What Is Normal Doctoral Class Like?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by TCGreek, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    1. I have not done a doctorate nor any form of doctoral work.

    2. But I am just curious to find out what a normal doctoral class is like.

    3. Maybe we can find a compromise between classroom and DL.

    4. But I would seriously like to know.
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

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    Here is what the DMin classes I took at Southern were like:

    Pre work--on average about 3,000 pages of reading and 100 pages of writing due on the first day of the seminar.

    There was a week long seminar that would involve lectures, discussions and assignments to be completed that week.

    Post-work--this varied depending on the class. Since my emphasis was in preaching it usually involved preaching a 6-8 week sermon series and sending the professor videos and evaluations from church members. Plus there would be 2-3 books to read and review.
     
  3. LeBuick

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    So you be a Doctor now?
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    Not yet. I am finished with my classes, but I am in the writing stages of my final project. Hopefully will graduate May 08.
     
  5. LeBuick

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    We'll keep you lifted in prayer....
     
  6. TCGreek

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    1. Thanks, PastorSBC1303, and all the best on your doctoral project.

    2. Are the reading and writing for one class or several? Seems like quite a lot of work for one class.

    3. Would the work for Dmin be comparable to that of a PhD? I know the Dmin is practical and the PhD is research-oriented.
     
  7. PastorSBC1303

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    Thanks, I appreciate it.

    What I listed was for one class.

    It depends on where you are doing your DMin from what I understand. I have been told that the DMin seminars at Southern are similar to the PhD ones, but it just depends I think.
     
  8. Rhetorician

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    Doctoral Work Response

    To all who have an ear:

    I have done both PhD and DMin work. And I must say that there was not that much difference. The PhD work was done at a major state university of about 20,000 and the DMin work was done at a private seminary, denominational, private, school of religion.

    In my humble but most accurate opinion there was not much difference.:laugh:

    PhD work at the university consisted of:
    1. reading from 4 to 6 books usually 2000 to 3000 pages,
    2. seminar style usually lectures, discussions, papers given, book reviews
    given, in 1-3hr. session (usually night sessions) per week,
    3. 1 (sometimes 2) mid term and/or final exams usually at the end,
    4. formal seminar papers on a topic chosen or assigned usually from 20 to
    30 pp. (and I have written seminar papers up to 42 pp.),
    5. critical book reviews on at least two of the aforementioned books
    turned in to prof or given to colleagues and critiqued by them,
    6. and I have had to teach a seminar to peers and the prof in the room
    and be challenged by all on readings, assertions, conclusions, etc. by all
    concerned.
    7. and I have had classes where I only had one final exam and only one
    20-30 pp. paper with 3000 pp. of reading that was all "fair game" on the
    written essay final exam.

    Let me add here, that if you take 9-12 hours, and try to have a ministry, wife, family, travel time, study time, and they want you to carry at least a "B" average; you will have all you can do!!! Nine-12 hours will take somewhere between 40 and 60 hours per week if you are going to maintain that "B." Seriously!!!!!

    In fact let me add a second thing that Mid America Baptist Seminary demands. They demand that you do 40 hrs. per week on campus if you are full time in the doctoral program. I know many who took 4-6 years to get through their PhD program.

    I will say that it all varied from prof to prof. And I will say that I am not speaking "hyperbolically," "rhetorically" (see my name), or "ministerially." Of course I did not have all of the above for each class. And we learned (like high school and college kids do) which profs to take and which profs not to take.

    I will say that my DMin work was just as challenging and the "project" turned out to be a "full-blown" dissertation not like some who do the "How to Increase Sunday School Enrollment" type DMin "projects." My DMin work was like unto that described above by the brother combined with what I said about the PhD work. And I would hasten to say that if you go to a reputable place like Southern, Southeastern, Mid America, Trinity, Gordon Conwell, DTS, et al you will have your work cut out for you and it will be no picnic.

    After having said all that, I would say "ENJOY!":thumbs:

    Now all of you who go to one of these "fly by night" semi-diploma mills like are discussed here on the BB so much, know why we howl, and laugh, and cry at the amount of work these "schools" require for a "PhD" or some such degree. There is no free lunch!!!! If there is then it is worth what it costs!!!!!

    sdg!

    rd
     
    #8 Rhetorician, Jul 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2007
  9. UZThD

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    I was in the Ed D program at Oregon State. My experience is that grad study in Bible/Theology, if rigorously done, is more difficult.
     
