Divinity (academic discipline)

Divinity is the study of Christian 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.

While it most often refers to Christian study which is linked with the professional degrees for ordained ministry or related work, it is also used in an academic setting by other faith traditions. For example, in many traditional British public schools and universities, the term is often used in place of Religious Studies, which deals with religion more broadly, to describe classes that include theology and philosophy in the context of religion as a whole, rather than just the Christian tradition.

Areas and specializations edit

Divinity can be divided into several distinct but related disciplines. These vary, sometimes widely, from church to church and from one faith tradition to another, and even among various programs within a particular church. For example, Scottish divinity programs are traditionally divided between biblical and theological studies.[1]

A typical divinity program will include many of the following:[citation needed]

Philosophical theology edit

Practice of worship edit

Ministry in the field edit

Scriptural study and languages edit

Miscellany edit

Degrees edit

Studying divinity usually leads to the awarding of an academic degree or a professional degree. Such degrees, particularly in modern times the Master of Divinity, are prerequisites for ordained ministry in most Christian denominations and many other faith communities. The exception to this is all "plain" churches such as the Amish, Old German Baptist Brethren, Old Order Mennonite, Dunkard Brethren, and many others. In fact, such churches hold to the belief that seminaries are an institution of man and not supported by Holy Scripture. Students earn such degrees at a free-standing seminary, theologate or divinity school, or at a university.

List of degrees edit

Aquatint of a Doctor of Divinity at the University of Oxford, in the scarlet and black academic robes corresponding to his position. (The Doctor appears here in his Convocation habit, rather than his full ceremonial dress.) From Rudolph Ackermann's History of Oxford, 1814.

The following is a list of most of the common degrees in divinity:

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Cox, James L.; Sutcliffe, Steven J. (March 2006). "Religious studies in Scotland: A persistent tension with divinity". Religion. 36 (1): 1–28. doi:10.1016/j.religion.2005.12.001. ISSN 0048-721X. Retrieved 2 February 2024.