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Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by European, Apr 21, 2005.
What do you think about south african degrees like UNISA, or Potchefstroom University?
I have (or will have in May) the D.Th. (or ThD) in Systematic Theology from the governmentally controlled and , therefore, the equivalent of "accredited" University -Unizul. I found Unizul easy to work with and helpful in handling personal needs.
I entered that program with two USA regionally accredited masters degrees in Theology/Biblical Studies from two schools (MA, Point Loma Nazarene and MDiv (equiv), ThM from Western CB BAptist Seminary ) and did the ThD entirely by distance in three years at a TOTAL cost of about 2500 U.S. dollars including paying someone to type the dissertation.
The dissertation was formally read and evaluated by profs from three SA schools and informally by one prof from a US school.
I found the program to be more demanding than my other grad work including (unfinished) EdD work at Oregon State Univ.
Unizul is not as large or as well known as Unisa...but neither is more "accredited" than the other.
I want to know website form this institution, UNIZUL
Yes. I think from there go to "Arts" to get to the right faculty. Bobby Loubser is the Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religion Studies and is very expert in NT Studies. . My Promoter in ST is Alrah Pitchers who has been published in the area of my dissertational research, and who, was very helpful. Arthur Song handles the area of Praxis and is well-respected. As I said, the UZ Fac of Theology is small. BUT, that may be why UZ is so easy to work with, and IMO, the Promoter and the dissertational committee is what matters, not how many others are in the Dept with which one has no contact.
In the "for what it's worth" column; in the Baptist circles there are several who are doing/have done a ThD from the University of South Africa: Dorothy Patterson, Paige Patterson's wife the prez of South Western Seminary; Ergun Caner, the new dean at Liberty U Jerry Falwell's school; one of the new deans at SWBTS; and one prof @ Mid Western is currently doing one.
But the trade off is this: they each had some type of specialty that was also needed by the hiring school; ie, they had written extensively, denom service, denom specialty or such.
If I thought it would help me, I would do one even now. But, since I have a have fairly rigorus and accredited DMin, two accredited master's in religion, and another accredited seminary degree, a full time "teaching gig," a book deal, plus I am old (just turned 54); I cannot see the reasoning to do one. I have, however, thought about it long, hard, and continuously.
Put this in the mix!
My two cents worth!
Not to mention a wife who's about had enough of a husband in school!
AMEN TO THAT BROADUS!!!
In response to your comment above, "I did one to 'help me' learn because I so enjoy the study of His Word," I in no way meant any negative connotation or denotation concerning your circumstance, ministry, direction, or current circumstance. I too enjoy the study of His Word. But, there comes a time "when one must cut bait or fish!"
What I mean by the comments is this: generally, one gets the terminal degree in order to research and write and/or teach. That is, if I have understood the academic process properly. One of the main problems I have had within myself for twenty years is that I was doing the academic work for itself and by itself and unto itself. I did however have some part-time vocational ministries along the way. (That is why I made the comments about SBC profs having practical experience in another post). I saw it, getting the degrees, as my calling/ministry as such at the time as the means and ends.
When I finally graduated w/the terminal degree it was hard to make the transition from getting the "next degree" to knowing how to use it (them). I had "put all my eggs" in the "getting the doctoral degree basket" but had not thought through what I was going to do with it after the fact. What I probably should have done (20/20 hindsight), was to have given myself more to research and writing as I moved along the academic journey. But then again, time, doing ministry, family, special needs child, tuition, and life in general happens along the way.
Bottom line for me and to make a longer story shorter; what I need to do now is "to get off my blessed assurance" and go to work researching, writing, and producing. I have the credentials, experience, knowledge, training, teaching position, etc. I would love to have the ThD from Unisa or UZ or Porft(sp?). But unless pressed to get one (by some educational entity or institution), then I will probably have to pass. And as you know from watching my posts, it has been a hard choice for me to make. For, I am such a SLOW learner!!
My two cents worth!
Not to sound like a "mutual admiration society," but I do want to commend you for your commitment to our Lord and His service throught scholarship and academics.
I have always had a heart of avarice I suppose. I originally wanted to get the doctorate in order to teach. I knew though that the education would automatically follow axiomatically if I got the degree. I am "kinda" and "sorta" a jack of all trades type. Since I have studied rhetoric/rhetorical criticism as interpretive tools that has been born out. I PTL!! for your life and influence which is one of the better forms of rhetoric.
"Stay by the stuff!"
You're gracious for saying that. IMO, anyone who gets a Theo/Ministry etc doc to get a job teaching also is inspirational as the salary for teaching in Bible Colleges/Seminaries is often not very high. I was suprised to learn that my Western profs with their Dallas and Fuller docs made less than I did as a junior high public school teacher. But then we have much greater rewards don't we. Thanks for your friendship!
Not to mention a wife who's about had enough of a husband in school!
I am in the same boat. When I told my wife I was thinking about a second doctorate, she got an incredulous look on her face and told me "uhhh no....unless you want to get your own apartment".
People have wondered about the receptivity of seminaries to South African doctorates. I think it's interesting that Southern just hired a professor who is currently working on his D.Th at UNISA. Dr. Donald Whitney will be developing doctoral programs for them in Christian Spirituality. He has a DMin from TEDS, as well.
Don Whitney is a colleague of mine. He is a good man. He will be a good "fit" for them @ Southern. You may not have followed the posts/threads on the BB but there are others out there who are teaching in the Baptist ranks with the D.Th. from SA schools. Dorothy Patterson, Paige's wife, at SWBTS and Ergun Caner @ Liberty Baptist Seminary. The degree is fully accepted and accredited in SA and is useful all around the world.
"UZTHD" will graduate with his D.Th. or ThD next Friday May 13th I believe!? I too have wrestled with doing another doctorate. If one were to do the doctorate Zulu or Portch or Unisa in South Africa would be the place to do the work no doubt. It is low cost and very difficult but there is no course work generally if you have done a master's thesis as an entry level credential. There is much that has been said on other BB posts; you might want to check some of those out.
I do not want to demean the SA doctorates in the least, but I suspect that Whitney's working on his DTH at UNISA was really irrelevant to his being hired at SBTS. Whitney is already established in the area of Christian spirituality among evangelicals.
In other words, where someone already has an "in," the degree gives more credibility to the hiring school, but the degree itself is not the reason the school hired that person. So it may not give the credibility the student is looking for in attempting to break-in to the teaching ranks.
I like the idea that established and renowned people like Whitney are attending the South African schools. Their involvement might lend more credibility to the S.A. schools down the road as people realize that they are high quality programs.
More info. on the man:
Whitney, who has served as associate professor of spiritual formation at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary since 1995, is the author of numerous books on Christian spirituality and spiritual disciplines including "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life," "Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church," and "Simplify Your Spiritual Life."
Whitney received a master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1975, a doctor of ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1985, and is presently nearing the completion of a doctor of theology with specialization in Christian spirituality from the University of South Africa.