What is the real reason to pursue a Doctorate?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by TCGreek, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    I'm asking this as a pastor, not as someone entering the professorship in a university or seminary.
     
  2. mandym

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    Why not?:wavey:
     
  3. StefanM

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    I can think of a variety of reasons, not listed in any particular order:

    1) The title
    2) Increased career opportunities
    3) Networking
    4) Continuing education
    5) Divine prompting
    6) Desire to study with a particular professor
    7) Opportunity to do it

    Of course this list isn't exhaustive.
     
  4. Rhetorician

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    SM Response

    Bro. Stefan,

    I would say that a combination of all of the above. But what about following the Lord's call on one's life? But I guess that would figure into the "divine prompting" would it not?

    Also, just for the pure joy of learning. I know some pastors who are not "studyers," just "doers." Some are just professional students and love the Word that much. And I am hopeful that their people get the overflow from the new knowledge and degrees gained? :applause:

    "That is all!"
     
  5. Jim1999

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    Perhaps it has just become the "thing" to do these days.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    The whole "Dr" thing never appealed to me. In ministry I ask people to call me by my first name. Not "doctor _______" I tell them I can do nothing for you medically.

    I can only really speak for myself, but I genuinely felt called to get a doctorate. Ever since I was in my freshman year of college I had that impetus in my life.

    Other than that, the challenge was another big factor. I mean can you get a PhD from a fine (but not evangelical) institution and still remain grounded? I did and have been able to be. Also the quest for knowledge is big in me. Semper Studens is one of my life mottos. Another issue was how can I benefit the local church that is too often bereft of theological insight or depth. One more reason is that I wanted credibility to write, this gave me some.

    Finally, I was thinking long term. I'll end up leaving the pastoral ministry one day (due to age) and this is a great way to continue to provide for my family. It'll give me something to do too.
     
  7. Siberian

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    A doctorate is training, and training is intended to enable one to do more (or do the same better). That is how I look at it. I am in the early investigating-planning-deciding stages and hope to enter a doctorate program soon (I was accepted to a program last year, but decided not to matriculate). My motivation (as a pastor) is to do better at what God has called me to do, and a doctorate program seems like it will be helpful in that regard.
     
  8. PilgrimPastor

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    Perhaps, but that awfully pessimistic, kind sir.I'm doing it so that as few doors for ministry and the propagation of the Gospel as possible will be closed to me. That and a love of learning and being a part of the academic environment. :love2:.
     
  9. Jim1999

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    I took a doctoral program because I planned on teaching at university level. I handled ministry and continued to learn prior to that on my own.

    In my time seminary training was to teach you to learn..not teach you substance. Thngs are different now, when so many depend on what they are taught as substance...."my prof said...."

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. TCGreek

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    I appreciate the feedback. I've been pondering the matter for sometime, but have had that "divine prompting." ;-)
     
  11. mandym

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    Should there also be a "divine prompting" for an undergraduate degree?
     
  12. Rhetorician

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    TCG Response

    Hello Dear TCG,

    As I have argued so many, many times on the BB, if you are not sure of the "divine prompting" or have just an "I would like to have it" interest, then stay away!!!:tonofbricks:

    If you want to take up the "reasons NOT TO DO A DOCTORATE for teaching," I will be glad to discuss those with you. Should engender a lively discussion indeed.

    "That is all!"
     
  13. PilgrimPastor

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    That is an interesting sentiment sir. I am nearing the completion of a D.Min. and I have contemplated doing a second doctorate. One of the dissuading factors for me is the idea that I have learned how to research and write and I should invest my time into doing more of that. I have already learned how to learn...
     
  14. Crucified in Christ

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    As an anecdote, but one I fond very interesting, a fellow pastor recently told me of his involvment in helping a church who was looking for a pastor. They were not having much success and wanted the DoM to recommend some other area pastors who could advise them (I say other becasue the association has an appointed pastor who does this...I guess they were not happy with the answers they were getting). Anyway, the church had done a survey as to what they were looking for- almost 20% circled doctorate in the options for minimal education acceptable.

    That church averages about 35 people and has trouble paying someone bi-vocationally.
     
  15. John3v36

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    Before I say what I’m going to say let me say this. I do not think there is anything wrong with a “professorship in a university or seminary” but we need to ask is this what the Lord wants. There are a number of un-degreed men who the lord has used mightily John Bunyan, C.H. Spurgeon Billy Sunday, & Billy Graham. And there are many who have degrees.

    However, if you are seeking the title or to augment your career opportunities you may want to question you motives. Pray what the Lord would have you do because:

    Ro 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

    Some question you may want to ask yourself.
    1. Why do I want the degree?
    2. Will anyone be hurt if I week this?
    3. What does my wife think?
    4. Will it pull time from your kid (if you have kids at home)?
    5. Is there something else you feel the lord would have you do?
    6. Will it increase my love for God?
    My 2 cents worth :godisgood:
     
  16. TCGreek

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    At this point, I guess I should stay away.
     
  17. TCGreek

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    Unbelievable circumstances led me to such - no doubt a God-thing.
     
  18. Dempster

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    How about "I just want to learn all I can about the God, Jesus, and the Bible" as a reason?
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

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    1.Who picks up the cost?
    2.what stress does it put you under (Time, financial, family)
    3. Whats your wife say?
    4. Do you really need it?
     
  20. revmwc

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    I am working on my Master and will then go for my Doctorate. Why because in todays society the degree holds the key to attaining a pastorate. The Doctorate is the most important to Pastoral search committees and churches today. Even many small churches feel that the Pastor must have at least a bachelors and some seminary training. It doesn't matter to them if he is God called or Momma called if he has a degree he is acceptable. Far too many churches today want the paper saying the man completed schooling. The majority want a Masters or above for full time pastorate, the larger the congregation the higher degree level is expected. That is our education oriented society of today.
     

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