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Posts posted by Athanasius

  1. 1 hour ago, crossroadsph said:

    I just received an offer of admission from the Toronto School of Theology. Financial aid information is forthcoming.

    Out of six applications, this means I got into two (Toronto and KU Leuven in Belgium) and was waitlisted in one (Drew).

    Congratulations!! You have some great options. Well done!

  2. So sorry to hear about folks who didn't get in to their top choices, or, for some, any choices. Remember that a rejection doesn't reflect your potential or intellect. A couple of notes for encouragement:

    I did my first masters at a TT school in the US; the Ph.D. program there is notoriously difficult to get into. A sort of true legend floated around there when I was attending. One student who graduated not long before I started was rejected outright from their PhD program in NT. He waited another year and applied again. He was accepted without funding and turned it down. He applied the third year and was accepted. 

    Turns out, he was incredible in the program. He finished quickly, wrote an outstanding diss. and was immediately hired by one of the best schools in the world. He was one of the most successful students in recent years and yet he was rejected.


    Many of the great scholars that have shared their application stories with me have told me about the many rejections they received. These same scholars have won awards, edited prestigious volumes, written groundbreaking monographs, etc. So, whatever you do, don't allow rejection to knock the air out of you for too long. If you care enough to anguish on grad cafe about this, you probably care enough to be good at this. Take heart fellow sojourners. 

  3. 59 minutes ago, ke0817 said:

    Hi! I'm one of the posts, but my subfield is Systematics. I have no idea how their system works though!

    EDIT: Any chance you also applied to Cambridge?

    Thank you for the response and congratulations! I am finishing up my app for Cambridge at the moment. I know that I missed the funding deadline, but I am going to take my chances with outside funding if I get in. I just wonder whether or not applying after the funding deadline decreases my chances for admission? 

    Edit: did you interview?

  4. Anyone applying to Oxford for New Testament? I saw some results posted but I have no idea whether those apps were for a different subject area than mine. I'm pretty sure Oxford doesn't do interviews. Can anyone confirm or this? 

  5. Hello All,


    I recently submitted a few applications (Phd, New Testament). My writing sample is fairly strong, I think. However, after I submitted it I noticed a few mistakes (a couple typos and repeated words) in the footnotes. I suppose that I left a few redundancies while I was reformatting the paper for submission. Does anyone know if admissions committees usually pay terribly close attention to footnotes or if they are forgiving in this area? Many thanks in advance. 

  6. I know this thread is a bit old, but I've wrestled with this question for some years. I now have PhD apps coming up and have decided to apply to Oxbridge and about 5 R1 US schools. A few things:

    1. There seems to be a good bit of snobbery to look our for on both sides of the Atlantic. Some brits--like one Prof from Cambridge recently told me--are suspicious of many American programs while many American Profs with American PhDs will look down on anything not American. 

    2. While xypathos is certainly correct that some folks go to Aberdeen--which is a notch of so below Oxbridge--because it's easier to get into than American R1s, it's also often the case that UK schools are the top choice for plenty Americans because those Americans want to work with certain profs. And schools like Aberdeen often have world class scholars. Think, for example, of someone like Joel Green who studied under I. Howard Marshall at Aberdeen or Ben Witherington who studied under the great C.K. Barrett at Durham. 

    3. When the word 'conservative' comes into play as a negative point, my eyebrow immediately shoots up. "Conservative" in no way indicates a lower bar of academic rigor or competitiveness. Certainly one wouldn't argue that Markus Bockmuehl at Oxford or Simon Gathercole at Cambridge are light weights. Moreover, Notre Dame is notably conservative. You'll find evangelical scholars at Duke (Ross Wagner, for example). But, it seems true that conservatives will have less of a headache at UK PhD programs since A. many of these programs are more conservative and 2. as a purely research degree you'll not have to fight through two or more years of classroom debates, taking classes from Profs that hold animosity toward your convictions, etc.  

    4. Finding a job should be easier with a degree from Emory. US programs, as xypathos mentioned above, require that you develop a broad base of competency so that you hit the ground running with proven teaching experience and the assurance that you can teach outside of your dissertation topic. However, in the UK, you do have a good bit longer to write your dissertation. You can use that time to pick up adjunct work, tutoring jobs, etc. to make up the difference. And, if you are disciplined, you can attend seminars, read and even publish outside of your dissertation area to demonstrate broad competency. This is an especially likely option if you do a rigorous ThM which should give you a few rough drafts for articles. Thing is--although that most Americans seem unaware of it--UK programs give you ample opportunity to get much of the same exposure as the US programs, but they allow you to gain it on your own time and by your own initiation. In the Uk, it's 'choose your own adventure.' (Some brits may even look down on the extra course work as a kind of extended academic adolescence by which you require hand-holding.) There, it's more of a 'you're an adult and a scholar, you shouldn't need two more years of coursework to make you learn what you need to learn.' 

    How a college or seminary views this latter point is difficult to anticipate. Aberdeen and Durham have pretty good representation in American schools. Oxbridge is found at every level, from the Ivies to small bible colleges. I think much of the question comes down to whether you feel that you would work better (or at least just as well) by yourself so as to produce a substantial CV that will convince schools that you can teach what they need of you. The second issue concerns whether any of the Profs at the UK or American schools provide connections/networking opportunities for the schools that you would like to work at in the future. Typically, American schools are more often conversant with other American scholars. 

    I know it's a bit late, but I wanted to offer what I've gleaned in the last couple of years.  Hope all is well and you have peace wherever you go. :) 


  7. Hello all,

    I plan on applying to NT PhD programs this upcoming fall season. I'm a bit in the dark on the SOP. Of course, schools usually give a broad description of what they expect. But, does anyone have pointed advice for--or links to examples of--successful SOPs? If it helps, I plan on applying to Duke (Phd and ThD), PTS, Emory, Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge. Many thanks!

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