Question about PhD

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by NateT, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. NateT

    NateT
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    I'm in my first year of an M.Div. My goal is to be a senior pastor at a church. I feel that is where God has called me. I see some pastors with PhDs but most of them don't have one. Then in the College Forums, people said they regretted not getting their PhD.

    So, my question is, to those of you who have a PhD why did you get and how beneficial is it in your role as a pastor. For those of you who didn't get one (and regret it) for what reason do you regret not getting it.

    Thanks
     
  2. exscentric

    exscentric
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    Have one, but few people know it. It was just further eductation that became who I am and how I can minister. Since the Lord led me to get it I can't say as I regret it :)

    I think the church is making way too much about degrees and books and all the usual hype. I've seen men that have no formal education at all preach better sermons and lead more evangelistic churches than seminarians. It is the God prepared man we should seek, not letters. (Don't read that as my being against degrees, as I'm not.)

    It isn't the education, it is the man that God has prepared as HE wants him prepared.

    If God leads you to further education, go for it, but don't do it because of any other reason.

    If you feel God wants you in a church that might require further education then that would be a consideration.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    Health challenges have stopped my PhD program. Prolly never will continue it.

    Don't think too many pastors have/need PhD. That is more for teaching.
     
  4. koreahog2005

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    I received an M.Div. in 1983 and a D.Min. in 1994. The D.Min. (Doctor of Ministry) is a very practical degree for pastors. It covers relevant subjects in more depth: preaching, administration, counseling, etc. Another plus is that you can work full-time as a pastor and be in the D.Min. program. Typically, you read about 2,000 pages in preparation for a week-long seminar. Then you spend a week with a small group of pastors in the seminar. After the seminar you do a project, write it up, and submit it to the professor in charge of the seminar. At the end of the program, you do a dissertation on a topic relevant to your ministry. I did my dissertation on a Family Life Center since our church was about to build one. If you go as fast as you can, you can complete the D.Min. program in two years. I don't regret going the D.Min. route, but I wish I could have had the time and money back then to work on a Ph.D. I guess that's purely selfish, but I have developed an interest in certain areas of theology, and I would have loved to have spent a lot of time doing research in those areas. My impression is that Ph.D. work is pretty much full-time. You can, however, have a part-time ministry job at the same time. I think it usually costs two to three thousand per semester for tuition in a Ph.D. program, and it may take anywhere from four to six years. If I'm wrong about that, someone can correct me. Another problem is that many Ph.D. graduates cannot find a faculty job. I read recently that Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth just had its one thousanth Ph.D. graduate. That's a lot of Ph.D. graduates who need jobs. Of course, you can use a Ph.D. well in the pastorate, but after all that theological study, I would think many of them would prefer to teach the details of theology to seminary students.
     
  5. Circuitrider

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    No PhD, no regrets. I earned my D.Min. in 1989. If I was 10 years younger I might consider going ahead and getting it with the idea of maybe teaching my last ministry years. As Dr. Bob said, a PhD is pretty much a teaching degree. [​IMG]

    I do believe that Central Baptist Seminary in Minneapolis offers a PhD on a modular class basis, so that you do not have to quit your ministry and go back to school. You could check on their web site for sure...centralseminary.edu [​IMG]
     
  6. Johnv

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    I think in many cases, a D Min may be more valuable than a Ph D. Just my $.02
     
  7. Hardsheller

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    It's not the degree on the wall of the pastor's office that matters. It's the man in the pastor's office that counts.
     
  8. rufus

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    I got my PhD simply because I wanted more education.

    It has benefited me in that I have been able to exegete and preach God's Word more effectively.

    Rufus
     
  9. Paul33

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    My thoughts are that if a person is going to take the time to do an M.Div., he might as well skip it and get the Ph.D.

    My personal opinion is that the "practical" classes in the M.Div. are a waste of time. But what do I know. I'm probably wrong.

    When we are young, we just want to get out and start serving the Lord in ministry.

    Now that I'm older, I wish I had the money and time to work on a Ph.D. in areas that interest me. Historical theology.

    My D.Min. at Gordon-Conwell is excellent. It is three years of focusing only on one topic - revival and reform. So in this sense it is alot like a Ph.D.

    If schools would allow us to teach with a D.Min. instead of a Ph.D. it wouldn't matter. But most schools are looking for professors with a Ph.D. But as we all know, some guys with Ph.D's can't teach a lick; and many without a Ph.D. are fantastic.
     

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