Rank of Masters Degrees?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by tonyhipps, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. tonyhipps

    tonyhipps
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    I've just started Bible college and am already contemplating what Masters Degree to pursue when I finish my undergraduate. Some Universities consider Master of Ministry to be the highest degree while for others it's Masters of Divinity and yet for another it may be something else. Is there not a national standard for this? Would I have to complete a lesser Masters like Masters of Biblical Studies before I can start one of these higher degrees?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. PreachTREE

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    Degrees very from school to school, but for the most part:

    MA=32-36
    MDiv=94-96

    and the MMin is somewhere in between those two. After your Bachelor's you can jump right into your MDiv. In May I graduated with a BA in Biblical Studies and will be starting my MDiv next Wednesday!
     
  3. TCGreek

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    1. Since you just started your undergrad., concentrate on it, because along the way things will change.

    2. Your perspective on the ministry will change and can alter the decision you ultimately will have to make. So I say, Concentrate on you undergrad and defer your Masters' aspirations for right now.
     
  4. Rhetorician

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    Master's Degree Response

    Dear Brother,

    I would try, as much as possible, to decide what you want to do with a Master's degree. For instance:

    Do you want to go on to do graduate PhD work at the secular university, then you will probably need an MA in whatever discipline you choose from the secular university?

    Do you want to do pastoral ministries in the SBC or other mainline denomination, then you will probably need an MDiv from one of the RA and ATS accredited seminaries of whom there are many from which to choose?

    Do you want to pastor in an IFB context, then you will probably do well with a Master of Ministry (this is not a degree that I have seen in the RA/ATS schools above) degree from a small Bible college that has a ministry focus?

    Do you want to teach at a RA or ATS seminary or grad school of religion, then you will probably need an MDiv (above) and a PhD or ThD from the RA or ThD seminary?

    The earlier you can define "what you want to be when you grow up" the easier it is to get the education wanted/needed to do that job in ministry.

    I would suggest (if that is worth anything:laugh: ?) that you do the Master of Divinity at the RA or ATS accredited school. It will cost a bit more and take a bit longer, but you will have so much more in the long run. It will open ministry and/or academic doors that maybe some of the other routes may not.

    Just my thoughts from 25 years of preaching, teaching, writing, researching and four seminary degrees; all in the ministry context.

    I hope that helps a bit

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  5. UZThD

    UZThD
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    ===



    There's another, the ThM.

    In some schools (DTS) no MDiv is given, just the ThM ; in others ("my" Western) the MDiv or equivalency is a prereq to begin the 4th yr ThM.

    The Thm is a year after the MDiv, so is a total of four years masters, usually in a specialization and requiring a thesis. In some schools (Baptist, Pa) its coursework is counted as part of a PhD ; in others (Dallas, Masters) it is the common prereq for beginning the doc.

    The nomenclature means "master of theology " though it may not be in Theology. To complicate things, some schools offer a two year M.Th , which also means "master of theology."

    Then there is also the the S.T.M. which the equivalent of the ThM.

    In an RA/ATS seminary , I had two profs who taught with just the ThM!

    Goodness me: a four year masters!! No wonder people look for shortcuts :)
     
    #5 UZThD, Aug 17, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2007
  6. Martin

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    First, I would say that you should focus on finishing your undergraduate degree. Once you have done that you can start focusing on where you wish to get your graduate degree from. Secondly I want to second everything Rhetorician said. He always gives very sound and Godly advice. Third, what degree you should earn depends upon what you want to do with your graduate degree. Do you want to move on and get a PhD (seminary? or secular?), ThD, or DMin? Why do you want to move on to such degrees (ministry? or teaching?)? You will also need to consider the admission requirements to such program and make sure your graduate degree will allow you to meet such requirements. If you want a seminary PhD, ThD, or DMin then you need to get a MDiv (with languages). Luther Rice offers a MDiv (oncampus and online) however they are only TRACS accredited. That may cause you some problems if you want to earn your PhD or DMin from a different school. You may want to consider Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Raleigh, NC) or New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (New Orleans, LA). Both have great MDiv programs with concentrations in different areas. Both will also allow you to do a certain amount of your degree online before going to campus to finish your degree. Both schools enjoy very wide acceptance among their fellow seminaries.

    Most importantly I would advise you to do everything prayerfully and with Godly counsel.

    God bless you in your studies! :thumbs:

    Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
    http://www.sebts.edu/prospective_students/Degree_Programs/index.cfm

    New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (website has a great chart showing what degrees best fit what professions):
    http://www.nobts.edu/Academics/GraduateDegrees.html
     
  7. tonyhipps

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    Thank you everyone for the advice given.
     
  8. spartacus

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    MDiv is considered a professional degree for ministry. It allows one to focus on quite a number of areas related to ministry.

    MA is is more of an academic degree and can be used to teach in colleges and seminaries. The only downfall of many MA in Seminaries are they do not require projects or Thesis' and that can be a drawback for both the MDiv and MA. If you go to a school that allows you to do a thesis, this will allow you to teach in a Secular setting as well. (ATS) of course.

    I think that if you know without a doubt that God has called you to a specific ministry, pastor, teacher, etc. then by all means go for the Christian degree. Remember God will never leave you nor forsake you and if you are in His will He will open the doors and provide for you.

    One of the cautions I would give is Education will not make you a good or better servant of God. Sometimes Education is over rated when entering Church ministry. An example is Moody. The pastor of his church told him if he wanted to teach then have people to teach. Moody went out and converted a number of people then taught them.


    Oh, I love it when God shows us we are not as smart as we think we are because we have degrees behind our name. If I had my way I would say that every pastor would not be able to reveal education. Then we would evaluate ministers on the fruit they bear.

    In the end remember, only you can make the move you believe God is telling YOU to make. Many people will tell you what they would do.

    Blessings to you in your journey
     
  9. TomVols

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    Whatever you do, along the way, pick up a second major or a certificate in some marketable skill in case you need to be bivocational, a church planter, a missionary, a skill to get you through seminary, or God doesn't plant you in a church for a while so you won't starve ;)
     
  10. spartacus

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    Billy Graham only has a MA in Anthropology
     

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