Preparation for Ph.D. Work

The mission of Beeson Divinity School is to "prepare God-called persons to serve as ministers in the Church of Jesus Christ."  Therefore, our curriculum includes both rigorous theological/language training and practical church ministry preparation courses.  While an M. Div from Beeson is more than adequate academic preparation to pursue a PhD, the program is not designed for students strictly interested in an academic career.  That said, prospective students should also be aware that the faculty of Beeson Divinity School believes that the M.Div. prepares students for the Ph.D. in theological subjects better than the M.A.T.S for the following reasons:

  1. The M.Div. includes two full years of biblical languages, thus allowing graduates to teach in more than one biblical and linguistic content area.
  2. The M.Div. requires more history and doctrine courses, thereby equipping students for the broad swath of classes they will have to teach in Christian college or seminary.
  3. The M.Div. requires students to learn about counseling, which is a big part of seminary and college teaching and advising.
  4. The M.Div. requires students to learn about administration and how to apply administrative principles, thus preparing students to serve in the many administrative and committee capacities that occur in academic settings.
  5. The M.Div. requires preaching, which most teachers have to do to fulfill their calling as ministers of the gospel.
  6. The M.Div. requires students to have mentored experiences in ministry, thereby preparing students for the sort of accountability structures that are a major part of academic work.
  7. The M.Div. requires students to take a cross-cultural course that gives international experience in a monitored environment, thereby preparing students for the global context in which education occurs now.
  8. The M.Div. requires students to take electives that will fill out the basic content of their major field of interest.