Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Onthenahar

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Location
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. UT or Princeton probably matches your interests the best. Between Luijendijk and Pagels at Princeton, all of your interests are matched. UT has Geoff Smith whose Coptological work is impressive, and I've heard he is very easy to get along with (this goes an unbelievably long way in a student's overall enjoyment of a program). Add to Smith's expertise in papyrology and Coptology, Friesen's interests in Asia Minor and Revelation and White's work in mystery cults and you've got one of the strongest (maybe THE strongest) program for someone wanting to study early Christianity in its Hellenistic context. I have heard that White is nearing retirement. I don't know specifics, but it is a rumor that started floating around recently--it might be worth e-mailing current students there to see if there's any truth to it. Yale is still undergoing its transition. Attridge is as a matter of fact retiring and would likely not be available to incoming students to work with--he is set to retire at the end of the academic year and will remain available for 3 semester's per the University's policy. There's a podcast around that details these plans. You would still have Sterling, but I have heard he is more or less strapped to his job as the dean of Yale's divinity school. Their last two NT hires (Dinkler and Lin) have done little to make the program attractive to people with your interests. Stephen Davis is tremendous and his work is stellar, but his interests are in Shenoute, which might align with what you like within Coptic Christianity, but Attridge is the one who teaches the Nag Hammadi corpus every other year, which seems more in step with what you do. Doerfler also doesn't align with your stated interests. Unless Yale is a must apply for some reason, I'd put that application money towards Harvard. You'd have Bazzana, King, and Nasrallah who all in some way fit your interests. Be sure to look into UNC. Ehrman and Plese can certainly oversee a dissertation in your stated interests, and Magness adds an additional component to the program that would enrich your time there considerably. Fordham has Fiano who is highly regarded in both Syriac and Coptic studies. There is also Peppard and Larry Welborne who do Greco-Roman backgrounds to early Christianity. If you do look into applying, you'd need to look at Arts and Sciences and not through Theology for the doctoral program in early Christianity. Maybe Notre Dame? I think much like Yale, they are in the awkward years of trying to recover from retirements and whatnot. Fitzgerald is tremendous if you are wanting to do Hellenistic moral philosophy in early Christianity. BUT the rest of their Christianity and Judaism faculty are irrelevant for your interests. Amar retired a few years ago, and they have had his Syriac classes covered by a visiting instructor (not unusual, but also not great practice). Personally, I was keen on ND when I applied and my interests are in 2nd and 3rd century Christianities, but I ended up elsewhere. It wasn't a good fit for me, but maybe it is for you. I wish there were more programs that align with your interests. Most programs are ultimately theological in orientation, so Greco-Roman backgrounds and Coptology gets sidelined by the token Gospels and Paul scholars. Those programs might have some type of module or something occasionally to fill gaps for their students, but no one is there to oversee a dissertation on Nag Hammadi or Hellenistic influences on early Christianity. With your interests, I would seriously avoid settling for places that would require me to do something within the NT, not out of formal restrictions within the program, but on account of the lack of faculty with those competencies. On the other hand, if your interests are more general than the above description you give, then the places you could apply lengthens dramatically.
  2. Onthenahar

