Which seminary is best if I want to stay in academia?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by habeoChristum, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. habeoChristum

    habeoChristum
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    I graduated recently from college and am on staff with a campus ministry. My interest is in studying the relationships of Christianity, church and culture. I want to go to a seminary first (probably for an M. Div) and then go on for a Ph.D. at a top tier secular graduate school or seminary (i.e. Princeton, Yale, etc). So my question is, where should I go to seminary now? I'm looking for:

    1. Generally faithful to God's word, though I don't mind some challenging beliefs.
    2. Good in training for academia and research (most seminaries seem to be completely focused on training pastors and missionaries).
    3. A good enough reputation that I could go to on a to top tier graduate school.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. PreachTREE

    PreachTREE
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    Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
     
  3. Martin

    Martin
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    The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

    Trinity Evangelical Divinty School
     
  4. PilgrimPastor

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  5. StefanM

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    Can't do an MDiv at DTS, though.
     
  6. Paul33

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    Forget the M.Div.

    Get an M.A. (two years) at Trinity International University - TEDS. Then go on. Why waste time with all of the methods classes. They are completely useless if you are going for a Ph.D.
     
  7. PastorSBC1303

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    I would put my vote in for The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
     
  8. Rhetorician

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    habeoChristum Response

    hC,

    Let me be one of the first to welcome you to the BB.

    If you want a quick but expensive route, I think I would consider Wheaton. You can, if I remember the catalog, do an MA/PhD back to back in the Biblical Languages or such. Check it out.

    But, you had better hold on to your wallet when you check out their tuition and the cost of living in or near Chicago.

    Another consideration you might want to hear is this. If you are or become and "SBC hand" you will need the "MDiv Union Card" and plenty of practical experience in "church work" like you are already getting. SBC schools want "scholar-teachers-pastors" generally.

    For what it is worth!
     
  9. TomVols

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    I second that. And third it. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  10. Rhetorician

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    TV Response

    Now TV,

    I too second and third that emotion. All of us old "SBC hands" on the BB, especially those of us who are alums, love The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary! Do we not?!

    But the quickest way, it seems to me, is to do the MA/PhD and skip the MDiv.

    It seems that one of the SBC seminaries, I want to say Southwestern, had an MA of 60 hours or so that they would allow the person into the PhD with it and not have the MDiv. Does anyone remember if that is the case or no?

    FWIW!
     
  11. StefanM

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    I know NOBTS has some MAs that are sufficient for entry into PhD programs there.
     
  12. PilgrimPastor

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    I guess thats true... M.A.B.S. or Th.M...
     
  13. Plain Old Bill

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    I would at least get a catalog from DTS you might find the language department interesting. If you are not in a hurry DTS has a ThM and ThD, each program is 4 years and very complete for academic purposes. I would also check out the big 6 SBC schools all have good reputations and programs.

    I guess you have to decide whether speed or completeness of education is more important. From the tone of your entry I would guess completeness would be your choice.
     
  14. EdSutton

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    No, but you can directly do the Th.M. (120 Hrs.), or in the alternative, one can do an M.A. BS; M.A./BEL.; M.A.CE; at 62, 62, and 65 Hrs, respectively.

    The Doctoral programs at a reputable, "top-tier" institution will normally take into account the level of the Master's, and the amount of additional work will likely vary accordingly.

    Very few, if any, are going to consider even a fully reputable 32-45 hr Master's (Yes, they do exist.) to be the full equivalent of a Th.M. in the 120 Hr. range.

    Dallas, Trinity Evangelical, Southern, Southwestern, Southeastern, Liberty, Southern Evangelical, Westminster, Western among and plus probably some others, all have several varied merits, IMO.

    Ed
     
  15. EdSutton

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    The nomenclature and program of the Th.D. is now that of a Ph.D., I do believe, at both Dallas and Southern. Don't know about most others.

    Ed
     
  16. Rhetorician

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    hC Question

    hC,

    One small question if I may?

    Why and what is your purpose to want to attend a "top tier graduate school"?

