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Author Topic: Divinity schools/theology degrees  (Read 6615 times)
shadowbird
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« Topic Start: April 22, 2011, 05:51:47 pm »

I did a search but didn't turn anything up (my search-term mojo has been off lately, though, so apologies if I missed a prior thread).

Has anyone here who follows a non-Abrahamic faith/religion/deity chosen to attend divinity school or get any kind of theology degree? Have you thought about it? Has it ever appealed to you?

This has been rattling around in my brain all week, and I'd enjoy hearing others' thoughts. Thanks!
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« Reply #1: April 22, 2011, 06:16:38 pm »

I did a search but didn't turn anything up (my search-term mojo has been off lately, though, so apologies if I missed a prior thread).

Has anyone here who follows a non-Abrahamic faith/religion/deity chosen to attend divinity school or get any kind of theology degree? Have you thought about it? Has it ever appealed to you?

This has been rattling around in my brain all week, and I'd enjoy hearing others' thoughts. Thanks!

I haven't personally, but you might try the UU related divinity schools. 
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« Reply #2: April 22, 2011, 06:54:01 pm »

I haven't personally, but you might try the UU related divinity schools. 

My sister's in a UU seminary program.  Myself, I'm hoping to get into CHS but I have to actually get a BA first.
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shadowbird
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« Reply #3: April 22, 2011, 07:41:06 pm »

My sister's in a UU seminary program.  Myself, I'm hoping to get into CHS but I have to actually get a BA first.

I'm definitely checking out the UUs, as well as Harvard Divinity (nondenominational, and closer to home than either of the two UU-specific schools).

Darkhawk, what's CHS?
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« Reply #4: April 22, 2011, 08:24:52 pm »

Darkhawk, what's CHS?

http://cherryhillseminary.org/

They're currently not accredited to give out degrees, though they can ordain, but I'm hoping that by the time I have time to go back to college and pick up a BA they will be (they're working on the process).
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« Reply #5: April 22, 2011, 09:05:10 pm »


Oh. Oh my. Thank you. *bookmarks*
This might be a good place to start, along with getting more involved with the local UUs.
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« Reply #6: April 23, 2011, 12:30:29 am »

I'm definitely checking out the UUs, as well as Harvard Divinity (nondenominational, and closer to home than either of the two UU-specific schools).

Darkhawk, what's CHS?

Harvard Divinity has graduated a large number of UU's.
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« Reply #7: April 23, 2011, 06:43:20 am »

I did a search but didn't turn anything up (my search-term mojo has been off lately, though, so apologies if I missed a prior thread).

Has anyone here who follows a non-Abrahamic faith/religion/deity chosen to attend divinity school or get any kind of theology degree? Have you thought about it? Has it ever appealed to you?

This has been rattling around in my brain all week, and I'd enjoy hearing others' thoughts. Thanks!

What does one do with an M. Div degree?  or rather, what does one do with an M. Div that can't be done with a different Master's degree?

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« Reply #8: April 23, 2011, 07:40:04 am »

I did a search but didn't turn anything up (my search-term mojo has been off lately, though, so apologies if I missed a prior thread).

Has anyone here who follows a non-Abrahamic faith/religion/deity chosen to attend divinity school or get any kind of theology degree? Have you thought about it? Has it ever appealed to you?

This has been rattling around in my brain all week, and I'd enjoy hearing others' thoughts. Thanks!

I've thought about it.  It's not practical in my life right now - and I'm not sure I'd actually get what I want from the program, which is a good chunk of why I haven't remotely pursued it.

But I'd love to know more about how religion works, how to help people through religious means .... y'know, if I was infinitely rich and had infinite amounts of time to do everything I wanted to do. Tongue
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« Reply #9: April 23, 2011, 09:04:19 am »

What does one do with an M. Div degree?  or rather, what does one do with an M. Div that can't be done with a different Master's degree?

Depends on the degree - a lot of M.Div degrees include material on things like pastoral counselling (which is not the same as, say, mental health counselling, but obviously has some overlaps in specific places), on communicating complex ideas about religious, ethical, moral topics clearly (some programs, that's all about preaching, some programs, it's a lot more general.) Interfaith and ecumenical work (so some comparative religion, ways to work with people coming from other faiths). If you browse M.Div programs, you can get a general idea.

If/when Cherry Hill gets their accreditation, I'm really tempted to do a M.Div to go with my MLIS. (There are jobs in my field where having a second master's, regardless of the field of the second one, could have some benefits, as well as the more obvious jobs where a second master's in a relevant field would help, so it doesn't make sense to do it without accreditation, and I don't want it quite enough to figure out how to make a face to face seminary work out in practical terms.)
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« Reply #10: April 23, 2011, 09:40:26 am »

But I'd love to know more about how religion works, how to help people through religious means ...

