Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I should receive a Doctorate

So I'm sitting in my church history class today learning about the beginnings of university and learning about the monasteries and their involvement in the beginnings of learning institutions. From this I've decided that we, as ministers, as people trying to or already having obtained a Masters of Divinity, got the shaft. We got the short end of the stick. From the beginnings of education, of formal, higher education, there were three areas of study that had to go above and beyond the traditional liberal arts studies. These three, law, medicine and THEOLOGY. So from the beginning, seminary students were studying just as much as law and medical students, going above and beyond the norm and seeking graduate level work. Somewhere though, when degrees started to be awarded, the law and medical students all of a sudden have a doctorate and seminary students only have a masters. Of all the people I know getting a masters, I have the longest program. I am busting my butt to get finished in three years - as a full time student with two part time jobs - sometimes going above and beyond the "full time student" status and taking more classes than the norm (this is the way Laura has always done things, so we're not surprised) :). But that just proves that this program isn't really meant to finish in three years - Considering that I have friends able to obtain a masters degree in two years, all while also working a full time position... And my program is taking most likely more than three - something is not right. They either need to lower the expectations for a masters in divinity (which is required to be ordained) to less than 90 hours or they need to change the program so that in the end you have a doctorate. The level to which people see and place a seminary student needs to be restored to that equivalent of a law student or a medical student. When people say that they are going to med school or law school - the crowd around them seems to look at them with a different sort of reverence, a different outlook on the type of person that they will be. When I tell my friends that I'm going to be a minister, going to seminary, obtaining a masters in divinity, or some variation there of - most people just look at me with a sense of question and ask me if I'm going to be a nun and whether or not I can still drink alcohol, and some even continue to ask me why I would want to be poor for the rest of my life. I won't even touch on the questions I get asked about sex and abstinence. Awesome.

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