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ThM Degree Continuance

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges & Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Active Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    There has been much argumentation back and forth for and against the MDiv degree in favor of the "university model" MA degree for a narrowly defined entrance degree into the PhD at the seminary and/or university.

    If the MDiv is terminated, then does that automatically mean in course that the seminary ThM as a one year follow up to the MDiv should also be "canned?"

    Seems to me that it should be "if and only if" we eliminate the MDiv and the first professional degree.

    "What think ye?"


  2. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    Well, as you may know, I am in favor of offering an alternative to the MDiv degree. I think schools should offer MA degrees in specific academic areas for those planning on entering a research PhD program. These degrees can be at least 60hrs and would require a thesis and study of languages that the person needs in their PhD program. So a person who focused on New Testament would need to take courses in greek and maybe latin. Old Testament students would need hebrew and maybe some greek. Church History students would need german and latin (depending upon their focus). This can be done in 60hrs after all most Universities award MAs in History, Religious Studies, and Philosophy with much less than 60hrs.

    The MDiv can be kept for those entering ministry positions (pastor, etc). So the ThM can be kept in place for them. Otherwise I suppose it is just time to drop it. After all the academic programs would be all that one needs to enter a PhD program.

    I am fairly sure that New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary offers some MA programs that qualify one to enter their PhD programs. If I remember correctly they offer MA/Biblical Studies and a MA/Theology.
  3. EdSutton

    EdSutton New Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    MDiv and ThM are often accepted as the 'prerequisites fulfilled" for a PhD. but a MA would likely not be accepted for a prerequisiste fulfillment for a ThD, as that is usually based on the ThM. The differences are that of years of study, and purpose, which I have absolutely no problem with.

    One can often get a PhD at some institutions via the 'MA' route, in less time than one can receive a ThM, BTW.

    And one can find MAs with anywhere from one year (32 Hrs) to around 75 hrs. at that.

    So there are already options, aplenty.

    #3 EdSutton, Mar 2, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2007
  4. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2004
    From what I've seen, the ThM almost seems like a remedial degree in most cases. Generally, if you take the right courses in your MDiv, you can enter just about any seminary PhD program.

    I honestly don't see the appeal of the ThM unless you are attempting to remedy deficiencies in your transcript or to raise your graduate GPA to prove yourself worthy of admission.

    I could see the ThM persisting in this form--an academic "tack-on" for those who opted for the MDiv but took a more praxis-based (as opposed to research) approach.