BD, MAR, ThM and Ordination

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jhayes, May 15, 2010.

  1. jhayes

    jhayes New Member

    A couple questions...

    Is the Bachelor of Divinity still a relevant degree? If someone where to complete the degree via distant education through the University of London, would that be credible in the States for ordination?

    I know the standard for ordination is an MDiv; however, I was wondering if someone would be permitted to be ordained with an BD, and on that topic what about a MAR, ThM, MATS or any combination of those degrees.

    Basically, I am just curious about ordination. I am guessing this would be dependent upon the denomination, but I am not certain. Thought I would ask the experts.
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I guessing that you're right, it would depend on the denomination. As for the "experts," that would be the people in charge of your denomination, not us.
  3. jhayes

    jhayes New Member

    I didn't literally mean experts...I just appreciate the knowledge here, and the ease in discussing questions...
  4. JWC

    JWC New Member

    It does depend on the denomination. One can be ordained with no Bible college or seminary degree at all in some denominations; others will have to have at least an M.Div.; and still others can be ordained with no degree but will have to take denominational courses of study, such as the study program of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

    To what denomination do you belong, if I may ask?
  5. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    It does really depend on the denomination. The MDiv is that "safest" in the sense that it is most widely accepted.

    But there are always exceptions ... ex, my pastor has his MA & PhD in psychology, he has no theology degrees, but he is an ordained pastor in the Christian & Missionary Alliance.
  6. telefax

    telefax New Member

    There are some denominations that require the M.Div., but the M.Div. is just the B.D. with a more glorified title. The B.D. was the title in use in the United States until (I think) the mid-sixties, and is still standard in the Commonwealth countries. There are probably still people ministering in every U.S. denomination with seminary/div school "B.D."’s, so your denominational gatekeepers should be well aware of this.

    The other issue is that some denominations are very suspicous of training outside their boundaries. Just make sure that they won’t balk at Heythrop College’s Jesuit affiliation - they’re the college at University of London that offers the B.D.
  7. telefax

    telefax New Member

    I'll also add that as the B.D. is a "helping professions" program, you may get more of the skills you'll need out of it as well as spiritual formation by studying somewhere face-to-face.
  8. jhayes

    jhayes New Member

    I am apart of the PCA.

    To be honest, it is not my intention to study at the University of London or get the BD. I am currently working on the MAR, but searching this forum has shown me there are a lot of unique educational opportunities that exist both in and outside the States.

    After my basic question of whether or not the BD was still relevant, I was basically just curious how ordination worked. (I know the PCA uses the Book of Church Order ch 21). Just thought I would bounce it off folks in this forum, who might have different experiences or have researched it themselves.
  9. telefax

    telefax New Member

    My understanding is that while the M.Div. is typical in the PCA, it's not mandated because the decision is left in the hands of the local presbytery. I believe the MAR from Reformed has met with success in this, and even some unaccredited schools have claimed that their graduates were approved/ordained in the PCA. I'd ask your session, then the presbytery, and seek to "come under care" as they put it, so that they can mentor you and possibly pay your tuition. Best wishes on your journey!


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