Bachelor of Divinity

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In Western universities, a Bachelor of Divinity or Baccalaureate in Divinity (BD or BDiv; Latin : Baccalaureus Divinitatis) is an undergraduate or postgraduate academic degree awarded for a course taken in the study of divinity or related disciplines, such as theology or, rarely, religious studies. In most modern universities, the BD as a first degree is essentially equivalent to a Bachelor of Arts degree with a speciality in divinity. Relatively few institutions award undergraduate Bachelor of Divinity degrees today, and the distinction between institutions that do award such degrees and those that award BA degrees for theological subjects is usually one of bureaucracy rather than curriculum.

Western culture Heritage of norms, customs, belief and political systems, and artifacts and technologies associated with Europe (both indigenous and foreign origin)

Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Occidental culture, the Western world, Western society, and European civilization, is a term used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems and specific artifacts and technologies that have some origin or association with Europe. The term also applies beyond Europe to countries and cultures whose histories are strongly connected to Europe by immigration, colonization, or influence. For example, Western culture includes countries in the Americas and Australasia, whose language and demographic ethnicity majorities are European. The development of western culture has been strongly influenced by Christianity.

An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. These institutions commonly offer degrees at various levels, usually including bachelor's, master’s and doctorates, often alongside other academic certificates and professional degrees. The most common undergraduate degree is the bachelor's degree, although in some countries lower qualifications are titled degrees while in others a higher-level first degree is more usual.

Divinity is the study of Christian and other theology and ministry at a school, divinity school, university, or seminary. The term is sometimes a synonym for theology as an academic, speculative pursuit, and sometimes is used for the study of applied theology and ministry to make a distinction between that and academic theology. It most often refers to Christian study which is linked with the professional degrees for ordained ministry or related work, though it is also used in an academic setting by other faith traditions.

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In the Catholic Universities the Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB) is often called the Baccalaureate in Divinity (BD) and is treated as a postgraduate qualification.

The Bachelor of Sacred Theology is a graduate-level academic degree in theology.

United Kingdom

At the University of Cambridge and previously at the University of Oxford, the BD is a postgraduate qualification, and applicants must have already completed an undergraduate degree before becoming a candidate for the degree. [1] The same principle applied at Oxford where the degree was closed to new registrations in 2005; BDs continue to be awarded to those registered before 2005. [2] Registration for Cambridge's BD is only open to senior graduates of that university. [3] The BD at Cambridge is the highest ranking bachelor's degree, and it is so senior that it outranks the PhD. [4] It requires a significant contribution to knowledge in the area of Christian theology, and is awarded based on published work, dissertation, or a combination of both. [5]

University of Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two 'ancient universities' share many common features and are often referred to jointly as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

University of Oxford Collegiate research university in Oxford, England

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly referred to as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Christian theology is the theology of Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as on Christian tradition. Christian theologians use biblical exegesis, rational analysis and argument. Theologians may undertake the study of Christian theology for a variety of reasons, such as in order to:

The University of Durham BD was of a similar nature, and available to graduates of seven years' standing. It was awarded on the basis of published work of a similar extent to a PhD — the usual basis for the award was a book. It is no longer awarded. St Mary's College at the University of St Andrews — where the main undergraduate award is the MTheol (Master of Theology) — offers the BD following a three-year course of study for graduates in other disciplines.

St Marys College, St Andrews

St Mary's College, founded as New College or College of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the home of the Faculty and School of Divinity within the University of St Andrews, in Fife, Scotland.

University of St Andrews university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

The University of St Andrews is a British public university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. It is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. St Andrews was founded between 1410 and 1413, when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a papal bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy.


In North America, the Master of Theology is a post graduate or doctoral degree considered by the Association of Theological Schools to be the minimum educational credential for teaching theological subjects in accredited seminaries and graduate schools. The ThM is equivalent to the Master of Sacred Theology and the Association of Theological Schools classifies both degrees as "Advanced Programs Oriented Toward Theological Research and Teaching."

Current examples of when this degree is taught as an undergraduate programme in the United Kingdom are: [6] the University of St Andrews (where entrants must hold a degree in another discipline); Queen's University Belfast; the University of Aberdeen; the University of Edinburgh; and the University of Glasgow.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

University of Aberdeen university in Aberdeen, Scotland

The University of Aberdeen is a public research university in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is an ancient university founded in 1495 when William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, petitioned Pope Alexander VI on behalf of James IV, King of Scots to establish King's College, making it Scotland's third-oldest university and the fifth-oldest in the English-speaking world. Today, Aberdeen is consistently ranked among the top 200 universities in the world and is ranked within the top 30 universities in the United Kingdom. Aberdeen was also named the 2019 Scottish University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

University of Edinburgh public research university in Edinburgh, Scotland

The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city of Edinburgh, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university. The university played an important role in leading Edinburgh to its reputation as a chief intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment, and helped give the city the nickname of the Athens of the North.

