The Perils of Doing a Ph.D.: Be Forewarned

I saw this on Facebook via my friend Nathan Smith. It’s a graphic about those who do Adjunct teaching as a vocation to earn a living. It’s a disaster especially in the field of theology and ministry. It’s from this post on Progressive Geographies.

The takeaway for me is:

a.) do a Ph.D. only if it’s paid for, and if it’s part of a vocational goal that is not full time teaching. Ph.D.’s can be helpful to those in various fields – writing – research – editing – publishing etc. One can even pursue ministry while teaching in a University/seminary as a side hobby (but not the means to earn a full time salary).

b.) In ministry, after one has sufficient practical experience, engaged in serious theological reflection, writing and publishing, full-time teaching opportunities may emerge. You didn’t necessarily plan on this. It happened and it does happen. In fact I would say practicioner/scholars is the wave of the future in the seminaries. But one should not see a Ph.D. as direct one-way ticket to a job in teaching.

Any other opinions on Ph.D. careerism out there? What’s your experience?

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