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Found 18 results

  1. I've been accepted into an MTS program of a private university that ranks in the top 120ish nationwide and is one of the best in the region; 2nd best school in the city. I'm being offered a full-ride with a small stipend. Its an R2 school much larger and more well-known than my undergraduate institution. It has a religious affiliation but seems to be more pluralist in practice. (keeping it vague for obvious reasons). My concern is that I won't be able to take coursework needed for a PhD in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Ancient Near East. For example, they don't offer Hebrew but I'd be able to take it at a nearby institution and transfer it in. The program is a 2-year program with between 30-45 hours. I have an undergraduate degree in Bible/Theology from a Bible college program. Would it be a waste of time to pursue this if I couldn't go directly into a PhD program? Or would this be a helpful bridge towards a second, more specialized master's degree (MA). It's not a school necessarily known for religious studies, but the school itself has a good reputation. If I decline this offer, not sure if there will be another chance to get a full-ride master's degree; but I know for certain that a 2nd master's degree would be mandatory for me to get what i needed to get into a PhD? Thoughts? Is this a common experience? Am I better off going straight for a master's that'd directly qualify me for a doctoral program? (P. S., what are your thoughts about how to maintain a career/living while also pursuing academics? The market stinks, but I'm wondering if its possible to have a living in a professional job that isn't working retail or blue collar, but then getting advanced degrees).
  2. Hi all, I'm a current college student applying to MTS programs and am feeling unsure/could use some insight. I'm a senior at a pretty well known/prestigious liberal arts college; I am a philosophy major with extensive humanities coursework and a decent GPA (3.75), but I'm worried that admission to Divinity School might be unrealistic. I grew up very religious, altar serving, attending mass and Sunday School every week, but after coming out as trans (and receiving backlash) I backed away from my faith and the Church. I have recently regained interest in the academic study of religion (after being exposed to philosophy of religion), but I have -- for the above reasons -- unfortunately never taken an actual religion class. And I haven't been involved in any religious extracurriculars because of this distance from my faith. However, I've been super involved in both LGBTQ/trans and disability studies during my undergraduate career, as well as serving on behalf of such communities in my free time for the past five or six years. My whole "pitch" to divinity schools is that I hope to tie my recent return to faith and religion in with my existing engagement with transness and disability through academic religious studies. This is an honest (and I think pretty good) angle to approach my personal statement from, but I'm worried that A) My experience may not be traditionally "Div School" enough for Div Schools, and B.) This focus on transness and disability might be too "boo-hoo," i.e. not conventional enough, for these programs. I've chosen these schools all for their openness to studying these topics in their MTS programs, but I am concerned my purpose in pursuing Div School might just be too focus on these topics instead of the proper, traditional academic study of religion -- which I still definitely am. (This is mainly related to Reason A, and the fact that I haven't had decent, recent exposure to religion for the reasons explained above.) At an admissions information session last week, I recall one of the Divinity School admissions reps saying something along the lines of "We've all been discriminated against, had trauma, don't give us a sob story in your personal statement." This was kind of off-putting to me, but I think this academic interest of mine comes from an honest and legitimate place, and not solely (or really at all) from "trauma" or an "anger" from being discriminated against. It is simply an interest of mine and a way to engage with my spiritual growth and the wellbeing of fellow trans folk around me. (Yet another abiding concern I've had when drafting my essays.) I'm applying to BU, HDS, Union TS, UChicago, Vanderbilt, and Yale. Might I have a chance at these programs given all this...? I know nobody can give a definitive answer, but I wonder whether anybody familiar with admissions processes might be able to offer any advice. Sorry for the long post. I'm mostly done with applications but am feeling a level of stress and apprehension I hadn't before. Thanks in advance for any insight -- any and all is appreciated. Have a nice Saturday! Peace.
  3. I'm an Indian pursuing my undergraduate degree, BA in triple majors (Journalism, Psychology, English). I was born in a Christian missionary family. This has influenced me a lot and it's my dream to pursue a degree in theology from the ivy league schools. The diversity and course structure of divinity schools in the US really attracted me. I was blessed to be a part of four mission trips across the length and breadth of my country. The exposure I gained through it is something which not everyone is fortunate to have. It really moved my heart and inspired me to contribute to the society. I manage to maintain a score of 3.3 to 3.4 GPA in my undergrad courses. I'm also an active member of my church. Apart from that I don't have much exposure to theology. I've just begun to study theology from different available resources. I'm confident that I could meet the English language requirements for international students but not sure about other factors in getting accepted. I read that a degree in theology or RS is not an essential to apply for masters in divinity schools. Is there any chances of getting into top divinity schools for MDiv or MTS? Other than building a basic foundation in theology, what else should I focus now? Your advices would be a great help and motivation for my future.
