Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How I ended up with an LTh degree

My degree has a tendency to come back and haunt me from time to time. On the one hand some employers in the voluntary sector make the assumption that I must be very religious and can be put off short listing me for jobs. On the other hand Christian organisations note my lack of religion and a degree from Edinburgh University and the alarm bells start ringing.

As far as I know the Edinburgh LTh no longer exists and has been replaced by the BTh. When I started at New College in 1990 I got onto the BD course using my previous HND as the entry qualification with the intention of completing a four year BD. I had one years funding which I managed to extend to two and for the third year I paid my own way before realising it was going to be impossible to complete the fourth.

As I did not have an existing undergraduate degree I could not graduate with a BD after three years so I converted all my course grades to allow me to leave with the LTh. The difference was that LTh was weighted slightly more in favour of course work than exams and required slightly fewer courses to be completed. I think LTh was originally designed for late entrants to ministry in the Church of Scotland who came from non academic backgrounds. Hence the weighting towards course work. This is a moot point though as my marks were generally over the limit required to gain exemption from exams on the BD course anyway, and I had completed all the required divinity courses for a four year BD by the time I got to the end of third year (partly by cramming Greek by taking private lessons over one of the summers with one of the translators of the New English Bible). My fourth year at Edinburgh would have been spent in other faculties, probably music which would have been great fun, but would not have added to my theological training.

Sometimes I find it annoying that I don't have a BD, but its quite a rare qualification and quaint in its own special way.