1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Want to be called "Dr." with a Doctor of Ministry Degree?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges & Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, May 19, 2010.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,013
    Ratings:
    +5
    Faith:
    Baptist
  2. Havensdad

    Havensdad New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,382
    Ratings:
    +0
    I disagree strongly. If his point were simply "Pastors should be humble, and should not seek to be called 'Dr.'" I would agree with him. However, Considering the number of hours it takes to get a D.Min....more than many secular Ph.D.'s (since you are required to have a 90 hour M.Div. before you can even start it...compared to the much smaller MA in many secular fields), the work load is certainly there.

    The J.D. is not comparable. It requires no Thesis, Project, or dissertation, unlike most D.Min.'s which do. The Pastorate is by definition an academic field; whether one is teaching in the Pulpit, or teaching in the classroom, seems to be a moot point; they are teaching.

    Now, as to Pastors pushing to be called "Dr."...no I do not think that is right. Of course, I think it is equally wrong when a Christian Seminary Professor insists on it.
     
  3. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Ratings:
    +182
    I have an earned PhD and ask people not to call me "doctor."

    I can't do a thing medically for them. Too many of these guys who go get DMins, or worse honorary DMins from unaccredited institutions, just want to have Dr. before their name.

    One of the comments mentioned something that has stuck out to me. In recent years many DMin programme have become a lackluster, non-rigorous, clergy advancement degree. They lack any amount of truly indepth reading on important issues and the final projects are as useful as a butcher at a vegetarian convention.

    It is no small truth that one of the ironies of fundamentalism (which has carried over to evangelicalism these days) is how anti-intellectual so many of their leaders would be, yet they would require others to call them "Dr" and go out to get as many honorary doctorates as possible.

    I like that the latest SBC Pastor's Convention will not be listing anyone as "Dr So and So." That's a big step in the right direction. :)
     
  4. jaigner

    jaigner Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,274
    Ratings:
    +0
    I don't think there is anything wrong with a pastor who has an earned doctorate to call themselves "Dr." It's up to them and it doesn't have to be prideful.
     
  5. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    17,397
    Ratings:
    +637
    Faith:
    Baptist
    If I had a Ph.D. I would want people to call my by my first name .... just like they do now.

    No matter how much education we have anyone we meet, regardless of whether they have a lot of education or very little, can be our teacher in one way or another.
     
  6. swaimj

    swaimj <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Ratings:
    +0
    Interesting. In my work in car sales, I interract with people in many fields who have doctorates including, recently, a dean of education at a nearby college, a chemist professor at Temply U as well as medical doctors, dentists, lawyers, and a lady who had a doctorate in psychology. None of these people introduced themself to me by the title "Dr." and when I found out in conversation that they have doctorates that corrected me and said "don't call me doctor, just call me by my first name".

    The exception to this seems to be RCC priests who typically introduce themselves as "Father" and let you know that they expect you to call them "Father'. And in my academic career in fundamentalist institutions I have found an insistence in using titles among older men, but less so in younger men. Perhaps that's because I am now older than some of the guys in seminary who now have doctorates, or perhaps the culture is changing somewhat.

    In summary, secular people tend to use their title when they are functioning in the realm of their expertise among students, but otherwise they are quite informal. I would think Baptists should operate more informally and not insist on titles since, as ministers of Christ, we are not to "lord it over the flock".
     
  7. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Ratings:
    +0
    Overall, this is not a good blog post.

    The author is not correct about D.Pharms. Many of them are called Dr.

    The JD is more equivalent to the M.Div as the first professional degree for entry. You have to have a JD to get an LLM for instance. You have to have the M.Div to get the D.Min. So it's not an equal comparison. And attorneys have a preferred, standard "Counselor" instead of Doctor.

    While I agree that D.Min programs are getting weaker by the day and those projects are just silly at times, I have no problem with someone getting the D.Min and being called Doctor. I have a problem when anyone insists on "Dr" or "Rev" or what not.

    One final word: it is a recent deal to call medical doctors as doctors. The title of "doctor" was reserved for the clergy/academy. I believe Lloyd-Jones even refused the title, preferring the standard "Mr" if memory serves me.
     
  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    39,131
    Ratings:
    +2,360
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Some folks need to get a life.
     
  9. swaimj

    swaimj <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Ratings:
    +0
    My point is that secular people with degrees use the proper titles when they are in a professional situation, but when they are not in that context they do not demand the use of titles. Whether the degree they hold is equivalent to a masters or a doctorate is really not relevant to the argument I made.

    My other point is that leaders in Christianity have a tendency to be more concerned that they be addressed by their title than people in the secular fields do and I think it is wrong for Christian leaders to put so much emphasis on titles. Fortunately, I think this tendency is changing for less emphasis on titles and I think that is good.
     
  10. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    6,076
    Ratings:
    +209
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor:
     
  11. Havensdad

    Havensdad New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,382
    Ratings:
    +0
    Jerome,

    This was still several hundred years after the word "Dr." was being used of Theologians/Clergy. That is where it started.
     
  12. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    6,076
    Ratings:
    +209
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Oh.
    Hundreds of years ago is "a recent deal".
    I get it.:thumbs:
     
  13. Havensdad

    Havensdad New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,382
    Ratings:
    +0
    Tom's point was that the title properly applies to Pastors/theologians. It originally meant "one knowledgeable in the scriptures."
     
  14. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Ratings:
    +0
    This was pointed out by none other than Martyn Lloyd Jones, Jerome (among others)

    Take it up with him. :laugh:
     
  15. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,024
    Ratings:
    +408
    I don't "get" the mystique that the M.D. has. Sure, physicians play a very important role, and they are usually quite well-off financially. Beyond that, why does the M.D. degree grant the right to be called "doctor" when it doesn't require a thesis or dissertation? It teaches the practice of medicine. That's it. It's a highly rigorous degree, to be sure, but I don't see why it should be considered better than a PhD.

    IMO, any degree with the term "doctor" in the name allows for the usage of the title.

    (I know that law degrees are a bit different, but there are ethical reasons involved in that discussion. It's another thread entirely!)

    This includes many doctorates: PhD, EdD, DMin, JSD, DDS, DO, MD, PharmD, STD, ThD, DArch, etc.
     
  16. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,499
    Ratings:
    +10
    When I was in seminary I was told to get the degrees and then throw them away once in the pastorate.

    I teach at a major university where one of the professors I teach with was given the award of teacher of the year in the nation in our field. He does not have a doctorate.
     
    #16 gb93433, May 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2010
  17. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Ratings:
    +0
    With the MD, we confuse the role with the title and intertwine the two.
     
  18. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Ratings:
    +0
    Should we bring up the "doctors" of the church? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  19. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,499
    Ratings:
    +10
    Do you mean the antagonists that Jesus spoke of.
     
  20. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Ratings:
    +0
    Obviously, this was an RCC office but didn't the puritans hold to this as well?
     
Loading...