Heythrop College, a constituent college of the University of London, offers a BD course through the University of London International Programmes. [7] Due to the closure of Heythrop College set for the summer of 2018, as of August 1, 2017, the University of London itself will provide academic direction for the Divinity programme as it will continue to be offered through the International Programme. [8]

University of London federal public university in London, United Kingdom

The University of London is a collegiate federal research university located in London, England. As of October 2018, the university contains 18 member institutions, central academic bodies and research institutes. The university has over 52,000 distance learning external students and 161,270 campus-based internal students, making it the largest university by number of students in the United Kingdom.

Ireland

In Ireland St. Patrick's College, Maynooth (Pontifical University) offer the Baccalaureate in Divinity (BD) degree to students who already have completed studies in theology or philosophy. [9] The Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy and most other Roman Catholic seminaries (Clonliffe College, Thurles, Carlow etc.), would also have awarded the BD degree.

Trinity College, Dublin, as it traditionally did for Church of Ireland clergy, offers a Bachelor in Divinity (BD) as a postgraduate degree; it is the highest ranking bachelor's degree and is so senior that it outranks all degrees but doctorates. It requires a significant contribution to knowledge in the area of Christian theology, and is awarded based on the completion of eight examination papers and a 40,000 word thesis within five years. [10]

The Presbyterian Union Theological College as part of Queen's University, Belfast also awards the Bachelor of Divinity as an undergraduate qualification. [11]

Other countries

The Bachelor of Divinity degree offered in the region of South Asia by the affiliated colleges under the Senate of Serampore College is a graduate degree with post-graduate requirement for admission, in the sense that only graduates can register for BD. The university is going through change to adopt a three-year BD course with field-work and expand its accessibility through distance education, this will be considered as the essential degree for ordination in the diasporic Christian churches. Meanwhile, the university have implemented a five-year integrated and research oriented MDiv program with specializations.

The same used to apply in New Zealand, where the undergraduate degree is BTheol. Until recently both were offered at the University of Otago. The BD was the older, postgraduate degree and was usually attained by people training for ministry in the Presbyterian Church. BD is no longer offered by the University of Otago.

At Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia, the BD is classified as a post-graduate bachelor's degree in the sense that the normal entry requirement is completion of another bachelor's degree. The BD consists of four years of coursework in theology with an emphasis on biblical studies including original languages. The degree may be awarded with honours depending on grades and successful completion of a research component. [12] The BD is the basic qualification for ordination in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Similar courses of study (often only three years in duration) at comparable institutions in Australia have been reclassified as a Masters in Divinity.

The Master of Divinity has replaced the Bachelor of Divinity in most American seminaries as the first professional degree, since the latter title implies in the American academic system that it is on a par with a Bachelor of Arts or other basic undergraduate education.

See also

Related Research Articles

Postgraduate education, or graduate education in North America, involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates, academic or professional diplomas, or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor's degree generally is required, and it is normally considered to be part of higher education. In North America, this level is typically referred to as graduate school.

A master's degree is an academic degree awarded by universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. A master's degree normally requires previous study at the bachelor's level, either as a separate degree or as part of an integrated course. Within the area studied, master's graduates are expected to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation, or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.

Bachelors degree Undergraduate academic degree

A bachelor's degree or baccalaureate is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to seven years. In some institutions and educational systems, some bachelor's degrees can only be taken as graduate or postgraduate degrees after a first degree has been completed. In countries with qualifications frameworks, bachelor's degrees are normally one of the major levels in the framework, although some qualifications titled bachelor's degrees may be at other levels and some qualifications with non-bachelor's titles may be classified as bachelor's degrees.

Bachelor of Civil Law is the name of various degrees in law conferred by English-language universities. The BCL originated as a postgraduate degree in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, but many universities now offer undergraduate law degrees under the same label. Reference to civil law was not originally in contradistinction to common law, but to canon law, although it is true that common law was not taught in the civil law faculties in either university until at least the second half of the 18th century. However, some universities in English-speaking countries use the degree in the former sense.

A Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) is a graduate professional degree which prepares students for work as a teacher in schools, though in some countries additional work must be done in order for the student to be fully qualified to teach.

The Bachelor of Laws is an undergraduate degree in law originating in England and offered in Japan and most common law jurisdictions—except the United States and Canada—as the degree which allows a person to become a lawyer. It historically served this purpose in the U.S. as well, but was phased out in the mid-1960s in favor of the Juris Doctor degree, and Canada followed suit.

Diploma document that grants an academic degree

A diploma is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as college or university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study. The word diploma also refers to an academic award which is given after the completion of study in different courses such as diploma in higher education, diploma in graduation or diploma in post graduation etc. Historically, it can also refer to a charter or official document, thus diplomatic, diplomat and diplomacy via the Codex Juris Gentium Diplomaticus.

Degree abbreviations are used as an alternative way to specify an academic degree instead of spelling out the title in full, such as in reference books such as Who's Who and on business cards. Many degree titles have more than one possible abbreviation, with the abbreviation used varying between different universities. In the UK it is normal not to punctuate abbreviations for degrees with full stops, although this is done at some universities.

