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About AdMeliora

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  1. The ThM at Princeton Seminary is definitely meant to be completed in a year. You are generally taking the same Master's level classes that the MDiv and MATS students are taking, although it does have a thesis component, from what I understand.
  2. This is also the case at Princeton Seminary. The PhD program is a different case, but PTS definitely has a handful of students who have BAs or first Master's degrees from Moody, Liberty, et al. If you decide to try and transfer, they would certainly not rule our your application based on your prior schooling alone.
  3. Hi all, I'm new to the ed forum on grad cafe, and am looking for a bit of advice from some of the more seasoned folks on this page. I'm currently in a master's program in religion and am interested in teaching at the high school level after graduation. I have a couple years of previous ed experience via AmeriCorps, and will have the appropriate experience to teach something in the vein of religion, humanities, introductory philosophy, etc after completing my current program. I'm interested in M.Ed programs for some more specific coursework in pedagogy and curriculum design, but from my research thus far, it has been difficult to measure the value of this proposition. M.Ed's and their equivalents seem generally expensive, and they don't necessarily offer tangible benefits (I know that it would offer plenty of value in the course work, but I mean in the sense that it doesn't offer a specific credential, etc). All of that to say, do people generally find these degrees to be worthwhile (especially as a second master's degree)? I know that I would enjoy it, but i'm not sure if it's a wise use of time and money.
  4. Lots of good advice on this thread. (I can personally attest to @Rabbit Run's wealth of knowledge on this subject- he was really helpful to me when I was in the application cycle). I'm at PTS for the MDiv right now and it sounds like it would be a good fit for you, at least based on the info you shared. PM me if you wish to speak further about it. Also, if you're interested in the Presbyterian route, Union Pres could be a good fit. There are several students here who visited and loved it there; their funding and faculty have a good reputation.
  5. It's hard to make assessments based purely on anecdotal evidence, but I can say that I have not heard of or seen anyone working full-time and still maintaining a full course load. The people in my program who work do so primarily in part-time campus positions, etc. My sense is that you would find it quite difficult, if not impossible, at least at the school I am at.
  6. I always hated hearing this sort of thing when I was in college, but it turns out to be true- the great news is that your interests will continue to evolve according to your life circumstances and experiences, and (God willing), life is long enough that you have time to sort it all out. I'm sure your ESL experience will be a rich and informative one, and may steer you in a way that you can't anticipate right now. It may sound trite, but just take it as it comes, enjoy this moment in time, and read widely- it sounds like you have the skills and intrinsic motivation you need to succeed in the endeavors you mentioned. Being out of school for a couple years will probably give you an excellent sense of where you want to go next in life. I hope this doesn't come off as an encouragement to "just wait for a sign from the universe!" or anything like that. That's not at all my intention. My goal is rather to say that your interests may very well evolve, and it's ok if that takes a few years- my undergrad was in History with a concentration in early America, because I loved those classes and thought I wanted to be an Americanist. I graduated, intended to spend 1-2 years teaching through an AmeriCorps program, and then head to grad school. I got a couple opportunities that I hadn't anticipated through that program, and that quick 1-2 year sojourn turned into a 4 year stop, but I'm so thankful it did. By the time I did get around to applying to grad school, I had a completely different area of focus, and can see how it's a much better fit in the long run. All of that to say: focus on enjoying your current opportunities, use your free time well, continue reading, thinking, and wrestling with ideas, and you'll be fine. Cheers.
  7. I lived in Wheaton for two years (after college) for a job, and it's an interesting community. I don't know what sort of learning environment you are looking for, but my experience with Wheaton (the town) was that it was a quiet, affluent, mostly conservative evangelical community. (Again, no idea of what you're looking for; that was just my assessment of it while I was there.) It's nice to have direct access to Chicago via the West line, which takes you right downtown. It's an expensive area to live in, unless you are willing to leave in a nearby suburb like Carol Stream or maybe Glendale Heights. The people were very friendly and had often lived there for generations. I can't comment at length about the life of the college, other than to say that it plays a prominent role in the community. The Billy Graham museum on campus was a big draw, and so is the Wade Center (C.S. Lewis library). There were often advertisement pinned up at local coffee shops about various lecture series, and it's the kind of town where regular people that are not affiliated with the college are still relatively familiar with some of the more prominent members of the faculty there- I'm thinking of people like Douglas Moo, Alan Jacobs (before he left for Baylor), Tim Larsen, etc. Sorry that I can't comment more specifically on the school community itself, but seeing Wheaton on this board is rare enough that I had to chime in.
  8. I see...a glutton for punishment, then. There's nothing more we can do for you- godspeed.
  9. The choice is clear- I used to live in Chicago, and those winters are an abomination. Take the warm weather offer Duke offer. (disclaimer- all advice is offered in jest.)
  10. I'll be attending Princeton Seminary in the fall for an MDiv, and I'm afraid that I'm no help on some of these other schools- since they do rolling admissions, I went through my application deadline stress in the fall, and didn't finish even my app to Duke or Yale once I got the acceptance letter and financial aid offer from PTS, since they were my first choice anyway. Probably a bit lazy of me, but I'm happy with how it turned out. To the OP, I can't speak very specifically to your situation, but I've always been told that in the divinity school, the average master's student can expect to get somewhere in the neighborhood of a 30-35% scholarship, and that they do a handful of 50% scholarships per year and full scholarships in rare situations for exceptional applicants. I've also been told that the field placements (in the MDiv) are paid, and that many students rely on that money for whatever other short fall they have in funding. I have no idea how that compares to funding for RS at Duke U, though. It's probably not very pertinent to your situation, since I don't know how that stacks up to the Graduate School at Duke U, but thought I would throw it out there in case funding at the divinity school bears any resemblance.
