Advice for Episcopal Priest Seeking Th.D./Ph.D. in Theology (or related field)

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Tom Head, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Folks --

    A good friend of mine, an Episcopal priest, is seeking a Ph.D. in theology or a Th.D. by distance learning. He's enthused about the prospect of UNISA (particularly the Desmond Tutu connection), but would like to know of other options as well. I've already alerted him to UNISA, GST/Potch, Wales-Lampeter, Australian Catholic, and Charles Sturt. Anyone know of other options that might be suitable?

    He'd be game for a Roman Catholic or mainstream Anglican/Methodist/etc. etc. etc. program (his M.Div. is from GTS), but I don't think he'd be interested in anything much more conservative than that (Calvinist, evangelical, etc). He's willing to do short residencies, but cost is a factor.

    Thanks for any leads.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2004
  2. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Hi Tom - Long time...
    I think you may have hit the high notes already. I think there's a program at the U of Kent. I also think there's a program at the Maryvale Institute although there's a big asterisk next to that reference because I believe the degree is in "Catholic Studies."
    Also, while the program is administered by Maryvale, the diploma comes from the Open University (UK). You know more than most that a doctoral degree can be "tailored" but it's unclear to me if this degree would meet your friends needs. Happy hunting.
  3. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Avoid GST-Potch. Unresponsive. Overpriced. Not Potch anymore. UNW. Ex-Potch very conservative Calvinists (GKSA).
  4. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Thanks for this, folks--I'll pass on the info.

    Unc: I knew the name had changed, but my fingers forgot. Reckoned it was Calvinist, but when I was interested a few years back they were willing to set me up with an Anglican supervisor. I wouldn't say they were terribly responsive, but they were friendly enough. Sorry to see that the price has gone up as much as it has...

  5. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Why not check the Church of the Province of South Africa website and see if there is a list of Anglican sems related to various SA universities, or university theol faculties with a substantial Anglican representation?

    My vague impression is that CPSA is "high" and liberal--but I can't vouch for that.
  6. boydston

    boydston New Member

    A school which has been around for awhile (since the early 60's) -- but doesn't have accreditation -- but does seem to be fairly recognized in what used to be the mainline churches, is the Graduate Theological Foundation. A lot of what they do doesn't add up to me BUT they've survived and there are a lot of namebrand people who have been associated with it.
  7. Craig Hargis

    Craig Hargis New Member

    This is really responding to the low cost, no residency issues. Trinity is almost certainly going to get RA and the DA degree, while not a Ph.D. or Th.D. is very inexpensive as RA doctorates go. Trinity is supposed to be Evangelical but is actually pretty vanilla--nearly generic--in its theology. It is in the USA which is sometimes a good thing.
  8. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Great idea, Unc--thanks!

    The CPSA is in about the same ballpark as the Episcopal Church (USA) in terms of theology; their archbishop, Winston Ndungane, has been our main defender on the African continent during the Gene Robinson controversy.

  9. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Re: Re: Advice for Episcopal Priest Seeking Th.D./Ph.D. in Theology (or related field

    Thanks! Interesting program. Definitely not a degree mill credential, but I'd still have trouble recommending it to my friend due to the lack of accreditation. John Macquarrie's presence there, though, is promising...

  10. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    I'm a little nervous (perhaps unfairly) about Trinity because of its history, but will look into it--they certainly seem to be acquitting themselves well these days...


  11. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    Tutu earned a BA at Unisa (50 years ago). His highest earned degree is an MTh (from U. London). But he has over a hundred honorary degrees. Maybe that's the way your friend should go.

    Oxpecker, D.D. (ULC)
  12. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    A former Robben Island political prisoner, Ndungane is a man of remarkable courage who is willing to speak his mind. Here's an interview from The Guardian: African cleric breaks ranks on gay issue.
  13. CLSeibel

    CLSeibel Member

    Howdy, all!

    If this friend is willing to enter into a program that involves residency, I would recommend the following schools, each of which is either affiliated with the Anglican fellowship or has a strong Anglican representation on its faculty:

    --St. John's College, Nottingham (

    --Trinity College, Bristol (

    --University of Kent at Canterbury (

    --Canterbury Christ Church University College (

    --Oak Hill College, London (

    I believe that the first three of these institutions are commonly in the practice of welcoming students into their research programs on a limitted residency basis. I'm of the understanding that CCCUC might be open to the possibility. In addition, if your friend markets himself properly to Oak Hill College, I suspect that they might be open to the possibility, as well. I can vouch for the relative affordability of most of these programs.

    I'm not sure my perspective on these schools is entirely up to date. However, these strike me as some avenues that would be worth exploring.
  14. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Wow. Thanks, Cory--I appreciate this! And it's good to see you back here. How's the Ph.D. going...?

  15. CLSeibel

    CLSeibel Member


    Thanks for your kind words.

    I'm having a wonderful time with my PhD work. My thesis title is, "Integenerational Reconciliation and Justice as Essential Dimensions of Missional Renewal in the Postmodern Era." Chapter one is essentially in the wraps for now. I've been spending the past few months mainly reading and preparing my notes for chapter two. I will be taking the week of August 16th-21st off from work to write. I have high hopes for what I'm going to accomplish during this time. There honestly has never been a point previously throughout my entire formal education when I was this motivated and enthused about applying myself to my studies.

    I'm thoroughly delighted about my relationship with my research supervisor. He is an exceptional scholar and is rapidly becoming a good friend. I greatly benefitted from spending several days with him in Princeton back in March. The South African government will require Professor Nel to retire in Sept. 2007, so we're going to have to move quickly if I'm going to complete my entire thesis project by that time.

    I'm hoping to travel to Pretoria at some point in 2005 for a period of two weeks.

    Thanks again for your interest. Hope you also are doing well and experiencing progress in your own work.
  16. CLSeibel

    CLSeibel Member


    One further thing: I don't think this was mentioned above; although perhaps you're already aware of this. The theology programs offered by Charles Sturt are administered in conjunction with St. Mark's National Theological College, the Anglican seminary in Canberra. I thought this information seemed relevant to your friend's situation. Registration with Charles Sturt likely would result in the opportunity to study under the supervision of an Australian Anglican scholar.
  17. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    It sounds like you've got a fascinating topic going there. Back when I was UU, I watched my local congregation size drop by half or more simply because the most active members were getting older; the nucleus of our church was made up of people who had been active in the civil rights movement, so that's what drew people in and younger folks like me tended to feel a little left out. I don't know much about how these dynamics usually operate, but I'll be very interested in seeing how things go with your topic, particularly as it relates to larger (and more structured) churches. Just now doing some preliminary reading on church dynamics (Rothauge, etc); I was a member of the RRA/SSSR a few years back, but didn't make good use of my membership and should probably rejoin.
    Thanks. I'm hoping to hit the halfway point around the first of the year and graduate sometime in 2006; my topic is "Normal Mysticism and Indeterminacy of Belief in the Philosophy of Max Kadushin," where I'm exploring the Whitehead-influenced philosophical thought of a major figure in Conservative Judaism. There have been lots of studies of the man from a rabbinic perspective, but mine will be the first broader survey of his system. Hoping it'll make for interesting reading, at least.

    Are you still running that listserv...? If you'd be interested in getting the band back together, I could co-moderate.

    Take care!

  18. jon porter

    jon porter New Member

    Of those of us who grew up in our UU Church -- a fairly tight-knit group of about ten or a dozen -- during Junior High and High School, only one regularly attends any UU church. (There may be a few, like me, who are members in name only. )

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