Author Topic: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates  (Read 7575 times)

Dave Benke

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2019, 08:12:42 AM »
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.)

The link provides a nice and, I think, appropriate methodology for use of titles connected to honorary doctorates.

Dave Benke

John_Hannah

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2019, 08:29:27 AM »
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.)

The link provides a nice and, I think, appropriate methodology for use of titles connected to honorary doctorates.

Dave Benke

. . . and titles for clergy.    :)

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2019, 09:25:38 AM »
Once some sort of prestige is attached to a title, the tendency will be for people to go after the title without having to have what the title is supposed to represent. There are truly bright, dedicated people working their tails off trying to get an undergrad degree in difficult programs, and semi-literate part animals getting the same degree in some less difficult program. If all you know is that that they got their four year undergrad degree you don't really know much about their education. Same with D.Min, Ph. D, or anything, really. Honorary doctorates can and often do represent a lifetime of demonstrated mastery in an academic subject applied outside academia, but they can also represent inherited wealth donated to a university.

RayToy

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2019, 09:53:19 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.


      The first names was the practice for the graduate school.  As an undergraduate, we addressed faculty as "Mr. so and so" or "Ms.  so and so."  Except for the two Jesuits on faculty who were usually addressed as Father Fogarty or Father Brown. TAs were usually addressed by their first names.

Ray
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Charles Austin

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2019, 11:50:45 AM »
And on this point, this humble correspondent remains an old, crabby, probably hierarchical conservative.
It is "Pastor Lastname" not, repeat NOT "Pastor Firstname".
When I taught creative writing at William Paterson University, it was "Mr. Austin," not "professor," I explained that as an adjunct, I was not titled that way. Ditto for "Dr.," though that rarely happened.
If I were to speak on the floor of a synod assembly, which I rarely did, my references to others were "Pastor Olsen," or "Bishop Riley," never "Peter" or "Roy," even though I might use those first names in private conversation.
Proper use of titles, I believe, serves to underline function and relationship in ways that help both the function and the relationship.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2019, 12:04:04 PM »
I have to agree with Pastor Austin on this one.  Many of my fellow clergy insist on the Pastor with first name.  Somehow, they seem to think, it makes them more accessible to their people.  I use Pastor with the last name and I have never seen it as a barrier.  You grow close to your people by living among them, getting to know them, etc.  Don't get casual.  People see you as their spiritual leader.  Be one.

As an adjunct for the seminary I also follow Austin's practice, except in my case, since I am teaching for a seminary, I sign my communications with my students as "Pastor Engebretson."  The seminary chooses to list me officially as an "adjunct professor," but I just can't use the title for myself.  I feel more like one pastor mentoring those learning the trade. 

As a chaplain the whole title thing is a lot more fluid.  At the city where I serve it leans more formally toward "Chaplain" or "Chaplain Engebretson."  At the rural department where I have served for much longer I receive a variety of titles and nicknames: pastor, chaplain, "Rev," father (for the Catholics), and even my first name.  Interestingly, when they first issued the nameplate for my dress uniform they printed it as "Rev. Engebretson."  I am also listed on the roster in the same way.  My helmet, however, simply says "Chaplain" with my call number "O3," which is what I use in radio communications: E.g. TOA 03 to TOA 51. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dave Benke

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2019, 12:17:34 PM »
I have always been Pastor B, never Pastor D.  One thing in a multi-cultural context is that your Teutonic surnames are not automatically pronounceable.  "Pastpr Pink/Pinky/Bennie/Beanie" are a few of my AKAs in Brooklyn.  I doubt that more than five people in the 'hood know my first name.

Although in one of my early raps, I began - "my name is Dave/I'm your CEO/you could call me Heavy D/might make my hair grow yo....".  But a CEO is not a Pastor.

Dave Benke

DeHall1

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2019, 12:51:13 PM »
Our Pastor has always referred to himself as "Pastor <Lastname>"....Even the Pastor we had prior to our current one.  In all church-related documents he is "Pastor <Firstname><Lastname>". 

What's really odd (to me) is that our Pastor's first name happens to be "Robert"....But his wife and visiting familiar ALL refer to him as "Bobby"....Maybe it's the military training I went through, but I could never bring myself to refer to a Pastor by his or her first name -- a diminutive of that first name just seems completely wrong...Even if it happened to be one of our sons.

Terry W Culler

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2019, 01:04:06 PM »
In the AFLC it was once the practice to refer to all ordained people as "Pastor", even if they were no longer serving in that capacity for whatever reason.  We also have some people who are "Lay Pastors" and they too were referred to as "Pastor."  About 4 years ago or so I began to notice that ordained guys were now being referred to as "the Reverend SoandSo" in documents.  I've asked around but no one claims to know why the change or even to have noticed that there has been a change.  I can't help but wonder if someone wanted to have a greater distinction between ordained and lay pastors--maybe another step away from Haugeian pietism.  (I should note that Hauge never called himself a pastor nor said anyone without appropriate training should be a pastor.  Like many people in time some out-Hauge'ed Hauge)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 01:26:43 PM by Pr. Terry Culler »
"No particular Church has ... a right to existence, except as it believes itself the most perfect from of Christianity, the form which of right, should and will be universal."
Charles Porterfield Krauth

Dave Likeness

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2019, 01:20:32 PM »
In the LCMS, both President Jack Preus and Ralph Bohlmann had a Ph. D.
Presidents Alvin Barry, Gerald Kieschnick, and Matthew Harrison had honorary Doctorates.

