Dispensationalism– A Futurist, Biblical interpretation that foresees a series of “dispensations” or periods in history in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different biblical covenants.(according to the most credible source, wikipedia)
In my words, Gods interactions with man change through different time periods. These time periods are called dispensations.
Covenant Theology-a conceptual overview and interpretive framework for understanding the overall flow of the bible. It uses the theological concept of covenant as an organizing principle for Christian theology(another Wikipedia definition).
In my words, God deals with mankind under different covenants.
Where they disagree:
Covenant Theology emphasizes that God’s interactions with man are the same but the covenant’s are what changes the interactions. With Dispensationalism, the “dispensations” or time periods are what changes the interaction. Another good source for differences
Charles Ryrie, D L Moody, Cyrus Scofield, John Hagee, Tim LaHaye, Dwight Pentecost,
R C Sproul, J I Packer, Sinclaire Ferguson, Michael Horton
There is a third leg that is jumbled in there with these two called New Covenant Theology. Here
is another chart for the three people left reading that are interested.
As for me…
I just don’t know. I was a student of Charles Ryrie, who was heavily dispensational. I also have studied under the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where many of my professors have been either New Covenant or Covenant Theologians. I would have to say that the ideas of covenant theology make more sense then dispensationalism. But with that, neither one is clear in scriptures.