What can I do with these dual degrees when finished?
Graduates of the program have come from many different faith communities. Graduates often return to these communities to supervise pastoral counseling or guidance personnel and to work with religious group members who have problems such as substance abuse or vocational crises. Others take an MTS degree to advance as deacons in their local churches. Some graduates have developed a clinical practice approach that actively integrates a faith dimension into their assessment and intervention activities and into their mentoring as they begin to supervise or take faculty positions. MDiv graduates have experienced a deepening of their communication and relating skills, and of their community organizing, management, and grant-writing knowledge and skills as they become pastors or deacons, and/or do community and institutional chaplaincy work.
A recent MTS/MSW student talented in singing and music production is using his second-year Macro placement to learn the technical side of developing, recording, and producing religious hip-hop music for kids. His goal is to attract at-risk urban teens toward alternative after-school programs in which they can express their stories via poetry, music writing, and videotaping. He will then help them produce and market their songs and stage local concerts that engage other teens and their families. As faith-based community programs and funding increase, graduates from our programs may well be among the leaders organizing, guiding, and working within such programs.
Can I take elective courses at other schools outside of BU once I'm at the elective level of the programs?
Yes. STH is affiliated with a wonderful theological consortium called The Boston Theological Institute. The consortium includes Harvard Divinity School, the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, the Boston College Department of Theology, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Weston Jesuit Seminary, and the Andover-Newton School of Theology. SSW is in a graduate social work consortium with Boston College School of Social Work, and SSW students may take approved free elective coursework there. Taking an elective course at another School requires the Academic Dean’s prior examination of the intended course’s syllabus and Required Readings, to ensure goodness of fit with our program’s urban mission and goals, as well as with national accreditation standards.
Can I be a non-Methodist and participate in these dual degree programs?
Yes. Each year we welcome into our programs students from a wide variety of backgrounds and belief systems. We simply ask that applicants review our program plans and content reflectively, to assure that our degree combinations are a meaningful fit with your beliefs, aspirations, financial situation, and career goals.
Which dual degree combination do most people select and complete?
The MTS degree is selected most often, because it adds a faith dimension without the need to prepare for professional ministry or chaplaincy work. It is also the shortest program to complete. Students also take this degree to prepare for service as deacons or lay leaders in local churches, temples, mosques, and other communities of faith.
How should I discern the appropriateness of a particular degree combination for me personally?
Examine the bulletins of SSW and STH carefully. Look at courses offered, at concentrations and specializations, and at requirements for majoring in Clinical or Macro practice. Speak with Program Coordinators to discern whether your financial situation, career aspirations, and the time commitments of a dual degree program are a good fit for you.
Helpful questions in discernment might be: “When I recall that my professional career may span 30 or 40 years, what am I happiest picturing myself doing day after day over that time? Is it organizing, management, planning, and policy activities? Is it counseling activities with individuals, groups, and families? Is it macro and micro work with a given population to whom I am devoted? Is it pastoral and preaching work?”
Other ways to incorporate a faith dimension into your life and work are to create or join a spiritual exploration or practice group; take spiritually focused workshops; and go on directed spiritual retreats through a local faith community. There is no question that our joint programs offer satisfaction and enrichment of a very special nature for those for whom they are a good fit.