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PBenjy

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About PBenjy

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    Decaf

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  • Gender
    Man
  • Location
    Durham, NC
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    Duke MTS

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  1. @sorenerasmus I planned on applying to 10 different schools but only ended up applying to 3 after realizing how tiring it was to compile the application materials and edit them for the specific programs, ha! I am currently starting my second year at Duke Divinity, but I'm also planning on applying to PhD programs in the Fall. I totally agree with MarXian—don't go anywhere you have to pay for tuition! But since your question is mainly about the application process, I recommend starting as early as possible... I was caught off guard by how long it takes to prepare my writing samples/personal statement, etc. It'll be easier to apply to an MA program, but if you're wanting to apply to any PhD programs, it'll take some serious time to get your application materials in order! Plus, application fees are a nuisance. If you're planning on applying to 10 programs and each comes with a $100 fee, that's some dough for us poor college students! 😂
  2. @pax et caritas That is so great to hear that you've decided on Yale! From what you said, that seems like the perfect fit. And from what I know, it seems to be somewhere in-between the conservative feel of Duke and the "post-Christian" feel of Harvard. Plus, everyone knows of Yale, so you're really not losing any reputability there. It will really set you up for whatever comes next. And you're welcome! Best of luck to you!
  3. Love the discussion here! I am currently an MTS student at Duke, so I'm not as far along as some of these other peeps. But I've been thinking about this issue in my own journey as I consider applying to PhD programs this year. I agree that anyone outside of academia does not care too much about what your degree is in. They hear "Harvard," and they immediately think of the competitive acceptance rate and that you must be well-educated, regardless of what your specialization might be in. The problem is that it is becoming increasingly common for people to have graduate degrees in the professional world. Like @sacklunch said, most recruiters are familiar with education fundamentals and will know the difference with a Div school degree. But even if you wanted to stay in academia, surely you've heard of the TERRIBLE job market out there for professors. For a full-time position, all that matters is your terminal degree (where you get your PhD at). Of course, you might have a greater chance of being accepted to the Harvard PhD if they're already familiar with your work, but it's never guaranteed! At the risk of sounding overly-religious (this is a religion forum after all, right?), I think the broader issue is related to the value of going to a Div school in the first place. The logical thing to do is to pursue the education that will earn you the most amount of money in order to provide the most security for yourself in the future. Those of us studying in the humanities scoff at these feeble-minded individuals who refuse to pursue the finer things of life. It is better to be poor and love your job than to be rich and hate your job. Right? With a baby on the way, I'm not so sure, ha! I think it comes down to personal "vocation." Sometimes the decisions that make the least amount of sense in the eyes of others are actually the ones that are the best for us. @pax et caritas I suspect that the reason you are drawn to studying Divinity is not because you think it is a lucrative or financially profitable business. It is about something so much more than that! Like Averroes said, Harvard is going to be extremely leftist, and that can train you to have a more critical and cynical view of religion. Personally, I am very suspicious of people like myself, who think they know about Christianity because they have a degree in it. Think about where you want to be and WHO you want to be 20 years from now. In the end, my advice is: If you think you need a PhD in order to accomplish what you feel called to do in the future, then REALLY research which school will better set you up for that goal based upon your current research interests. However, if you're unsure of what you will do in the future, then I would really question why you want a MDiv degree in the first place. Generally speaking, a MDiv degree sets someone up for a ministerial role in a particular denomination or religious tradition, while a MTS has a more academic-oriented focus. Don't just think name recognition, but think MTS versus MDiv. If your interest is in spiritual formation and growing in the Catholic faith, I think that would also completely change which school you choose. Also, if your interest is in starting an academy one day, maybe you are more likely to get your EdD one day instead of a PhD. Maybe I'm completely off base there though. :) I think Harvard is always a good name to have on your resume. Personally, I didn't apply there because I wanted the more conservative (comparatively) atmosphere of Duke. But to each his own! P.s. sorry this post is sooo long. I have too much time on my hands now that Duke is closed due to Covid-19.
