MDiv Equivalence

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by panicbird, May 30, 2005.

  1. panicbird

    panicbird
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    Many ThM and PhD programs have "MDiv or its equivalent" as a prerequisite. What, exactly, is MDiv equivalence? I understand that it will vary by school, but what, in general, is it? A certain amount of languages, theology, history, and exegesis? Does anyone know what a specific school will require for MDiv equivalence?

    Lon
     
  2. Rhetorician

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    panicbird,

    What they mean to say is that a Master's degree in some religious study (+) enough hrs to equal 90 Sem hrs is "equvialent." Sometimes the old "BD" will suffice for the "equivalent.

    Generally anyone who has lsomething like an MA has to do some "leveling work" some places call it to get up to the 90 hrs; ie, 60 hr MA (+) 30 to get the 90.

    Other opinions.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  3. UZThD

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    I wanted the ThM from Western Seminary. I had the ThB (30 sem units) from a seminary in Greek, the MA in Religion from another school, and 1/2 of the coursework for the EdD. from a third school.

    Rob Wiggins at Western CB Seminary in Portland, Or. elicited from these around 60 sem units in such as Greek, Bible, and praxis which fit to some extent the Western MDiv curriculum. I did another approx 30 units at Western 90-92 to get "MDiv Equivalency." This equivalency is indicated on my transcript. Then I did, I think, another 26 units for the ThM from 92-94.

    I guess Western's criterion was a sufficient number of grad units which approximated the Western curriculum.
     
  4. panicbird

    panicbird
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    Would something like this qualify as MDiv equivalent?

    Orientation Seminar (Research Methods, Overview of theological disciplines) – 3 hours
    Theological Studies (Introduction to biblical, theological, and ministry studies) – 3 hours
    Integrative Thesis – 3 hours
    Integrative Seminar (Presentation of thesis) – 3 hours
    History of Christianity I – 3 hours
    History of Christianity II – 3 hours
    Church and World in the 20th Century – 2 hours
    History of Christianity in America – 3 hours
    Ancient Church – 3 hours
    Gospels and Acts – 4 hours
    Pauline Epistles – 4 hours
    Genesis through Joshua – 3 hours
    Judges through Poets – 4 hours
    Isaiah through Malachi – 3 hours
    Systematic Theology I – 3 hours
    Systematic Theology II – 2 hours
    Systematic Theology III – 3 hours
    History of Philosophy and Christian Thought – 3 hours
    Ethics – 3 hours
    Apologetics – 2 hours
    Hebrew I – 3 hours
    Hebrew II – 3 hours
    Old Testament Theology – 3 hours
    Puritan and Evangelical Spirituality – 3 hours
    The British Evangelical Tradition – 3 hours
    The Christian Life – 3 hours
    Building Christian Communities – 3 hours
    Hermeneutics – 3 hours

    Plus, 2 years of Greek and 1 year of Hebrew at the undergraduate level (degree in biblical studies with an emphasis on biblical languages)

    You may recognize much of this as the course work for the MA at RTS Virtual. I am thinking of pursuing this degree. If anyone knows anything about it, let me know.

    Lon
     
  5. Rhetorician

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    Panicbird,

    The hours would help. However, if I have understood "MDiv Equvalency" one must still have some sort of advanced degree like a Master's in Religion like an MA, MAR, or the old BD. Then the "leveling courses" must bring the total # of hrs up to around 90+. I believe UZTHD spoke to this earlier in a very erudite manner above.

    This is, if I have understood correctly. I had two on my profs @ Harding Grad School do that type of deal before they were accepted into PhD programs. They both had MAs or some such and then had to do up to 90 hrs "to get up to speed" (leveling work). It seems to me that one "can run but not hide" from doing the MDiv degree. More opportunities will open for the person with one than the person w/out one all other things being equal--IMO!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  6. Paul33

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    Check the university/seminary where you want to earn a Ph.D.

    Baylor University requires only a M.A.

    Seminaries usually require the M.Div.

    What route are you planning on taking, that's the #1 question.

    There's not a church in the USA that wouldn't call a Ph.D. graduate to be its pastor. If the guy can preach and has a Ph.D., I know who I would call.