  4. Hi all, i am from Pakistan, belong to a financially struggling household and persecuted minority group, attended a prestigious liberal arts college here and graduated with undergrad degree in English Lit, and MPhil in International relations.Now i intend to apply for MTS program at Harvard Divinity School in coming session, but i have really average gpa in my undergrad which is 3.07 only. Even though i started and finished that degree under intense pressures, and weirdest circumstances that caused me severe depression. Not to forget, i was working even before starting my degree, due to challenging situations couldn't start my university degree till 24 years of age. Do i stand a chance? Is there someone accepted with similar gpa? I want to specialize in Islamic studies and have intensive research on the subject. Also, i don't need to submit GRE score as i already hold a masters degree and eligible for GRE waiver, even though grad degree is with similar gpa, as the situation wasn't altered much. Shall be grateful for any kind of guidance.
  5. Hello, everyone. I am struggling to decide if I should go towards an MTS at schools like Harvard and Yale or go straight into a Ph.D. program. For context, I have a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have done very well in my Philosophy classes. Yet I think that if I go straight into a Ph.D. program, I would be missing out on the education that Divinity school offers. Age matters as well, since I plan to be on the tenure track. Going into a Ph.D. at 22 vs 24 could make a lot of difference in the long run. Since I want to get a Ph.D. in Philosophy, I am wary of how an MTS is seen in the eyes of the Philosophy department's admissions teams. There is the sentiment that if I decline an acceptance from HDS, I would be forfeiting a one in a lifetime opportunity. If any Philosophy PhDs or HDS alums can chime in, I would greatly appreciate it.
  6. Hey everyone, Looking for some advice. I was offered full funding from a PhD program that usually hovers in the high teens-low twenties in the US News rankings. I was also offered tuition remission (though no stipend) by the master of theological studies program at Harvard Divinity School. I'm interested in studying the sociology of religion and feel that a theology masters at Harvard may help me get into a top 5 or 10 soc PhD program (I was rejected by every top 10 PhD program to which I applied). i have a BA from a mediocre state school so i feel a masters from Harvard may help if i were to apply for those programs in 2 years. At the same time, I understand that route of action would just add on debt and I'm not sure if it actually would help my chances. Any advice would be appreciated
  7. Hi all. I’m just trying to get an idea of the stats required for the MTS at Harvard’s Divinity School or other similar programs. I’ve heard the acceptance rate is a lot higher than one would expect, but also that it tends to be a pretty self-selecting group. I have a BA in an unrelated field (3.5 GPA) but religious studies has always been an interest of mine and it’s something I incorporated into my thesis while in undergrad. My language skills are pretty rusty - stopped just short of getting a Spanish major in college because I was having a mental breakdown and languages have never been my forte. Also, I would have been required to read Don Quixote and try as I might it was absolute gibberish to me. My basic question is, if I took maybe 3-4 classes at a community college or local university and wrote a compelling personal statement, might I have a shot? Or should I just give up now? Honest opinions wanted.
  8. Hi all. I am really quite confused about PhD admissions. I've heard various things from various people--everyone has their own theory on what AdComms are looking for. Do any decent PhD programs accept applicants with limited language training (1 yr Latin/1 yr German)? No B.S.: What GRE scores are "safe" for top programs in theology/religion? I have a 164V/156Q/4.5. Should I retake, or is this a waste of time? Obviously my MA theology gpa is stellar (because prettymuch everyone applying for PhD programs has stellar grades...3.95ish). I have a TAship this semester, but no publications. Am I S.O.L. for all TT programs?
  9. Does anyone know if Notre Dame, of its own initiative, will accept an applicant into its MTS program while at the same time denying him admission to its theology PhD program (in cases where the person has only applied to the theology PhD, but not the MTS)? If one desires such treatment, do we have to indicate as such on our applications? Do schools only do this for people applying straight from undergrad?
  10. Hey all, I have received a copy of my official transcripts from my undergraduate university. I am applying to 10 PhD programs. Could I simply scan a copy of my transcript 10 times and send the schools those or must I send each school an actual transcript in the post? Thanks in advance
  11. Hey all, Starting this thread to help each other and let one another know where we applied, got accepted, denied or wait-listed. Also feel free to provide any other information such as funding, choosing one school over another, reasons why rejecting etc. Here is my list of applications and updates so far: USA Yale Div - MARc Philosophical Theology/Philosophy of Religion (waiting) Duke Div - MTS (accepted w/ 25% funding) - any idea how to get more? Wake Forest Div - MDiv (rejected) - was surprised to find out I was rejected BU SoT - MTS (waiting) Canada Wycliffe College (UofT) - MTS (waiting) Regent College - MTS (waiting) UK U of Oxford (Wycliffe Hall) - MTh (waiting) U of Cambridge - MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion (waiting) U Of Edinburgh - MPhil (waiting) U of St. Andrews - MTh (rejected) I'm also an international student, graduating with a B.A. in Theology from the historic Moody Bible Institute (Chicago, IL) Any ideas of funding available for international students? The idea of a loan kind of scares me. Best of luck everyone!
