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xypathos last won the day on September 9

xypathos had the most liked content!


About xypathos

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    Latte Macchiato

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    2014 Fall

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  1. I have a friend moving to Ft Worth as a transfer to Brite Divinity at TCU. They have pets so can’t live in grad housing. Can anyone recommend nearby communities or apartments? Ideally, they’d love to be able to walk to campus or have a short bike commute.
  2. Absolutely ask about what the department and POI value in prospective applicants, and what you can do to maximize that. Some programs are sticklers for language - they want them done before you enter. Others want a modern done, and you’ll pick up the second before comps. A number of modern programs, though not at top schools, don’t really seem to care. By that I mean they don’t require any evidence of language before entering and from students I’ve met at AAR, they don’t require any before you go. My department largely doesn’t care for those of us in modern. I came in being pretty decent in Latin and Czech (odd professional sidetrack - I was raised Moravian and wanted to work at the intersection of Moravian and American religious history but a number of faculty already in the area confirmed that it’d be career suicide Due to being unemployable because I’d be too specialized). I did a couple group sessions of French and German translations for reading proficiency and was asked to go and take the translation exams. I’m 100% my work was garbage but it was also stupid easy - could use a digital dictionary and we had four hours to translate a 500 word chunk of text. I essentially went through and translated the major words, and using context clues placed them in an order that made sense. Never got notification of Pass/Fail. I asked my advisor and he said I was marked as satisfied the second I stepped into the exam room. The department doesn’t require language exams for modern fields but the university says they have to - so you show up, they mark you done, you move on.
  3. Absolutely reach out but be clear that you’re looking for Fall 2021. Every school has different policies about how they choose incoming students so the faculty will be able to give you a good idea of what’s possible. It’s also possible that their current research interests don’t align with the kind of student that they want to supervise. So, always check! Generally in-person meetings are probably seen as unnecessary. If you’re going to be in the area, it’s a little different but traveling from Rochester to Berkeley for a 15 minute chat is a bit much. When you apply and if they like you, some select schools will require you to come to campus, though usually on their dime.
  4. If you're wanting to do Islamic art/expression, you could go off and do several fields - art history, history, religious studies, etc. A decently funded MA, at a school that'll have resources for your area, will be hard to come by. You can certainly expect some funding but north of 80% is lucky, probably closer to 40-50% if you take into account the real costs of the MA. Going straight into a PhD post-undergrad is not the norm for significant chunks of the humanities. For a field such as yours, that sounds even more interdisciplinary than most - that's probably even more so going to be the case. You could, easily probably, do a MTS at Harvard Divinity and focus on Islamic Studies, catering courses to your focus. I'd probably look at several large universities like Harvard, Yale, Chicago, etc that would allow you to leverage resources from multiple areas.
  5. Just apply straight for the MDiv programs, they have high acceptance rates. Unless you have very poor grades, there's no real reason to do a PG.Dip. If you're worried about having a foundation, a significant number of your classmates won't have any religious studies/theology background either and from my experience, many of them were better students for it.
  6. It’s not common to do a MTS and MDiv but it happens. ATS has extremely tight regulations when it comes to transferring credits between M* degrees so while you might save a semester or two, expect to essentially redo significant amounts of coursework. If you’re going to do a MDiv at the same school you did the MTS at, it’s always better to surrender the first degree. ATS allows students to do this in order to save time but the shitty part is that it has to be at the same school and within ten years of getting the degree. As far as working with an emeritus professor, it really just depends and not something you should count on. Some still teach but if they do, it’s often only an independent study or the 1-2 last doc students that they’re supervising. Most of the time though, they no longer live in the area so any sort of class is off limits.
  7. xypathos