    If a school is hiring a teacher, and the guy has a Ph.D., does it really matter if he has an M.Div. or a M.A.? Probably not.

    What's more prestigious and has a higher academic status? A Ph.D from NOBTS or TEDS or SBTS? Or a Ph.D. from Duke, Drew, Marquette, Baylor, Loyola (Chicago), or Emory?
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    I recommend EVERY seminary student seek a MA rather than MDiv to begin with. The 35-40 credit MA will all apply to the 96 credit MDiv, but if you stop, take a church, etc, you have a Masters from a seminary.

    Many of the on-line education (non-campus or limited campus requirements) with give you a credit-per-year of full time ministry above the MA, so you could have a MDiv "equivalent" with the MA, 20 years in ministry and some grad work/seminars. And start on a ThM or PhD.
     
  8. panicbird

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    Thanks guys!

    Rhetorician: I will, of course, actually get the MA at RTS (if I go there). I will not just be taking the courses.

    "Check the university/seminary where you want to earn a Ph.D."

    Good advice. Thanks.

    Lon
     
  9. Rhetorician

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    UZTHD &
    Panicbird,

    Just a note of clarification. If a place like Baylor or Vanderbilt or Emory or Wheaton does take the MA over against the MDiv; it is because the MA comes from the University and NOT (REPEAT NOT)
     
  10. Rhetorician

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    Sorry,

    I hit the wrong button.

    The MA comes from the perspective schools Grad Schools of Religion OR Religions Depts of the university. Most universities that have the MDiv degree also have a seminary (ie., a place to train ministers). That is where the MDiv originates. Please do not look down on the professional degree just because it is "not academic" necessarily.

    Again, I try to make my case. If you are going to end up trying to teach at a seminary then one needs the MDiv degree. If one knows (s)he wants only to go to some university then the MA would suffice. But, with the job market flooded with PhDs and ThMs who want to teach in all of the discilpines, the MDiv can only help.

    Most do not know going in where they will end up teaching and would settle for any "teaching gig." In this case more is probably better than less.

    And again I will try to make my case: whatever one can do to set themselves apart the better off that one is.

    UZTHD is correct in this respect. Both would be great to have. Do the MA, then do the MDiv; then if you have a mind, do the ThM.

    Again, you can run but you cannot hide from the MDiv. It will open more doors long-term than the MA or MAR alone. Just b/c one is trained @ a seminary does not mean that that one is not an academic!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  11. Paul33

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    I like Dr. Bob's approach. Get the M.A. first.

    Now let's extend Bob's idea a little farther.

    Then get the Ph.D. Baylor doesn't require that the M.A. come from them.

    Now if you must stop your education, you have a M.A. and a Ph.D., perhaps in the same amount of time it would have taken you to earn the M.Div. and the Th.M.

    The first route allows you to terminate your education with a Ph.D. The second route ends only in a Th.M.

    If a M.Div. is really as necessary as Rhet says it is, then distance learning will cover it for you while you are teaching!

    Get the most bang for your buck and time!

    Go the M.A./Ph.D. route! Then earn the (professional) M.Div. if the seminary wants you to have that.
     
  12. paidagogos

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    Paul, you are correct that this is the fastest route to a terminal degree if that is your goal. It does, however, leave the base a little narrower. The M. Div. gives breadth that the Ph. D. does not afford. For the doctorate, you are locked into a narrow specialty. Perhaps I am too traditional but I like the older concept of a broad liberal arts undergraduate education followed by an M. Div., M. Th. and Ph. D. (Th. D.) in sequence. (For some reason, I had pretty much thought of the M. Th. as precursor to the Th. D. rather than the Ph. D. The M. A. was the qualification for the Ph. D.)

    In scientific fields, it is possible, if you do well enough on your qualifying exams, to go from a B. S. to Ph. D. without benefit of a masters. The catch is that you have nothing if you drop out half way.
     
  13. untangled

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    Hey,

    I know you probably already have your answer but from what I understand M.Div equivalence is 72 semester hours. Hope this helps.
     
  14. PatsFan

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    From my experience MDiv equivalence for DMin studies is often 72 semester hours. There might be different preparatory requirements for the PhD, however.
     

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