Required languages for Graduate Study

Steve Brailsford Steve.Brailsford at
Tue May 4 09:28:47 EDT 1999

		Subject: Re: offlist- again
		From: "yahua'sef" <gs02wmr at panther.Gsu.EDU>
		Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 15:48:53 -0400 (EDT)
		X-Message-Number: 19

		On Mon, 3 May 1999, Jim West wrote:
		> because most of the work done in biblical studies has been
written in german
		> and french, and not english.

		He says everyone is required to take German or French - this
as another
		person on the listserv writes to me in private and admits
that he/she has
		2 GRADUATE DEGREES and has NEVER had to take a lick of
French or German. 

		Wondell M. Rachman

As I have made some study of this topic, I thought I'd share some of what I
have found.
I am in the middle of a MDiv and plan to pursue a PHD and since it's been 20
years since I took 2 years
Of German, I can hardly remember much about the course, except "Ich bin ein
Berliner" mean "I am a donut."

My question for your friend would be what "Graduate" degree did they receive
and was it at an nationally accredited school?  For Masters level degrees
very few schools require any language besides Beginning Greek and Hebrew.
The Doctoral level degrees at all the school I have looked into all require
at least one language.

You can simply go to the web page of many of the top schools and see the
requirements for entry.  Princeton and Chicago requires proficiency in both
German and French.  They will test you.  The secular universities are
tougher than the seminaries it seems.  If I was to continue at NOBTS I could
simply take a course in German for 9 credit hours and that would satisfy the
entrance requirements.  I believe most seminaries have similar requirements.
I have been told the easiest way to satisfy that is to do the mail course at
University of Oklahoma State.

Yes, requiring German and/or French is a pain, but you'll find that once you
start writing papers, most of your sources will be in German or French.  I
was doing a paper on one of the visions of Zechariah last term and just
about every article was in German.  That can really slow down your research
if you don't have at least a working level in the language.

I wish you much success in your further studies, and know what your going
through. :-)

Steve Brailsford
Seagate Software
steve.brailsford at

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