The Esoteric Interfaith Church, Inc. and its earlier branch the unincorporated Metaphysical Interfaith Church have been ordaining ministers since 1987. But two years later the church also established a seminary to further train our ministers and alternative clergy and has been granting religious degrees ever since.
Today one of our degree candidates — who will also become an ordained minister at no extra cost — asked about the Ph.D. versus the Doctor of Divinity degree. She has studied the Barbara Brennan healing system and is already working in the field as a spiritual healer. Of course she wants ordination as a minister in order to protect herself legally and be able to set and accept suggested donations for her pastoral counseling and spiritual healing practice. But she also wants a religious doctorate degree to reassure those in her circle and give her parishioners / members added peace of mind. The word “Doctor” in front of a spiritual healing minister’s name isn’t about prestige but about reassurance and confidence in the one who is serving humanity. She asked:
QUESTION: My intention is to teach workshops at bookstores, healing centers and workshop centers as well as having my own “clients” in my spiritual ministry. I also wish to reach Hospice Centers and Rehab Centers that are connected to the Hospitals. Do you still think the Ph.D. in Metaphysics is more beneficial than the Doctor of Divinity degree? Which religious degree is more ‘beneficial, accepted and known’ in mainstream hospitals and healing centers?
ANSWER: Both degrees allow you to attach Dr. to the front of your name, but the PhD in Metaphysics also allows you to attach PhD to the end of your name. The PhD is known all over the world and is the most widely recognized and highest ranking doctorate degree compared to the Doctor of Divinity. Some mainstream hospitals and healing centers might not understand what “Metaphysics” is, but they also won’t necessarily know what a doctorate in “Divinity” is. If you were in the U.K., I’d tell you to go with the Doctor of Divinity because that degree is the highest pinnacle of education for the U.K. and Europe. But the Doctor of Divinity doesn’t mean healing to them, rather academic achievement. In your case, I keep leaning toward the PhD in Metaphysics for you because it is for religious philosophers, but also has to do with spiritual healing. The PhD in Metaphysics is the most common degree of choice for spiritual healers and actually allows the holder to call themselves a “metaphysician” and a “doctor”. Many like the term meta-physician meaning “beyond a physician”, or a different kind of healing, not “mere” physical healing. Some do hypnotherapy, Reiki, EFT and even NLP.
Of course our metaphysicians do not practice medicine without a license, we are only talking about spiritual healing here. Even so, the words have power and are applied to all healers, all practitioners of body, mind and spirit healing modalities. We have conferred the PhD in Metaphysics on dozens of graduates over the years.