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Found 5 results

  1. Hello GradCafe-verse, I’m in the process of sending off applications to grad school for my MDiv. I wanted to begin correspondence here with other applicants for Fall 2020 or current MDiv students. ALL VOICES WELCOME! My intentions are not to wear a collar, in all reality, but to work in NGOs, nonprofits and public policy for social justice and global conflict transformation. Right now, I’m planning on applying to Emory/Candler, Yale, Duke, Boston University... as they all offer an MDiv with the particular focus I’m looking for. Right now, I’m not certain these are the only places to which I’ll apply. They are certainly my top choices. I’m coming in with an average GPA but an impressive CV (I attended a liberal arts school). Hoping to begin correspondence with you all!
  2. _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!
  3. Hey there fellow grad school applicants and students, I am finishing 4 Bachelors Degrees at my school (graduating this June). 1. Religious Studies (individual gpa: 4.0), 2. Archaeology (individual gpa: 3.9), 3. Philosophy (individual gpa: 4.0), 4. Film & Television (individual gpa: 3.95) (and a Minor in Biblical Languages) I am from a small denominational university on the West Coast of the US and come from an under-represented conservative denomination (though I myself am not) that doesn't often try to go to Ivy League schools. I have right now an overall GPA of about 3.96 (graduating diploma count) and a currently listed GPA on the transcript (which includes a non-college class) of 3.9. My GRE scores though are so baseline average, there's no point in mentioning them. Just consider it a possibly large negative. I am deeply passionate about the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism. I've applied to the following programs. 1. Yale Divinity School (MARc Second Temple Judaism) 2. Harvard Divinity School (MTS in Hebrew Bible) 3. Oxford University (MPhil Judaism and Christianity in Graeco-Roman World) 4. Princeton Theological Seminary (MTS) 5. Vanderbilt Divinity School (MTS) 6. Duke Divinity School (MTS) 7. Candler School of Theology at Emory (MTS) 8. Boston University School of Theology (MTS) 9. Union Theological Seminary (MA) Debating whether I should apply to University of Chicago Divinity School (since its after the priority financial deadline of Jan 8 and I have bad GRE). What are my chances of getting into any of them? I know that's a broad question, but I'm honestly worried (as any grad student is). My professors are far too confident in my abilities and chances and I'd rather hear from fellow students. Do you guys know anything about how these schools currently judge student applications in the admissions process? Thank you to everyone in advance!
  4. Hi, I have a question about the Admissions Process for Divinity Schools. My situation is a unique one (yeah, I'm sure this is the first time you've all heard that on here) anyway, I'm applying for the MTS/MaR at HDS, YDS, VDS, Union and Wake Forest Div. My undergrad GPA is 3.89/4.0 - INR My grad GPA is 3.96/4.0 - Religious Studies I battled Depression and sought treatment when I was 18 years old and right out of high school (I also had other personal and family problems going on during that time including a family member who was dying of cancer, etc.) and that coupled with immaturity was a disaster. I did not focus on school nor did I ever imagine myself continuing on to graduate school. It just wasn't on my radar. I finished my AA degree with a 3.4 and I never gave it much thought. Things began to turn around in my life, and I transferred to a state school and eventually graduated with my BA and a 3.89 UG GPA with a degree in International Relations and a concentration on Middle East and Central Asian Studies. I'm graduating with an MA in Religious Studies this May with a 3.96/4.0 from the same state university. I pursued an Abrahamic Religions Track, but the degree itself although an MA with graduate coursework was still very generalized and I did not feel specialized (enough) or prepared for the PhD application cycle which has already passed for this year. It's partly my own fault because the program was not specialized in my area of interest nor did it have any notable faculty that was (my major professor specializes in South Asian religions and my thesis was on Iraq). I did not have the opportunity to take languages in the department like Syriac, Coptic, Classical Arabic, etc. because they were simply not offered. I'm pursuing a second Masters degree with the intent that I will be more competitive for PhD Programs, to be around more faculty and other students in my area of interest(s), and improve my language skills in Arabic. I'm a female, I'm a dual national of the U.S. and Iran. I have a background in Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish and French (and 1 year of Greek of the New Testament) which I hope to further build upon. Most of my language skills come from my background and personal pursuits (not academic transcripts) although I have taken up to intermediate Arabic in my Undergrad and 1 semester of Greek in my Grad transcript. I began my SoPs with my fieldwork experience in Iraq working with various minority communities (IDPs and refugees) which became the absolute highlight of my graduate career. My MA thesis explored the transformative role of ritual for the Yezidi Community in the aftermath of the Sinjar Massacre by the Islamic State. But I realized while I was in Iraq that whether I want to pursue doctoral studies or NGO work in the future that I absolutely need to improve my language skills which will be my #1 priority in future years to come. I decided to apply to an array of various programs (some of which are "better" fits than others) just to keep my options open. My real question is that I mentioned my Depression in my SoP. I wrestled with it for months and I rewrote the Sop several times. I framed it in a sort-of-way like "I've struggled with depression, but I maintained a 3.96 Grad GPA." I was hoping that it would be viewed as a positive, that I've made significant progress in my academic pursuit and personal life and I overcame my difficulties (and grew up in a sense) which I felt at the time was honest. Then after I submitted all of my applications, I started googling it and I realized that I might have made an awful mistake even mentioning it in the first place. Many forums and threads even labeled it as a "Kiss of Death" which I'm sure goes along with the fact that most people view mental illness as an excuse and it is still highly stigmatized. I've been worrying about it ever since. I only wrote a few sentences about it and I figured that divinity schools might be more forgiving and compassionate (perhaps I thought wrong and honesty is not what they want). At the same time I feel that it's human to go through these kinds of struggles, life's a journey and I have to forgive myself for what I was going through when I was 18. That's the way I see it. But then again, I'm a person with too much compassion if that's even possible? .....and, if AdCom is going to throw out my application solely because I brought up that I struggled with mental illness at one point, well that's not a place I would want to be anyway. For a job application or interview, I would see it as pointless and detrimental to bring it up because the bottom line is about being able to get the job done. But because I'm applying to Div Schools and because the academic journey should be one where you are constantly learning, re-making yourself (especially when you're so young), and progressing I feel that it's a bit different. For me, I find inspiration and courage in stories of hardships where people turn it around. After all, should higher education only cater to those who hail from highly privileged backgrounds or those who never had to overcome significant challenges in life? I'm also not framing my struggles with mental illness as an "excuse" (as if it were an excuse anyway) for a poor transcript, but I framed it more like I have good GPAs but I have improved and I hope to continue to do so. Ive already submitted all my apps. But any thoughts and (constructive) advice/comments for future reference or to simply ease my mind?
  5. I am in the process of deciding which grad programs to apply to and have stumbled across Yale's joint-degree program, Religion and Ecology. Has anyone in this forum participated in the program? Thoughts? I am specifically interested in the relationship between religion and landscape. That is to say, the nineteenth century religious attitudes of Americans toward their bioregion, landscape, geography, etc. and in turn, how these attitudes affected the environment and land stewardship. If I pursue this route, I would prefer to do the MAR concentrated track because I hope to pursue my Ph.D. I'm interested in the historical perspectives of religion in America, however, and not necessarily in how to make contemporary religions more "green." This leaves me with the question of which track to pursue, any ideas? Thanks!
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