Midwestern's proposed new PhD program

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Broadus, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. Broadus

    Broadus
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0
    The following item appeared in a Baptist Press article yesterday (4-3-06):

    What makes this most interesting is giving "students the flexibility to live off-campus." I'm quite certain that living "off-campus" means that students will not have to live within the normally required distance from campus in order to be enrolled in the program. For instance, when I was in PhD studies at SBTS, I was required to maintain residence within 50 miles of the seminary, primarily to have constant access to Southern's library. I think that Midwestern is putting into works a PhD program that is doing away with such a residency requirement. If so, and if ATS approves the program, this could be a boon to those looking for an accredited non-residential PhD program. It would also be a sign that distance education is gaining credibility and acceptance in the accredited, traditional theological world.

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  2. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hi Broadus,

    You know that I will always have an "alternative opinion"!?

    Do you not think that this will also be a "boon" to the SBC "glut" of PhDs and possibly our inbreeding as well?

    One should not critique the family unless one is a member of the family!

    Let me know what you think as a recent PhD grad from Southern. We can hardly place all of the ones turning out each year now.

    Bill, I think you know me well enough to know what I mean by all of the above?

    Whatdayathink?

    sdg!

    rd
     
  3. Broadus

    Broadus
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rhet,

    First, I don't agree that we have a "glut" of PhDs in the SBC. I think we have too few.

    This leads to my second thought: it depends upon the reason why one wants to pursue a PhD. I wish that we had more PhDs in the pastorate. Too many of our "doctors" have DMins which are little more than church growth degrees. I wish our DMins, across the board, were more academically focused, such as your own degree. BTW, I'm not trying to start, and will not engage if it starts, a debate about DMins (I have both degrees and appreciate both). I know for a fact that many pastors with DMins only went the DMin route because they could not comply with the typical PhD residency requirement. So, I think that some who would have done a DMin will now do a PhD.

    Third, I think there is enough diversity among the SBC seminaries, including Mid-America, which offer PhD programs that "inbreeding" is not an issue.

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  4. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    2
    (John A.) Broadus,

    I don't always agree with your opinions, but your logic and thought processes are surely on target. I too would love to see more men with a high level of academic qualification in the local church ministry.

    I guess what I mean by "inbreeding" is that so many times our seminaries only hire "our grads." But, there seems to be a movement towards some of the seminaries moving to hire more and more men who have terminal degrees from places like DTS & Gordon-Conwell.

    This presents another whole set of concerns and emotional "lightening rods." It brings up discussions like: "Do we not have qualified men with terminal degrees in 'X discipline' that we could have hired?" and, "These people aren't 'real Southern Baptists!'" Those seem to be other issues but really they are not.

    Would to God that we had more of the reputed "Charleston stream" of Southern Baptists pastoring churches rather than the reputed "Sandy Creek" stream. (I did say reputed).

    I have rambled unwittingly. Please forgive. Just the meanderings of an old man.

    I am now, and have always been your friend, colleague, and brother in Christ.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  5. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    2
    Broadus,

    I am grateful that you think my doctorate is an academic one rather than one of those "how to get the Sunday School enrollment up" types.

    It means a good deal to me to have that level of respect from a fellow colleague in the ministry!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  6. RandR

    RandR
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    0
    Isn't that the point?

    I don't take your comment as antagonistic, so please don't take me as being argumentative. But your comment almost comes across as disparaging of those who made a commitment to go be among the sheep, but whose "field" is not close enough for PhD residency requirements. I don't think you meant it that way, it just came across that way.
     
  7. Broadus

    Broadus
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Isn't that the point?

    I don't take your comment as antagonistic, so please don't take me as being argumentative. But your comment almost comes across as disparaging of those who made a commitment to go be among the sheep, but whose "field" is not close enough for PhD residency requirements. I don't think you meant it that way, it just came across that way.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I didn't amplify what I was saying, perhaps giving rise to a nuance I did not intend.

    What I mean is merely that many pastors have done a DMin instead of a PhD because of the residency requirement for PhD work. They desire more study beyond the MDiv but do not believe they should move to a seminary city. In no way do I disparage those who make that choice. I did the same thing when I pursued the DMin.

    However, I really wanted to do more academic work than required for my DMin, so when I graduated that desire remained until I finally left my church and moved my family to the Louisville area.

    I know other pastors who did a DMin when they really wanted to do a PhD but did not believe they should pack up and move to a seminary city. They did the best they could given the higher education climate of residency requirements for PhD studies.

    Hence, my point is that MBTS's new PhD program which, if I'm interpreting their statement correctly, allows students to remain in their present ministry situation, is a great plus.