Yeah, this is where I'm at too. I really want some more rigorous education in how religion works for people and how to facilitate that in a pagan or at least nondenominational setting.
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« Reply #11: April 23, 2011, 09:41:49 am »

Depends on the degree - a lot of M.Div degrees include material on things like pastoral counselling (which is not the same as, say, mental health counselling, but obviously has some overlaps in specific places), on communicating complex ideas about religious, ethical, moral topics clearly (some programs, that's all about preaching, some programs, it's a lot more general.) Interfaith and ecumenical work (so some comparative religion, ways to work with people coming from other faiths). If you browse M.Div programs, you can get a general idea.


Yeah, I'm interested in the overlap between religion and psychology, among other things.
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« Reply #12: April 23, 2011, 11:29:15 am »


If/when Cherry Hill gets their accreditation, I'm really tempted to do a M.Div to go with my MLIS. (There are jobs in my field where having a second master's, regardless of the field of the second one, could have some benefits, as well as the more obvious jobs where a second master's in a relevant field would help, so it doesn't make sense to do it without accreditation, and I don't want it quite enough to figure out how to make a face to face seminary work out in practical terms.)

From reading CHS website, I thought most of the work was done via distance learning.

They are also trying to get accredited with a group that mostly handles lots distance learnning schools and (from a very brief browsing) schools that teach what might  not be thought of as academic materials (having trouble wording this correctly).

I'm curious as what kind of jobs, or maybe a better question would be how Many, a CHS master's would be relevent. or a M. Div outside of academia or outside of a nominially Christian oriented group (and I'd include UU in that last part for this discussion).
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« Reply #13: April 23, 2011, 12:08:05 pm »

I'm curious as what kind of jobs, or maybe a better question would be how Many, a CHS master's would be relevent. or a M. Div outside of academia or outside of a nominially Christian oriented group (and I'd include UU in that last part for this discussion).

For myself, I am interested in youth education and various other things. I'm not really seeing this necessarily as a career choice, just something to pursue for the joy of studying it. I'll be paying off my undergrad degree for decades, and I did the same thing there. It's not for everyone, and it's not the most "responsible" thing I could do, but it has been the most enriching and satisfying experience of my life and has opened up options I would never even have thought about otherwise. I learn best in a structured environment, and don't yet have the basics I need to explore what I'm interested in on my own. As an undergrad, I was a French major for the sole purpose of cultural studies and immersing myself in something that spoke to me. I studied abroad, and hope to eventually move back to France to live. I would approach divinity school or seminary studies with the same mindset--not looking to land a job, per se, but enriching my life and exploring my interests via academic study.

Just my take on it.
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« Reply #14: April 23, 2011, 01:07:31 pm »

From reading CHS website, I thought most of the work was done via distance learning.

They are - which is the point, as opposed to my trying to get close enough to a suitable divinity school that teaches face to face. (Especially since, hi, already have a Master's in a field I like to work in, but may or may not end up in an area with a suitable seminary.)

Quote
They are also trying to get accredited with a group that mostly handles lots distance learnning schools and (from a very brief browsing) schools that teach what might  not be thought of as academic materials (having trouble wording this correctly).

My understanding from what they've said over the past few years is that accreditation for M.Div programs is unusually weird even for academia (which matches what I've heard other places), so they're going with an option that seems like the best fit of the available choices, while recognising that there are ways it's not the greatest fit.

For my purposes, accreditation *somewhere* that's got standards that can be pointed to, matters more than the specific body (but I recognise I'm in a weird position, for which, see below.)

Quote
I'm curious as what kind of jobs, or maybe a better question would be how Many, a CHS master's would be relevent. or a M. Div outside of academia or outside of a nominially Christian oriented group (and I'd include UU in that last part for this discussion).

There are a lot of library jobs in academia where having a second master's is either preferred or required - but often, they don't care about the actual subject area. It's basically considered to be a way to show that you have subject expertise as well as the MLIS, which is the 'information science, knowledge management, etc. theory and practice' (and also, because most MLIS programs don't have anything like a thesis, it often shows that someone can do a sustained larger research project, which is obviously of interest to college/university folks regardless of subject.)

An M.Div is a sort of unusual choice, but I can think of a number of ways to present the intercultural/interfaith communication and education, the comparative religion pieces, and the 'I know how to be a sensible, thoughtful human being who can be helpful in hard times' stuff as pretty compelling additions to a library. (And it's different than what a lot of librarians do, which is usually English or History.)

I've also known people who've combined an M.Div with a degree program that allows them to do counselling or therapy, in order to focus on a practice that, f'ex, particularly works with questions of religious identity, community, etc.

I'd possibly be inclined to do it anyway, eventually, but an accredited program has enough career benefits that it's worth waiting for it, for me. (Plus, I'm not up for taking up another round of grad school until I'm a bit settled in whatever new job.)
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