Thesis/Dissertation Topics

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Dr. Bob, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Many on the BB have attended graduate school and have written Master's theses or Doctoral dissertations or other projects.

    Care to share the topic and a brief bit about what you did? Might help some readers who wonder if there is any scholarship among baptists!

    And might give encouragement to those heading down the road toward that end!

    All are welcome to chime in!
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    For my Master's of Theology

    Title: The Virgin Prophecy: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Isaiah 7:10–17

    The Virgin Prophecy has been a major issue of debate in Old Testament studies for many years. It is the only Old Testament passage that refers to the virgin birth of Christ, and therefore, it is of major significance to the doctrine of Christology. The purpose of this thesis was to examine the prophecy in detail—historically, exegetically, and theologically—in order to present a comprehensive analysis and draw exegetical and theological conclusions that account for the details of the text in accordance with the broader spectrum of orthodox theology.
    This was accomplished by establishing the historical details of the reign of Ahaz. Both the chronological data as well as the alliances of the surrounding nations and the role that they played in ANE history were delineated. The passage was then exegeted, giving special attention to the significant issues of oth and almah in order to determine the nature and identification of both. The conclusions on these two issues were incorporated into the exegesis of the passage in order to achieve a full understanding of the details of the prophecy and its relevance to Ahaz.
    It was concluded that the sign was a miraculous sign, that the woman was the virgin Mary, and that the child should be identified as Christ since no birth in the time of Ahaz can rise to the level of the birth prophesied by Isaiah. The fulfillment of the prophecy is single—the birth of Christ 730 years after the prophecy. The sign was not given to Ahaz per se but rather to the house of David as an assurance of God’s intention to protect the throne of David in order to fulfill the Davidic covenant. This Davidic Covenant is the theme that pervades the prophecy. Because of this covenant, the throne of Ahaz would be protected from the imminent threat of the Syro-Ephraimite coalition. The relevance of the sign to Ahaz is found in the time frame of the hypothetical birth of the child, who, in the mind of the prophet, had already been conceived. Isaiah’s speech confirmed God’s promise and used the imminent birth of the child as a time-marker to establish a time frame for the deliverance of Judah from the Syro-Ephraimite coalition. It also prophesied a subsequent judgment on Judah for her disobedience. This judgment would come at the hand of Assyria.
     
  3. Jim1999

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    My doctoral dissertation/thesis was a Barthian Critique of Schleirmacher. At the time Barth was the prominent theolgian amongst modern protestants because he used typical evangelical terminology. This gave rise to Neo-Evangelicalism.

    Schleirmacher was considered to be the father of modern protestant theology. His philosophy had rise out of German rationalism. To rightly understand liberal thinking, one cannot ignore German Rationalism. It essentially denied the personality of God, and resultantly the deity of Jesus Christ, and brought about the concept of the historical Jesus. For the most part, religion was relegated to a moral philosophy.

    Barth wanted more and experienced the Word. Not all the Bible, but the Word as it was applied in each person's life. In essence, the bible is the word of God, but only as it has application and experience in each person's life. This concept gave Barth ready acceptance especially among evangelicals who turned to modern scholarship, but did not want to strip Jesus of deity.

    It is an interesting road, and was a tough road. One must keep Jesus the Christ and His essential deity always in mind whilst writing.

    This avenue is the only way to put Schleirmacher, Kant, Schlegels and von Humboldt and Renan in proper perspective.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    My Masters Thesis was "A Living Sacrifice - the Doctrine of PRatical Sanctifcation."
    Here are the concluding remarks.

