What is a Doctorate of Divinity for theology?

What is a Doctorate of Divinity for theology? Do you preach religion? Do you teach religion? I do not preach and I do not teach or discuss unless asked.

Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries.It occupies itself with the unique content of analyzing the supernatural, but also deals with religious epistemology, asks and seeks to answer the question of revelation. Revelation pertains to the acceptance of God, gods, or deities, as not only transcendent or above the natural world, but also willing and able to interact with the natural world and, in particular, to reveal themselves to humankind. While theology has turned into a secular field, religious adherents still consider theology to be a discipline that helps them live and understand concepts such as life and love and that helps them lead lives of obedience to the deities they follow or worship.

Theologians use various forms of analysis and argument (experiential, philosophical, ethnographic, historical, and others) to help understand, explain, test, critique, defend or promote any myriad of religious topics. As in philosophy of ethics and case law, arguments often assume the existence of previously resolved questions, and develop by making analogies from them to draw new inferences in new situations.

The study of theology may help a theologian more deeply understand their own religious tradition, another religious tradition, or it may enable them to explore the nature of divinity without reference to any specific tradition. Theology may be used to propagate, reform, or justify a religious tradition; or it may be used to compare, challenge (e.g. biblical criticism), or oppose (e.g. irreligion) a religious tradition or worldview. Theology might also help a theologian address some present situation or need through a religious tradition, or to explore possible ways of interpreting the world.

Doctor of Divinity (DD or DDiv; Latin: Doctor Divinitatis) is an advanced or honorary degree in divinity. DD is more of an honorary degree awarded in appreciation and recognition of a person’s ministry achievements over a lifetime, scholarly accomplishments, personal research, theological work and ability to inspire the faithful.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Divinity or Theology is pure academic degree given to those who study researching divinity.The career of a D.D. and a PhD. would be different considerably. While a D.D. recipient will continue to conduct ministerial and theological work, a Ph.D. will likely work in academia. The Ph.D. will likely hold a position in an academic institution, that may or may not be associated with a specific religious affiliation. His research may even be critical of religion and religious groups, though it may also be supportive. Either way, the Ph.D. will most likely hold the position of professor, while the D.D. recipient will continue to be a minister, priest or pastor.

“The mild implication is that a Ph.D. is a degree within an academic discipline. A Ph.D. is generally the standard culmination of education which includes creating and defending a thesis.The D.D. or D.Th. or whatever generally is a higher level degree from some religious institutions …. It could mean the student completed a demanding course of study and practical activities over years, or it could be a degree for person who got his M.Div” (master of divinity)

James Oppenheimer-Crawford, M. Div. Scripture and Ministry & History of Christianity, New York Theological Seminary

So, do I teach religion or theology in schools? No, I simply do not. I study it personally and discuss it amongst those who ask and are seeking different answers from all views.

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