Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


xypathos last won the day on October 27 2016

xypathos had the most liked content!

1 Follower

About xypathos

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Application Season
    2014 Fall

Recent Profile Visitors

3,774 profile views
  1. xypathos

    I'm not sure whether to pursue this path professionally.

    Just don't spend a lot of time auditing. While such courses are fine for personal enrichment, they don't carry any weight should you decide to apply to graduate school. After all, you don't credit for the courses, you're not paying anywhere near the same fee as other students, there's no expectation that you do any of the work outside of the reading, and generally when it comes to the pecking order of the prof's attention, you're dead last on the totem pole. Some profs are amazing, they want you to be active in conversation and be a full participant. Hell, some may even be willing to let you write a paper and they'll offer feedback! Yet, others will tell you to sit in the back and try not to draw attention to yourself - you're just a distraction to them. Also, most schools have limits when it comes to auditing - certain subjects are off limits (language and music are usual contenders for this restriction), limits to the # of credits, etc. Learning classical Hebrew, on your own, is not the right way to go, especially if you're only other real experience is one year of Spanish in college. You want an exceptionally strong foundation and that comes from having a teacher who spends the time with you to make that happen. If you came in and had three years of Greek and Hebrew, intermediate knowledge of Latin, and you wanted to pick up a novice level of Ugaritic - grab a primer and go at it. Getting into an academic master's degree at a seminary or divinity school is not exceptionally competitive. We're talking 25-30% at competitive schools and by the time you get to "meh, ok" schools, north of 60%. With a 3.5 GPA, year of Spanish, and international travel - you're ahead of a lot of the people that will be your cohort. Even in academic programs at a div school/seminary, they're interested in who you are as a person and what experiences you're bringing to the table. The academic path is not "off limits" but the PhD route is, for now. Yes, independent scholars have an extremely rough go at it. We're a text and pedigree heavy field. If you're wanting to make a name for yourself in the RS field, people are going to want to know where you studied and that you have a PhD/DPhil after your name. I don't know what to make of your references to DC, "Lone rangers come here...," etc. Are you wanting to stick around the DC area or are you just going full stream of consciousness?
  2. xypathos

    Thoughts on Boston University School of Theology?

    Transportation is pretty good in the area, I know of a cohort of PhD friends at BU's STM that live in New Hampshire and commute in on train. I pop into a UMC church here in town who lived in Vermont and commuted to BU by train as well, with the occasional overnight stay.
  3. xypathos

    Thoughts on Boston University School of Theology?

    BU's program will certainly help increase odds at a PhD program, more so if you take advantage of BTI resources. BU's funding is hit or miss, some of which I think is dependent upon you being affiliated with the UMC. From what I've been told by faculty is that non-UMC shouldn't really expect anything more than 70-80% tuition and no stipend. Some get more and 70-80% is still really nice but rent also sucks! I have a friend at BU now and they said they couldn't find a studio apartment within two miles of BU less than $1500.
  4. xypathos

    What's happening at UChicago?

    It's the same challenges that Yale, Harvard, Vandy, Duke, and other top tier schools are facing which ultimately comes down to money. 1) Most divinity schools are in the red (spending more than they're bringing in). This is also largely true of Religion Departments. Now, most of them have fairly healthy endowments where they're drawing out 4-5% annually to operate the school. The big problem is that they're not bringing in enough revenue (tuition) to cover those expenses so they're rarely able to put money back. Short term this isn't a big problem but they've essentially resulted to borrowing against themselves and are eating themselves to death. Some schools, notably Duke and Vandy try to counter this by having incoming classes of 70-100+ students but then you need staff and faculty to cover this. 2) Faculty and PhD students in the humanities simply don't land the kind of grants that STEM fields do. A lot of humanities work is funded by the interest generated from these invested STEM funds. While these schools understand the value of a liberal arts education and will continue to support it, it's getting harder to justify it from a budget perspective when the Board of Trustees come knocking. 3) All of the top schools are simply producing more PhD students than there are positions available for them + faculty are staying in their cushy tenured jobs longer and longer. 4) M* alumni and most/all of the PhD graduates from Div Schools won't see the kind of lifetime earnings that a STEM graduate will. So, less money to give back to the school and often students attach this to the school, which they do share some of this blame, but it's also a simple fact of the job market. Chicago's Divinity School has also had internal strife by minority students that feel unsupported, subject to passive aggressive attacks by faculty and fellow students, etc. This is a rampant concern from probably every mainline divinity school, certainly every single one that I've visited.
  5. xypathos

    Any Current Duke Students?