    Post M.Div - MTS

    Personally, I think MTS degrees are a waste of time if you didn't also get your MDiv there. Now, that holds true for students applying to PhD programs mid-MTS and wanting to bench on a MTS recommendation. They're going to be superficial letters and your reader is going to see that you've known them for all of a semester. Aid for MTS degrees tends to be lackluster b/c schools know that students doing it are pursuing PhD apps. It's like doing one of the many master's degrees at Chicago. They don't have any real incentives to offer you aid, they know you're desperate and you're willing to pay for it. If you're going to be in the area for three years though, you could make it work for you. Harvard and Yale both have procedures to extend the MTS an additional year. If you did that or found a way to stay in a prof's mind, it could work. If you can afford it, I'd pick 1-2 profs that you really need LORs from and maybe try to audit/credit a course(s) from them during years 2&3. A second option is to hit up all the universities in the Boston/BTI area and just do another funded multiyear M*
  8. You can mention on your application or in a supplementary essay that you took some Edx or other courses. Given the resources available to you, it'll be understandable. I don't know how much, if any, that it'll help your chances but it won't hurt! I would structure your SOP to your interests and not so much your experience. If you apply for the MDiv, which I encourage, you should talk about the interests you want others to know about you. These are the things that you're genuinely passionate about! The closer those interests are to comparative religion or religion in general, the better! Your letters of recommendations should come from people that can write the strongest letter for you. They don't need to be humanities faculty, but they do need to be people that can speak to your desire to learn, your level of curiosity, research ability, and passions. Harvard, Chicago, and Yale have very generous scholarships. When I was at Yale we set aside several scholarships that fully paid for students from developing countries: tuition, books, room and board, and a modest stipend. These scholarships were rather competitive and we cycled through geographical areas of focus. If we took a number of students from sub-Saharan Africa one year, then the next year we might only take one and shift our focus to south Asia. You had to be from a country in the global south and show that: 1) You've exhausted the educational opportunities available to you in your home country or regional area and/or 2) extreme poverty.
  9. Your degree isn't irrelevant! MTS and MDiv degrees are considered introductory degrees, really. I think someone the other day equated them to postbacs and that's absolutely true. People have come into MTS and MDiv degrees without an undergraduate degree in religion. In fact, if you have an interest in working in interfaith work - I'd even look at some MDiv programs. Given the very Christian-centric nature of MDiv programs, really I'd look at Chicago and Harvard. You've got a couple months before the application season begins. So, if you feel that you're ready - I'd just go ahead and apply. Your big hurdle will potentially be the GRE depending on the program/degree that you're applying for!
  10. It's not impossible but it's damn near impossible. Very few RS-PhD programs take anyone straight from UG and when they do, they have exceptional backgrounds. By exceptional I mean they often went to HS at an elite private school, parents had significant money/resources/culture/etc, they went to a Top 5 UG, and spent their summers and UG schedule tailored to PhD programs from fall semester of their freshman year. I mean go for it! Often if you're a strong candidate but just a little short, they'll kick you down to the MA level and throw really nice financial aid your way.
  11. Yes and no. A semester isn't a lot to go on but it is grad school, so they could be reflective of you maturing some and then naturally the health issue being "solved." First semester though is, more or less, the same courses for a lot of MTS and MDiv students - largely intro. Good grades always work in your favor though, just don't expect it to cancel out all of the concerns.
  12. I'm in a PhD program currently. If you click on my username it'll take you to my profile page, you can send me a private message from there.
  13. I think UCLA offers some MA funding. Does Berkeley and Johns Hopkins offer resources in this area? I'm pretty sure they do/did at the undergrad level, anyway. If you're an American citizen, funding in the UK and Canada will be virtually impossible. Honestly, I'd apply to one of the three you listed and make use of their programs. I never took a course at Yale's NEL&C but knew people that did. I loved going over there for talks and events, though. I do know that they offer 0% funding for MA students but they're open to div students coming over and taking courses.
  14. Undergrad coursework is evaluated but MDiv applicants are looked at a bit more holistically than MTS. A shitty uGPA isn't going to tank your chances but you'll need to explain the low grades. If you have an upward curve in your degree, etc - this will go a long way in improving your profile. If you had a significant health issue and it's now resolved, this can help some. If the health issue was a mental health issue, you need to be careful in how you frame it. Mental health stigmas are still rampant, especially so in grad school admissions. I'm sure Duke and PTS put their transfer policies on their websites so take in all of that before reaching out to Admissions. EDIT: If it's a mainline school you want and you want to be competitive for a doc program, apply to them all. At least as many as you can see yourself being comfortable at. I define comfortable as: being outside your comfort zone some, but still having a cohort that you can use as a support system as you come to terms with academic religion vs personal conceptions. If you go to a school and it's 100% right up your alley and doesn't push you on your beliefs, you've failed.
  15. CRCDS is almost exclusively people aiming for ordination, though not all of their graduates go into church work. I know of several that went into chaplaincy, usually hospital. American Baptists and UMC are the largest denominations present. Splatters of everything else - Lutherans, Episcopalians, UCC, UU, Wiccan, etc.
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