Good theological graduate programs


#1

So I’m looking to study theology in grad school and I’m currently trying to find grad schools to go to. I have a strong desire to stay in Chicago but it may be necessary to leave to study. I like CTU but hear conflicting reports on whether it’s a good school or not. A theologically conservative deacon I know who studied there acknowledged their liberal bent but 1) said that he was able to handle himself and maintain his conservatism and 2) said that I would be able to do fine there. Another friend of mine who studied theology at a highly orthodox Catholic university also lauded CTU as a good school with a good academic program. So I really don’t know what to believe at this point…although I’ll admit that CTU is very attractive to me right now.

Other options I’ve considered are Notre Dame (good school, close to Chicago, free tuition for MA students) and another small theology school at a monastery I know of. I like CUA and Franciscan but I’m not sure I want to move that far away from home to study (unless I can do all the work for Franciscan online ). I’m also not terribly fond of Ave Maria or those other small theological schools around the country. Again CTU is appealing to me right now.

So what does everyone think of all this? (BTW I might post this elsewhere also). Pax!


#2

[quote="LotusCarsLtd, post:1, topic:196465"]
So I'm looking to study theology in grad school and I'm currently trying to find grad schools to go to. I have a strong desire to stay in Chicago but it may be necessary to leave to study. I like CTU but hear conflicting reports on whether it's a good school or not. A theologically conservative deacon I know who studied there acknowledged their liberal bent but 1) said that he was able to handle himself and maintain his conservatism and 2) said that I would be able to do fine there. Another friend of mine who studied theology at a highly orthodox Catholic university also lauded CTU as a good school with a good academic program. So I really don't know what to believe at this point...although I'll admit that CTU is very attractive to me right now.

Other options I've considered are Notre Dame (good school, close to Chicago, free tuition for MA students) and another small theology school at a monastery I know of. I like CUA and Franciscan but I'm not sure I want to move that far away from home to study (unless I can do all the work for Franciscan online ). I'm also not terribly fond of Ave Maria or those other small theological schools around the country. Again CTU is appealing to me right now.

So what does everyone think of all this? (BTW I might post this elsewhere also). Pax!

[/quote]

From what I have heard CTU is focused a bit on multiculturalism. They also focus, as I have been told, on the pastoral end of things, at least with the M.Div. WTU, where I am going, focuses a bit more on scripture for the M.Div. I can't really speak to the other programs as I am not enrolled in them nor do I watch them that much.


#3

[quote="LotusCarsLtd, post:1, topic:196465"]
So I'm looking to study theology in grad school and I'm currently trying to find grad schools to go to. I have a strong desire to stay in Chicago but it may be necessary to leave to study. I like CTU but hear conflicting reports on whether it's a good school or not. A theologically conservative deacon I know who studied there acknowledged their liberal bent but 1) said that he was able to handle himself and maintain his conservatism and 2) said that I would be able to do fine there. Another friend of mine who studied theology at a highly orthodox Catholic university also lauded CTU as a good school with a good academic program. So I really don't know what to believe at this point...although I'll admit that CTU is very attractive to me right now.

Other options I've considered are Notre Dame (good school, close to Chicago, free tuition for MA students) and another small theology school at a monastery I know of. I like CUA and Franciscan but I'm not sure I want to move that far away from home to study (unless I can do all the work for Franciscan online ). I'm also not terribly fond of Ave Maria or those other small theological schools around the country. Again CTU is appealing to me right now.

So what does everyone think of all this? (BTW I might post this elsewhere also). Pax!

[/quote]

If you have money, Catholic University of America is excellent and has a variety areas that you can specialize in. I got my M.Div and STL at CUA and I had no trouble getting into an STD program. The Josephenum is also very good.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#4

If it helps any I feel called to marriage, so I get the impression that I would not be eligible for an ecclesiastical degree (but that's fine with me because I intended to just get an ordinary PhD anyway).


#5

You don’t have to be a deacon or priest to get an ecclesial degree. I’m a brother. There are many brothers and secular men and women with M.Divs, STLs, and not so many people at all with "STDs.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


#6

As for schools in the U.S., Boston College, Jesuit School of Theology, and Dominican House of Studies seem to be excellent, as is the G.T.U. (to a certain extent, I would say). However, if you are not pursuing ordination as a priest, Franciscan U. of Steubenville, for one, is said to be very good. If I have a choice, I, myself, would not want to attend C.T.U. To me, it is "intercongregational," not to mention that it does not have much of a history, being only established in 1968(though I suspect that most people do not really care about the age of their college; I am a bit eccentric).