    Sanctification, in all of its aspects, is wholly the Divine work of God. God is sanctified, holy, and set apart. His desire is that His people be sanctified, holy, and set apart as well. In the Old Testament sanctification was occasionally used individually, but it primarily dealt with the nation of Israel as a corporate body. God often reminded the nation that He had sanctified them, but He also challenged them to sanctify themselves for service to Him.
    New Testament sanctification was accomplished only by Jesus Christ on the cross. Before the foundation of the world God, determined to save all those who would put their faith in the finished work of Christ for salvation, and that those who would do so were ordained to be conformed to the image if Christ. This is what is referred to as preparatory sanctification. When an individual accepts God’s free gift of salvation, he is immediately justified, redeemed, and declared righteous in the sight of God and sanctified positionally from the presence of sin and from the power of sin. This is positional sanctification. Throughout his life the believer is called to continue the process of sanctification personally. This is only accomplished as he is risen with and empowered by Christ to do so. In the meantime Christ is also in the process of sanctifying him. This is progressive, or practical sanctification. At the appearing of Jesus Christ for His saints, or at the death of the believer, he will be totally sanctified and completely conformed to the image of Christ. Then his sanctification will be accomplished in all its perfection. This is perfect sanctification.
    The aspect of sanctification which attracts the most interest among believers is that of practical sanctification. “How can I live a holy, sanctified life?” God’s Word is abundantly clear in its answer. The sanctified life is based on the positional sanctification given by Christ at salvation. The motivation for sanctified living is the appearing of Christ. The method of sanctified living is by the believer first submitting his body once and for all as a living sacrifice, then by walking a life in enduring obedience to the Word of God through the power of the indwelling Christ with whom the believer finds himself risen in newness of life. This life will not be one of ongoing victory but of ongoing and growing obedience. There is no need to seek a second blessing or special anointing. Every believer has all he needs to live for Christ; all he needs is to obey the Word of God and therewith “be filled with the Spirit.”
    Ironside’s words mentioned earlier properly summarise the Bible teaching on godly living. He concludes that it is achieved by “…meditation on the word of God, coupled with a prayerful spirit, thus leading out of the heart to Christ Himself. Of this may we all know more until we see Him face to face and be forever wholly sanctified.”


    Just started my doctoral studies.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    My Master's Thesis was "The Validity of Pre-Adolescent Religious Experiences" based on the foundation (from surveys of ifb college students in the 1960's) that 87% of those who made some sort of a "decision" or a "religious experience" within fundamental baptist circles in pre-adolescent years had either (1) grave doubts over that experience of being born again at a later point in life or (2) concluded that such an experience was invalid!

    The poll (designed and administered by me as part of the research) was so shocking in its results that it led me to research the reasons for those results. And conclusions about said childhood "experiences".
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    My doctoral dissertation for my D.Min. in 1980 (practical, not theoretical) was "A History of Wisconsin for Christian Schools" and designed as workbooks/text for use in private/parochial schools in Wisconsin. Unlike the deep theological topics of many doctorates, I appreciated the exception made so that I could meet a need for my own ministry (my church had a parochial school of about 100 students).

    Wisconsin was where I was educated (BA,BS,MA) and where I pastored. There was no Wisconsin history or geography or civics material for 8th grade - required by the State to be taught in all schools - that was suitable for Christian schools.

    One out of every three students in Wisconsin are in private schools, so the need was great. Thankfully, this material (now in 6, 36-page workbooks + resource material and updated in 1990 and 2000 following the census) is still published and available for use in those schools.
     
  7. aefting

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    Dr. Bob -- Very interesting stats. I'm part of the 13% but I have young children (3 under 5) and am very concerned about giving them a false hope over a false confession. I can see how easy it would be for parents to get their young kids to say the sinners prayer and then pronounce them saved. My oldest, who turns 5 next month, certainly knows about Jesus, sin, the cross, etc, but is not saved. I want my children to come to Christ in child-like faith but only as they are drawn and illuminated by God.

    Pastor Larry -- You need to write a commentary on the book of Isaiah.

    Andy
     
  8. amen_corner

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    My DMin project focused on communication theory as it applies to expository preaching and teaching. The idea is that there are a lot of folks who love to teach the Bible, and a lot of preachers who are honored to be called to preach, but haven't received a lot of training in the area of communication. Consequently, alot of us in a teaching/speaking ministry receive a lot of criticism that we are boring. And while some of the problem lies in the pew, some of it also lies in lies in the pulpit. We are taught in seminary more on how to discover the content of the message rather than how to deliver that content effectively. Check out any of your preaching books, and you will notice that in most cases very little is devoted to the art of delivery.

    My project developed a short course to train preachers and teachers to build confidence and more effectively deliver expository sermons and lessons. After all, if we have the goods, and fail at delivering them, what have we accomplished? Anyway, I enjoyed it.
     