    Vanderbilt Divinity, while I was there, was laced with pretty extreme microaggressions and some barely veiled racism and homophobia. There are at least three faculty on staff there that are outspoken that LGBT+ students have no right or duty in a pulpit and refuse to step foot in a church where that is welcomed. That said, my VERY limited experience of Duke students tells me that it's progressive in the same way that Vandy is, though arguably a little less so.
  6. xypathos

    Any Current Duke Students?

    Have a church member that was accepted into a host of M.Div programs and they're leaning toward Duke. They're an Episcopalian though raised UMC, fyi. I know Duke has an "Episcopal House" but I don't know how big it is, how well students feel fostered in their development, etc. They're particularly interested in Duke's Field Ed program through their rural church program. I assume given Duke's UMC history that these placements are largely at UMC churches? What's the cultural like at Duke? Said student identifies as a progressive but not in any overt sense. They're white, heterosexual. They've read some articles that Duke Divinity is pretty liberal but it's more of a neo-liberalism style so at times there's been conflict between minorities and whites, though largely with faculty and administration. Other schools provided better aid but not with the name support that Duke provides and they're in less than desirable locations. Duke's package is good but it will require some loans and/or part-time work.
  7. xypathos

    PhD Applications Fall '18 Season

    Grats! We hope!
  8. In my current program, you can teach your own course once you're ABD but you're restricted to teaching a strictly undergraduate course. The department strongly encourages you to teach a standard Intro course (HB, NT, Church History, Intro Christian Theology, etc) but some students have been successful in petitioning the dean to teach a one off. There's no official pedagogy course that we take (one is in the works) but a lot of small group work with faculty and we're required to rotate through faculty to observe their teaching methods. While I was at Vanderbilt I TA'ed some undergraduate courses at Lipscomb at part of my Supervised Ministry. I was allowed to sit on some Theology & Practice sessions because of it. I was restricted but we watched these YT videos (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB1EPeYUwa4m0bbBCexclfXFVp6EypHut) and discussed them. I can't speak to the rest of their development.
  9. Critical book reviews tend to not get published, at least within my discipline. As @11Q13 noted, they're something you do to fluff up your C.V. early in your career. Bad books tend to not have reputable reviews which is a tell-tale sign that something is amiss with the work and/or scholar. Also, as 11Q13 noted - the last thing you want to do is piss off someone that could toss some roadblocks your way. Reviews could, in theory, hurt book sales so anything critical tends to not get published as a way for publishers to scratch each other's back. Save critical assessments of a scholar's work for the after hours party at AAR or coffee hour at your school.
  10. xypathos

    PhD Applications Fall '18 Season

    They usually give you a deadline to respond by, I think it's approx. three weeks.
  11. xypathos

    SBC Seminary Perceptions

    It is. SBTS, in particular, explicitly says on their website that doctoral students are not eligible for ANY institutional aid and cannot use federal loans to finance their education. Per their ATS report, despite bringing in nearly $2 million in annual revenue from PhD students, they awarded exactly $7,750 in scholarship money to them and their website seems to indicate that came in the way of travel funds for conferences.
  12. xypathos

    SBC Seminary Perceptions

    One of those programs they’re interested in said applicants should expect no direct aid and appeal to their congregation for funding. They’re indirect aid came in the form of a discount if you were from a SBC church. Your annual fee went from about 54k to 33k.
  13. xypathos

    SBC Seminary Perceptions

    I view them as being conservative and you'll likely only land a position at a conservative school. Will it impact publishing? Maybe, that's a little too soon to tell but there are certainly conservative leaning journals that you'll do fine at due to your school's reputation and name.
  14. xypathos

    McGill funding

    What's your nationality? When I applied last year I was told that there was little to no funding for US citizens.
  15. xypathos

    PhD Applications Fall '18 Season

    Any thoughts on the reputation of Radboud University (Netherlands)? I submitted a late (by US standards) application after looking over the website and being assured by a prof there that they have generous scholarships specifically for US students. As well, should you not get it their annual tuition is cheaper than a 3-credit course at most colleges. Well, I found out was I accepted and extended a stipend of 25k euro, so just over 30k USD. The university has extended an offer for housing at 750 euro a month which seems reasonable. Teaching in the US would be ideal but I don't "have to." Going abroad for a while seems really tempting too. It's stay at Villanova, FSU, or Radboud for the time being.

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.