Goodness, people. "As bad as other divinity schools, should still nonetheless be stayed clear of for student interested in academic pursuits"? Really? Go look at faculty listings at the top religious studies programs in the country. By far, the majority of them have their masters degrees from divinity schools (mostly HDS, YDS, and UChicago.) That same thing is reflected in the make-up of students in PhD programs at the so-called "top tier" schools. Terminal masters programs from RS departments are not held in higher regard in admissions committees' minds.
Let's get real about what this is about: academic snobbery against people in ministerial formation. Yes, good numbers of future ministers are less concerned about long-scale academic pursuit, but that does not mean that they're any less capable of it than the academic track students are. In fact, MTS/MAR students (not to mention PhD students) regularly have their asses handed to them by MDivs. If you're planning on studying religion and you are looking down on people who practice said religions and are training to be ministers them, you might need to start checking some biases before you get too far along in scholarship.
So finally I am IN. I am celebrating today like my birthday and all my referees have been pouring in congratulatory messages into my mail. The journey was so long, so tough and so rough, but I am happy I finally saw light at the end of the tunnel.