  9. panicbird

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    I wrote a thesis (116 pages) for my bachelors degree at Union University. It was entitled "Peter, Paul, and the Old Testament: Early Church Exegesis and Modern Evangelical Use of the Hebrew Scriptures." I used Peter's speech in Acts 2 and Paul's in Acts 13 as windows into how the early church utilized the Old Testament, especially as it related to Christology in the Old Testament.
    I concluded with a survey of how modern evangelical scholars have used the Old Testament, leading up to the question, "Can we do the exegesis that the early church did?"

    Looking back on the thesis, there are good things and bad things about it. Given more time (I wrote it in just a few months), I would probably want to look at the entire New Testament in order to get a fuller picture of early church exegesis. I might even want to look at the church fathers. Also, I would want to engage more thoroughly modern scholarship regarding the use of the Old Testament.

    Lon
     
  10. Joseph_Botwinick

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    My Master's Action Research Paper was entitled "Incubation Model of Teaching merged with Creative Music Teaching Methods and its Effect on Creativity in Gifted Students". I spent about a year writing the introduction and setting up the hypothesis. I then spent about 2 months actually performing the research in a TAG classroom. I then spent a few more months publishing the results / conclusions, presenting the research project to graduate students at the University, and then finishing final editing. The hypothesis read as followed:

    "Eight weeks of enhanced instruction using a combination of Torrence's Incubation Model of Teaching and Creative Music Teaching Model will produce increased scores in creativity as demonstrated by pre and post evaluations using two forms of the Torrence Figural Test of Creative Thinking" (The Creative Music Teaching Model was something that I kind of came up with myself).

    The post test showed a 14% increase in creativity scores among the twelve students in the sample group that were tested. I concluded that this was significant enough to merit further research, but not significant enough to be able to make any serious generalizations. There were some downfalls to the research which included:

    1. Environmental factors in the classroom (The TAG room was a renovated locker room in the gym during PE; i.e. there were many distractions).
    2. The sample group was small. But when you have a willing teacher and class, you take what you can.
    3. It was certainly not a longitudinal study (2 months is not a very long time to do research and come up with a really reliable and valid generalization).
    4. Due to schedule concerns, I was not able to do a control group.
    5. The time of year also might have been a contributing variable in the results of the post-test since it was administered near the end of the year and the kids were not as focused as they might have been earlier in the year.

    I have not had time since graduating with my MSE to really devote to doing further research. Maybe someday, I might go further with this.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  11. Joseph_Botwinick

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    When I was in Undergraduate school working on my Music Education degree, I wrote a research paper for Music History on Bach's Cantata #80: Ein Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God). I discussed the writers of the words, the religious aspect of the piece, and how the music was used to convey the message of the different sections of the work. I must have listened to the piece of music a hundred times in the listeneing lab. I was pretty proud if that one. I recieved an A from a very tough professor.

    I would like to find that again and read it again. Maybe this Summer, I can dig it out.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  12. mioque

    mioque
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    It changed recently, but when I finished university you earned the title of doctorandus (drs.) instead of being the proud owner of a Master's degree.
    Anyhow...

    To become a drs. in churchhistory I wrote a thesis on that eternal question: "Why did Origenes Adamantios have himself castrated?" [​IMG]
    What can I say? I was young I guess. :D
    My conclusion was that the fact that Origenes had loads of female students and wanted to squash the rumors of inapropriate extracurricular 'activities' with those students was just as much a factor as his hostility towards sex.

    While I was investigating Origenes, I also was working towards a degree as an arthistorian.
    My thesis for that drs. degree concerned the transformation taking place in the works of Dutch RC artist Piet Gerrits between 1905 and 1950. In the beginning his works were clear examples of the Beuroner Schule at the end they were a clear example of Realism. Interestingly the subject matter of his realistic artworks was gathered in the Holy Land while he was still was fully in his Beuroner Schule phase.
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    For my Ed.D. from Calvary College (now defunct :( ) I did an education dissertation on Global Studies in Geography. It was 580 pages in interactive format - maps, graphs, questions, text, even two exams - total package for homeschool or classroom education.

