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Earned or Honorary?

Started by Steven W Bohler, July 11, 2023, 09:28:29 PM

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Coach-Rev

Quote from: peter_speckhard on July 12, 2023, 12:28:17 PM
As for who takes the title "Dr.", who cares? It is like the title "Rev." It takes a lot of effort to earn that title in some circles but not in others. Either way, is anyone really impressed? I used to get irritated by people insisting on being called "Dr." who weren't really doctors or "Rev." because they got a mail-order ordination, but I've taken to not caring.   

I "earned" the honorific "Rev" 27 years ago (at great financial expense even then) and have never really cared that people call me by it or something else.  I guess I see it as more a sign of holding the office than a title to wear proudly or with any other purpose.  The closest I came to "caring" was when some of the youth began calling me "Rev" because I would sign my name in an official capacity as the pastor, which then morphed into "Coach-Rev" when I took on coaching duties with the local high school's Cross Country and Track teams, which I coached for 7 years, along with serving as pastor.  But in that, it was more of a nickname, also which didn't bother me one way or another.
"The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

blog:  http://coach-rev.blogspot.com/
photography:  https://jeffcottingham.smugmug.com/

D. Engebretson

Today I had to write a character reference letter for someone whose sentencing hearing is in a little over a week.  Contrary to what I wrote before, I pulled out all the stops with titles and post nominal letters for my degrees and a list of all my official positions.  The lady at the law office said you can't really overdo that part.  I hope she's right.  :)
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

John_Hannah

Quote from: D. Engebretson on July 12, 2023, 05:33:01 PM
Today I had to write a character reference letter for someone whose sentencing hearing is in a little over a week.  Contrary to what I wrote before, I pulled out all the stops with titles and post nominal letters for my degrees and a list of all my official positions.  The lady at the law office said you can't really overdo that part.  I hope she's right.  :)

Exactly! That's what I do when it is for someone else's benefit.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Mark_Hofman

Quote from: Donald_Kirchner on July 11, 2023, 09:49:25 PM

And that includes myself. I have a JD,  a professional doctorate. Not only would no lawyer ever call himself or herself  Dr So-and-so unless they had a PhD, it is irritating when Synod sends all my mail to Rev Dr Donald Kirchner. It's just wrong. It's a conflict of titles!


It's been fixed, Rev. Kirchner. You should see a change in 8 to 10 weeks, which is how far out the planning for printing things goes. It will be important to monitor the Rosters and Statistics forms that come for review annually. It's that path that causes things to sneak in.  Thank you for sharing how you feel about this so we can correct it.

James S. Rustad

In my experience, I've known:

  • People with degrees who were very good in the field of their degree.
  • People with degrees who were very good in a different field than their degree.
  • People with degrees who were not very good in the field of their degree - and sometimes not much good at anything.
  • People without degrees who were very good at what they did - sometimes in fields where you normally need a degree.
  • People without degrees who were not very good at what they did - and sometimes not much good at anything.

I usually pay more attention to what people are good at doing than what degree they may have.

I've not run into anyone with an honorary degree, so I don't have much opinion there.  I'm not sure an honorary degree means anything, unless they give it to you for your work advancing the field the degree is for?

Jim Butler

Quote from: D. Engebretson on July 12, 2023, 08:53:10 AM
I have long been surprised, in a way, how many people receive honorary doctorates from our Concordias, some of which are received simply for being elected to a position, such as DP. No real substantial accomplishments, especially in the scholarly realm. And it seems almost universal that these honorees use these titles quite openly. I am further surprised how those in academia, who supposedly have protocols for using the title only for for those with earned academic doctorates, will also address these folks as "the Rev. Dr.".  I understand, to a degree, when a person is awarded such a degree for substantial research and writing, sometimes equaling the output of those with earned degrees.  The first president of the LCMS was awarded such a degree and I believe 'earned' it.  So, too, with others such as C.S. Lewis, whose literary output was both popular and very scholarly.

