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Encyclopedia > Doctor of Theology

Doctor of Theology (in Latin Theologiae Doctor) is a terminal academic degree in theology. It is a research degree and is considered to be equivalent to a Doctor of Philosophy. Traditionally, the Th.D. is designed for Christian theological scholarship, whereas Ph.D. is for the study of Christianity in a secular context. It has been suggested that Professional degree be merged into this article or section. ... Theology (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογια, logia, words, sayings, or discourse) is reasoned discourse concerning religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Doctor of Philosophy (from Greek , meaning Teacher of Philosophy), typically abbreviated Ph. ...


Clear distinction between Th.D. and Ph.D. are indicated in the prerequisites of both programs at Harvard Divinity School and Boston University School of Theology (that is, both require a professional degree in divinity such as the MDiv). However, in recent decades there has been a trend in some institutions (e.g., Princeton Theological Seminary and Dallas Theological Seminary) to replace Th.D with Ph.D programs in the same fields. Harvard Divinity School is one of the constituent schools of Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States. ... Boston University School of Theology (BUST) is an American seminary formed in 1871 by the absorption into Boston University of the Boston Theological Institute. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Divinity has a number of related uses in the field of religious belief and study. ... In Christian theology, the Master of Divinity (M.Div. ... The steeple of Alexander Hall Princeton Theological Seminary is a theological seminary located in the Borough of Princeton, New Jersey in the United States. ... Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) is a conservative graduate-level theological seminary located in Dallas, Texas, which has been, according to its mission statement, equipping godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide since its founding by Lewis Sperry Chafer...


In North America, those who hold a Doctor of Theology are considered academically qualified to serve as professors of theology or its cognate fields (e.g., biblical studies, church history); however, many are employed in ministerial and non-academic fields. The Th.D. should be distinguished from the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min), which focuses on practical issues of ministry. Although the ThD is equivalent to the PhD, the familiarity of the "PhD" name can be a challenge for ThDs looking for academic employment. The Doctor of Ministry degree is a professional doctorate in some area of applied theology, such as missions, evangelism, church growth, homiletics, or spiritual formation. ...


In many parts of Europe the abbreviation Dr. Theol. is employed, and has long been considered the equivalent of the Ph.D. in all academic respects. Recent changes in universities seek to replace Dr. Theol. with Ph.D. in the field of theology or cognate studies.


Though many Catholic schools offer the Ph.D. in Theology as well as the Th.D., the more usual academic equivalent found among Catholic clergy is the S.T.D., Doctor of Sacred Theology, granted by Catholic universities and faculties with a pontifical charter. The Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D. = Sacrae Theologiae Doctor) is the final theological degree in the pontifical university system of the Roman Catholic Church. ...


In Roman Catholicism, there is a title sometimes used of historical figures, Doctor of the Church. This is an eminent theologian (e.g. Thomas Aquinas) from whose teachings the whole Christian Church is held to have derived great advantage. This is not an academic title but reflects the most ancient sense of the word as "teacher." The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... In Catholicism, a Doctor of the Church (Lat. ... Theology (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογια, logia, words, sayings, or discourse) is reasoned discourse concerning religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas [Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino] (c. ... The term Christian Church, or Catholic Church, as it was known by Christians beginning in the second century, expresses the idea that organised Christianity (the Christian religion) is seen as an institution. ...


Different abbreviations are used in different countries:


Academic degrees
v  d  e
Associate's degrees (U.S.) AA, AAS, ABA, ABS, AOS, AS, ASN
Foundation degrees (U.K.) FdA, FdEd, FdEng, FdMus, FdBus, FdSc, FdTech
Bachelor's degrees AB or BA, BAcy, BAdm, BAgrEc, BArch, BBA, BBus, BCom or BComm, BCS, BCL, STB, BD, BDent, BDS, B.Ed., BEc, BEng or BE, BSBME, BFA, BGS,BHE, BHK, BID, BJ, BLibStud, BMath, BMedSc or BMedSci, BMus, BSN, BPE, BPharm, BS or BSc or SB, BSc(Agr) or BSA, BSocSci, BTech, LLA, LLB, MB ChB or MB BS or BM BS or MB BChir or MB BCh BAO, MA (Cantab.), MA (Dubl.), MA (Hons), MA (Oxon.)
Master's degrees MA, MS or MSc, MSt, MAcy, MALD, MApol, MPhil, MRes, MFA, MTh, MTS, MDiv, MEd, MBA, MBI, MBT, MComm, MDes, MMT, MPA, MPD, MPS, MSN, MProfStuds, MJ, MST, MSW, MPAff, MLIS, MLitt, MPH, MPM, MPP, MPT, MRE, MTheol/ThM/MTh, STM, LLM, MEng, MSci, MBio, MChem, MPhys, MMath, MMedSc or MMedSci, MMus, MESci, MGeol, MTCM, MSSc, BCL (Oxon), BPhil (Oxon), ThM
Licentiate degrees: Lic Arts, LDS, JCL, STL, SSL, LSS, PhL
Specialist degrees EdS, SSP, CAS
Engineer's degrees AE, BE, BME, CE, CE, ChE, EE, CpE, ECS, EnvE, MSE, ME, NavE, NuclE, Ocean E, SysE, Eng
First-professional degrees AuD, DC, DCM, DDS, DMD, JD, MD (US), ND, OD, DO, PharmD, DP, PodD, DPM, MDiv, MHL, DVM, PD
Doctoral degrees PhD, EdD, DEng, EngD, DBA, DD, JCD, SSD, JUD, DSc, DLitt, DA, MD, DMA, DMus, DCL, ThD, DrPH, DPT, DPhil, PsyD, DSW, JD, LLD, LHD, JSD, SJD, JuDr, STD, DMin

  Results from FactBites:
 
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. Thomas Aquinas (9682 words)
In due time he was ordered to prepare himself to obtain the degree of Doctor in Theology from the University of Paris, but the conferring of the degree was postponed, owing to a dispute between the university and the friars.
The doctors closed their schools, solemnly swore that they would not reopen them until their demands were granted, and decreed that in future no one should be admitted to the degree of Doctor unless he would take an oath to follow the same line of conduct under similar circumstances.
The "Summa" gradually supplanted the "Sentences" as the textbook of theology.
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