Autobiographical. Metzger and Me: My PhD Exams

I CONTINUE MY RECOLLECTIONS OF MY EXPERIENCES WITH MY MENTOR, BRUCE METZGER: Metzger directed my PhD exams, and was responsible for writing the questions for one of them. To explain that situation requires a good bit of background. In a typical PhD program, at the end of two years of taking seminars (usually three a semester, for four semesters), a student takes the PhD exams. These go by different names: “Comprehensive exams” (that’s what we called them at Princeton Seminary); “Preliminary Exams” (i.e. preliminary to writing a dissertation); “Qualifying exams” (i.e. that qualify you to move on to the dissertation stage) – all of these refer to the same battery of exams. In most respects the way it was set up at Princeton was fairly typical – it is the way we also have it set up in the PhD program that I teach in at UNC. Here at UNC, students take five examinations, each of them four hours in length, followed by a two-hour oral examination before the examining committee. At Princeton we took [...]