  10. Broadus

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    I don't think anyone knows what a "normal" doctoral course, DMin or PhD, would be. We have our varied experiences. I have a DMin from Luther Rice and a PhD from SBTS. There's no doubt that my PhD was more rigorous and demanding than my DMin. Was that a result of the difference between the two seminaries or between the degrees? I suspect that it was some of both. From what Rhet has written, his DMin was more demanding than other DMins I've examined.

    IMO, the "average" PhD seminar and degree will be more demanding than the "average" DMin. However, a PhD seminar at one seminary may be less rigorous than a DMin seminar at another. A PhD degree at one seminary may be less demanding than a DMin at another. However, these are exceptions to the rule.

    I suggest downloading the SBTS catalog and comparing the requirements for both degrees. As to what a typical PhD seminar demands, it all depends on the particular seminar and professor. They were all demanding at SBTS, but some were more demanding than others.

    Bill
     
  11. Paul33

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    My D.Min. courses at Gordon-Conwell were along the lines of Rhet's experience. Reading, writing, giving seminars to peers/professors, etc.

    My D.Min. thesis was also a full blown dissertation. So was everyone else's in my program.

    My D.Min. was in historical theology focusing on revival, reform, and renewal! It was fabulous.

    I have no doubt in my mind that when I combine my M.Div. (with Greek and Hebrew) experience with my D.Min. experience that I have the equivalent of a university Ph.D.

    The D.Min. part would be the writing of the disseration and the interaction in seminars. The M.Div. part would be the languages and foundational courses in history, theology, etc. (introductory and intermediate graduate level courses = masters).

    I may never be able to teach in a university, but I won't apologize for the M.Div./D.Min. approach that I experienced at TEDS/G-C. It is on par with a secular university Ph.D. in humanities/history.
     
  12. Martin

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    ==And you should not apologize. It sounds to me like you did your homework. The two schools you attended are fine institutions of higher learning.
     
  13. Pipedude

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    That was in the old days. I think they've cut back on that requirement now.
     
  14. StefanM

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    According to the current catalog, PhD students have to spend 8 hrs in the library per week per seminar.
     
  15. Rhetorician

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    Pipedude

    My dearly beloved Pipedude:

    1. I am a Mid America Alum, Diploma of Theology (ADiv) 1985,

    2. I have lived in the Memphis area ever since (for those who do not know
    MABTS is in Memphis),

    3. I have many (no hyperbole as a Rhetorician) friends who have
    graduated with MDiv's, ThD's (the old degree), and PhDs from Mid
    America,

    4. I have attended many a Bible conferences, campus revivals,
    dedications, graduations, at Mid America and Bellevue
    BC under Dr. B. Gray Allison, Dr. Mike Spradlin, and Dr. Adrian Rogers,

    5. I have obtained three other advanced theological degrees,

    6. Dr. Mike Spradlin, the president of MABTS, has been, until recently, my
    interim pastor as well as good friend,

    6. Etc., et al.

    I am not smug. As grand pappy McCoy would say: "No brag--just fact!" So I think I am qualified to make the observation and assertion above. I stand beside it. If you have some alternative perspective please do not hesitate to bring it out.

    Now, I am not so naive as to think that there may not be one different perspective out there somewhere. I will grant that. But my observations, perspectives, and involvement with the school over the past 25 years will hold up I believe.

    Corrections and/or angry exhortations welcomed and suspected!!:laugh:

    sdg!

    rd
     
    #15 Rhetorician, Jul 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2007
  16. Pipedude

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    StefanM, you and that catalog can take a hike. Didn't you read those seven strong proofs that Rhet gave us? And the last two even have the same number, just to emphasize the overwhelming authority that comes from etc., et al.

    "Catalog" indeed! I can't believe you'd have the effrontery to quote the catalog in the presence of someone who is a friend of The Sprad himself, and who has three other advanced theological degrees.

    Learn a little humility. If Rhetorician says it's forty, just bow yo' head and say "yassir."
     
  17. Rhetorician

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    Doctoral Work Reponse

    Gentlemen,

    Just one point of clarification:

    Mid America doctoral students, if they were full time; meaning that they were taking the full doctoral load, had to be "on campus," teaching, researching, writing, in the oibrary, or doing something that directed related to the doctoral work and it had to add up to 40 hrs per week. That was what they meant by a "full time" doctoral student.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  18. Pipedude

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    Have a good day.
     
    #18 Pipedude, Jul 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2007

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