Th.M.

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by PrTeacher10, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. PrTeacher10

    PrTeacher10
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is the main purpose or goal (in other words what would someone do with this program?)


    Why would someone study for this when they can take their M.DIV and work on Ph.d. studies?
     
  2. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    0
    It seems like the Th.M. used to be sufficient to teach at the college theological level but that has changed. I know a retired pastor who did the Th.M. later in his ministry in pastoral counseling to get some extra focused training in that area. That seems to be use of it now or for stepping into doctoral work for a Ph.D.
     
  3. govteach51

    govteach51
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Th. M. at one time was a stepping stone for a Ph.D. at SWBTS, but no longer.
     
  4. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Most PhDs (if their worth anything) won't take students out of an MDiv program unless they pursued a more advanced track. Because the badic MDiv (even one with languages) is a professional degree (like JD or MD) it lacks the requisite scholarly work that lays the groundwork for a research oriented PhD. Here we're thinking about extended research papers, focused reading, and even a thesis.

    Almost all basic MDivs spend most their time in survey or graduate level introductory courses that handle topics germane for ministry. Too often this leaves little time for academic pursuits. The ThM is a great (generally one year) program to allow students planning on pursuing a PhD to get scholarly classes that will prepare them for their next step. It's a good degree when done at a good institution.

    Now if a MDiv grad wishes to bypass the ThM they should plan on pursuing either a DMin or EdD. The PhD might be too rigorous.

    Not to mention that most universities and seminaries, which have PhD programs, will not accept most basic MDivs. :)
     
  5. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    My purpose for pursuing a ThM was to prepare me for a PhD (if I do it). It is nice b/c it will prepare you for dissertation writing w/ the thesis (or mini-thesis) which is good if you are doing a European PhD which is only research. It is also a good assessment to see if you can handle a PhD b/c you will be taking advanced level classes and PhD classes (so far so good for me w/ all A's).

    It is still a highly respected degree b/c it gives you that many more classroom hours. In many PhD programs, the ThM rolls right into the PhD. So that is another incentive to make your education even more diverse.

    For me currently, it was just the right fit. So glad I went the ThM route currently and may pursue the PhD later.
     
  6. Havensdad

    Havensdad
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,382
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know of any seminary PhD program that requires anything more than a standard M.Div. with languages.

    I also object to your statement regarding research. I don't know how it is in other Seminaries/Universities, but I was required to write fairly extensive research papers on difficult subjects, in nearly every one of my M.Div. classes. There is much more work, in terms of research, which is involved in the 90 hour M.Div., than the 30 or 40 hour Masters degrees that get you entrance to the PhD level in secular fields.
     
  7. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,008
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hello HD,

    I hope you are well?

    As usual you have hit the nail on the head and I too "object" to the idea that the research is not as rigorous in the MDiv as other programs.

    If you will give me leave? It may be b/c I am not "the sharpest knife in the drawer," but I have not experienced much difference in all of my grad work or advanced degree work. And this includes Master of Arts in Religion in the History of Christian Thought from an accredited University, Master of Divinity degree with Biblical languages from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, PhD work in Rhetoric and Communication Theory from The University of Memphis, and the Doctor of Ministry from The University of the South at Sewanee. In fact I may be the only one who has a 54 hour Doctor of Ministry dissertation that is 165pp in length.

    Now I will grant that the Church Admin courses and such were not "up to speed." But the historical, theological, languages, et al research for each were not that much different. I would grant that maybe it is just where I have been.

    My two cents worth towards the discussion.

    "That is all!" :tongue3:
     
    #7 Rhetorician, Jan 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2012
  8. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,008
    Likes Received:
    2
    Rhetorician Response

    Sir,

    Can you explain what you mean a bit more in depth by this comment please?

    "That is all!" :wavey:
     
  9. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Again, re-read my post. My first sentence provides the qualifier.

    Besides I know plenty. The first, and easiest one to remember, is DTS. They won't accept any basic MDiv for their PhD without having them first get an STM from their school.

