Want to be called "Dr." with a Doctor of Ministry Degree?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, May 19, 2010.

  1. Rhetorician

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  2. Havensdad

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    I disagree strongly. If his point were simply "Pastors should be humble, and should not seek to be called 'Dr.'" I would agree with him. However, Considering the number of hours it takes to get a D.Min....more than many secular Ph.D.'s (since you are required to have a 90 hour M.Div. before you can even start it...compared to the much smaller MA in many secular fields), the work load is certainly there.

    The J.D. is not comparable. It requires no Thesis, Project, or dissertation, unlike most D.Min.'s which do. The Pastorate is by definition an academic field; whether one is teaching in the Pulpit, or teaching in the classroom, seems to be a moot point; they are teaching.

    Now, as to Pastors pushing to be called "Dr."...no I do not think that is right. Of course, I think it is equally wrong when a Christian Seminary Professor insists on it.
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    I have an earned PhD and ask people not to call me "doctor."

    I can't do a thing medically for them. Too many of these guys who go get DMins, or worse honorary DMins from unaccredited institutions, just want to have Dr. before their name.

    One of the comments mentioned something that has stuck out to me. In recent years many DMin programme have become a lackluster, non-rigorous, clergy advancement degree. They lack any amount of truly indepth reading on important issues and the final projects are as useful as a butcher at a vegetarian convention.

    It is no small truth that one of the ironies of fundamentalism (which has carried over to evangelicalism these days) is how anti-intellectual so many of their leaders would be, yet they would require others to call them "Dr" and go out to get as many honorary doctorates as possible.

    I like that the latest SBC Pastor's Convention will not be listing anyone as "Dr So and So." That's a big step in the right direction. :)
     
  4. jaigner

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    I don't think there is anything wrong with a pastor who has an earned doctorate to call themselves "Dr." It's up to them and it doesn't have to be prideful.
     
  5. Crabtownboy

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    If I had a Ph.D. I would want people to call my by my first name .... just like they do now.

    No matter how much education we have anyone we meet, regardless of whether they have a lot of education or very little, can be our teacher in one way or another.
     
  6. swaimj

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    Interesting. In my work in car sales, I interract with people in many fields who have doctorates including, recently, a dean of education at a nearby college, a chemist professor at Temply U as well as medical doctors, dentists, lawyers, and a lady who had a doctorate in psychology. None of these people introduced themself to me by the title "Dr." and when I found out in conversation that they have doctorates that corrected me and said "don't call me doctor, just call me by my first name".

    The exception to this seems to be RCC priests who typically introduce themselves as "Father" and let you know that they expect you to call them "Father'. And in my academic career in fundamentalist institutions I have found an insistence in using titles among older men, but less so in younger men. Perhaps that's because I am now older than some of the guys in seminary who now have doctorates, or perhaps the culture is changing somewhat.

    In summary, secular people tend to use their title when they are functioning in the realm of their expertise among students, but otherwise they are quite informal. I would think Baptists should operate more informally and not insist on titles since, as ministers of Christ, we are not to "lord it over the flock".
     
  7. TomVols

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    Overall, this is not a good blog post.

    The author is not correct about D.Pharms. Many of them are called Dr.

    The JD is more equivalent to the M.Div as the first professional degree for entry. You have to have a JD to get an LLM for instance. You have to have the M.Div to get the D.Min. So it's not an equal comparison. And attorneys have a preferred, standard "Counselor" instead of Doctor.

    While I agree that D.Min programs are getting weaker by the day and those projects are just silly at times, I have no problem with someone getting the D.Min and being called Doctor. I have a problem when anyone insists on "Dr" or "Rev" or what not.

    One final word: it is a recent deal to call medical doctors as doctors. The title of "doctor" was reserved for the clergy/academy. I believe Lloyd-Jones even refused the title, preferring the standard "Mr" if memory serves me.
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    Some folks need to get a life.
     
  9. swaimj

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    My point is that secular people with degrees use the proper titles when they are in a professional situation, but when they are not in that context they do not demand the use of titles. Whether the degree they hold is equivalent to a masters or a doctorate is really not relevant to the argument I made.

    My other point is that leaders in Christianity have a tendency to be more concerned that they be addressed by their title than people in the secular fields do and I think it is wrong for Christian leaders to put so much emphasis on titles. Fortunately, I think this tendency is changing for less emphasis on titles and I think that is good.
     
  10. Jerome

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    Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor:
     
  11. Havensdad

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    Jerome,

    This was still several hundred years after the word "Dr." was being used of Theologians/Clergy. That is where it started.
     
  12. Jerome

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    Oh.
    Hundreds of years ago is "a recent deal".
    I get it.:thumbs:
     
  13. Havensdad

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    Tom's point was that the title properly applies to Pastors/theologians. It originally meant "one knowledgeable in the scriptures."
     
  14. TomVols

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    This was pointed out by none other than Martyn Lloyd Jones, Jerome (among others)

    Take it up with him. :laugh:
     
  15. StefanM

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    I don't "get" the mystique that the M.D. has. Sure, physicians play a very important role, and they are usually quite well-off financially. Beyond that, why does the M.D. degree grant the right to be called "doctor" when it doesn't require a thesis or dissertation? It teaches the practice of medicine. That's it. It's a highly rigorous degree, to be sure, but I don't see why it should be considered better than a PhD.

    IMO, any degree with the term "doctor" in the name allows for the usage of the title.

    (I know that law degrees are a bit different, but there are ethical reasons involved in that discussion. It's another thread entirely!)

    This includes many doctorates: PhD, EdD, DMin, JSD, DDS, DO, MD, PharmD, STD, ThD, DArch, etc.
     
  16. gb93433

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    When I was in seminary I was told to get the degrees and then throw them away once in the pastorate.

    I teach at a major university where one of the professors I teach with was given the award of teacher of the year in the nation in our field. He does not have a doctorate.
     
    #16 gb93433, May 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2010
  17. TomVols

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    With the MD, we confuse the role with the title and intertwine the two.
     
  18. TomVols

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    Should we bring up the "doctors" of the church? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  19. gb93433

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    Do you mean the antagonists that Jesus spoke of.
     
  20. TomVols

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    Obviously, this was an RCC office but didn't the puritans hold to this as well?
     

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