The system of academic degrees at the University of Oxford can be confusing to those not familiar with it. This is not merely because many degree titles date from the Middle Ages, but also because many changes have been haphazardly introduced in recent years. For example, the (medieval) BD, BM, BCL, etc. are postgraduate degrees, while the (modern) MPhys, MEng, etc. are undergraduate degrees.

Heythrop College, University of London specialist philosophy and theology college of the University of London

Heythrop College, University of London, was a public university and the specialist philosophy and theology college of the University of London located in Kensington in London and the oldest constituent college of the federal University of London, being founded in 1614 by the Society of Jesus. Heythrop joined the University of London in 1971, maintaining its Roman Catholic links and ethos while offering an educational experience that respected all faiths and perspectives. Heythrop closed at the end of the 2017/18 academic year, with the final graduations taking place at the Senate House on 12 December 2018.

A graduate diploma is generally a qualification taken after completion of a first degree, although the level of study varies in different countries from being at the same level as the final year of a bachelor's degree to being at a level between a master's degree and a doctorate. In some countries the graduate diploma and postgraduate diploma are synonymous, while in others the postgraduate diploma is a higher qualification.

A licentiate is a degree below that of a PhD given by universities in some countries. The term is also used for a person who holds this degree. The term derives from Latin licentia, "freedom", which is applied in the phrases licentia docendi meaning permission to teach and licentia ad practicandum signifying someone who holds a certificate of competence to practise a profession. Many countries have degrees with this title, but they may represent different educational levels.

In the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin, Bachelors of Arts with Honours of these universities are promoted to the title of Master of Arts or Master in Arts (MA) on application after six or seven years' seniority as members of the university. As such, it is an academic rank, and not a postgraduate qualification. No further examination or study is required for this promotion.

Bachelor of Philosophy is the title of an academic degree. The degree usually involves considerable research, either through a thesis or supervised research projects. Despite its name it is, in most universities, a postgraduate degree.

The Master of Letters degree is a postgraduate degree.

The Licentiate of Theology or the Licence in Theology is a theological qualification commonly awarded for ordinands and laymen studying theology in the United Kingdom, Malta, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The academic rank varies from undergraduate degree to master's degree.

The degree of Master of Arts (MA) in Scotland typically refers to an undergraduate degree in humanities or social sciences awarded by one of the ancient universities of Scotland plus the University of Dundee and Heriot-Watt University. The first two years of the Scottish Master of Arts consist of ordinary Bachelor level courses; however, after these, students who are accepted to pursue the Honours route will complete more advanced subjects and write a dissertation in their fourth year. Students who choose to do a "general" degree will complete their third year at a lower level of specialisation, and receive a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or MA without Honours. For the postgraduate degree referred to in other places as "Master of Arts", Scottish universities usually award the degree of Master of Letters (MLitt). Generally, non-ancient universities in Scotland, award arts degrees as Bachelor of Arts.

A Master of Arts is a person who was admitted to a type of master's degree awarded by universities in many countries, and the degree is also named Master of Arts in colloquial speech. The degree is usually contrasted with the Master of Science. Those admitted to the degree typically study linguistics, history, communication studies, diplomacy, public administration, political science, or other subjects within the scope of the humanities and social sciences; however, different universities have different conventions and may also offer the degree for fields typically considered within the natural sciences and mathematics. The degree can be conferred in respect of completing courses and passing examinations, research, or a combination of the two.

The Bologna process for standardisation of European higher education specified an undergraduate degree of at least three years called the "licence" or bachelor's degree, followed by a two-year diploma called the master's degree, then a doctorate, meant to be obtained in at least three years. Because of these indicated schedules, the reform is sometimes (erroneously) referred to as "3-5-8". The system applies to the European Higher Education Area.

Regent University College of Science and Technology

The Regent University College of Science and Technology is located in Accra, Ghana. It was registered in September 2003, and received accreditation to operate as a tertiary institution in 2004. In January 2005 it started its lectures with 30 pioneer students at Trinity Campus, Mataheko.

References

  1. University of Cambridge Regulations: Bachelor of Divinity
  2. "General Regulations : Examination Regulations 2006-2007". Archived from the original on 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
  3. Bachelor of Divinity, University of Cambridge
  4. The Jargon, Queen's College
  5. Bachelor of Divinity Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Cambridge
  6. UCAS - Home
  7. Bachelor of Divinity University of London International Programmes
  8. "Divinity (BD) and Theology (DipHE and CertHE) | University of London International Programmes". www.londoninternational.ac.uk. 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  9. Baccalaureate in Divinity (BD) Archived 2012-05-12 at the Wayback Machine . - St. Patrick's College, Maynooth.
  10. Divinity (B.D.) Trinity College, Dublin.
  11. Bachelor of Divinity (BD) Union Theological College.
  12. http://www.moore.edu.au