  12. What GRE score is actually required to be in the middle of the pack for the top tier of master's level theology programs? Save the smarmy, lame platitudes about "the best score is the one that represents your best efforts." That's just something people say so that they don't hurt feelings of underachievers--we all know it, but no one says it. But I'm looking for info, not sensitivity. Also, save your unwarranted advice to the effect that "the GRE is unimportant for admissions." Be that as it may, it is still a factor and I'd like the data on it, since grad programs are far less than forthcoming. Do't hijack this thread.
  13. Hey all, I'm starting to draft my statement of purpose and was wondering if any of you had any advice about the general structure of how the statement should look. It'd be great to hear any other advice as to what you believe the the essential aspects of a successful statement are Applying to sociology PhD programs and a couple of MA programs in theology, but would be happy to hear advice from those outside of these disiciplines as well. Thanks in advance!
  14. Hi folks! Didn't seem like anyone had started Masters threads up this year. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best to everyone on your M.T.S./M.A./M.Div./Th.M. applications. I hope this thread could be somewhere we can talk about our Master's applications. -- And this is my story so far, and questions. I applied to Two MA programs(Duke U and U.Chicago-Divinity-) and one MTS program(HDS). Any news on these schools or programs? I only received an offer from Duke yesterday(Thanks GOD). And there was no mention about funding condition from the decision letter and this worries me. Is this normal? Duke is definitely my first choice, but if Chicago Divinity offers 80-100% funding and Duke gives me lesser than 40% funding, that would be a whole different story. If you know about Duke's funding policy and schedule, please help me out And, according to Gradcafe result postings, I believe U.Chi would release their admissions within few days, and HDS on March 10-16. I'd like to know if there is any news from these programs. Good luck to every applicants!
  15. Thank you all for your insightful answers to so many posts on this forum! I'm applying for fall 2017, and I keep seeing conflicting answers to this question: is the MDiv or the MTS/MAR/MA better for those who plan to pursue a PhD? I've heard from MDivs that theirs is the better program since you have more time to get to know your professors in the third year. I'm attracted to the field ed component of these programs and would like to gain the pastoral experience even though I don't feel called to parish ministry right now. (Of course I know the MDiv is not exclusively for parish ministers, but I wanted to be specific about that.) My mentor, on the other hand, is saying that she thinks students on the PhD track tend to get one of the two-year degrees and that I should look into field ed opportunities at the MTS-type programs if I want to scratch that itch. Why add a third year to a master's degree if I'm going to be in school for 5+ years after that anyway? I'm definitely applying to Yale and Harvard Divinity Schools, and I'm also looking into U Chicago, Duke, and Princeton Theological Seminary. I know a lot of you are in one or the other of these degree programs right now, so I'd love to hear more about what your career aspirations are and how you plan to use your degrees. Do most people stay at the same school for their PhD? Does the third year really give you a leg up? Is the MDiv generally seen as less academically rigorous than the MTS? I really appreciate your feedback!
  16. Hello, I'm writing in hopes of getting some advice regarding MTS and Mdiv programs in the US. I finished my bachelors at Brown in an unrelated field (studio art) in May of 2015 but became interested in pursuing an MTS or Mdiv after taking some coursework in theology and medieval philosophy. I am particularly interested in what I have heard called 'philosophical theology', although this designation seems a little loose; I just use it here to refer to the work of people like Plantinga, McCord Adams, MacKinnon, Alston, and Wolterstorff who borrow heavily from philosophy and don't seem too caught up with orthodoxy (maybe it's just a branch of apologetics, I'm not sure). Anyway, in pursuing this interest I found myself becoming interested in the Ministry or chaplaincy work and am now hoping to find a way to move forward with both interests simultaneously. I've been considering an MTS as this seems to be somewhere in the middle in terms of keeping open both possibilities as well as being the most well suited to someone coming from a different field (read: not knowing anything). But, I was hoping to get some advice on this... so, I have four questions. 1. For anyone who is either working towards or has completed an MTS, Mdiv, or (the mysterious) ThM: How is theology approached in these programs? For someone interested in philosophy would an advanced degree in kind maybe be a better bet? Is there wiggle room in these programs for people interested in philosophy? 2. I've been having trouble finding MTS programs other than the one at HDS, does anyone have any others they could recommend checking out? 3. Is there any coursework that might be beneficial to try before applying? 4. What's up with things like Doctor of Divinity and all those weird ones from Catholic Pontifical Universities? Thanks for your time!
