(St. Louis) Concordia Seminary received word on Friday, January 30 from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the accrediting agency for most seminaries and divinity schools in the Unites States, that its proposal to offer a Ph.D. program has received approval.
The Ph.D. program will replace the Th.D. program and, at least initially, will amount to a renaming of the existing Th.D. program. Yet, Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. James W. Voelz indicated that changes in the stipulations of the highest theological degree offered by Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod seminaries are being considered. “As a step separate from the nomenclature issue, the faculty is now discussing the exact configuration of the doctoral program, and it may well be that some changes will be forthcoming,” said Voelz.
In commenting on the initial benefits resulting from the change in nomenclature, Voelz stated, “On the one hand, the degree will become much more understandable within the academic world and, therefore, more acceptable when presented by those seeking teaching positions at colleges and universities.” Voelz also commented on the benefits this change in nomenclature will bring for those from other parts of world considering doctoral study at Concordia.”…the new nomenclature is much more desirable for those from outside our shores, especially in Asia and South America, where Th.D. is either unknown or seen as an essentially ‘Roman Catholic degree.'”
Those interested in more details on the Ph.D. program, or any of the other graduate study opportunities offered at Concordia Seminary should contact Dr. James W. Voelz at Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63105. 314-505-7103.