MDiv & MA Persuasions

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who have an ear:

    As all you of know I am from the "old school" of the MDiv degree. I believe it is absolutely necessary to be the best pastor, missionary, denominational worker, evangelist, seminary prof. church administrator, etc. PERIOD! (see extended quote on other thread!).

    However, I have moved towards a new position along these MDiv lines. It seems to me that the apprenticeship model should be a new paradigm for our seminary programs in the SBC and the broader Evangelical Community.

    Some of the SBC seminaries and Mid America are already doing this. You can do a year's "apprenticeship" built into the MDiv for academic credit. That makes the MDiv a total of four years! YIKES! some of you are going to say!

    But what that does is put young people in a situation where they can be supervised and helped. They are guided and enabled through the mine fields of their early years of ministy. Now, truly the best place for the apprenticeship is in the local church. But those opportunities are going to be very few in deed. It might be best for the young minister to get his training in the home or sending church BEFORE they come for their formal training.

    But again we are thrown back on the issue of what it takes to provide a basis for excellency in ministry.

    I have also thought a great deal about the idea of only having a university model MA/PhD series to teach in the seminary. I cannot recant on my belief that if you are "teaching preachers" then you should be trained as a preacher yourself.

    By way of anological argument, I cannot begin to believe that the Law Schools and Medical Schools would teach people to be lawyers and medical doctors who are not JDs or MDs themselves. Of course some specialty within the Law or within Medicine might be needed from time to time. But that would be the exception. So how can we NOT have preachers teach preachers?

    Thinkaboutit!?:wavey:

    sdg!

    rd
     
    #1 Rhetorician, Aug 16, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2006
  2. UZThD

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    Yes. Preachers should teach preaching.

    Theologians should teach Theology.

    History guys should teach church history.

    NT guys should teach NT,

    OT guys should teach OT.

    IMO one does not have to have pastoral experience to teach all seminary coursework, and neither does 30 years in the ministry qualify one to teach the meaning of Chalcedon or Hebrew Reading.


    Like analogies? OK:

    When I got the secondary TEACHING credential in English at USD, I was taught 18th c English poetry by a PhD in English. A nun taught Shakespeare. Neither was a school teacher!!!

    When I got the Special Ed TEACHING credential at OSU, Physiological Psychology and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale were taught by two psychologists.

    Audiology was taught by an audiologist.

    Speech Pathology was by...you guessed it...a speech therapist!

    NONE was a school teacher! BUT they were experts in their fields!

    And THAT expertise, IMO, should be our criterion for seminary instructors!

    When I took Hebrew at Western, the teacher was a gal who had never pastored. Now why was she the teacher....ummm...because she was excellent at Hebrew!


    BTW, IF we are thinking about some other universally to be applied criterion to qualify all seminary TEACHERS, why not insist that they ALL have TEACHING credentials?

    Hmmm... if the TEACHER of your second grade child must have a TEACHING credential, then why should not your son's teacher in seminary have a TEACHING credential?

    It is one thing to know a subject ; it is another thing to know how students BEST learn.

    Now, I've taken the implications of this thread somewhat personally because while I have interim preached, I am not ordained!

    Yet, this fall and spring I'm scheduled to teach Introduction to Theological Research, and this winter I teach Trinitarianism( we call it Patrology, Christology, and Pneumatology).

    You tell me HOW my not having much pastoral experience will be detrimental to my teaching these subjects!
     
    #2 UZThD, Aug 17, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2006
  3. El_Guero

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    I protest! Their MDiv should be 6 - 10 years like everyone else's . . .

    :wavey:
     
  4. El_Guero

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    UZ

    A woman professor . . . unordained professors . . .

    Give them a second grade teacher's teaching credential instead . . .

    ;) I am gonna ignore all of that . . .

    Because, I really and truly admire your determination to teach God's Word.
     
  5. Lagardo

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    I have some mixed feelings about what degrees should be offered by seminaries. On one hand, I do see where some people feel that they don't need an MDIV for their calling. Many people feel called to non-pastoral ministries or education ministries and feel like the more pragmatic MA, MACE, or MRE would suffice. Where I get concerned is that I don't think churches readily understand the differences among the seminary alphabet: MA, MACE, ThM, MDIV, MDIV/CE (mine), DMin, DRE, EdD, etc. They just see "seminary degree." This bothers me because it implies an education that may or may not be real. For example, I know of a church that hired an associate pastor. Among his qualifications if a seminary degree. However, his degree is an MSW (master of social work.) Is this a seminary degree or a degree from a seminary?

    So, to me, the biggest question is this: Should seminaries become more or less focused with their degrees, or should churches become more familiar with what a seminary education is and is not?
     
  6. El_Guero

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    More focused - MDiv for all ministers.

    MDiv and MA (or equivelent to an MA - ThM) for professors.

    Internship required.
     
  7. Lagardo

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    You wouldn't want a doctorate degree for professors?
     
  8. Rhetorician

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    UZThD Response

    My Dear Bro. Bill,

    Please do not take any offense at what I have said. It was not meant in any way, either covertly, or overtly, or to lead any one to an inference of offense. All I was trying to do was to open a conversational agenda for the MA & MDiv education.

