Question about Divinity Degrees

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by panicbird, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. panicbird

    panicbird
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    I know that the Master of Divinity used to be called the Bachelor of Divinity here in the States. Some places still offer here, but they are relatively rare. However, this degree is still being offered overseas, notably in Britain. Is this the same degree? Would a BD from Britain be considered on the same level as an MDiv from the States?

    On a related note, what do you know about the University of London's Bachelor of Divinity program? Would IT be considered on the level of an MDiv?

    Lon
     
  2. untangled

    untangled
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    Hey PanicBird,

    I've heard of B.Div's before and believe that they fall under the M.Div equivalency.. Not 100% sure though. One thing is that some churches here in the US may think it is the same as a normal BA or BS although it is different. You would send a resume and have to explain it is the same. Well, I don't know. That's just what I imagine. If you were planning on doing postgraduate work then the Seminary/University would know though, I guess.

    In short, I think its the same as the M.Div but I may be wrong.
     
  3. El_Guero

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    You should ask Dr. Bob ...
     
  4. LarryN

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  5. panicbird

    panicbird
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    OK.

    Dr. Bob,

    Can you help a brother out? [​IMG] What is your input on this?

    Lon
     
  6. Johnv

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    I believe the comparable is a Bachelor's in Christian Education (A Bachelor of Arts degree). My wife has one, and also has a Master's in Christian Education as well. Clearly, I married up [​IMG]
     
  7. TCassidy

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    The Bachelor of Divinity Degree was considered a Graduate degree. It was the "first professional degree" beyond the Liberal Arts or Science degree. The DMin. is considered the "second professional degree."

    The BD and the MDiv are the same degree. After the advent of the Bible College movement students saw their BA in Bible to be more closely related to their professional degree than a secular BA/BSc so many Seminaries changed the name of the degree from BDiv to MDiv.

    Previously the BDiv was sufficient to enter the DMin program, just as the MDiv is now considered sufficient. Same degree, different name. (Just as the DMin used to be called the DDiv but so many of then were given away as "honorary" that the name had to be changed to protect the real degree from the "honorary" degrees.)
     
  8. PatsFan

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    In the United States the B.D. or Bachelor of Divinity degree was not equivalent to a four year Bible college degree. It was always more of graduate degree and more academic than what was being offered in most Bible colleges. Candidates for this degree needed to have a B.A. or a B.S. Sometime--in the 1970's, I think, they just renamed the B.D. the M.Div. A friend of mine who graduated with a B.D. from SWBTS was mailed an MDiv between 1973-1977 and told that it replaced his B.D.
     
  9. TCassidy

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    That's what I just said.
     
  10. Broadus

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    While the American Bachelor of Divinity morphed into the Master of Divinity, I don't think there's any relationship between the Doctor of Divinity and the Doctor of Ministry. In the U.S., the D.D. has always been an honorary degree. Particularly in the 19th century it was common for ministers and professors who had shown excellence in ministry or teaching to be awarded a D.D. Of course, not a few now say that "D.D." stands for "Didn't Do it."

    The D.Min. came about in the 1970's, if my failing memory is correct, as a professional degree, to the chagrin of many theological professors. David Wells, in a chapter entitled "The D-Min-ization of the Ministry" in No God but God, wrote that many profs viewed the D.Min. little more than continuing education in other fields.

    Concerning the relationship between the British B.D. and the American M.Div., the London School of Theology (formerly London Bible College) makes this claim:
    http://www.lst.ac.uk/courses/undergrad.php

    Of course, LST's degree is a BA in Theology, not a B.D.

    The University of London's external B.D. is open to students who are at least 17 years of age, so, obviously, it is not built upon a B.A. or B.S., as the old American B.D.'s were [ http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/prospective_students/undergraduate/heythrop/divinity/entrance.shtml ]. Its scope appears more like what one might encounter in an American M.A. in Bible, perhaps, rather than an M.Div. [ http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/prospective_students/undergraduate/heythrop/divinity/structure.shtml ].

    Bill
     
  11. PatsFan

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    I'm glad we agree. I guess I misunderstood what you were saying in your second paragraph.
     
  12. TCassidy

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    Yes, but the US is not all there is to the world. [​IMG]
    That is exactly what it was designed to be. A second professional degree for the pastor. It was never designed to be a research degree or a pedagogical degree. [​IMG]
    :D
     
  13. Paul33

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    But . . .

    The Department of Education has determined that the D. Min. is the equivalent to the Ph. D. and other research degrees.

    The M. D. and the J. D. are considered professional degrees, but not the D. Min.

    Now many seminaries self-identify the D. Min. as a professional degree in distinction from the Ph. D which they designate as "academic."

    But again, the Department of Education doesn't see it that way.

    Since we clamor for accreditation, etc., why don't we accept the DOE's designation for the D. Min. degree? [​IMG]

    I, for one, know that my D. Min. at G-C in Revival and Reform along with my previous education is on par with what secular students are required to do to earn Ph. Ds in their fields.

    Four years of college majoring in English and Bible and learning Greek.

    Three years of graduate school studying Hebrew and Greek and advanced theological courses.

    Three more years of study in a specific area of historical theology and the writing of a dissertation.

    I have no doubt that this is equivalent to a Ph. D. in any other field.
     
  14. PatsFan

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    I think I know what you mean, Paul. I will soon enter the dissertation/project phase of my DMin. The expectations of my seminary are very high, as well. DMin expectations vary though. Some programs are not like PhDs at all. For example SBTS recently made some changes to their DMin program. They are calling for DMin projects (dissertations) of 75-100 pages on page 54 of their catalog on their website:

    http://www.sbts.edu/resources/catalog/pdf/Catalog08_theology.pdf

    Calling DMins "continuing ed" as former GCTS professor David Wells did is a little ridiculous, especially given how rigorous the programs are at GCTS.
     
  15. PatsFan

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    I hadn't realized that the DMin was originally called the DDiv. Do you know how far back that was and how long that lasted? Just curious about the history of the degree. Thanks.
     
  16. Broadus

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    I hadn't realized that the DMin was originally called the DDiv. Do you know how far back that was and how long that lasted? Just curious about the history of the degree. Thanks. </font>[/QUOTE]I'm quite sure that the D.Min. was not derived from the D.D., at least not in the U.S. Does any institution in Great Britain offer the D.Min.?

    TCassidy is quite right about the D.D. having been an earned degree in Great Britain, but it has always been an honorary degree in the U.S. Unfortunately, while it used to be a distinguished honor, it is now so commonly given that it is almost without importance.

    Bill
     
  17. El_Guero

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    Bill

    I think D. Div. was an earned degree at one time in the US ... I could be wrong ...

    web page
     
  18. Broadus

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    web page </font>[/QUOTE]That's interesting. I have never seen the D.D. referred to as an earned degree in the U.S., but have seen it often as an honorary bestowment, even in the 18th century.

    The writer of the website article may have assumed the degree was earned, not realizing the difference. If you find anything else, please post.

    Bill
     
  19. PatsFan

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