MDIV and Chaplaincy

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Pastor Shaun, May 13, 2008.

  1. Pastor Shaun

    Pastor Shaun
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    Aug 27, 2007
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    Is it typical for someone to transfer an MA into an MDIV program? Did anyone take that route or did you complete every hour of your MDIV from that particular seminary.

    Also, is anyone on here a certified board Chaplain?
    What is the best route to go. I know that in order to be a Cert. Board Chaplain you must have 4 clinical pastoral education units and an MDIV. Anyone go in this direction of ministry?

    My Christian counseling class took a field trip to a hospital pastoral care unit and since then I have been interested in going into this field of ministry. I am thinking about doing a year long stipend (4 cpe units) after I graduate college and before I apply for a teaching position.

    Any thoughts?

    By the way, the reason I ask my first question is because I can get an MA for nearly nothing (alumni discount). However, I would really like to get the entire mdiv from another institution but that would not be a smart financial move.
    #1 Pastor Shaun, May 13, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2008
  2. Rhetorician

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    Feb 1, 2005
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    Pastor Shaun Reponse

    Pastor Shaun,

    I hope you are well.

    It seems that my meander in education has qualified me, if nothing else, to make some observations that might help someone along the way.

    I nearly finished an MA at Harding Grad School of Religion in Memphis, TN. It was about 42 Sem Hrs and was in The History of Christian Thought. I thought I needed a "union card" (SBC MDiv) so I could teach. Union U. had a "Monday only" program in conjunction with Southern Seminary. I went to UU for about 3 or 4 semesters and did about 1/3 of the degree that way. I dumped the MA courses into the MDiv. I commuted two semester and a "J" term from the Memphis area to Louisville to finish the Master of Divinity.

    After I graduated, my wife asked me, "why do you not go back to Harding and finish the MA(R)? It will only be a couple of classes and the second Master's will be nice indeed." So that is what I did. I basically did 1/3 of the MDiv degree at Harding Grad School as MA credits, 1/3 at UU in the UU/SBTS Monday only program, and 1/3 on campus at SBTS. I did not loose any hours at all when I went from Harding to SBTS. The MA degree fit nicely into the MDiv plan I chose.

    The Clinical Pastoral Education programs I have seen, (and I was accepted into one at one point before I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up:laugh: ), are based on a 90+ (or thereabouts) Sem Hrs MDiv. You can get a 60 Sem Hr MA if you have "MDiv Equivalency" or "Leveling" to the MDiv level I believe?

    Secondly, you must have the Master's degree from a "Regionally Accredited" school. My assumption is that they want ATS (Association of Theological Schools) accreditation. They might take, and this is something that you will want to check out, RA (Regional Accreditation). That is, one of the regional agencies like SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).

    Be forewarned! the CPE program and certification is very rigorous. It is almost if not like doing another master's degree. It is very similar to a doctor doing a residency.

    You will work like a dog. You will be humiliated in group by your other colleagues, especially if you are conservative and go into the simplistic and pat answers that we are sometimes accused of giving. You will be on call weekends, nights, and long hours. You will be scrutinized b/c you are a conservative, most of the CPE directors (from my own observations) are very liberal! Can you say--women's lib and homosexual. If you find this different then come back and tell me and I will repent with joy.

    I would want you to make sure that it is the Lord's will for you to do the deal or I would run. Then of course there is finding a job after you get the 4 CPE units.

    Don't forget, you did ask. Great ministry, but there is a high price to pay to get into the field.

    "That is all!"

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