Educational Decisions

I learned earlier this week that I have been accepted into the Master of Theology program at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.  My admittance into the program is for part-time study which would allow me to continue to serve in ministry full-time (which is primary purpose).  The emphasis of my study would be in the broad field of systematic theology, focusing for my thesis on the question of how Christian eschatology shapes and informs the life and practice of the church. 

For those who are unfamiliar with a Master of Theology degree (M.Th), it is typically a 24-credit graduate research program for those who have earned a Master of Divinity degree.  For some, the degree is the next step in fulfilling the eventual goal of earning a Ph.D in religious/theological studies.  I am not sure at this point in my life whether I would ever want to commit the time necessary to earning a Ph.D.  However, the question that my research would focus on does interest me as I try and help North American churches regain their missional calling.

Now I must decide whether I want to go through with this degree or look beyond this and consider a Doctor of Ministry program (D.Min), which is aimed more at the practical aspects of practicing ministry (and there are more and more D.Min programs that are addressing the concerns of the missional church).  If I proceed with this degree, I would be looking at a 4-5 year plan since I would be doing it on a part-time basis.  Decisions…

12 responses to “Educational Decisions

  1. One of the nice things about Luther Seminary is their emphasis on the renewal of congregational mission and leadership. I also know that they have two other students in the Ph.D program who are from the Churches of Christ.


  2. It sounds great. My dream of going to seminary keeps getting put off, moreso now (in recent years) that I have turned to being fully self-supporting (not “full-time” paid ministry). There’s no lack of seminaries here in NY and NJ, but I have other priorities. Someday….

  3. I don’t think you’ll regret it if you follow through and get the degree, even your Ph.D.

    I’ve met few people who have said, “I wish I hadn’t gotten my Ph.D.,” but I know lots who have said just the opposite.

  4. Wow, sounds very interesting.

  5. Proverbs 3:5-6

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone. Of cours everything also hinges on cost, financial scholarships, etc…


  7. Rex,

    The focus of your thesis sounds similar to one of N.T. Wright’s latest books. “Surprised by Hope” subtitled: “rethinking the resurrection, heaven, and the mission of the church.” I’m sure you have read it already, if not, read it! However, I think it is a condensed version of “The Resurrection of the Son of God.” Anyways, Peace be with you in your future endeavors.

  8. I’m wrestling with some of the same questions, but like Tim said, I don’t think anyone has regretted getting their education. Many HAVE regretting NOT.

    Blessings to you,

  9. The results are generally always worth the effort. My hope is that this works out well for you.

  10. Rex,
    Go for it! That is a great seminary. You will learn alot from the Lutherans.

  11. Wes,

    I am not sure but it would surprise me, since the seminary strikes me as a moderate evangelical.


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