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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Professional or Theological?

Is the MDiv a professional or a theological degree? Certainly it is meant to be a bit of both as the pastor's profession is theological. But at bottom, what is it? More like a Juris Doctor or a Legum Magister? I think the degree, and hence the seminary itself, should be basically theological if for no other reason than that this is the aspect of a pastor's profession that is 1) teachable in a classroom and 2) not very likely to be taught anywhere else. We all learn vastly more about the pastor's profession in the first year out of the seminary than we did in those three-years-plus-vicarage. But I would wager that most men, like me, definitely did not learn more theology in the first four years after graduation. There is less time for reading, thought, and study. There are fewer teachers to be had. Fewer colleagues with the available free time and inclination to talk theology. If you don't get your theological foundation at seminary, good luck catching up.

All of this came to mind recently as I compared the academic journals of our two seminaries. CTQ's contained theological articles - mostly historical theology this time - and I wanted to read almost every one of them and have still made little headway because, like I said, it's hard to make time in the parish to sit down to theological reading. The CJ issue was. . . well, you can look at the table of contents yourself. Let's just say I was not much tempted to make the time for this thin volume.

Pr. H. R.12 Comments