  4. Hello! I am just now finishing up a graduate certificate in Koine Greek, but I am trying to plan if I want to also do graduate-level Biblical Hebrew. I start my MTS at Duke this Fall. I took Biblical Hebrew I & II as an undergraduate student, so I am familiar enough with the language. However, when I go to apply for a PhD, I am afraid that undergraduate-level Hebrew won't be looked at as favorably as graduate-level. Is that true? I am hoping to focus on the New Testament in my PhD program, but I want to be well-rounded with having Hebrew as well. I thought about possibly finding a graduate-level Hebrew Grammar class to enroll in eventually. Thoughts?
  5. Hi y'all, I have accepted an offer to study at Duke this Fall, but I am wondering if anyone can speak to how intense a full-time load is (12 hours each semester). I have flexibility at my current job, because it is something that can be done online. So basically, I will tell them how many hours I would like to work, and they will probably accommodate me. My wife will be working a full-time job, so I won't technically need to work. BUT, I don't want to drain our savings account if I don't have to. I am currently working 24 hours a week, and I also have another part-time gig as a worship leader that adds an additional 8 hours or so a week. I have been able to maintain this schedule throughout my entire full-time undergraduate degree (taking anywhere from 12-15 hours a semester). However, I have heard people tell me that graduate course work is much harder than undergrad, and that I'll need much more time in my schedule. As academics, I suppose we think it's always preferable to only spend your time studying. But I've realized in my undergrad that taking my time and slowly reading a text doesn't always mean that I'll get more out of it! Those of you with experience in these things, what would you recommend??
  6. 25% more, so it's just 50% now! It was what I was asking for. Now I'm wondering if I should have asked for more, ha! 🤔
  7. Hey guys, tying it back in to @JHubbs financial question earlier, I requested extra funding from Duke University and heard back yesterday that they're giving it to me! Pretty awesome! That means I'll be headed there this Fall! You never know what might happen when you just ask.
  8. How come you're so helpful?? This is great, thanks! Yes, I'm married, so we would be looking for accommodation that works for both of us. I'll be sure to check out the "FriendshIp House" that you mentioned. It's challenging making graduate school work financially, but I do realize that we're pretty much all in the same boat. Everyone wants more aid! I think I'll ask him to extend my deadline though. If I could just get closer to 50% tuition, then I would be able to move forward with this no problem. We shall see.
  9. Hey guys, I'm back on here again... I emailed Duke to see if I could get any more funding (beyond the 25% tuition they are already giving me), and I received an encouraging email from the Director of Admissions. However, I'm pretty sure it was a copy-and-paste response. Basically, he said that it's certainly possible for Duke to give me more funding (both before and after enrollment), but they can't make any promises right now. He also said that he could delay my acceptance of Duke's offer another month to the end of April, so that I have more time to consider my options. His answer is very cryptic though. Is there actually a likelihood that they could increase my aid amount, or not? He said, "Should an opportunity [for more money] develop prior to enrollment, I will be proactive in reaching out." I could just accept his offer to extend the deadline, of course, but I need to start making plans to move soon, if Duke is really where I'll end up! I don't want to pester him, but should I ask if there is a more formal way of making a petition?
  10. Thank you for the advice and help! Much appreciated!
  11. I did not get into the Oxford program, even though I thought I had a chance! I will likely be going to the Duke MTS. Has anyone done this program? I know this is something that I could ask the university itself, but do they do summer semesters there for MTS students? I'm wondering if I could finish the degree in less than 2 years.
  12. Thank you for the encouragement! I agree with you that taking out loans for Oxford seems more worth it. I am also a fan of the British system. I do hope they accept me! But, alas, Duke is also a great option to fall back on.
  13. Oh man, rejected from Yale! I'll have to wait till next week to see what Oxford says. If I'm rejected there, then I might be moving to North Carolina for the Duke MTS!
  14. They say to check the application portal (https://apply.divinity.yale.edu/account/login?) I think they're also supposed to send out an email, but last year they posted the decisions online before they sent any emails.
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