The Harvard Divinity School has established a new three year course of study leading to the B.D. degree.
Called the Department of the Church it will train young men and women for the parish ministry and "will declare to the academic world and the churches that we are plainly and unmistakably concerning ourselves with the concrete issues of religion," Dean Samuel H. Miller of the Divinity School said yesterday.
Students enrolled in the course will study church history and traditions in light of the actual work of the parish and the responsibility of the minister.
Basic academic courses will chart the history of the church and its changing phases, the nature of worship and preaching and the practice of counseling and teaching. Three courses in pastoral theology will draw together the practice of Biblical criticism, historical method and the minister's understanding of theology so that his work will be relevant to the culture in which the church exists.
The first appointee to the new department is J. Lawrence Burkholder, a member of the faculty at Goshen College, who has done church relief work in South-eastern Asia.
Dr. Burkholder, who becomes an associate professor of Pastoral Theology, will lead students in the study of the Bible, church history, and theology, and will emphasize the relation of these studies to the life and work of the church. The Department will also encourage student apprenticeships with leading pastors in nearby churches for field training.