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Author Topic: J.D + Divinity degrees  (Read 7417 times)

chanec

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J.D + Divinity degrees
« on: September 09, 2009, 01:16:26 PM »
Law school has been somewhere in the back of my mind for a long time now (HS), but it was generally always filed as the "if I decide to be practical and have a financial stable career" option.  My interests were more intensely in philosophy and theology entering college.

Since my B.A philosophy (3.78) last December, I've become increasingly interested in working with development efforts (urban and/or international), humanitarian aid, etc.  I've also been working at a law firm, which perhaps reinforces my tendency to think of legal careers as viable...

I'm wondering if anyone has any insight on dual degrees of this type (typically J.D/M.Div) - are there specific options which they open up?  More to the point, is it a good/beneficial track for working with urban problems, and related avenues of social justice?

A dual degree is obviously quite an investment of money and time - is the J.D. component really providing any tangible and worthwhile opportunities?  Any thoughts appreciated.

nealric

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Re: J.D + Divinity degrees
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 04:52:21 PM »
I really can't think of what the dual degree would do for you in this case.

Either you are going to be clergy, an academic, or a lawyer. If you want to do public interest law, you can do that without the M.Div. If you want to go into the ministry, you can do that without the J.D.

AFIK there are no established J.D./M.Div. programs, but I would imagine some schools would allow some sort of arrangement.
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bennyb330

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Re: J.D + Divinity degrees
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 04:58:45 PM »
I read your post as looking for information about the career opportunities for this combination, not whether such an option exists. Nevertheless, Nealric is 100% wrong in asserting that there are no established programs.  Emory Law offers two programs that might fit your desires, and Emory is a world-class law school. 

Juris Doctor and Master of Divinity (JD/MDiv)
The Juris Doctor and Master of Divinity (JD/MDiv) is a five-year or 10-semester degree program (instead of the 12 semesters required to attain these degrees separately) offered in conjunction with the Candler School of Theology. This program combines academic and clinical/practical training in law and theology. It is recommended for candidates interested in combining their law degree with preparation for ministry. A candidate must earn 79 hours (five semesters) of academic credit in the School of Law and 70 hours (five semesters) of academic credit in the School of Theology. A candidate must maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average set by each school and fulfill all other curricular requirements for the JD and MDiv respectively.

Juris Doctor/Master of Theological Studies (JD/MTS)
The Juris Doctor/Master of Theological Studies (JD/MTS) is a four-year or eight-semester degree program (instead of the 10 semesters required to attain these degrees separately) offered in conjunction with the Candler School of Theology. This program is recommended for candidates interested in pursuing a career in law but who have interests in theology, ethics, church life, or various forms of social service or ministry.  It is also recommended for candidates aspiring to academic careers in law or theology, including those contemplating later PhD work. A candidate must earn 79 hours of academic credit (five semesters) in the School of Law and 39 hours of academic credit (three semesters) in the School of Theology. A candidate must maintain the minimum grade point average required for each school and fulfill all other curricular requirements for the JD and the MTS respectively.

chanec

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Re: J.D + Divinity degrees
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 06:02:15 PM »
I appreciate the responses thus far.  bennyb is correct, I'm interested in hearing thoughts on the possibilities that these programs open up, not whether or not they exist.  Emory, Duke (JD/MTS), Yale, Louisville, Pepperdine, Wake Forest, and Vanderbilt (probably others) all offer joint degrees of law/divinity.  Yale is off the radar for me, but I sense that I have a fighting chance at the others (I could easily be proven wrong after the LSAT this month, but that's not the concern of this thread).

I have read the above schools' descriptions of their respective dual degree programs, some of them more helpful than others.  I've found that they're mostly quite broad (similar to the quote from Emory - "This program combines academic and clinical/practical training in law and theology. It is recommended for candidates interested in combining their law degree with preparation for ministry"), which is not necessarily a bad thing.

I'm particularly interested in hearing from anyone who has strongly considered these programs, is in such a program, or for any reason has knowledge of these programs and what types of careers they are most suited for.

nealric

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Re: J.D + Divinity degrees
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 06:33:32 PM »
Quote
Nealric is 100% wrong in asserting that there are no established programs.  Emory Law offers two programs that might fit your desires, and Emory is a world-class law school.

Actually, I was 100% right that as far as I knew at the time the statement was made there were no such programs. Gotta think like a lawyer on LSD ;)

Bottom line is that most schools will let you do a combo J.D. with just about any grad degree you can think of. But just because you can does not mean you should.

If you want to do it for your own edification, go ahead. But I still can't think of any doors such a combination would open other than perhaps some niche in academia.
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bennyb330

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Re: J.D + Divinity degrees
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2009, 07:07:00 PM »
Nealric: sorry for coming across as an a-hole.

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Re: J.D + Divinity degrees
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 01:58:00 AM »
Agree with Nealric that there's probably going to be little to no value in this degree combo beyond personal enrichment or some super-niche in academia.
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Re: J.D + Divinity degrees
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 08:28:43 AM »
There is an amlunia of my school who did he JD/M. Div joint degree, he is now speaker of the state house. What if anything they have to do with each other I have no idea. His day job is a baptist minster, maybe the JD helped with his legislature job. Dunno.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

Matthies

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Re: J.D + Divinity degrees
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 08:30:47 AM »
Quote
Nealric is 100% wrong in asserting that there are no established programs.  Emory Law offers two programs that might fit your desires, and Emory is a world-class law school.

Actually, I was 100% right that as far as I knew at the time the statement was made there were no such programs. Gotta think like a lawyer on LSD ;)


Actually if you were thinking like lawyer then you would have said there "maybe" programs, exceptions to every rule and all that. As much as I want to I'm unable anymore to make any catagorical statements, stupid thinking like a lawyer. now I'm wishy wahsy on everything.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

nealric

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Re: J.D + Divinity degrees
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 09:24:29 AM »
Quote
Actually if you were thinking like lawyer then you would have said there "maybe" programs, exceptions to every rule and all that. As much as I want to I'm unable anymore to make any catagorical statements, stupid thinking like a lawyer. now I'm wishy wahsy on everything.

Touche
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