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sacklunch last won the day on October 10 2014

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  1. Yes, it's fine to ask them about 'improving chances,' but frame it differently: just ask them what, to their mind, makes a competitive applicant; this way you don't convey any sense that you think to have an advantage just because you are speaking with said person. For what's it's worth, I don't think these kinds of conversations are worth much, besides getting an idea of a) is that person able to take a student the cycle you are applying and b) does said person still study/research the things you think they do (some folks change their research interests radically, and their online/publication data has not yet caught up). Also, talk to said person's current/recent grad students about the program/what makes a competitive applicant (i.e. look at their backgrounds); this is a far better idea of what you will be up against when you apply than whatever guarded advice said adviser is willing to give up to you.
  2. FYI the attached flyer is 'unavailable.' Also, anticipating potential confusing, this is a notice that UNC-CH is now offering a specific Hebrew Bible-track PhD. Correct? At first, I thought this was a fellowship for visiting graduate students or postdocs.
  3. sacklunch

    Post M.Div - MTS

    Some good recs above. Funding aside, your best option would be an MA in Classics et sim., given your area of interest. I assume that is out of the question, since most folks in your situation don't have the level of Greek and especially Latin required to enroll in those programs. If you do though, Tufts has a well-respected MA in Classics and I believe it has good-ish funding? BC used to have an MA in Greek (classical), which may allow you to come in without any/much Latin (no clue on funding). An MTS after the MDiv is not so out of the ordinary, as you note, but just make sure the MTS allows you to opt out of most/all of the fluff (e.g. you don't need to be taking required, intro to bible). Languages are of course the biggest hurdle for PhD entry in your field (and thus my rec for a Classics MA); so again, make sure the MTS program will allow you to take (many) language courses. As others said, don't waste your time with the ThM (zero funding and only a year).
  4. I don't think Duke requires a Hebrew exam for NT track; check the GPR handbook or ask someone in your subfield/adviser. You might check the course list or check with Melvin Peters to see if the class 'rapid reading in Biblical Hebrew' is offered sometime in the next year or two. I'm at Duke (GPR PhD), so feel free to PM me, though I'm not in the NT track.
  5. It's possible, though as pathos said, not likely. That said, if anyone has a chance at doing so, it's applicants working in "modern" subfields, i.e. you. The reason it is rare for many of us, is because we have the problem of studying enough languages, which is not much of a problem, in comparison, for those doing research in modern, esp. American (i.e. English-language) history/religion. For better or worse, many applicants for doctoral work in religion have a divinity M* degree, because honestly most of them have 'faith' commitments. For worse, this has resulted in the expectation that all applicants should also have at least one M* degree, divinity or otherwise, because so many applicants have them (even if one wants to pursue a doctoral degree not requiring specialized, language training). This is unfortunate, since I think most divinity degrees, even at the 'top' schools, are essentially post-baccs. My rant aside, I suggest looking into, beyond religion PhDs, history departments et sim. Spend a lot of time looking at the backgrounds of current doctoral students at the schools of interest. What kind of degrees do most of them have? That will be a far better measure than the anecdotes given here.
  6. sacklunch

    Questions to ask

    Re above, while I completely agree, this may be off-putting to the professor. But you should ask current graduate students at said school about this. Again, we should hope that all advisers would care about the mental well-being of their students, but the reality, at least from my experience, is that most academics have never had to think much about it and I suspect that some even think it is completely outside their role as adviser/mentor. If that is a deal breaker for you, then fair enough, many others will happily--or unhappily as the case may be--pretend as if their advisers have no bearing on their mental health. Again, speak to the graduate students. They/we are easy to read.
  7. I can't offer anything terribly specific, but you might check into schools that have joint programs between MDiv and e.g. MSW, like the Duke and UNC Chapel Hill program. I recall them being around four years, but that may open the right kind of doors.
  8. It's important to note that MTS programs are not especially competitive, but ND's MTS is. It's also important to ask what was your major/s? If it's in e.g. a STEM field, then things change considerably. Inflation is a known issue at top schools, especially in the humanities, but I doubt anyone will be pulling out their calculator to adjust your GPA accordingly. For what it's worth, I think it will slightly hurt you, but in the end having that Ivy for undergrad will mean a great deal to many American academics, regardless of what it may or may not say about you and your academic progress/prospect.
  9. You might post in the philosophy section, if you haven't already. The expectations, biases, and so on, of fields varies wildly, and often even within the same subfield between schools. Thus, an MDiv may not be all that odd if you are applying to a doctoral program in 'philosophy' at one school, but at another you will immediately be disregarded. Find graduate students doing the kinds of things you want to study and ask them. Be wary of what anyone tells you who is not a) in a doctoral program currently (or has finished within the last few years) and b) not in a (sub)field you see yourself in.
  10. sacklunch

    Am I ready?

    They may not, honestly, at least in the Divinity School (I very much doubt 'German for reading' is offered there over the summer, but probably is in Yale's Graduate School).
  11. sacklunch

    Am I ready?

    I mostly agree with what is said above. I would question how much Hebrew matters more than other languages. It really depends on the school/department, but my opinion is you are no worse off than not having studied Latin or even Coptic or Syriac, which, in my opinion, are more useful than (classical) Hebrew for NT. Again, where you study and what you hope to study is crucial in answering this question. I can't speak to the preparation expected for your interests, but my hunch is that many of the people whom you have asked these questions cannot really either. Keep in mind that whatever recommendations you may hear, they are very likely heavily influenced by the particular subfield of said people. The best avenue here, I think, is to find graduate students doing the kind of research you want to pursue and simply ask them what their background is and then adjust your academic plan of attack accordingly.
  12. The above comments are spot on. You are overestimating the credentials of the average adjunct. Having a doctorate period will qualify you for such work at many small colleges, especially CC. As for your cake-eating-it-too: tier 1 PhD and pastoral/adjunct prep. No, honestly, I don't think that's realistic--but see marX's rec. above for other options.
  13. It's good that you're addressing these issues now. If you are not willing to pay and your interests are pastoral leaning, then I honestly don't think you have a chance at any of the top UK schools (for a doctorate). I could very well be wrong here, so please someone correct me if you think differently. But, perhaps more to the point, none of the UK programs you have mentioned are meant to prepare you for your primary interest (pastoral work) and actually will not help you much if at all for your secondary interest (teaching). There is plenty of good, funded programs in the US that suit your two interests, but they are not PhDs, but rather DMins, ThDs, and the like. For better or worse, the latter are less often offered at tier 1 schools (and if they are, those degrees can often require very different things of their students), so you may be left applying to those outside.
  14. As said above, there is little point in doing this because a) funding is zero and b) time is inadequate. If you find yourself needing a second M*, you are far better off applying to another MTS/MAR, obviously elsewhere. This is not uncommon and many of us here have done so (myself included).
  15. As pathos said, you are aware of the potential, or perhaps inevitable problems, so I suppose you can apply and see what happens. Your best bet is to find current US students/recent alums in both programs and ask them; beyond actual specifics, you will get closer to the reality than here. Either degree will get you high fives in a local cafe, but, as already said, neither has much hope of getting you a tenure track job at many (most?) research universities (including those well outside the R1) in North America.
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