    Published in 12 42-page workbooks by Southeast Educational Associates in Virginia and used in late 80-90's as text in hundreds of schools. It took me a full year of work, with the goal of one chapter a month.

    I appreciated all of my schools offering variations on the standard research dissertation for my case. I love to research and then write at a grade level (my Wisconsin book was 8th grade; these are 11-12th grade) with appropriate sentence structure, vocabulary, etc.

    Non-traditional-R-Us
     
  14. mioque

    mioque
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    So with 2 doctorandus degrees under my belt and no purpose in life I applied for a couple of scholarships to turn one of those degrees into a full doctorate.
    Somehow I got the opportunity to basically do both at once.

    So I did...

    For my doctoral dissertation in churchhistory I studied the origin of the Petrus Canisius translation of the Bible.
    The most interesting conclusion was that it was supposed to be a translation of the Vulgate with some comparing to the original languages, but that it instead was translated the other way round.

    And for arthistory I dived into the consequences of the plundering of the treasury of the Vatican by Napoleon for the face of 19th&20th century Roman Catholic churchart.
    conclusion: the creation of kitsch lots of kitsch.

    I fear that none of my works have ever been translated into english and that none have ever gotten close to being as widely read as Bob Griffin's history of Wisconsin.

    The great irony of my life is that I went to university mostly to get away from my family and church (who both are very loving but can feel a bit smothering at a certain age), discovered that I really am quite good at being a scholar if I put my mind to it (something I studiously try to avoid around here), but now earn my living working for the same church, as it's verger.
    It's my talent for waxing floors that pays my bills...
     
  15. Ed Edwards

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    I'm a lay person with a sense of humor [​IMG]

    When i do a Dr. Thesis it will be called:
    A word-for-word in-depth analysis
    and an aruond-the-clock practical
    application of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 [​IMG]
     
  16. panicbird

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    Most theses do have overly long titles, do they not? I know mine did. My goal is to increase the length of the title as I do more theses. I am hoping to one day to make the thesis itself the title, kind of like the Puritans used to do. [​IMG]
     
  17. gb93433

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    Having been in a parachurch organization I found that many who made decisions in churches often doubted their salvation. But I cannot think of one time where this continued with those I followed up on and discipled.
     
  18. mioque

    mioque
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    gb93433
    It has been suggested by some that salvation is a process and not so much a specific choiche made at a clearly defined moment.

    panicbird
    "Most theses do have overly long titles, do they not?"
    Mine were short.
    Een opmerkelijke vertaling.
    De keuze van Piet.
    Een bijenkorf van zilverpapier.
    De ingreep op Origenes.
    The subtitles of these however were all monstrosities in the old German style of descriptive title writing.
     
  19. panicbird

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    mioque:
    panicbird
    "Most theses do have overly long titles, do they not?"
    Mine were short.
    Een opmerkelijke vertaling.
    De keuze van Piet.
    Een bijenkorf van zilverpapier.
    De ingreep op Origenes.
    The subtitles of these however were all monstrosities in the old German style of descriptive title writing.

    That is how it is a lot of times: short title, longer than Psalm 119 subtitle.
    "The Virgin Birth: A Text-Critical Examination of the 19th Century Approach to the Exegetical Methods of the Early Church Fathers' Interpretation of the Isaianic Prophecies as Appropriated by the Gospel according to Matthew, with Special Emphasis on Rhetorical Methodology"

    Wait a minute...that gives me an idea.

    Lon
     
  20. Dr. Bob

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    My Ph.D. dissertation is complete, although I will never do all the other work for the degree now that I am "out to pasture" somewhat.

    I did "An Overview of Geographic/Spatial Relationships and Interaction of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles" which studied all of the locations, movement, and factors recorded in Acts from Jerusalem through Rome.

    Did brief archaeological work in Israel, 7 trips there, plus following the routes of Acts through modern Syria, Turkey, Greece and Italy.

    Did most of the writing based on research BEFORE the field work (which is, of course, a no-no) but then started teaching college and now unable to finish it.

    So incorporated 300 more pages of material into my "Geography of the Bible" text which I had written in 1990!

    It is fun to get letters or emails from students using my "Geography of the Bible" (20 workbooks on OT, 10 on NT, each 36 pages). They think it cool to talk to the author!
     

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