Off Topic: "Magister Divinitatis"

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Jun 25 2016 12:25 PM

Someone who has some knowledge of latin please explain this phrase for me. From it we get the words Master of Divinity. What did it originally mean?

While you are at it, what does the English translation mean? I know that it is a professional degree, just trying to get some perspective here.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2016 1:05 PM

Lynden Williams:

Someone who has some knowledge of latin please explain this phrase for me. From it we get the words Master of Divinity. What did it originally mean?

While you are at it, what does the English translation mean? I know that it is a professional degree, just trying to get some perspective here.

It means "Master of Divinity" or "Teacher of Divinity" or "Expert in Divinity."

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2016 1:10 PM

Thanks George. Does Divinity today equal God or Doctrine? 

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2016 1:15 PM

Lynden Williams:

Thanks George. Does Divinity today equal God or Doctrine? 

Either, depending on context (Remember:  Context in King).  In this case, I would be inclined to go with "doctrine of God."

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2016 1:19 PM

Thanks, that helps a lot.

Lynden Williams Communications https://www.lyndenwilliams.net 

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Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2016 2:14 PM

MDiv is one step below a doctorate now, but is usually a longer degree than a standard masters (the length of many masters+doctorate programs in other fields). A Masters in Theology (ThM) is equivalent to a doctorate, and requires a MDiv first (usually. - Dallas Theological Seminary just has an extra long ThM).

Historically, "doctor" came from the Latin for teacher. To be "a teacher of God" sounded arrogant and so doctor of divinity was not used for a while.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2016 2:26 PM

Justin Gatlin:
MDiv is one step below a doctorate now, but is usually a longer degree than a standard masters (the length of many masters+doctorate programs in other fields). A Masters in Theology (ThM) is equivalent to a doctorate, and requires a MDiv first (usually. - Dallas Theological Seminary just has an extra long ThM).

In the academic community a ThD is considered to be something of a cheap doctorate as compared to a PhD.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 27 2020 1:55 PM

Just in case someone happens upon this old thread...

George Somsel:

Justin Gatlin:
MDiv is one step below a doctorate now, but is usually a longer degree than a standard masters (the length of many masters+doctorate programs in other fields). A Masters in Theology (ThM) is equivalent to a doctorate, and requires a MDiv first (usually. - Dallas Theological Seminary just has an extra long ThM).

In the academic community a ThD is considered to be something of a cheap doctorate as compared to a PhD.

A Master of Divinity is an advanced or second entry three year first-cycle professional degree in theology with a practical ministry component, although in many places its academic component is or can be at the MA level, particularly schools offering conjoint MA/MDiv programs.The MDiv was created decades ago essentially so that ministers-in-training doing a second degree, their first in theology, would earn something that sounds better than BTh and perhaps more accurately describes the education and formation received. In some Catholic institutions (and possibly elsewhere for other reasons), the MDiv is offered as a four year degree simply because Catholic seminarians require four years of theological study prior to ordination to the priesthood.

The next level up from the MDiv is actually the DMin, a terminal degree in ministry. It is a professional doctorate, like the MD and JD. DMin programs vary dramatically from place to place, but typically involve MA-level or slightly higher coursework paired with a thesis with some form of practical application. If you're starting with zero post-secondary education, the DMin is typically the theology-related terminal degree that you could achieve most quickly.

The ThM is an advanced second-cycle (Master's) degree, lacking the pastoral/ministerial component of the MDiv and DMin, but requiring a thesis more advanced than an MA in theology. It almost always requires a previous post-baccalaureate degree in theology or a related field. It should not be confused with the ThD, which is a 'real' doctoral program that is usually less shorter than a North American PhD in theology. It has become less popular over time. The ThM is a common stepping-stone, especially but not only at Protestant schools of theology, between the MDiv or MA and the PhD (or ThD).

None of these should be confused with the MTS, which is a two year degree with the same entrance requirements as the MDiv. It may require a thesis and is purely academic, unlike the MDiv. Although it is not a graduate degree, in some places it is effectively a two year MA in theology by another name. Some MTS graduates enter directly into PhD programs.

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