    YDS vs. HDS

    You're probably aware of YDS's course division sheets, but just in case here's the link for Second Temple: https://divinity.yale.edu/sites/default/files/mar concentrate course plan-second temple.pdf According to that, you have 12 credits of electives at your disposal--that's equal to one class per semester in whatever you'd like so long as your adviser says it's kosher. You can take classes in pretty much any of the departments (https://divinity.yale.edu/admissions-aid/btfo_blog/2017/resources-yale-downtown-classes), but I believe you cannot exceed a certain number of downtown classes (i.e. you can't take everything in your program outside of the Div school)--you'd have to dig a little deeper for that, but my guess is 12 credits is within that number. So as long as you can explain to your adviser you want to trace the merkaba or bat kol through Kabbalah groups, you could probably pursue your developing interests. I'd add that with 12 credits needed for advanced Hebrew, you have room to do something besides their advanced Hebrew I & II courses. You could do a seminar on a tractate or something similar downtown with Fraade, as opposed to an exegesis of Isaiah class or the like. With Hayes and Fraade downtown and Collins and Reymond at the Div school, you can do some serious coursework in Second Temple Judaism/Early Rabbinic Literature while pursuing your other interests through electives. You can also check out current and previous classes through Yale OCI: https://students.yale.edu/oci/search.jsp. I cannot comment anything on Harvard's program. I turned down a YDS offer a couple of years ago for Chicago, but before doing so I found out as much as I could about YDS. Ultimately, Adela Collins retirement made me choose Chicago. FWIW (and this is probably not worth all that much), YDS students tend to go on to whatever programs they want. At recruitment weekends I attended, there was at least one Yalie present. I didn't run into any HDS folks--maybe they applied elsewhere or just had a lag this year.
  3. I got an e-mail from a professor much like msdb above. It was a recruitment e-mail encouraging me to accept their offer, but I've not gotten official word yet. I e-mailed a current student who said that it has been standard over the years to send acceptance notifications out Saturday. I realize the key word here is "standard" so who knows. Perhaps internal candidates are getting first notice. There is also the added layer of fellowship notifications that precede the "standard" timeline. I would not abandon hope just yet. Had I not gotten an unofficial e-mail, I would have already jumped to conclusions. Come Sunday and no word, then you might safely assume waitlist or rejection.
  4. I want to second this, but also add some unsolicited advice based on my own talks with schools. Statistics are hard to get. More often, even when you are frank about it, professors don't normally have hard numbers. From my interviews, I've discovered that there are actually better ways to get answers than asking for job placement rates. One question I lean on now is this: "How normal is it for students to stay on as adjuncts or in some other capacity after graduation for a few years?" I was really surprised by the answers I've gotten to this. Far more common than I ever thought. I've also realized that professors will lump together post-docs and visiting lectureships under the heading, "We placed so-and-so at such and such." I don't think it is to be dishonest, but if what you want to know is about placements in post-docs, ask that. If you want to know about placements in non-tenure track faculty positions or tenure track, ask that. The more general you are with your question(s), the more general the response will be. It's also common for professors to highlight a single success story. Cool, but that's not quite illustrative of broader placement rates. Be shrewd in all of this. A few more things I am keeping in mind. First, I am concerned with the type of places graduates do find jobs. That is, Stanford graduates probably will not be placed in the same types of places Wheaton grads go on to teach. Some of the best conversations I've had with professors have centered on this. I learned a ton about the schools this way. I know that I want to teach at a research institute, preferably a state school or larger private university. Second, ask about the publishers who routinely publish their graduates' dissertations--or if their dissertations ever make it to print. I discovered that a school I have been accepted to (competitive program with some fanfare) has graduates who are adjuncting at the school (or sticking around for an extra year of teaching though the dissertation is complete). The same school eventually places them in non-academic settings (i.e. the pulpit [not a problem for many, I realize]) and occasionally back at the student's alma mater. The death blow for me was that it does not have a record of dissertations being picked up by the major academic publishers (e.g. Mohr Siebeck and the like). This aside it is otherwise a competitive school to gain admission into with good senior professors (I would say that before all of this I had a false equivalency between competitive and happily ever after). On the other side, I have been accepted to a program that is not as well-known (still known) but is just as competitive. They have a good, broad placement record with mid-tier private universities and a few state schools. They also have some post-doc placements (competitive ones). Their most recent graduate is under contract with YUP for a revision of their dissertation. Before questioning, it was lower on my list (almost the lowest). Now it is near the top, and I might just end up there when all is said and done.
  5. That makes sense about Meier. I assume he'll take on a seminar or two in the coming years though. I'm interested in 2nd/3rd century, so Notre Dame is a good fit for me, but I can't decide on their CJA or History of Christianity tracks. I'm also planning to apply to Virginia for the added strength of their classics department. I can add that from personal experience of emailing professors at various programs, some programs emphasize working with X (e.g. UNC) while others want to see a broader appeal to how you'll work with all of the faculty in your track (e.g. UT). Distinguishing the two has been helpful to me while working on SOPs for schools.
  6. If you know for sure you will apply to programs with faculty exiting, you want to be forward thinking about your potential fit. Does the school intend to hire a similar candidate or go a different direction all together? It's also helpful to inquire about contacting current students. They tend to be more open about spreading unofficial news than professors are willing to do. I've not seen a call for applicants from Yale or Emory for NT, but maybe for next year? That would mean your incoming year of courses would be unchanged by a new hire. Notre Dame has posted a CFA for OT and NT. Who knows what direction they are wanting to go in, but it seems they will add 1 NT faculty member your incoming year. Historically, they have kept 4-5 NT professors on board. They still have Meyer, Fitzgerald, and Lincicum plus two professors in classics who focus on Greek/Latin of the first couple of centuries CE--Plutarch, Pliny, Heliodorus, the Shepherd, etc. Without knowing your detailed interests, I would still recommend looking into Florida State University, Fordham (Arts and Sciences), and Chicago Div to see if you would fit there and if the stipend would be enough for you to live on.
  • Create New...

Important Information

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