What Is That Degree Called?

I think my dad has asked me 10 times what kind of degree I’m getting. It’s not his fault, it’s confusing. So here’s what’s going on. It’s 2019 and I’m wrapping up my second degree at Denver Seminary. I finished the first one in 2014 and it is called a Master of Divinity (M.Div.). The M.Div. is designed to be the standard degree seminaries and graduate schools offer for aspiring pastors. At the time I took the degree it was around 97 hours. They’ve sense reduced the course load to something around 75 hours to stay competitive with other seminaries. This degree was great at giving me a well rounded education on the Bible, Theology, ministry, leadership, etc. While I was wrapping up my degree I started to get this itch to study more about triperspectivalism. I found it really interesting and potentially important in the church’s mission to make disciples. So I started to look at my options.

I could try to self-publish a book working out my studies on triperspectivalism. But I’ve heard that his holiness Tim Keller say that writing a book when you’re young is foolish (I still might try to prove this wrong).

I could try to get a Ph.D. in theology. But I don’t feel like God is calling me away from my church right now to spend 6 years getting a Ph.D.

I could just blog on it. But I wanted some formal feedback on my ideas and concepts before I just put them out there.

I could look at other degree options. This is what I landed on.

Even if I still wanted to get a Ph.D. one day (which I am unsure about), I would need a degree that shows I can do extensive research (something the M.Div. didn’t require other than 40 page papers). So I started looking at Master of Theology (Th.M.) programs. Denver Seminary was offering a new Master of Theology program and some scholarships to go along with it. The Master of Theology degree is only 30 hours (so not like an Master of Arts which is typically more) and generally requires you to already have a masters. It is doctoral level work whereas a M.A. is not. It allows you to choose a speciality area of research for a thesis. It allows you to take seminar style courses. It also qualifies me to be a full member of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Think of a Th.M. like a modified doctoral degree which qualifies you to teach at seminaries and graduate schools (even if you probably wouldn’t be a full time professor without a Ph.D.). Even if I wanted to get a Ph.D. one day, they would require me to get this degree first. So that’s what I did and why I did it. I was considering Westminster Theological Seminary because of it’s reputation and connection to John Frame but it’s distance and cost was a deterrent (even though they sent me a Greek NT with my initials on it with my acceptance letter). My time at Denver Seminary has been such a gift and was a great fit for what I wanted to research and the type of people I wanted to get feedback from.