|The tower on the right of Sterling Library is Yale Law School,|
where Gerald Ford earned his law degree while he
coached football for the college.
Someone asked about the road to a PhD in theology.
I took Greek, Latin, and German in college to gain the basic tools for Biblical studies. Later I took French at Notre Dame and passed the language test. I preached in German so they excused me from the German test. Notre Dame now requires two ancient and two modern languages to qualify for the comprehensive exams.
College and seminary should have taken a total of 8 years with a vicarage, but I took extra courses every chance I got and finished both in a total of 6 years. In seminary I took Hebrew 1 and 2, receiving no credit because "Hebrew was not required." I vicared at the largest Lutheran church in Canada, so that helped out in coordinating studies.
For the STM program at Yale, I took Biblical exegesis in Greek and Hebrew from world-famous scholars who emphasized the historical-grammatical study of the text. The Appleton alcoholics condemned me for going to Yale until I pointed out that Uncle John Brug took a seminar there. Oops.
PhD work in theology assumes three years of graduate coursework, so I received a one-year discount for the Yale STM when I was accepted at the University of Notre Dame.
Notre Dame assumed one year of independent study for the written and oral comprehensives. Both had to be passed. The written exams took two days, follow by the oral exam.
The dissertation time period varied for a lot of reasons, including the guidance or reluctance of the dissertation committee. It had to be accepted by the committee and defended in front of committee members and an outsider or two.
|Old Main at Notre Dame - and their chapel.|
Grand Total in Normal Academic Years
8 years - college and seminary. BA and MDiv
1 year - STM Yale. 1973.
2 years - doctoral coursework
1 year - study toward the comprehensives. Pass - MA. 1978
4 years - finding a dissertation topic, finding an advisor, full approvals, oral defense. 1982
12 years - This is the approximate time required for a PhD in theology. Seminary PhDs are easier and take less time. A DMin is not a doctorate but an easy version of the old STM degree. Nobody wanted to say "I picked up an STD at seminary," so they simply made the STM into an expensive and simple DMin.
Fuller Seminary has mined the gold of the Synodical Conference with their drive-by DMin degrees.
Reading during this time - From start to finish, I read an enormous number of books. Like most doctoral students, my brain was so weary after passing comprehensives that I stopped reading scholarly works to give it a rest. My friend in Biblical studies said he could only read TV Guide after passing the comprehensives. The dissertation required reading books, dissertations, and journals from my field and related areas, so I overturned a library to create one more book, which was published.
|University of Notre Dame Library|
faces the football stadium, where we watched Joe Montana play.
My fellow doctoral students are retiring or retired.