  17. First time poster so please be nice I have some questions about the MTS program at Harvard Divinity School: 1. Is the GRE required/recommended? Is there an “unofficial” cut off? 2. How flexible is the curriculum for the MTS program? Can students choose pretty freely or are all the classes selected for you? 3. Are there any current students at HDS who would like to share their thoughts about the school? 4. How easy is it to get financial aid? My family is not poor but they for sure won’t give me a dime so without financial aid I can’t attend. 5. What are my chances of getting in? I have a 3.92 GPA from a top 50 public school. Double major in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies + senior thesis. Letters of recommendation should be good. Thank you!
  18. Hello all, I have plans to become a scholar, focusing on systematic/constructive theology, for a post-secondary/graduate institution. I am also open to ministry if things don't pan out for getting a teaching job. I applied to 8 Mainline schools (Boston U, Candler, Claremont, Chicago, Duke, PTS, Vanderbilt, Yale; all in divinity schools/schools of theology), 2 Evangelical schools (Fuller, Wheaton), and a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Divinity School. I applied for MTS/MA/MAR's at most schools except I went for an MDiv at Chicago and the SDA school. With my first acceptance to Emory already announced, I have begun serious contemplation of what route I should take in preparing for a PhD. Honestly, before this acceptance letter I wasn't hoping for acceptance into these other schools (I had a little above average scores like a 3.68 GPA but I was just pessimistic I suppose). Now that I got this wonderful letter, which I am ecstatic about, I have begun to realize my dilemma. I see the benefits of going denominational as follows: 1. Networking within Adventism: I could network far more thoroughly within my denomination 2. Opens door for Pastoral Ministry: I'd obtain the basic ministerial credential for service in the church just in case I don't get a teaching job at the end of my later doctoral studies 3. Great financial aid: There would be fairly good financial aid (80% scholarship) 4. Work Experience: I am likely to be a TA or RA 5. Further grounding in SDA theology: Perhaps most importantly, I'd gain a more thorough understanding of my denomination than I have in my undergraduate studies 6. Impressive Faculty: Though Adventists don't tend to be thought leaders in today's theological climate, some amazing scholars are there, most of them having credentials from top tier universities and two faculty having degrees in second-tier institutions. Under them I would get to study from a progressive SDA perspective (so far I was only trained within a more conservative tradition). In addition, they do have connections to mainline universities, particularly Claremont, and they could possibly have sway in getting me into these places. 7. An open MDiv Curriculum: Their MDiv is fairly open-ended and creative. I could essentially use my electives to specialize in an area of study and take even more courses there than I would in an MTS. I would also be able to direct my ministry classes to post-modern ministry, ministry and the arts, and other creative possibilities. I could also get special training in post-secondary research and teaching there, giving me a great foundation in methodology and practice. Bonus: I'd get to live in Southern California, which I see as the greatest place in the universe at the moment. You can see the faculty's credentials all right on this page quickly if you'd like At the same time, I would have the opportunity of a lifetime to study at Emory and would enjoy the following benefits as I see them: 1. The opportunity to study under well-known scholars 2. With a name like Emory under my belt, I would likely enjoy greater likelihood in gaining admission to a PhD program. I intend to only apply to mainline schools like the ones mentioned above (Definitely not an SDA one; an Evangelical school is a minute possibility). 3. I would gain a thorough understanding of contemporary Christian issues from an authoritative institution that houses thought leaders and widely contributes to modern scholarship 4. Broader networking opportunities to up my chances of PhD admissions and future teaching posts (This shorter list reflects both my lack of awareness of my financial aid package and my lac of familiarity with specific opportunities at Emory) I see the following possibilities: 1. Go to Emory and then go straight to a PhD 2. Go to Emory now since I'm accepted and then go to Denominational School before a PhD (Would this defeat the purpose of going to a place like Emory for reputation and connections since the SDA school degree would be my last degree?) 3. Go to Denominational School and try for a PhD immediately after. If I can't get in apply to MTS at mainline school later (But would rejecting my acceptance from Emory now doom me from being able to get into the same program later?) Just to throw in some potential possibilities that may sway your assessment: - I'm strongly considering also pursuing an MA in Philosophy before graduate school since progressive SDA theology values philosophy highly. I would apply exclusively to top tier institutions and pursue it directly before my PhD studies, which again would be in systematic/constructive theology. - It is possible that I would do an MDiv/MBA combo at the SDA school, perhaps giving me a slight edge in PhD admissions. Side question: How hard is it to get into Emory's MTS program? I ask because I'm trying to gauge my chances for the other 9 schools as I await their response. Note: I'm completely comfortable going anywhere for school, I hold no reservations learning from anywhere! P.S. I didn't want to type the SDA school name out here because it might pop up unintentionally in search engines and attract unwanted attention to my dilemma
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