Changing career paths to Moral Theology and need help

Hey-

I’m wanting to change careers from science to an eventual PhD in Moral Theology. I have found that, unlike science, navigating the different schools and programs are confusing. Here’s what I was thinking:
1) need to do some undergrad philosophy first, but then…
2) do masters in Biblical Studies/Theology to get a solid foundation
3) doctorate in Moral Theology/Social Ethics

I know the masters in Biblical studies is a controversial (for lack of better word) move, but I’d personally like to have that foundation. However, if it hurts my actual goal, then I will not pursue it.

The biggest issue I have, though, is all the different names to the degrees (e.g. MTS, MTh, MA, etc) and that some are not good to do if I wish to pursue a doctorate, which also has differing names, and those names differ depending on school.

Finally, what are some good schools, schools that are good in Moral Theology?

Thank you

PAX + AMDG
Nerdy

Franciscan University of Stuebenville has a great theology department, so I am told.

franciscan.edu/

Thank you, but I’m not looking for how good a theology department is on the whole, that information can be easily ascertained. I’m looking for a good Moral Theology program.

gdr.emory.edu/academic_program/cos-eas.html

Thanks, but I’m not sure what you’re trying to tell me with just the link. The link goes to an ethics program, but it is not Theology, nor is it Catholic (I don’t think anyway). Are you suggesting that this is a really good program? How’s it ranked or compare to others?

Thank you

Their Theology Dept. is excellent.
Many of the Catholic scholars in the area speak there, attend there, and dialog with the faculty regularly.

I’d have recommended Catholic U for William May, but he died a few years ago. I’m not familiar with any of their other moral theology faculty.

My advice would be to find a moral theologian and/or school you would want to oversee your doctoral work and work backwards from there. When you find the doctoral program you want, you can ask the questions about what type of degrees they expect of their doctoral students. That will make it easier to find the right masters level program.

You might give some thought as to what you plan to do with the degree to see whether you would want to go for a PhD or an STD. For example, the pontifical degree would mean you could teach in Rome and other such pontifical colleges. But there are more foreign language requirements (if I recall correctly). That puts off some people.

I would suggest just reaching out to a moral theology professor at Catholic U or Sacred Heart in Detroit (or anywhere, I suppose). Actually, you could reach out to several and just let them know of your interest and that you are seeking input. I’m sure they’d be happy to give some advice.

Franciscan is good, but they don’t have a doctoral program nor any discipline specific theology degrees (besides a specialization in catechetics). They do have some professors who specialize in moral theology that you could talk to, though.

I feel like I said a lot but nothing super helpful. :o Sorry.

I’m not an expert in theology departments but are there degrees in “moral theology?” Wouldn’t it be a theology degree, and your field of study would be moral theology?

I mean, the chair of my department at Uni had a Ph.D in philosophy but his speciality was moral philosophy.

You can do a MA in Moral Theology or Systematic Theology, rather than
Biblical Studies which is a different field. I started my MA in Biblical Studies, only one Moral Theology course was required so maybe just stick with a more related field.

I’d recommend Seton Hall’s Immaculate Conception Seminary :), especially if you are on the Eastcoast.

Yes, for example Dr. Janet Smith:

shms.edu/content/dr-janet-e-smith

Also if on the Eastcoast; St. John’s University, Fordham University or St. Joseph’s Seminary. All are in NY.

My wife and I both have science and theology degrees. We have both worked as scientists. My wife also has an MBA. I have no real input but rather a couple of questions. You went from a general field to something extremely specific in a different fields. Why? And was there something about the science field that was a problem for your career?
I can only imagine you wish to teach with this degree. Or perhaps have a job within the church. Do you have a general idea where you would like to work? If so, I would start there and work backwards to see exactly what program could be most beneficial for you.
Your question is intriguing to me…

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Yes most certainly.

Very good place set out from in what ever other degrees they are seeking…and they can then also assist one in deciding where next to study…

I’m sorry to even say this, so please forgive me:

How are you intending to support yourself with such a PhD? Particularly knowing what grad school costs?

All he has to do is marry well! :wink:

Ah, yes, she’d be a great person to contact!

[quote="hungernthirst4r]You can do a MA in Moral Theology or Systematic Theology, rather than
Biblical Studies which is a different field. I started my MA in Biblical Studies, only one Moral Theology course was required so maybe just stick with a more related field.
[/quote]

What do you mean by it’s a different field? As in it does things differently (i.e. research, writing, etc) or that it looks into different subjects? Would it hurt my career?

Thank you for clarification. The link went to an integrated program that wasn’t theology.

[quote=hoosierdaddy]You went from a general field to something extremely specific in a different fields. Why? And was there something about the science field that was a problem for your career
[/quote]

I studied Biochem in undergrad and I’m kind of studying Med Chem, but not sure about it. To answer the second part, I just don’t think I’m called to science, but do think so in regards to Theology. And yes, I want to write and teach, just like I would if I pursued science.

[quote=tawny]Also if on the Eastcoast…Fordham University
[/quote]

I would love to go to Fordham, but NYC isn’t really a possibility, unfortunately.

[quote=joe]My advice would be to find a moral theologian and/or school you would want to oversee your doctoral work and work backwards from there
[/quote]

Thanks! That’s kind of how it works when looking for a science PhD too.

[quote=polarguy]How are you intending to support yourself with such a PhD?
[/quote]

I’m not that interested in making a ton of money, and that’s what kind of got me where I am now; I like science, but it’s not really what I want to do, so the monotony wears on me already.

Thank you everyone, and sorry for such a huge reply, I was without a computer for a little bit.

Nerdy, although I respect what you are writing, I’d say this: it’s one thing to say you’re not that interested in making a ton of money; it’s another thing to pursue a PhD in a subject where jobs are nonexistent. This is sadly an educational choice where you easily wind up waiting tables. At my alma mater - a school whose name appears on this thread - they had an opening for one tenured full time philosophy professor. They got 150 resumes, every one with a PhD, without advertising anywhere, merely by word of mouth. Most of them were unemployed. I’m no expert but jobs teaching and writing in this field you’re interested in simply don’t exist. “A job where you make no money” could be, say, social work. “No job at all” is much different.

Look, I could be wrong, but before you shell out a kings ransom, please investigate deeply what you realistically can do - if anything at all - with a PhD in this field.

I am aware of the issue with employment when it comes to liberal arts, thank you. Now, with all due respect, it almost sounds like you’re trying to advise some 20 -year old who chooses to major in philosophy without a clear idea of the world; I assure you, I’m far from that. If that was not your intent, sorry, but it sounds like it. Also, as far as your school goes, I don’t see it.

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