    It was only the thinking-out-loud meanderings of a bald-headed and sometimes thoughtless old man. Please forgive!

    You know, do you not, of my high esteem for you as a Christian scholar, Christian gentleman, and brother in Christ? I would not intentionally cause harm to your spirit. If I have please forgive me?

    I thought I was adding to prior discussions concerning the MDiv vs. MA degrees and the validity of one over against the other. If I could edit or withdraw the posted thread I would gladly do so.

    If you need to speak with me further or in private then please PM or email me for more dialogue.

    I remain fraternally yours!:thumbs:

    sdg!

    rd
     
  9. El_Guero

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    OOOps!

    Thought that my stand on that was apperent - at least 3 doctorates for a professor.

    ;)

    PhD in teaching, Ph.D. in preaching, DMin in pastoral care . . .

    Oh, almost forgot - at least a ThM in what ever area they want to teach in.

    ;)

     
  10. UZThD

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  11. UZThD

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    ]You wouldn't want a doctorate degree for professors?[/quote]

    ===

    IMO with few exceptions ( FF Bruce had but an MA and John Murray but a ThM if I recall rightly) an accredited doctoral degree in the area of instruction should be the norm for seminary teaching and a masters for undergrad. . I think some laxity in praxis may be allowed. If one has been an exceptional preacher for years, I'm not sure such a one needs a doc to teach preaching! If one has been a successful missionary for years, then IMO he need noit have a D. Miss to treach Missiology!
     
  12. UZThD

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    ==

    tanks:saint: You should see the stuff I'm feeding my adult SS class.

    When at Western the gal began the second year (Heb Exegesis), I felt strained a bit.
     
  13. Paul33

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    NO, NO, and NO!

    I had professors with Ph.D's who couldn't teach their way out of a paper bag! They simply weren't gifted that way. Some were even experienced pastors! Of course they were praised by academia, received dedications in books upon retiring, etc.

    Bottom line. Seminaries should offer a M.A/Ph.D route for future professors/pastors who can cut it academically and a M.Div. route for pastors who don't want to earn a Ph.D. Both should take only three years! Why three? Because to get into the M.A./Ph.D route one must already hold a B.A. in Religion with Greek and one modern language. The M.A. should build on the B.A. just like any other academic subject!

    And if seminaries want to have a full year internship, they should cut out all of the impractical theology courses, so the time span would still be three years (two years academic, one year internship).

    Now that's my rant!!!
     
  14. PeterM

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    Looking at the new catalog for MABTS, I cannot find a single listing for an apprenticeship program... HELP ME!!!:smilewinkgrin:
     
  15. Rhetorician

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    Peter Reply

    Peter,

    Do they not have the 4 year missions based MDiv or some such? That is what I was calling the apprenticeship model. Two Plus Two.

    Look at the "Master of Missiology." It is basically an MDiv in two parts with one part being partially fulfilled "on the field." If that is not an "apprenticeship" then my four years as a steamfitter/pipe fitter/welder under qualified journeyman should be called by another name?!

    I know that sometimes the "tone" of an email can sound harsh, but this one is not meant to be that way.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
    #15 Rhetorician, Aug 18, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2006
  16. PeterM

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    The masters of missiology is indeed modeled in such a fashion. The initial 64 hours in a traditional classroom environment with the option to either take an additional 32 hours in the classroom or out on the mission field through the IMB.

    This is certainly good for those who are intending to move the mission field permanently, but for those who desire to serve in the local church there really is no equal on the M.Div side which is to bad. I know I would have benefited greatly from such a program as the seminary environment is VASTLY different from the daily ministry of a local church pastor/minister.

    There really is no better teacher than a discipleship/mentoring relationship where you are able to "walk" with a pastor/minister day by day.

    Blessings... and no offence taken my friend.
     
  17. gb93433

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    Let me assure you that in most cases it is obvious that those who have had to earn their way in obtaining a teaching credential then go onto higher education are far better teachers than those who do not.

    It is the same way with a pastor who has personally discipled others before pastoring and going to seminary.

    Experience coupled with book studies is hard to beat. Both enhance one another.
     
  18. El_Guero

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    gb

    Just when I tho't you had forgotten about discipleship . . .
     
  19. gb93433

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    I agree some. Spurgeon did not have a M.Div. The top business people in the US have not graduated from college. The top business people are entrepreneurs. The people they hire are managers. Too many churches want pastors who are managers and will maintain status quo and not the entrepreneurial types who are willing to take a risk and step out and make a difference in their communities.

    School does not make a pastor. Schooling will enhance and help to develop what is already there.

    Give me a man who has a passion for reaching people and he will find a way to get it done and at the same time realize his need and hunger for learning more. But give me a man who just has an education only and I will show you a lazy man who has not lerarned anything since he graduated.

    When I was asked to give some references as part of my application to seminary I gave some non-Christians. The reason I did was that I believe that pastor should have a good standing in the community. But the seminary asked for some others instead. I have seen too many denominational workers who are lousy at home and in their community but will work at the denominational level.

    "Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of God upon the earth. " John Wesley (1703-1791)
     
  20. El_Guero

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    aaaahhhhh

    Balanced without discipleship . . . and even included preaching and evangelism . . .

    There is hope.

    ;)
     

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