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Is the Master of Divinity Going Away?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges & Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Administrator
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    To all who hold an educated clergy in high esteem:

    Is the Master of Divinity as we know it going away? I have a vested interest as all can imagine,

    Here are two articles that share more light than heat you may want to read if your want to know what is "trending."

    Rebooting Theological Education | HuffPost

    More seminary students leave the Master of Divinity behind - Religion News Service

    Get back when you can with views and ideas on the subject. I will be watching for your words of wisdom.

    sdg!

    rd
     
    #1 Rhetorician, Nov 3, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  2. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    I hope not but it might be an incentive for more DD's.

    One can go there from a B(whatever) or directly.
     
  3. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    I am afraid it is. When I was a lowly seminary student the M.Div. was considered the 1st professional degree and the D.Min. was the 2nd professional degree.

    My M.Div. was 96 credit hours over and above my BA/BS. Many seminaries shortened that to first 90 chs. Then 82. And now Logsdon (where I have taught an adjunct class) requires only 77 credit hours for the M.Div.

    Dallas has combined the M.Div. with the Th.M. and now require 120 hours for the combined degree. As SEBTS only requires 24 hours over the M.Div. the Dallas M.Div./Th.M. would be equal to a 96 credit hour M.Div. and a 24 credit hour Th.M. But that still does not take into account the shorter M.Div. requirement which at SEBTS is only 81-84 credit hours.

    It looks as if the M.Div. is going the same way as the old B.Div. :(
     
  4. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Administrator
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    Here is another perspective I found. FYI.

    Don’t Leave the Master of Divinity Degree Behind - Credo Magazine

    Let me hear from you.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  5. Greektim

    Greektim Well-Known Member

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    The reason the MDiv is getting shorter is in the main b/c of chaplaincy requirements which is only 72 credit hours (basically 2 MA degrees in counseling and religion).

    As for Dallas, they never offered an MDiv that I heard of, and it is not just "now" that their ThM is 120 credits. That is old school Dallas.

    The other factors are all the other MA degrees seminaries offer. Another problem is that no one really knows the jargon for all of these degrees. One MATS (36 credits) is the same as an MDiv or ThM for most people. So what's the point as long as you have the "M" part?

    This leads into the DMin... you just need something to be a "doctor".
     
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  6. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    Is the Master of Divinity Going Away?

    I didn't know there were very many sugar candy experts left anyway.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I think part of the decline in the MDiv among students is an idea that it amounts to same level studies of topics that the student may not value as much as those in other degree programs.

    When I decided to attend seminary I intended on getting a MDiv. But first I decided on a masters degree focused on a more narrow area of interest. To get a MDiv I would have to simply take 30 more semester hours.

    The problem became motivation. None of the courses required would be more challenging in terms of level of study (the actual course requirements depended on what degree was previously obtained). I had a degree at that level in an area that held my passion.

    I think the MDiv needs to be reworked. Instead of being a mesh of master degrees what if it was a higher level - or at least specific to applying what would be gained at a masters level? Require a seminary degree to start a MDiv. Have the MDiv focus specifically on the pastorate.
     
  8. MartyF

    MartyF Active Member

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    A massive investment in a Masters of Divinity without a "definite" job placement on an additional degree which costs an absurd $50,000+ in tuition alone and $100,000 in lost employment and living costs. $150,000 is a lot to swallow - especially if you come from poor means. I think I would have real problems justifying it if I did not have an active ministry.

    Education itself is changing and becoming more democratized. I remember when the only was I could get or read certain books was by paying absurd amounts or driving the distance to a research library open to the public. More and more, education is becoming about getting certifications and all the degrees are becoming less and less important - especially to those who are not well connected.
     
  9. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Had it not been for the GI Bill I would only have a GED High School diploma.

    Presently : BA in Bible Literature (Greek, Hebrew) unfinished graduate studies (Computer Science and Theology).

    Unfinished because of health issues.
     
  10. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Yep. When they passed the post 9/11 GI Bill, I ended up with 12 more months of benefits (I had already exhausted my chapter 30 on my BA). So, it was off to school for an MA. But my motivation was to become a more knowledgeable Christian, not to assume a pastorate.

    I would also wonder how many of those leaving a school with an MA to pastor a church go back to school, possibly online, to complete an MDiv.
     
  11. labaptist

    labaptist Member
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    At almost 41 I'm not sure if I want to go into debt for an MDiv when most churches don't know the difference between a Master of Arts, Master of Ministry and a Master of Divinity. Look at the SBC job listings. Some might say Masters from an SBC seminary but few say an MDiv.
     
  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy Member
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    I recall a pastoral interview when the first question asked was whether I had a college degree - - which struck me funny since I had the M.Div. from one of the SBC seminaries and obviously a bachelor's degree is a prerequisite.

    It turns out their previous pastor also had a "degree" from the same seminary but couldn't speak or write proper English, and they didn't want to repeat the experience.

    The reason, as it turned out, was that he had graduated with a "certificate" for students over 30 with nothing beyond high school. But he still proudly told that church when interviewed and called that he was a "seminary graduate", and they took him at his word. A lesson for all Pulpit committees to fully vett their candidates.
     
  13. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    I am doing a ThM which contains the MDiv through Andersonville theological seminary. I think I am paying 3,500 total for it. I'll be honest I wouldn't want to go and spend 50,000 on a MDiv if that's what it would cost. Ministry isn't exactly a money maker...
     
  14. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I do not think the MDiv will disappear completely, although it looks like it will not be the go-to choice.
     
  15. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    I still keep wondering about the rate at which MA grads continue on to the MDiv.

    We have acknowledged that there's a student loan crisis in this country. The news is full of stories about people with degrees unable to find work.

    If you know you'll likely have to Timothy under a Paul for a spell anyways, why not take the MA, get into the ministry, and finish the MDiv while you're serving as an associate or youth pastor? Seems like a responsible plan.
     
  16. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    There are alternatives to the high cost of traditional seminaries. If you are of the Calvinist persuasion there are schools like Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary that uses a hybride classroom-distance learning model. I am sure there are similar options for non-Calvinists.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
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