking for an M. Div. versus an MA in theology. They would like to see a Master's degree.

    Most "theologian types" are expecting a BA in Religion, followed by an MA and an M. Div. and then a Ph. D. ...

    I have even heard that an M. Div. (90+ hours of Graduate study) would be a good requirement for our sunday school teachers ...

    God Bless
     
  18. TaterTot

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    At NOBTS after a certain point in the PhD program, a student automatically receives a ThM. So if he/she doesnt "make it", at least they did get the ThM. DH didnt even go to his graduation for his ThM. He's waiting for the "biggie".
     

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