    Also, and I know this first hand, several other schools won't even consider basic MDiv students if they don't have a ThM or MATh (something like this.) Most substantial programs encourage, or require, additional rigorous studies beyond the basic MDiv.

    Nothing compares to the rigor of an appropriate ThM where you have to write 20-30 page research papers for every class. Also the Thesis work is important as it prepares on for the larger Dissertation work of a PhD course.

    In my MDiv studies only several classes required significant research. Thankfully I was able to go beyond them due to the Advanced Track I was on and took classes that required significant research. In examining other MDivs (not just at SWBTS, but others) the standard is the same. That's fine, but for any student seriously considering a PhD they are better for getting a ThM (or something else.)

    One of the keys to a successful (and any good) PhD is a focused develop in a specific area of research. The overview nature of an MDiv doesn't lend itself to this. Though it is an excellent degree for preparing one with the tools for ministry it doesn't focus on how to develop and work through substantial and sustained research on a specific topic.

    You don't have to listen to me. Too many of my peers in seminaries and universities will tell you that if they see a basic MDiv from any of the marginal SBC seminaries or mundance evangelical seminaries they'll look for additional work and degrees. If they don't find anything they'll deny the student or require a degree/leveling courses before entrance to the PhD. That's reality.

    We can object about it, you can say I'm wrong...but the reality is that the basic MDiv isn't (rightly) seen as a reasonable degree for entrance into most reputable PhD programs.
     
  10. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    I think most PhD's in universities and top tier programs will not even consider an MDiv b/c it is a professional degree whereas an MA or a ThM is a research degree. Thus, one w/ an MDiv will find it difficult to get into a program at Duke or the like b/c they want a research degree (for their PhD at least). But most seminaries excluding DTS will accept the MDiv or equivalent as the basic requirement for their PhD program along w/ most European Uni's.
     
  11. Petros

    Petros
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    A Th.M is more of a study in Systematic/historical theology and is appropriate for academic and educational study and instruction. The M.Div is a more practical, albeit less deep, course designed to prepare the student for ministerial work, especially expository preaching. The former prepares the way for a Ph.D or Th.D and the latter for a D.Min, though there are some exceptions.
     
  12. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    So much for your statement in the other thread you started, "from the less experienced to the more so." ;) While you are certainly correct that the ThM is more academic, it can also be practical as well. And I would not limit the ThM to systematic or historical theology. My ThM is in neither. My school can do a ThM in biblical theology or hermeneutics or biblical studies w/ a focus on either NT or OT. So practically, my ThM is in NT studies and Greek exegesis.

    My ThM mentor also told me that the standard route that most take is the MDiv to the PhD. So even the MDiv is still seen as an academic degree that is a stepping stone for the PhD. Admittedly, the MDiv to Dmin route makes good sense. At the same time, most ThM's require an MDiv (the only one that doesn't that I can think of is DTS who has no MDiv option).

    Just to get you thinking more as you approach seminary education. Personally, I would rather sit under a pastor w/ a PhD than a DMin. It is something to consider. I like the thought of getting a PhD not just to train collegiate or seminary students but the church-goers as well.

    Can I ramble???? Yes I can. Sorry.
     
  13. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some seminaries often offer an MDIV track toward the PhD, not to be confused with other MDivs.
     
  14. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    While I was a student at SWBTS a friend of mine was going through DTS at the same time. What I had in Greek in two years he had in three. I could have taken the easy road but I took the professors that some doctoral students recommended. A lot of what a person learns is dependent on the professor, his abilities, and desire to help students learn.

    When I taught at the university I noticed students coming from other colleges and universities who would want credit for a class they had taken at another college and university and I could not recommend that they get credit because so often after talking with the student I realized that what he had been taught was only 1/3 to 1/2 of what I taught in the same class. I have over 3o years experience in what I taught. I did not go to school to get a doctorate and teach but rather I went into business. So I knew what was needed to be successful.

    I saw a few students who came to the university from a particular technical school who had received a better education in some classes that a lot of universities in my field. So I gave them credit for some of the classes.
     

Share This Page

Loading...