On Doing a PhD! Here's the "skinny!"

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who have an ear:

    If you are even remotely considering doing a PhD these are a must read!!!!! DON'T MISS THEM!! :thumbsup: :thumbs:

    http://tryer.jottit.com/phd_preparation , and

    http://seanmichaellucas.blogspot.com/2008/05/ministerial-students-calling-and-phd.htm , and

    http://nijaygupta.wordpress.com/phd-advice/

    The first one maybe the most comprehensive of the three. If you are even remotely considering doing the PhD, take it from someone who knows, please read these prayerfully.


    FYI!!

    "That is all!"
     
    #1 Rhetorician, Jun 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2009
  2. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
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    I thought I would add a couple of posts from the Chronicle of Higher Education that discourages students from earning a Ph.D. in the humanities. The humanities include Religious studies at state schools, but I know the posts are not concerned with seminary teaching per se. Nonetheless, I thought they may fit in this thread.

    The first post: Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

    The second post: Just Don't Go, Part 2
     
  3. Martin

    Martin
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    Brandon,

    Those articles bring to the surface several very good points. As someone who has two graduate degrees (Religion & History) and who teaches humanities (History & Religion) at a community college, allow me to "chime in" if I may.

    First, it is very difficult to get a college teaching position in the humanities. There are more applicants than there are positions at the community college level (and university level). To get a position a person has to be (a) in the right place at the right time and (b) know someone. Outside of those two things, it is going to be tough searching.

    Second, people need to drop the tenure talk. Many community college systems do not provide tenure. University professors have to go through a long and demanding process to gain tenure. Even after that work there is no guarantee of tenure.

    Third, those interested in teaching should prepare to teach at the college level but be willing and ready to teach at the middle school & high school level. After all, teaching is a passion and you will need the experience.

    Fourth, with budget cuts now is NOT the time to be trying to enter the world of higher education. Wait a few years, get another degree, teach at the middle or high school levels. In other words, people should wait wisely.

    Christians who are seeking a career in higher education need to pray carefully about it. Get the right degrees, meet the right people, and be willing to do the grunt work. Too many people want to get their MA, PhD, and then a tenured track position at a university. While such things happen it will not happen to the majority.
     
    #3 Martin, Jun 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2009
  4. Psalm 95

    Psalm 95
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    I once wanted to take a PhD in Philosophy, but changed to engineering instead. I do not regrett in now.
     
  5. michaelbowe

    michaelbowe
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    Your points are very interesting and right on. I live in a community with three seminaries. The one I attend had to lay off several faculty, and the other two seminaries are trying to lower their endowment. One family is a husband and wife both with Ph.D.'s on in OT the other in NT and they are having the greatest difficulty finding anything aside from adjunct which does not include benefits. I do not want to discourage anyone from getting a PhD but one needs to know the job market at this time.
     
  6. Martin

    Martin
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    ==That (bold) is a very true statement and a very sad example that is all too common in the seminary realm. Maybe they could find work in a religion department of a university or college? Still, that will be hard to do. I believe it was Rhetorician on this board, and others in person, who once told me that I needed a degree outside of the traditional seminary programs. And they were right. Getting into higher education is tough. However getting into seminary higher education is almost impossible. And staying in during these days of budget cuts is far from certain.

    Everyone going into higher education should have a "plan B" to fall back on. Right now I am teaching History and Religion at a community college. However we have no tenure and our contracts are renewed every year. At anytime the college could refuse to renew my contract with very little explanation. Btw, that happens to community college instructors. It is not just "theory", I've seen it happen. So I have to keep my eyes open and keep a "plan B" close by in these tight budget years because, like it or not, as the new kid in the department I am the disposable one. The others have long careers in teaching, writing, museums, and speaking. I don't (yet). My point is that we must always have a "plan B". I pray the family you are talking about had a "plan B". If not, McDonalds here we come.
     
  7. michaelbowe

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    I'm not sure if they had a plan B. One is an Adjunct, and the one laid off recieved 2 yrs severence to get by until they find a new position.
     
  8. Martin

    Martin
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    ==I'm glad they have an income coming in the door. That will at least keep them on their feet while they re-adjust.
     

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