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_Athena_

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Everything posted by _Athena_

  1. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    Hi, everyone! I was recently accepted at HDS (Jewish Studies MTS) and YDS (Second-Temple Judaism MARc). I have received a 75% tuition remission from both, so I am at a bit of loss as to which I should choose. On the one hand, YDS boasts one of the few specialized programs in Second-Temple Judaism. On the other hand, HDS might allow more wiggle room to delve into secondary interests (Lurianic Kabbalah and Maimonidean thought, specifically). Likewise, I feel it is important to tighten my grasp on the intellectual history of Judaism from the biblical to the modern period, so I am not sure if HDS is the better fit in that it is more broadly-focused. I also find myself drawn to the culture and multi-faith atmosphere of HDS. Both schools are home to top scholars in the field, and both would provide me with an extraordinary education, which makes it so difficult to choose. Would it be better to go to YDS, where I can specialize right off the bat in Second-Temple Judaism, or would it be better to go to HDS, where I might enjoy a more well-rounded approach? Are there any other factors I should be considering (location aside)? Any thoughts and opinions would be appreciated!
  2. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    Thanks for the clarifications. I was much less informed when I wrote that, so my apologies if I misinformed anyone.
  3. Thanks for your response! The Yale Divinity School has a very Christian-oriented atmosphere, which is off-putting to me, personally. That is not to say that it trickles into every aspect of student life (and you can certainly take classes outside the Div School), but it would be more difficult to engage with the community there than it would be at Harvard, whose Divinity School is more interfaith and non-sectarian. EDIT: I should also mention that I got the same amount of funding from both, so it's a non-factor.
  4. Hello, everyone! I have been accepted at Harvard (Master of Theological Studies in Hebrew Bible - 2 years) and Yale (Master of Arts in Religion in Second-Temple Judaism - 2 years) Divinity Schools, my end goal being to gain admission to a top Ph.D. program. The deadline to decide is fast approaching, yet I am still so unsure... I strongly feel that Harvard would be a better fit for me in terms of its atmosphere, but the specific program to which I applied is a bit in flux (there is currently no Hebrew Bible professor, in the traditional sense. The search is on to find one, and other professors pick up the slack, but who knows how long that will take?). Additionally, both of the two primary professors with whom I would be working in the Divinity School will be on sabbatical at some point during my time there (one will be on sabbatical this fall, and the other will be on sabbatical for the entirety of my second year, after which time he may retire). Granted, I would be able to take classes and work with professors outside the Divinity School, as students are able to move fluidly between departments (primarily in the Near Eastern Languages & Cultures department, in my case). Yale, on the other hand, boasts a significant cohort of professors in my field within the Divinity School. At this point in time, the program there is more stable than the one at Harvard; however, I feel less drawn to its atmosphere, and less excited about it, to be honest. So, how heavily should I factor fit into this decision? Obviously, I know it would be hard to go wrong with either school, and I realize how lucky I am to be able to choose between the two. Any and all thoughts would be appreciated!
  5. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    That's good to keep in mind. Thanks!
  6. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    As an aside, has anyone attended YDS as a non-Christian? If so, do you mind sharing your experience?
  7. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    Blegh. Yeah...it's probably still worth tactfully asking if he's close to retirement.
  8. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    Also, for anyone curious, Jon Levenson is at least staying until Spring 2019 (his course offerings for the year are listed in the HDS student handbook).
  9. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    I think I'll go ahead and do that. Thanks!
  10. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    Thanks so much! Congratulations to you, too.
  11. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    That's a good idea! Who should I ask - professors, maybe, or admissions?
  12. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    That's good to keep in mind - thanks! I certainly see the benefit of that, but my primary interests don't really lie in Early Christianity. I hope I can stick with Judaism and still be marketable!
  13. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    Yeah, no problem! The extended M.A.R. is definitely something to consider if you wish to delve deeper into HB/NT, but I don't know too much about the S.T.M. degree. I think it would probably be difficult to determine now whether that would be necessary, but I'm sure extra coursework couldn't hurt. I'm honestly more undecided now than I was before. I feel like I could almost make an arbitrary decision and still be fine, because both schools have excellent reputations and respective academic strengths. I think it will come down to which school is a better fit. In any case, I'm still in the process of talking to professors, so I could easily see myself choosing either one.
  14. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    Yeah...I realized after posting that that Bible exists at YDS, but not HB. I definitely don't think I'd want to switch knowing what I know now, especially considering the broadness of the STJ program. I've managed to speak to a couple professors as well (and one PhD candidate at Chicago Divinity who is defending soon), who confirmed that a focus in STJ is fine, as long as you are strong enough in HB or NT to be considered for jobs solely in those areas. Essentially, as long as you position yourself with a strong tie to HB or NT (or both!), you will be a good candidate for Bible jobs, among others. The main problem seems to be that there are far too many qualified people and too few jobs. I managed to learn a great deal more, but it's a lot to write here!
  15. _Athena_

    Master's Admissions 2018 (MA, MTS, ThM or Mdiv)

    I applied to Jewish Studies in the Graeco-Roman period, and I heard back last week. It's likely different for the Judaism and Christianity course, though.
  16. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    Also, to be fair, the MARc at YDS does cover both the late biblical period and early Christiany (at least according to their website).
  17. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    This is hugely helpful. Thanks so much. It seems that HDS, while not attracting a great deal of people whose interests lie in the realm of Hebrew Bible/Judaism/Early Christianity, might be the place to get a more well-rounded approach. It's obviously too late to apply to HB at YDS, so I am wondering how much freedom the STJ program provides to pursue study in other periods. And, of course, there is a great deal of overlap. I am definitely going to ask around. Do you think I could risk being turned away from some PhD programs with an MAR in Second-Temple?
  18. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    You've pointed out a lot of things worth some serious consideration. It seems the MARc at YDS is more flexible than I initially thought - I'll definitely reach out to some of the folks there to inquire about electives and taking classes downtown. One of my utmost concerns, which I am sure is shared by countless others here, is admission into a top PhD program. I just want to go to the school that will help me get there, which means I have a lot more research to do. Thanks for the wealth of information!
  19. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    That's actually a huge bummer, and something about which I plan on inquiring. Thanks for the heads-up.
  20. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    I definitely see the advantage of the greater flexibility I might have at HDS, as well as the freedom to explore other interests. But YDS is equally good in its specialization. This is a tough one.
  21. _Athena_

    YDS vs. HDS

    I am absolutely interested in working with John Collins - my interests line up with his on a number of levels, and he just seems like a very nice, very self-aware individual. I could say the same about Jon Levenson at HDS, though. I am aiming for a PhD in the realm of Second-Temple Judaism, but, as ChristoWitch87 said, interests change over time. Decisions, decisions!
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