It really isn’t fair………….
I want to rant for a moment. There are a series of fields that one could go into that are considered professional degree fields. Law is one and so is medicine and believe it or not, Theology/Ministry is also one. Ministry however is treated wholly different than the rest. In any other field you are expected to enter your graduate studies with some basic background in your field, therefore your graduate work is very specialized and typically is not quite as lengthy. Theology is a different ballgame altogether. On the graduate level it is expected that you enter as an entry level student. Therefore the Master's program is 3 times as lengthy as a typical Master's program. This would be fine if there was some sort of different route for those with undergraduate education and experience in the field, but there's not! Not unless you count the "advanced" M.Div. that many schools offer. This option, however, simply cuts 10-20 hours off your degree and is still full of entry level survey type courses! It's still double the typical Master's degree as far as your time is concerned. For someone like myself, who has 130 hours of theological education on the undergraduate level this can be very frustrating!! I know the typical response is, "Your undergrad wasn't the same level of education that your grad program is." While this sounds good, it's simply not true. After 1 and a half years in seminary I can assure that the level of education in my situation is equal. The only glaring difference between college and seminary is that there is simply more reading and more writing on the seminary level. I'm even using the same textbooks as in college! I just wish that I could specialize on the graduate level and not still have to spend all this time working on basic intro courses that I've already completed.