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Doctor of Ministry or Doctor of Philosophy/Theology?


Church Mouse

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I am wondering what jobs a D.Min. is likely to get offered versus a Ph.D. or a Th.D. I understand roughly that the D.Min. is for practical theology and the Ph.D. and Th.D. are for more academic pursuits of theology. Is it really that cut and dried; get a D.Min. if you want to be a practitioner or a Ph.D./Th.D. if you want to teach? I know it is not unheard of for a D.Min. to end up teaching, but is that rare? If I were to get a D.Min. what would my job prospects be? What might Ph.D.s and Th.D.s do other than teach?

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I don't think that it's all that unheard of for a D.Min to teach. If you look up faculty in Christian undergrad theology departments, you will find a lot of DMin's, especially in confessional schools. I'm probably in the minority, but I have no problem with D.Min's teaching practical theology classes. We actually have one D.Min at Duke (Ken Carder), a former bishop. I think that the academy definitely needs practitioners (those who have been there) to teach the how to's of ministry. That said, I would want that person to be very experienced in ministry since the experience is one of the factors for their expertise. IMO, if you know that you want to teach, I would go for a PhD/ThD. If you are interested in ministry and want to be a pastor, I'd consider the DMin. Duke has recently proposed to begin offering the DMin in 2011. If it goes through, it will probably be the most (or one of) rigorous DMin's that will be respected in the academic world. Peace.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Aside from confessional schools, as mentioned in the post above, it will be hard to get academic positions. D.Mins in schools of theology, div schools, etc tend to be those with many years of experience, and even then they typically supervise the practical ministry component. Given an incredibly tight job market at the moment, I think it's safe to say that D.Min. will keep you out of far more jobs that it will get you into. If you're fresh out of D.Min., I wouldn't even waste the time applying. Ten years later, you'll be in much better shape imo.

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