The New England District had two DPs who were given honorary doctorates by Concordia, Bronxville. The first was Ozzie Lehenbauer, who had a long and distinguished ministry. I thought he deserved the honor. He retired about a month later (and recently went to be with the Lord).

The other was sainted Jim Keurulainen. He refused to use the title "Dr." and would get after anyone else who used it to refer to him. He thought using the title was an insult to those with earned degrees. But when he died, I thought he deserved the title if anyone did.
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

RDPreus


Jim Butler

Quote from: Dave Likeness on July 12, 2023, 11:52:16 AM
Let's be honest.   The D.Min was an effort for seminaries to increase
their income and at the same time encourage continuing education
for pastors.  In the meantime some of the abuses of the D. Min include
pastors who used it to get a salary increase and started putting Dr. in
their official title as a status symbol.

I did my D.Min at Gordon-Conwell seminary (my degree is signed by Billy Graham!). I knew I wasn't going to go into academia, so I didn't think a Ph.D. was the right direction for me. I wanted to learn skills that would help me be a better leader and pastor. I'm not sure GCTS made much money on the degree; it was about half of what CSL was charging back in the 90s. But I learned a lot and enjoyed it.

As for "status symbol"...I tell everyone that my D.Min. and $5 will get me a ride on the subway into Boston and back any day of the week.
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: Coach-Rev on July 12, 2023, 05:06:13 PM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on July 12, 2023, 12:28:17 PM
As for who takes the title "Dr.", who cares? It is like the title "Rev." It takes a lot of effort to earn that title in some circles but not in others. Either way, is anyone really impressed? I used to get irritated by people insisting on being called "Dr." who weren't really doctors or "Rev." because they got a mail-order ordination, but I've taken to not caring.   

I "earned" the honorific "Rev" 27 years go...The closest I came to "caring" was when some of the youth began calling me "Rev" because I would sign my name in an official capacity as the pastor...

Why would one use the honorific "Rev" in a signature, whether or not signing in an official capacity as pastor?
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

J. Thomas Shelley

Quote from: Donald_Kirchner on July 12, 2023, 10:21:12 PM
Why would one use the honorific "Rev" in a signature, whether or not signing in an official caacity as pastor?

Signing as "the Reverend...." was my SOP with Marriage Licenses, especially on the return slip which becomes part of the public record in perpetuity.

I didn't want to be misidentified as a Mayor or Justice of the Peace.
Greek Orthodox Deacon - Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Dan Fienen

I have an earned M. A. and if that ever got me more pay I was never aware of it.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Donald_Kirchner

#41
Quote from: J. Thomas Shelley on July 12, 2023, 10:47:48 PM
Quote from: Donald_Kirchner on July 12, 2023, 10:21:12 PM
Why would one use the honorific "Rev" in a signature, whether or not signing in an official caacity as pastor?

Signing as "the Reverend...." was my SOP with Marriage Licenses, especially on the return slip which becomes part of the public record in perpetuity.

I didn't want to be misidentified as a Mayor or Justice of the Peace.

J. Thomas Shelley is your name and, therefore, your signature. The honorific "Rev" is not part of your signature any more than "Dr" is part of a physician's signature or "Judge" is is part of a judge's signature on a court order. Adding a title Such as ,MD or ,Pastor or Judge of District Court thereafter for formal documents to identify an official capacity, okay.

"the Reverend" as part of a signature?! 🙄
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

J. Thomas Shelley

#42
In my former life and ministry it was ONLY for Court documents.

And that was partly borne out of having done serious genealogical research, and , through that recognizing that clerics from the 19th century included their title with their signature.

After subscribing to the Rule of the Society of The Holy Trinity I began signing the legal documents as "The Reverend...Societa Trinitatis Sanctae" ...."vell, chust because" it might be fun for some researcher(s) decades from now...as well as to make a statement on public record.
Greek Orthodox Deacon - Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Donald_Kirchner

AKA the height of pretentiousness.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

J. Thomas Shelley

Greek Orthodox Deacon - Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

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