#7

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:6, topic:196465"]
As for schools in the U.S., Boston College, Jesuit School of Theology, and Dominican House of Studies seem to be excellent, as is the G.T.U. (to a certain extent, I would say). However, if you are not pursuing ordination as a priest, Franciscan U. of Steubenville, for one, is said to be very good. If I have a choice, I, myself, would not want to attend C.T.U. To me, it is "intercongregational," not to mention that it does not have much of a history, being only established in 1968(though I suspect that most people do not really care about the age of their college; I am a bit eccentric).

[/quote]

I'm sorry, I don't know what GTU and CTU are. I don't know if the Dominican House of studies is an accredited graduate school. It's a very good theologate. But there are some theologates that are not accredited graduate schools. For the lay person, accreditation is more important than it is for a religious or a cleric. For example, ecclesial degrees such as STL, STD, JCL, JCD are not always accredited degrees, but it does not matter, because you would not be using them in a secular enviornment.

You can attend Franciscan University, Notre Dame, Boston College, Catholic University, Washington Theological Union, John Paul II Institute, Berkley and find that they have very good theology programs. They do not offer the same Master's that I got. It's a two year Master's, usually an MA, M.Th. or MRE. These are professional master's degrees. They are not meant to form a theologian. They are designed for someone who is going into some field of ministry. That may be what you're looking for.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#8

[quote="JReducation, post:7, topic:196465"]
I'm sorry, I don't know what GTU and CTU are. I don't know if the Dominican House of studies is an accredited graduate school. It's a very good theologate. But there are some theologates that are not accredited graduate schools. For the lay person, accreditation is more important than it is for a religious or a cleric. For example, ecclesial degrees such as STL, STD, JCL, JCD are not always accredited degrees, but it does not matter, because you would not be using them in a secular enviornment.

You can attend Franciscan University, Notre Dame, Boston College, Catholic University, Washington Theological Union, John Paul II Institute, Berkley and find that they have very good theology programs. They do not offer the same Master's that I got. It's a two year Master's, usually an MA, M.Th. or MRE. These are professional master's degrees. They are not meant to form a theologian. They are designed for someone who is going into some field of ministry. That may be what you're looking for.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)

[/quote]

Forgive me, Brother, for the confusion. For one thing, I was initializing the names of the Graduate Theological Union(CA, including the one at Berkeley, I believe) and the Catholic Theological Union. Also, I wanted to mention that the Marianum in Rome offered a master's degree and a doctorate in mariology. I do not know if any other institution in the world does that.


#9

Graduate degrees in Catholic philosophy can be also very useful, though they do not necessarily promise a “good” job(employment for instructors of philosophy seems to be very poor at the present).


#10

Holy Cross in Rome does. It’s a four year master’s in systematic theology and a three year doctorate in systematic theology with a concentration in Mariology.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


#11

More clarification: I want to eventually get a PhD and teach theology in a university setting. I’m not looking to do ministry or pastoral work.


#12

[quote="LotusCarsLtd, post:11, topic:196465"]
More clarification: I want to eventually get a PhD and teach theology in a university setting. I'm not looking to do ministry or pastoral work.

[/quote]

To teach theology as a Catholic theologian you must have a license from the Church to do so. To get the license you must sign the Mandatum from the local bishop where you're going to teach. The bishop will require that you have a degree that confers the title "theologian" not theology. They are two different degrees. There are Doctors in theology, but the person is not a theologian, because he does not meet Church requirements. You have to be careful to get the degree from a school that provides what the Church requires for your area.

I'll give you an example. Dr. Scot Hahn has a PhD in Biblical Theology, not Doctorate in Scripture. He is not a scriptural theologian. He is a professor of biblical theology. Fr. Pacwa has a Doctorate in Scripture. He is a biblical theologian.

If you want to be a professor, not a theologian, you can get a PhD in an area of theology. You still have to get a license to teach theology. You have to make sure that you're PhD includes all the courses that the Chruch requires. Scott Hahn can teach biblical theology, because even though he studied at a Protestant seminary, it is one that the Church does accredit their department of biblical studies. But there are not many non Catholic schools of theology that have the right combination of courses.

You will need courses in systematic theology, scripture, Church History, morals, ecclessiology, liturgy, sacraments, catechetics and a major area of concentration such as scritpture, spirituality, systematics, Church History, moral theology or liturgy. You usually need several courses in philosophy prior to beginning. Usually: logic, metaphysics, ethics, classical philosophy, philosophy of truth, and at least one more philosophy. It's a minimum of 18 crs.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#13

Interesting.


#14

[quote="JReducation, post:12, topic:196465"]
To teach theology as a Catholic theologian you must have a license from the Church to do so. To get the license you must sign the Mandatum from the local bishop where you're going to teach. The bishop will require that you have a degree that confers the title "theologian" not theology. They are two different degrees. There are Doctors in theology, but the person is not a theologian, because he does not meet Church requirements. You have to be careful to get the degree from a school that provides what the Church requires for your area.

