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Dissertations that are Needed Today

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Work to add to the body of human knowledge.

The function of graduate work is to make specialists out of generalists. There is nothing wrong with being a generalist, but generalists are aggregators of knowledge. Specialists have an opportunity to add to the realm of human knowledge.

Ph.D. study refines the specialty of the specialist, revealing knowledge the generalist learns later.

If these assertions are true of knowledge in scientific and historical fields, they are no less true regarding the religious Ph.D.

Here are a few thoughts about why you should consider seeking a Ph.D. today.

Ph.D. Work Adds to Human Knowledge

This graphic—and you REALLY need to look at it—depicts all the world’s knowledge.

The simple circle represents all human knowledge. After elementary school, we know a little represented by a very small circle in the middle of the larger circle of all human knowledge.

In high school, we learn a bit more and the circle in the middle enlarges. After a bachelor’s degree, one gains a specialty and the circle enlarges again along with an extended bulge. A master’s degree deepens that special area, represented by a longer protrusion of the specialty bulge.

Research papers then take us to the edge of human knowledge. Once we reach the boundary, we focus and we push at the boundary for a few years until one day the boundary gives way.

That dent in human knowledge is called a Ph.D.

Basically the doctor of philosophy dissertation contributes to human knowledge in a way previously not done.

I have a Ph.D. focused on missiology, but I mainly focused on North America. I studied everything foreign missions practitioners do, but I did it in a North American context. Then, I did my dissertation on the strategy

When I walked into my doctoral dissertation ...

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