    Do you want to teach at the secular university or seminary or divinity school or graduate school of religion? This question may alter the direction you wish to go?

    I invite others to have some input and insight.

    "That is all!"
     
    #16 Rhetorician, Apr 12, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2008
  17. Rhetorician

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    Ed Follow up

    hC & Ed,

    DTS will not allow anyone into their PhD program without their ThM or equivalent; i.e., an MDiv with a ThM or some other post-MDiv research Masters equaling their 120 hr Masters.

    But, I go back to my observation submitted above: Why would a young man, who is just now starting out, man want to do 120 hr Masters, when he can do both in the MA/PhD university model like that of Wheaton's program? That of course is, if, time and money are not important?

    FWIW, and for discussion.:thumbs:

    "That is all!"
     
  18. Maestroh

    Maestroh
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    In Regards To DTS

    As a student at Dallas Seminary who is halfway through his Th.M. in the Academic Studies of the New Testament, I would dare say that you first have to know exactly what you want because it has a direct bearing on later issues. I didn't know that much, and I now may have problems because of it.

    1) Do you wish to teach in seminary or college or university level?

    2) Are you confined to a particular denomination?

    3) Where precisely do you plan to do a Ph.D.?

    The first two help control the answer to the third.

    I originally had what I thought was an easy plan. I lived in California and liked John MacArthur, so I was going to The Master's Seminary. How close did I come? I had already put down my tuition deposit for the fall semester as well as a deposit for my child's education in private school.

    But here was the problem: I had planned to do doctorate level studies at DTS. The four-year M.Div. would not be recognized by DTS, so I would have to then complete ANOTHER Master's Degree called a Master's of Sacred Theology, which was something like 36 additional hours and THEN I could get into the Ph.D. program.

    Yet then there's another dirty little secret they don't tell you: what if your studies in theology lead you to different conclusions than your original convictions?

    The name DTS causes our graduates no end of problems. They're fine if:

    a) You want to teach at DTS, but we all know there's a limited number of positions. We have professors on staff like Pentecost and Hendricks who knew Lewis Sperry Chafer personally

    b) You go to a dispensational church.

    Otherwise, your degree is virtually useless without the Ph.D. - and where do you go for that?

    Now I hasten to add: our language program is truly awesome, and is a big reason why a number of people come here, to study under the likes of Fanning, Wallace, Johnston, Burer, and others.

    But what am I going to be able to do when I graduate that I can't already do now?

    A secular school isn't going to hire me because I don't have a Ph.D. Odds are that if I do have one from UNT (for example) I will be competing with folks from Princeton and other places.

    And a sacred school or seminary is going to insist I toe a doctrinal line more rigid that some churches. If I reject dispensational distinctives, I can't go to DTS offshoots.

    And guess what? Covenantal places won't hire you because they see the letters 'DTS' and immediately think of Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, and John Hagee.

    I've said my piece for now.
     
  19. habeoChristum

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    I like the possibility of being a professor at a secular university in a religious studies or sociology department. Having known the religious studies department where I did my undergraduate, there was not a single professor (out of about 20) that I think would have called themselves an evangelical Christian. Yet many of them are writing books and publishing papers and teaching students about what "Christianity" is.

    The reason I would like to go to a seminary first is to get better foundation before pursuing the a Ph.D. at a school with a good reputation in academia. But if going to a conservative seminary would even keep me from getting into those schools, then I'm not sure I would go.
     
  20. Paul33

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    A M.A. from TEDS will get you into any top tier school.

    Go to TEDS for the evangelical background and grounding, then earn a Ph.D at Drew, Duke, Marquette, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, et al.

    If you want to teach in a university setting, do not get your Ph.D. from a seminary. And avoid the M.Div.

    Just my strong opinions. It's the route I wish someone would have advised me to do. I have an M.Div. (TEDS) and a strong academic D.Min. (G-C) and have no credibilty for either seminary teaching or university teaching.

    You are on the right track. Get the M.A. from an evangelical university and then go to the top tier school for the Ph.D.
     

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