Master's Degrees

Discussion in 'Seminaries, Colleges & Education' started by Johnathan Lee Allen, Mar 21, 2019.

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  1. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    My wife is a faithful woman to God’s Word. She joyfully submits to my headship yet never fails to remind me that this is for Christ’s sake. When I lose sight of the cross and wallow in my misery, she is ever ready with Scripture on her lips. My wife works hard and keeps our house in good order. My four children are loved and guided to Christ at every turn. She’s incredibly intelligent and often helps me see what, being clear to her and of no mystery, I struggle to understand. All this to say, I fully support any man, woman, or child receiving an education in the ways of good doctrine. She’s better able to be ready to give an answer and to teach women younger in the faith by being more knowledgeable in theology. My wife will not be a victim to shallow or heretical women’s “ministries” so prevalent in our society. She will not be the person in the pew that, like so much of evangelicalism, is never able to ingest anything more than milk (skim milk at best). I, as her husband, would not allow that to be her example to our daughters.
    @nickipicki123
     
  2. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Dear Scott,
    Quite right.

    Dear Jonathan,
    Your wife sounds like a godly woman and I think I would be very encouraged to spend time with both of you. I am sorry you have received such poor counsel in this thread. Paul says that our wives are to be workers at home, guiding the house and raising children (if the Lord provides). Paul tells women who would desire to learn anything, that they should ask their husbands at home (1 Corinthians 14:35). He also admonishes women to learn in silence and with all subjection (1 Timothy 2:11). I wish these instructions had featured prominently in the counsel you received here.

    A wife can listen with great profit to sermons or seminary classes (at no charge) on SermonAudio, iTunes, or on podcasts throughout her day, as she has opportunity. This way, nothing is detracted from the family and she is not entering into a theological classroom/discussion forum that is designed to train men for ministry.

    Dear Nicki,
    Carefully consider all the instructions Paul gives for young women, for wives, and for mothers. Do these instructions (in general) allow for working wives and women in seminary courses? This is critical for us to think through, since much of American Christianity has abandoned the apostolic teaching here.

    With Love in Christ,
     
  3. nickipicki123

    nickipicki123 Puritan Board Freshman

    I think you are assuming that his wife would be neglecting her home making duties if she took seminary classes. What if this is not the case?
     
  4. nickipicki123

    nickipicki123 Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm just not sure how this post conflicts with that idea. Someone can be a homemaker and pursue a master's degree.
     
  5. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Just to clarify, at that point, the discussion between us was about Dubuque, not Covenant.
     
  6. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Dear Nicki,
    If I am, I think it's a pretty safe assumption. I have been thinking about this a lot. You have a good pastor, right? His work in feeding and caring for the sheep is copious, I'm sure (like a wife and mother's work is copious). Would you fault him for getting a part-time job, on top of his pastoral responsibilities? If it was absolutely necessary in order for him to support his family, I would hope not! However, what if it wasn't absolutely necessary? What if he took on a part-time job in order to fund a hobby of his? Or, what if he took on a part-time job because it was a job he always wished he could have done, and it's personally fulfilling for him to do the work? I think you would be justified in your skepticism of the wisdom of such a decision. In other words, it would be a pretty safe assumption that the addition of this non-essential work would detract from his calling as a minister. Mothers, on the other hand, are rarely ever subjected to this kind of scrutiny when they choose to pursue degrees or careers that are outside their calling. In fact, I could say more about how mothers who choose to work or to pursue degrees are usually thought of as more virtuous and contributing more to their families than mothers who keep the home only!

    Also, I would point out that even if a wife and mother could manage her home perfectly while also doing seminary coursework online, there are still issues with 1 Corinthians 14:35 and 1 Timothy 2:11. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home. In public, let them learn in silence. I'm still waiting for someone to point out how these biblical requirements could be met by a woman taking seminary courses (even online, where interaction is usually part of the grade)? If I am the one misinterpreting these Scriptures and making them say something they are not, I would be very much in the debt of anyone who could show me a more perfect way.

    With Love in Christ,
     
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't want to read too much into it, but if you take the Mary/Martha situation in the gospels, Mary was seeking education at Jesus' feet while Martha was "homemaking."
     
  8. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia has correspondence courses that might be worth checking out, but I do not know if they are at Master's level. Some women I know from church did them and found them useful.
     
  9. Johnathan Lee Allen

    Johnathan Lee Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    @Parakaleo I see your concern and your use of Scripture to validate your concern. My wife is under my headship with glad submission. Our home life is not one in which my salary could sustain my family. I'm pursuing vocational ministry as I've discerned an internal call with external affirmation. My wife would still have to work in order for our needs to be met. This is not to my family's shame but to the shame of the society we live in. She works from home and takes care of our four children. Earning further degrees will only help her in her duties of homemaker. She isn't a passive person of theological interest. She is also better educated in most ways of Scripture than I. (she has a degree and I'm working on one). I'm not intimidated by this. She sits under good teaching during worship and we often have great discussions where she learns and solidifies what has been taught. She learns from me many things as I'm well versed in ways of theological thought.

    About her desire to advance her knowledge: I take no issue with her learning when she is fulfilling her wifely duties. She isn't shaming me, our children, nor Christ by doing this. I, as her husband, encourage her to do this. If I am not taking the proper account of Scripture on the topic, then I pray that the Lord convict me of it. He has yet to. So I move forward until otherwise.
     
  10. SolamVeritatem

    SolamVeritatem Puritan Board Freshman

    Got it. Thanks.
     
  11. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    That's what a lot of people don't get. Some say, "Woman no work but stay home. No education needed." What happens when the husband dies and the wife has to take care of 8 kids with no real education? Some say, "The church will take care of her." Here's the problem with that:

    a) Most of those churches are very small and can barely take care of themselves.
    b) if we were LARPing in a compound in the woods this might work.
     
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  12. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 had some work outside the home without it undermining her work as a homemaker. Also, I feel that the raising of this subject, in this particular context, is, even if the conclusion being set forth were correct, "speaking the truth unseemly." Surely another thread could have been started to address the issue without derailing from the question raised in the OP?
     
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  13. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    I'd take that one more step. I expect that one would find that the smaller the church, the more likely one would be to find that sort of thinking.
     
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