In the ELCA, former Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson had an honorary Doctorate.
Current Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has neither a Ph.D. or an honorary Doctorate.

Bottom Line:   What university or seminary will come to the rescue of Bishop Eaton
and give her an honorary Doctorate?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 01:27:27 PM by Dave Likeness »

Dave Benke

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2019, 01:28:33 PM »
In the AFLC it was once the practice to refer to all ordained people as "Pastor", even if they were no longer serving in that capacity for whatever reason.  We also have some people who are "Lay Pastors" and they too were referred to as "Pastor."  About 4 years ago or so I began to notice that ordained guys were now being referred to as "the Reverend SoandSo" in documents.  I've asked around but no one claims to know why the change or even to have noticed that there has been a change.  I can't help but wonder if someone wanted to have a greater distinction between ordained and lay pastors--maybe another step away from Haugeist pietism.  (I should note that Hauge never called himself a pastor nor said anyone without appropriate training should be a pastor.  Like many people in time some out-Hauge'ed Hauge)

The "Reverend" titles are mostly derived from Anglicanism, as far as I know.  Most Reverend is the big fella, then Right Reverend, and so on down to Just Plain Reverend.  In my personal case, when I taught HS in NYC, I was known as "Rev."  Not Reverend, but Rev.  A step below Just Plain Reverend. 

Dave Benke

Dana Lockhart

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #41 on: July 08, 2019, 01:58:47 PM »
In the LCMS, both President Jack Preus and Ralph Bohlmann had a Ph. D.
Presidents Alvin Barry, Gerald Kieschnick, and Matthew Harrison had honorary Doctorates.

In the ELCA, former Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson had an honorary Doctorate.
Current Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has neither a Ph.D. or an honorary Doctorate.

Bottom Line:   What university or seminary will come to the rescue of Bishop Eaton
and give her an honorary Doctorate?

Bishop Eaton has an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Luther College, an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Bethany College, and an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Thiel College.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 02:03:07 PM by Dana Lockhart »

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2019, 02:06:54 PM »
a couple of evidently ex-military or southwestern folks, not people who knew me well, have called me Padre at one time or other...  that may be a more used title in the military, eh?   It is an experience really only PKs know... as a child of a certain usually younger age, hearing their father called Fr. by someone before they understand it is an ecclesial title. 
Harvey S. Mozolak
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2019, 02:46:42 PM »

My preferred usage is Pastor Fienen, abbreviated to Pr. Fienen or a bit more formally when signing things as Pr. Daniel Fienen. I don't get stuffy about it if people just want to call me Pastor, Pastor Dan or even just Dan. I would only make a point of it if it seemed to me that the intent was to deny me the respect or authority that my office should afford me in the situation. I rarely if ever experience it as disrespect so I don't let it bother me. I personally dislike the title Reverend or Rev. I appreciate that it is usually either assumed to be the customary address or out of respect for the office that I hold, but I feel that the title Pastor is more descriptive and in its way more honorable. For official documents, I will sign as Rev. Daniel Fienen.


In the circles that I usually travel, we pastors typically address each other by first name. My practice on this forum is usually to use Pr. So and So, since some here seems to insist on it. Occasionally I revert to my customary practice among colleagues and use first name when that is not ambiguous - or screen name, especially if I'm not sure of another name. I certainly do not object to being referred to by first name, unless the person referring to me has me confused with someone and can't be bothered to distinguish among us.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Clergy and Honorary Doctorates
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2019, 03:31:08 PM »
How do you feel about this?

Let's say I have a neighbor who is a RC priest and we disagree about a lot of doctrines of the Church... I call him Fr. Jones.
I have another neighbor whom I have never used as a doctor, she is a gynecologist... I call her Dr. Mary Jones.
There is a vet in the subdivision, I call him, Doctor, though he will never take my BP.
I have a Jewish Rabbi up the street, I call Rabbi.
A new guy I met at the pool is a teacher at a nearby University, I call him Professor. 

What of a neighbor who does not want to call me, Pastor or Reverend or Father, not because he or she does not know what my title is but because they don't like the church or my church or despise Christianity or religion in general? OK, nothing can be done about it and it is their freedom to call me by my names or Mr. or Neighbor or even ignore me.  But it is interesting.  While the world is dropping a lot of the formalities of titles.  Perhaps the church, by many and in more usage, is being stripped of its titles for different reasons. 
Harvey S. Mozolak
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