  11. Location seems to not matter very much in this instance- couldn't you commute to BU or to Harvard from Brighton/Allston? I'm not an expert, but my fiancee is from the area and my sense is that Cambridge is pretty accessible through the MBTA (although again, I'm not an expert- maybe that's not true). I wrestled with some of the same questions myself as I sorted through where to do my mDiv (starting this fall), and I heard over and over again to take the funding if you are at least reasonably comfortable with the climate of the institution. The sort of positions an mDiv qualifies you for are not particularly lucrative ones, and so minimizing debt throughout your studies will be key. BU is well regarded, and it definitely fits with the liberal/ecumenical vibe that you are looking for. While Harvard would probably offer a bit more breadth in their course listings, and has the name brand, you would have access to the BTI through admission to BU, which would enable you to take classes at Harvard as well as several other excellent institutions in the area. This is not to be discounted; it's a tremendous opportunity to build connections with other students and professors at theological institutions all over Boston. It would also help give you access to some of those classes they may not have at BU. Each person (and situation) is different, so I certainly couldn't say for sure what the right step for you is. With that caveat, it does seem to me that BU offers a lot of what you're looking for and a good funding package, while being close to home and providing access to the BTI (and therefore Harvard or whatever else you're interested in around greater Boston). Fortunately, the choice isn't between Harvard and Joe's Skewl of Theology- BU would, in all likelihood, provide you with a high quality education, and access to other institutions, too.
  12. Maybe this is an ignorant question, but anecdotally, it often seems that there are lower hurdles to a PhD in religious studies (broadly speaking) in the UK than a top tier program in the U.S. I once spoke with a professor who told me to look across the Atlantic if I ever got the PhD itch; you don't have to spend time stressing about your GRE scores, the length of the program is often shorter, and it's quite possible to find inexpensive programs. He told me that after his Master's program, he had struck out in his first round of applications to doctoral programs in the U.S., so he went over to Manchester for a few years, came back with a PhD, and promptly got a job at an American university. Again, as I said at the beginning, most of the evidence I've heard for UK PhD programs is anecdotal, but it does leave me wondering- are there significant disadvantages to pursuing a PhD in the UK? Just curious based on some of the comments I've seen on this thread and others.
  13. Yes, as long as you feel even reasonably comfortable at the school, take the funding. School counseling is not a lucrative profession (I work in public education), and strengthening your financial profile will be valuable. While I'm not a school counselor myself, it is also my impression from speaking with my colleagues who are that your particular degree program serves essentially as a credential. In other words, it is not imperative that you chase institutional prestige to make your job applications stronger down the line. If you are offered an opportunity to minimize educational debt, my sense is that it would be wise to take it.
  14. I echo @menge. When I started looking into the best program for me (I was looking at MDivs, MTSs and MAs in Religion/Religious History for reference), I was told by most people that the only reason you should get an MA in Apologetics is if you are wanting to take some interesting classes and learn things that may benefit you in your ministry or day-to-day life. It is not typically considered a degree that will set you up for much further graduate study (you could probably leverage that degree in pursuing entrance to a D.Min program, but not a PhD). I say that with the caveat that you will always be able to find folks who take a nontraditional route- it is certainly possible that an MA in Apologetics could help set you up for a great PhD program, but I think it's fair to say that would be unorthodox. As was mentioned above, that's perfectly fine, depending on what your professional/ministerial goals are- but if you are interested in a career in the academy, you may be better served in looking toward MDivs. Since those programs typically have a large spiritual formation and/or ministerial training component, it may be the case that you can use that time to discern the right path for yourself afterward (while taking languages, etc too). For what it's worth, MDiv programs seem to usually offer the best financial aid (at the Master's level) in Religion/Religious Studies anyway. I think the schools listed above are a good place to start, too (although it depends a great deal on a variety of factors, not the least of which is your theological persuasion. Are you wanting to study in a confessional community? Evangelical? Mainline Protestant? Denominational school? Something else? etc).
  15. AdMeliora

    Princeton, NJ

    @Bleep_Bloop That's interesting. I visited last fall, and I picked up a little bit of the "small, cute, but a bit insular" vibe. I went to a large-ish public university in the south for college, so it will just be a rather different educational experience (and setting) than my previous one. (Not at all a bad thing, just different!) Living in New Jersey will certainly be different for me, too. My fiance is from New England, so the region will probably be less foreign to her than to me. We do get access to all university libraries, which is great. It does sound as though Princeton is a good place to get work done, since there seems to be a dearth of distractions, for better or worse. Would you say that people typically leave Princeton on the weekends? With urban centers so close, and Princeton being a pretty sleepy place, it sounds like people may be in and out of town as much as possible.
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