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Dr. Title Misleading For Pastor

My pastor has a doctor degree other than theology or related to Christianity and he puts Dr. on the church bulletin, his church cards and the church sign. He also wanted the title of Dr. on the church website. Is this misleading?

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 ---Jim on 8/14/05
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Good question Jim.
I find it amusing too.

Why does a man of God, find a need to put the title of Doctor before his name, when a doctorate is a title given by men, which clearly tells folks their education comes from men and not from God?

If I wanted an education coming from men, I would go to college, not to church.
---David on 12/20/17

Nvbarbara said, " If he has his Ph.D in anything, he may use the 'Dr.' title. Unfortunately many may think he has his doctorate in divinity and mislead some into thinking he knows more than he does on the subject."

My monastic superior has an earned Masters in Musical Education, and an honorary PhD in Theology. He refuses to use either of them, he just goes by Father Basil.

BTW, an EARNED doctorate in theology is a ThD.
---Monk_Brendan on 12/19/17

We had a pastor that had an honorary Dr. from a bible collage and he loved the title even though it wasnt earned. Youd be surprised at the political things pastors do to get churches that pay well. It makes me sick to think these politicians with connections being called to a church. Its a shame that people dont pray and ask the Lord to send them the pastor He wants for His people.
---D_E_Wilson on 12/19/17

Yes, it is wrong because he is working in the ministry, but his doctorate he received was not for the ministry. It would be the same thing as a veternarian doctor who treats animals or pets, and usse his Medical Doctorate to practice on human beings in a hospital. The exception would be that he uses his special doctorate to practice in the field that his doctorate is awarded for while he is in the ministry. For example, if I am a pastor of a church, and I have a doctorate in psychiatry or psychology or medicine, and I use my doctorate for psychological consultations or to write precriptions for people, during my pastorate, then it is acceptable.
---Eloy on 4/6/12

The real question to me is WHY does he want this title added to everything. Taking a name, giving a name so much credence is part of the western Christian's culture but that doesn't mean it is a part of the Lord's view for His people. It is the same thing that satan wanted. To get credit and all eyes on him. Dangerous practice.
---L_Booker on 4/5/12

Not if he has earned the title.
---catherine on 8/12/10

Dr in front of his name so he can strut his stuff. Trying to say - tell what he knows ( mostly carnal ), & what he does Not know ( Spiritually )
---Lawrence on 8/11/10

He may also have an Ed.D, or Psy.D. and use the title Dr. He earned that title and is free to use it any way he wishes. He is not misleading. He is communicating that he is learned in some subject.
---Madison on 9/21/07

If he has his Ph.D in anything, he may use the 'Dr.' title. Unfortunately many may think he has his doctorate in divinity and mislead some into thinking he knows more than he does on the subject.

Remember the flaky Dr.Ruth who used to come on TV and give 'sex advice'? Her doctorate was in Elementary education!
---NVBarbara on 3/30/07

My opinion is this:
In CONVERSATION it is OK to use "Dr."
When WRITTEN it should be First Middle Last "Ph.D" "MD" etc.
Also: I think it is silly to introduce your self as "Dr. Lastname" in a non-academic setting. I'm a medical doctor and I don't go around introducing myself to strangers as "Dr. Lastname." I only use it when I am taking care of patients.
[I found this thread while searching for the "right" answer]
---Scott_B_Phillips_MD on 7/2/06

If a person has a Doctorate, they are entitled to use it. It really doesn't matter what it is in. It is up to your pastor to choose what he wants to use. He put in the time to obtain that degree and he should get the privilges that it gives. It is only a title they don't really matter anyway.
---Jared on 2/21/06

I have a Doctorate in Christian Counseling. I beleive that your pastor is entitled to list his credentials.
---Dr._Justin_Cyr on 9/1/05

I don't believe we should be looking at what a pastor puts down as his title but be checking what he says compared to Scripture. Our learning is so important and that is why we are there to learn and grow as Christians. If we are to look at everything we don't agree with in peoples lives we would never have the time to learn more of God. Make sure his word is God's, if it is, be thankful that it is because many churches have people that don't know God's word and are leading away not closer to God.
---lupe2618 on 8/18/05

If I had spent as many years in college competing a degree like your pastor has, I would certainly want to put Dr. before my name. He has earned that title. In fact, it is a good thing that people who are wanting to know about your church are aware that they have such an educated pastor. Of course, what really matters is if he has a doctorate in Jesus!!!!
---Sally on 8/16/05

Anyone who has earned a doctorate is free to use the designation Dr. or Ph.D. It is not misleading and a pastor holding a doctorate in a field other than theology is not different. Doctorate degrees are meant to stretch one's analytical skills. You will be surprised how it is influencing his ministry even if he studied agric economy.
---Emmanuel on 8/16/05

Some folks will not respond if they don't know the pastor has doctorate of some type. He could use the title, "Rev. John Smith, Ph.D." But, this still may cause confusion. You can have a Ph.D. in many fields - but at least those reading this title will know he's a pastor. He could also write the title, as "Dr. John Smith, pastor". However, this will not state what discipline his doctorate is in. He could use a title, except "pastor" or "Rev.".
---WIVV on 8/15/05

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my pastor has a doctorate in theology, but he wants to be called Bro. To me, he has earned the right to be called dr. but he is humble enough not to want to be called dr. He really doesn't care who even knows he has a dr. degree. He works for the Lord.
---shira_5965 on 8/15/05

I don't think it's inappropriate to use his title if he earned it. A doctorate degree in theology doesn't even necessarily make one well versed in theology. That depends on the Bible college or Seminary. You can bet that they'll use the title. If he's a good minister, that's what really matters. We're supposed to check the word for ourself and see if it's the truth being taught. False teachers are very dangerous. That's why teachers receive a stricter judgment (James 3:1)
---Rick on 8/15/05

Many people have degrees like, MA, Dr, PhD, DDDDDDDDD, and so on, but that doesn't mean anything to God. God looks upon the condition of our heart, whether we have the knowledge of God circumcised in our heart or not, and not how many years we went to school or how many degrees we have. Many ministers who are university educated professors are not even saved, and they do not personally know Jesus Christ at all. And if the blind lead the blind, then both will fall into the ditch.
---Eloy on 8/15/05

What a shame that titles mean such a lot to people. He either does his job well or he doesn't. I hope this isn't a sign that he is being pompous. I know someone who has several qualifications and writes all the letters after his name as if they are part of his signature. He became a bit of laughing stock, it did not create the impression he expected.
---F.F. on 8/15/05

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Hmm... although I agree with everyone who said he certainly has the right to do so, reread what Jim wrote. My own pastor has a Doctorate *in* Theology and uses that in books he's written, but rarely around church. Letters to the congregation are signed "Pastor" as is our website. By itself this might not mean anything though; hopefully this "Dr." has people around him to keep him from getting too self-centered, or else why is he a pastor?
---danie9374 on 8/15/05

A Doctorate gives one the title of DR. whether it is in Dentistry or Basket Weaving. The role of minister calls for many disciplines not necessarily Theology.
I would ask him what his doctorate was in. Can he communicate?? Was it before he entered the ministry? Some of our best ministers set put on different plans before being called into the ministry.
---chuck on 8/14/05

No, if he worked hard & earned the title of "Doctor", then he is entitled to use it.
---Ann5758 on 8/14/05

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