    Hope this is more clear.

    Bill
     
  8. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    2
    Broadus,

    Your point is well taken. But, can the work for a non-resident PhD be equal to one that is done in residence.

    I believe that Southern's program required as does Mid America's 40 hrs per week working in some related area of the PhD program, does it not?

    There is a reason for the "50 mile rule" you mentioned.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  9. Broadus

    Broadus
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rhet,

    If one has access to a library resources, then I think a quality PhD program can be done. Of course, that may be a big "if." Having access to Southern's magnificent library (as you well know) with its books, journals, microfilm, and microfiche collections definitely impacted my studies.

    Still, I hope Midwestern can pull it off. As technology continues to improve and resources become electronically more available, I see more distance PhD programs as a trend. Having said that, I would prefer studying in a residence program, simply because the continual interaction with profs and other students is stimulating, edifying, and motivating.

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  10. Paul33

    Paul33
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did a D.Min. because I couldn't meet the residency requirements of a Ph.D.

    My D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell was an academic degree in historical theology (Revival, Reform, and Renewal).

    My dissertation, I think, would qualify me for a Ph.D. in the British system.

    That being said, I wish my D.Min. did say Ph.D. because it would be more respected in the teaching world!

    On a positive note I start as an adjunct professor for a Christian University this fall! Praise the Lord! I get to teach and pastor a church.

    On the SBC note. The biggest draw back I see in the SBC is the parochial attitude of not "being a real SB." Boy does that need to end.
     
  11. El_Guero

    El_Guero
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    Broadus

    Your post read like you believe that the strongest reason for PhD residency requirements is access to the research library. If the residency requirement for a Ph.D. is to ensure access to a research library, how many seminaries have accesss to a research library, much less their own research library?
     
  12. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    2
    Paul33,

    I say "AMEN!" to what you said about your DMin being a "real academic" degree.

    My DMin was done on the basis of 39 PhD hrs. from an RA, urban, state, university in: Classical Rhetoric, History of the Rhetorical Tradition, Communications Theory, Rhetorical Criticism, Contemporary Rhetoric, Political Rhetoric, Feminist Rhetoric, etc., et al; well anyway you get the point.

    I ended up with a 54hr total and a dissertation/project which was 170pp. for my DMin.

    I had to show expertise in The History of Christian Thought, Roman Catholic Thought, and used Classical Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism for my methodology.

    I have been passed over "out of hand" for teaching positions b/c I did not have the research degree. Go figure!?

    Just the meanderings of an old man!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  13. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    2
    Broadus,

    This is just a word of clairification: When I used the word "glut" above I was referring to that great # of PhDs who want a place to teach.

    We should, in SBC life, have many more of them ministering in the local church setting like you and Tom Ascol et al.

    One of the ironies of the Sovereignty of God and of the minstry itself; I am teaching college with a DMin and you are pastoring a church with the PhD. God has to have a sense of humor on some level?!

    I think!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  14. Broadus

    Broadus
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Broadus

    Your post read like you believe that the strongest reason for PhD residency requirements is access to the research library. If the residency requirement for a Ph.D. is to ensure access to a research library, how many seminaries have accesss to a research library, much less their own research library?
    </font>[/QUOTE]That's a good question, because I have no experience with other seminaries. If a good research library were lacking, I suspect that most of the deficit could be handled through inter-library loan. We even made use of that at Southern.

    If seminaries that offer the PhD do not have a good research library, that seems to offer more reason to legitimize distance education PhDs, IMO.

    Bill
     
  15. Broadus

    Broadus
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rhet,

    That is ironic. BTW, I consider your DMin and Paul33's DMin as exceptions to the rule. Higher ed administrators needs to examine the seminars and dissertation of particular DMin applicants before they ignore them. The fact of the matter is, and you are right, there is a "glut" of recently-minted PhD's looking for teaching positions. I, too, think we need more of them in the pastorate, and I think we are beginning to see that.

    Bill
     
  16. El_Guero

    El_Guero
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know that I would consider a distance Ph.D. before I would relocate to get further education.

    Thanks
     
  17. PatsFan

    PatsFan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congratulations on the teaching job! Have you finished the dissertation? If so, congratulations on that too.
     
  18. Paul33

    Paul33
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes! And thanks!
     
  19. PatsFan

    PatsFan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're very welcome. I've been tracking your progress. I am in the process of writing a proposal for my project and dissertation for a DMin at Ashland Seminary. It's an inspiration when I hear about the accomplishments of others. I'd like to do a little adjunct teaching myself some day.
     

Share This Page

Loading...