Author Topic: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates  (Read 7574 times)

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10679
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2019, 04:31:46 PM »

  1.  When I was an undergraduate one of my professors said that the instructors at the school where she did her graduate work never used "Dr." because it was assumed you had a doctorate and using he title was sort of braggadocio.
 

That's how it was at Yale Divinity School. Everyone was "Mr. so-and-so" (or, rarely in those days of the previous millennium, "Ms. so-and-so").
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10679
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2019, 04:34:53 PM »
Now, someone who knows:

what are the rigors of a theological doctorate, after study, defense and eval and paper
in the United States at say a Lutheran Sem or even a University Divinity Department
compared to a doctorate in theology in England at Oxford, Cambridge or similar University?

It varies greatly with the institution. Some U. S. schools are probably every bit as rigorous as Oxford or Cambridge; others are definitely not.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

J.L. Precup

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1124
    • View Profile
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2019, 05:37:09 PM »
The first time I looked at my military record, I was a little perplexed about the entry for education.  It read:  PRO-1.  I had to look up what that code could possibly mean.  It stood for Proficiency Level 1.  That is: the required minimum to be a chaplain.  A rather humbling accolade. 

A little off topic and looking in the opposite direction, does anyone recall when the BD was changed to an MDiv?
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

John_Hannah

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5724
    • View Profile
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2019, 06:01:58 PM »
I've always considered that there are three kinds of degrees, academic degrees, professional degrees, and honorary degrees. Of the three, the honorary is the least a nice recognition of accomplishment but as a degree not so much. Nice on the bio or resume but to use it in regular introduction or on the business card, no.

A professional degree recognizes the study done to prepare for or continue in a profession. Examples would be M.Div., D. Min., M.D. (Medical Doctor), or J.D. (law). It recognizes the completion of a course of study for a profession and usually is well deserved because it does recognize real work and study. Good on the resume and bio.

This is pretty much where I come down as well.

I have three doctorates, two of which are honorary, plus an M.Div. and a M.S.T.  The non-honorary doctorate is a D. Min., which I take as a professional certification/continuing education diploma, which definitely took a bundle of time and energy, as well as some dinero, but was gained way back in the day in the early '80s.

As District President, some people called me Bishop, some called me Doctor, and some called me Pastor.  Virtually no one called me "President."  In fact, when that happened, I would often be non-responsive, not thinking it was me.

My own preferred title is Pastor B. 

Dave Benke

PS - Great 80th Birthday Party in the Bronx yesterday for none other than our own John Hannah - on our list AKA Colonel (US Army Ret.), Doctor, Pastor

Thanks, Dave. You are correct as to my titles but the only one relevant to my present vocation is "Pastor".

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5338
    • View Profile
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2019, 06:55:42 PM »
@Chaplain Precup

On a certificate dated October 5, 1971, and signed by President John Tietjen
It was stated that the Faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in accordance with
the policy  of the American Theological Schools admits to the degree of Master of
Divinity all alumni on whom the Bachelor of Divinity was previously conferred.

Harvey_Mozolak

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4857
    • View Profile
    • line and letter lettuce
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2019, 08:05:20 PM »
Since Dave and I were classmates but each in a different Sem a few miles apart...  yes, Springfield gave B.D.'s out to us but then, one or two years later, let us know and required any who wanted to have them made into M.Divs to take a couple of courses in fulfillment of that degree... of course we paid for the courses, I think I had to take two courses and did so with a Sem prof (Tepker for sure but there may have been another) who used the Sr College Campus during a Summer few weeks... my parish was a half hour away in NW OH and I took the two courses with a young Greek Prof from an LCMS college in California who had been a missionary also and Dr. Ribar, Hebrew prof at the Senior College... it was a hoot to ask questions and answer inquiries with the two of them sitting on either side of me... there may have been one other pastor in the courses also... but that is years ago,   So you can call me Mozolak or simply MozDiv since I have a paper with both on them. 
Harvey S. Mozolak
my poetry blog is listed below:

http://lineandletterlettuce.blogspot.com

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5338
    • View Profile
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2019, 09:39:58 PM »
Harvey, I do not understand why you had to take two more courses for your M.Div. from Springfield.
My M.Div. came with no strings attached from  St. Louis  It sounds like Springfield used the occasion
as an opportunity for a fundraiser. 

Bottom Line: IF both Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and Concordia Seminary, Springfield were accredited
by the American Association of Theological Schools, then you should not have needed any more course work.

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2019, 12:31:02 AM »
Harvey, I do not understand why you had to take two more courses for your M.Div. from Springfield.
My M.Div. came with no strings attached from  St. Louis  It sounds like Springfield used the occasion
as an opportunity for a fundraiser. 


When the B.Div. degree was re-designated an M.Div. in the late 1960s at PLTS, my pastor was among the many who paid a fee for that to be officially recorded and a new/replacement certificate issued.  No additional coursework was required, as the coursework for an M.Div was exactly the same at what had been required for the B.Div.  He gladly paid the fee, but also viewed it as the sem's way to get larger contributions (the fee was not simply a token to cover the cost of the new certificate) from alumni.   

Whether that was a common or usual practice at theological schools at the time I cannot say. 

