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Should a Pastor Get a PhD?

Discerning your role as a local, popular, or ecclesial pastor theologian.

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February 08, 2016  9:50am

Before talk about "when" we should ask "should a Pastor". Many "pastors" are educated as theologians with all systematic theology, languages etc. But very few are equipped in teaching. One seminary required its MDiv students take a grand total of 1 course from the Christian Ed department. no wonder so many "sermons" are more like theological lectures. A PH.D. would enforce that attitude. The Bible speaks of Pastot/shepherd, not Pastor/theologian. North American churches have a new god. It is called "education".

Michael Herzog

February 06, 2016  9:58am

Gerald, I have been encouraged by a fellow colleague in ministry to consider pursuing more education. The challenge has been. Do I have the time, the patience, and the means to fulfill such exhaustive work. At this point my mind is considering a Th.M. to unearth if I have the means to go further. With an M.Div complete I have the study capacities for graduate work but don't know if I have the patience. I am considering the Th.M to see do I have what it takes to accomplish the research and the skills to write extensively. I appreciate your perspective in this article. I was just at the Desiring God, pastor's conference and picked up your book, The Pastor Theologian. I navigated through a couple dozen pages and have found it a good work. Thanks for your excellence in writing. Some day when I am down visiting with my folks I would love to share a lunch with you to catch up on life.


February 05, 2016  10:47pm

I'd love to see a list of PhD programs for the working pastor. Any suggestions for affordable, accredited programs?

Galen hiestand

February 05, 2016  9:43pm

I believe the D-Min is a great choice for the local pastor-theologican and a reasonable option for the popular pastor-theologian. I am completing my D-min and highly value it both for pastoral ministry and academic understanding.

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