I'll give you an example. Dr. Scot Hahn has a PhD in Biblical Theology, not Doctorate in Scripture. He is not a scriptural theologian. He is a professor of biblical theology. Fr. Pacwa has a Doctorate in Scripture. He is a biblical theologian.

If you want to be a professor, not a theologian, you can get a PhD in an area of theology. You still have to get a license to teach theology. You have to make sure that you're PhD includes all the courses that the Chruch requires. Scott Hahn can teach biblical theology, because even though he studied at a Protestant seminary, it is one that the Church does accredit their department of biblical studies. But there are not many non Catholic schools of theology that have the right combination of courses.

You will need courses in systematic theology, scripture, Church History, morals, ecclessiology, liturgy, sacraments, catechetics and a major area of concentration such as scritpture, spirituality, systematics, Church History, moral theology or liturgy. You usually need several courses in philosophy prior to beginning. Usually: logic, metaphysics, ethics, classical philosophy, philosophy of truth, and at least one more philosophy. It's a minimum of 18 crs.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)

[/quote]

I haven't thought about that much. So even to teach theology as a PhD and not an actual theologian you need approval from the Holy See? It's good they keep on top of things like that. What about if you want to teach in a Catholic university? Do you need the license from the See to be teach there?

As for me I think I'd be fine either way (that is, with a PhD or licentiate). I basically just want to teach.


#15

[quote="LotusCarsLtd, post:14, topic:196465"]
I haven't thought about that much. So even to teach theology as a PhD and not an actual theologian you need approval from the Holy See? It's good they keep on top of things like that. What about if you want to teach in a Catholic university? Do you need the license from the See to be teach there?

As for me I think I'd be fine either way (that is, with a PhD or licentiate). I basically just want to teach.

[/quote]

No you need approval from your local bishop.

On a side note, does the Dominican House of Studies accept lay people into their program? I thought it was just a theologate.


#16

[quote="ByzCath, post:15, topic:196465"]
No you need approval from your local bishop.

On a side note, does the Dominican House of Studies accept lay people into their program? I thought it was just a theologate.

[/quote]

Dawn Eden, the former music journalist, now author of "The Thrill of the Chaste," is a student at the DHS. So the answer seems to be... definitely yes.

I know at least one of the professors there, and I can say, one can get a good education there.

-Rob


#17

Well I recently ran into another issue that needs to be considered. I had a great conversation today with my business professor who himself is familiar with numerous divinity students at his alma mater. The basic gist of what he told me was that I have to be absolutely sure I want to study this (mainly because of the work involved).

But one of the points that he discussed with me (both in our meeting and before during class) was the importance of differentiating yourself in your career (and sorta hinting at the bad things that happen if you don’t). I wholeheartedly agree and I feel the same applies here when one studies theology. It seems many people study theology and it also seems that many might be doing so in the hopes of becoming professors. But in all honesty what are the chances of any of us finding good work even in a good economy? It seems teaching jobs in the humanities are always hard to come by and if as many people as it seems to me are also studying theology to become professors then the competition could be cutthroat.

So for me I realized that perhaps I need to differentiate myself like crazy if I have any chance of finding work as a professor…work to apply my background in a way that hasn’t been done before and use this to my advantage. I have a business and engineering/technology background, how can I use this in my theological studies to differentiate myself?

PS: My professor also stated that I don’t necessarily have to be a theologian or theology professor…I can certainly study faith-based issues but in a sociological or psychological role instead. Ideas anyone?


#18

I am 3/4 of my way to a Master’s in Moral Theology (considering a concentration in
bioethics) and am working through the distance learning program at Holy Apostles College and Seminary.

I looked at a number of programs. I would not consider a liberal or heterodox program. Franciscan has a good program but I settled on Holy Apostles and am very happy. Nothing heterodox here! And incredible professors. I have had courses from Fr. Cesario, Dr. John Haas, Fr. Benedict Ashley and others.

Stay away from the questionable ones! We don’t need any more heterodoxy being taught!

Ave Maria!
TOSF


#19

[quote="LotusCarsLtd, post:14, topic:196465"]
I haven't thought about that much. So even to teach theology as a PhD and not an actual theologian you need approval from the Holy See? It's good they keep on top of things like that. What about if you want to teach in a Catholic university? Do you need the license from the See to be teach there?

As for me I think I'd be fine either way (that is, with a PhD or licentiate). I basically just want to teach.

[/quote]

It's not the Holy See, it's the local bishop. That's where you go for the Mandatum.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#20

[quote="ByzCath, post:15, topic:196465"]
No you need approval from your local bishop.

On a side note, does the Dominican House of Studies accept lay people into their program? I thought it was just a theologate.

[/quote]

I don't know if it's an accreditate graduate school. It may be their own school of theology. I know that it's very good. I've met several graduates from there and have been very impressed by their orthodoxy and their knowledge. But I'm not sure about lay people and degrees.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


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