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 15097
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2019, 06:19:12 AM »
My degree from LSTC, Maywood Campus), 1967, later became an M.Div. and the new diploma came at no cost to me. At Aquinas Institute, a Dominican Seminary then in Dubuque, I got an S.T.M. Master Of Sacred Theology. I don’t think it ranked “higher” in theological academia than the M.Div.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

D. Engebretson

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5016
    • View Profile
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2019, 07:29:29 AM »
As far as I have been aware the STM has required the M.Div as an entrance requirement (often along with some research language proficiency).  It does for all major seminaries today, as it did for me at Nashotah House.  It is an unusual degree in the world of academia, in some ways, as it is a master's requiring a master's for entrance.  But it is intended to build on the professional M.Div with a research type degree.  Some pursue the degree as a step toward the doctorate, others, like myself, simply pursued it as a possible terminal degree and use it as a credential for teaching. It's equivalent is the Th.M, or in Roman Catholicism it is the STL, or Licentiate of Sacred Theology, a second "cycle" of theological study beyond the basic degree required for the priesthood. In the world of education I would see the STM as the equivalent of the Ed.S or Educational Specialist Degree which requires a master's degree in education but does not rank quite as high as the Ed.D. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

scott9

  • Guest
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2019, 07:31:01 AM »

  1.  When I was an undergraduate one of my professors said that the instructors at the school where she did her graduate work never used "Dr." because it was assumed you had a doctorate and using he title was sort of braggadocio.
 

That's how it was at Yale Divinity School. Everyone was "Mr. so-and-so" (or, rarely in those days of the previous millennium, "Ms. so-and-so").

At UVA, it was just first names.

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 15097
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2019, 10:09:08 AM »
Pastor Engebretson:
As far as I have been aware the STM has required the M.Div as an entrance requirement (often along with some research language proficiency).  It does for all major seminaries today, as it did for me at Nashotah House. 
Me:
Yes, this was true at Aquinas Institute.

Pastor Engebretson:
It is an unusual degree in the world of academia, in some ways, as it is a master's requiring a master's for entrance.  But it is intended to build on the professional M.Div with a research type degree.  Some pursue the degree as a step toward the doctorate, others, like myself, simply pursued it as a possible terminal degree and use it as a credential for teaching. It's equivalent is the Th.M, or in Roman Catholicism it is the STL, or Licentiate of Sacred Theology, a second "cycle" of theological study beyond the basic degree required for the priesthood.
Me:
Yes, my classmates were priests chosen usually by their bishops to move up the academic ladder. And one Presbyterian.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 10:35:31 AM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

Rev Mathew Andersen

  • Guest
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2019, 11:34:31 AM »
Both my parents were teachers.  They raised us with the attitude that it is not the teacher's job to teach but the student's job to learn.  They let us know that there were hundreds of places to find the information we wished to learn and that we had brains to think about it - we did not need a teacher to find a way to shovel it into our brains.  The teacher was one resource among many and if we did not learn something it was not the teacher's fault.  For this reason, I think, while I respect teachers, I have always had a bit of suspicion of colleges and universities, especially when they try to tell me they can offer something I can't get elsewhere.  Aside from the beer parties, I can pretty much access anything any college or university has to offer on my own in one way or another.  For this reason, also, I used to look on the honorary degree as far more prestigious than the research or academic one.  The person who had an honorary had actually done something to earn it, something worth while.  I was far more likely to refer to someone with an honorary degree as "Dr" than someone with an "earned" degree.  Unfortunately, in recent years, it seems more and more common for the honorary degree to be given either as a result of a sizable financial donation or to connect the university to a "celebrity name."  If, however, a person with an honorary degree has shown real contribution to their field and real knowledge, I will still happily refer to them as Dr.  Not so much those with earned degrees who seem to know a lot about a little and not that much worth knowing.

Buckeye Deaconess

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3047
    • View Profile
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2019, 02:34:12 PM »
At UVA, it was just first names.

I'm not clergy (as the thread title notes), but this is helpful to hear.  I still can't get used to being called "Dr." by my students at the two universities I serve as an adjunct for.  I always use my first name when communicating via email, LMS messaging, etc.  It just feels more normal for me.  But students still respond with either Dr. or Professor, and I suppose it's encouraging to see that young people can still show such levels of respect.

I'm not a big fan of honorary doctorates that are misused/overused now that I've put the sweat equity into an earned PhD.  Certainly, individuals who have received them should use them appropriately, as they are a great honor.  One of my dissertation committee members received an honorary doctorate from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, but the very-accomplished gentleman has an earned PhD from Harvard along with a whole host of other graduate-level continuing ed. certificates.  I don't really see myself as a pretentious, elitist academic, but I certainly have great respect for those who have put the effort and expense into an earned doctorate and hope that those with honorary doctorates limit themselves to using such credentials appropriately (as suggested on this site.)

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5338
    • View Profile
Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2019, 05:30:33 PM »
On a lighter note, our Concordia Seminary, St Louis graduating class gave out special certificates
to our wives who had worked during our seminary years to pay the rent and  put food on the table.

The President of our graduating class handed out a Ph.T. to each wife.  My wife was an RN who worked
in surgery at Deaconess Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital in St. Louis.  The Ph.T. stood for Putting Husband
Through.  Of course, a Ph.D. is more prestigious, but a Ph. T. degree was much appreciated by our wives.