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SpenerQuest dolts are struggling with their Pietistic perspective while dealing with these academic issues. Most of them have never studied outside of Holy Mother Sect, so they remain bewildered.
Many divinity schools today began as seminaries for their denomination. Yale began as a school for ministers and for those in public service. Princeton, Harvard, and Duke have similar histories.
Those established universities do not deal with denominational standards and certifications for ordination. If any denomination asks, the transcript is sent. That also means a freedom for scholarship and discussion. One does not fear loss of ordination for criticizing Holy Mother Sect, which is a constant threat danger at LCMS, WELS, and ELS schools.
WELS has several volumes worth of unwritten rules about always honoring the sanctity, perfection, and faux-orthodoxy of their dying group.
Notre Dame has a separate school for future priests. The university makes it clear that those who study for a graduate degree are not under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
Jay Webber's Institute of Lutheran Theology operates just like an ELCA seminary. ILT reminds me of the failed ELCA Southern Seminary, which set up certification programs at the seminary for Methodists and other denominations, plus ELCA. Instead of having hordes of students, Southern went under and had to glorify its merger with another school - a new mission for us! Having an in-house multi-sect certification program did not work to fill up the berths on the sinking ship.
ILT certifies women for ordination. Those candidates are either ELCA or ELCA branches - the two groups which left ELCA but kept women's ordination and other hallmarks of mainline apostasy.
Denominational schools are always political, always slack in academics. Jay Webber confessed to me how weak the Bethany Lutheran Seminary faculty was. Now he defends Gaylin Schmeling for getting an STM at the Episcopal gay and women's ordination seminary, Nashotah House.
Webber defended ILT for its future "doctoral" programs. The DMin at ILT has already started, but those programs are as doctoral as a televised conference from Brigham Young University.
Will the illiterate Jack Kilcrease teach in the "doctoral" program at ILT? Rolf Preus praises Kilcrease for the adjunct's UOJness, but Kilcrease would never find a spot on a real doctoral program.
Has anyone ever heard this? "Wow, you have a doctorate from Marquette?" Ha. Kilcrease is proof they have no standards at that old Jesuit school.
Like the MDiv, the DMin is a practical degree, with a little of this and a little of that, quite superficial, but full of awe and wonder for those who want to call themselves "Doctor." Larry Olson will not answer questions in class unless he is addressed as "Dr. Olson," a sign of toxic insecurity. The DMin used to be an STM, but the name was changed so the seminaries could sell more degrees.
Higher education does not consider the DMin a doctoral degree. Nor should anyone else.
Fuller Seminary should use the old name for the final degree, STD, so Larry Olson could say, "I picked up an STD at Fuller Seminary" while waiting for the WELSian applause.
Ironically, getting a Fuller degree is a great resume enhancer for the LCMS, WELS, and the ELS. The CLC (sic) loves Church Growth too.
Those same sects are terribly allergic to academic excellence. While groveling at the feet of Fuller false prophets, they despise scholarship.
Would Jay Webber be accepted at Notre Dame's doctoral program in theology? He would have to pass two modern language tests (French and German) and two ancient language tests (Hebrew and Greek) to qualify for the written comprehensive tests.
Comprehensives for the Notre Dame PhD program were so much fun. The written comprehensive tests took two complete days. If the candidate passed, the oral test followed. If that was passed, the dissertation phase started. Coursework took two or three years beyond seminary, so comprehensives were at least another year later, with plenty of study in that third year. Three of my friends failed part of the comprehensives at Notre Dame.
We called the dissertation "back to kindergarten" because it meant starting all over with reading, original research, and approvals. The time expended was always open-ended. The dissertation had to be approved by the adviser. If it did, the committee also had to approve it. Then it was defended before the committee, and that defense also had to be approved.
Robert Marshall (LCA President) wrote me that the dissertation was often the end of an academic career. He never finished his PhD, like many others I knew. From beginning to end, the Yale and Notre Dame programs took me 8 years.
Another irony - I worked on the PhD for my union card in publishing. I wanted to write and publish. Stan Hauerwas said I needed that degree to be taken seriously. I also modeled publishing after his prolific output and Roland Bainton's.
In the abusive Lutheran sects today, scholarship means nothing and publishing is even more despised. If you want to be influential, constantly politick on the phone, via email or whatever else works. Above all, like Buchholz, Webber, and McCain, get rid of anyone who threatens your cherished position of ease, luxury, and comfort.
The Church and Changers in WELS and their counterparts in Missouri and the ELS have parked their fat rears in the crow's nest and watched for any and all sightings of Church Growth critics, UOJ-deniers. And off they go, searching to destroy that threat with Ahab-like madness and obsessions.
That is the Lutherdom of America today.
|This is your future, WELS, funded by your offerings,|
approved by Mark Schroeder and Keith Free.