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Found 29 results

  1. doctormelody

    Stats needed for MTS?

    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.
  2. To start a much-needed thread (in hopes of shedding some light on an aspect of humanities graduate admissions that is truly mysterious): What, in the name of all that is good and decent, are grad programs/ad-comms really looking for in letters of recommendation? Almost all letters surely sound pretty similar right? What sets some letters apart? What makes others bad? If anyone has any expertise/experience in this area, please enlighten us--but everyone feel free to opine.
  3. Epaphroditus

    PhD Applications Fall '18 Season

    I thought I'd go ahead and start this up. Where are you all applying and in what field? I'm applying for PhD programs in NT, but have yet to finalize my list of schools. Currently, I'm considering applying to: Baylor, Emory, Duke, Duke Div, Notre Dame, PTS, Yale. I may add some schools before all is said and done. Faculty changes have made it harder to narrow down my list. It seems like many senior faculty decided to retire around the same time! I'm thinking of Yale (Attridge and Dale Martin), Emory (LTJ and Holladay), and ND (Moss left, so she didn't retire, but they now only have two NT profs).
  4. 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?
  5. I used to be a Research Intern and I'm not sure if that's worth putting on a CV for a PhD application. Thoughts? Also, are the job titles "Research Intern" and "Research Assistant" interchangeable or would that be too much of a stretch?
  6. I used to be a Research Intern and I'm not sure if that's worth putting on a CV for a PhD application. Thoughts? Also, are the job titles "Research Intern" and "Research Assistant" interchangeable or would that be too much of a stretch?
  7. One of the profs writing my letter of rec recently asked me if he would simply receive a link from the school to which I apply in order to submit his letter. I'm not sure. Does anyone know how professors go about submitting the letter? Thanks in advance!
  8. Esenabla

    Submitting Transcripts

    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
  9. newcement

    Graduate Transfer (MATS to MDiv)

    Hi all! I have been reading through the forum and have really appreciated the insight many of you have into the religious studies field and various programs. My post is a bit of a "what are my chances?" and "do you have experience with my situation?" hybrid. I am a current MA (Theological Studies) student at a local ATS-accredited seminary. I graduated with my BA in Psychology in 2011, and, after soul-searching and trying my hand in several psychology-related positions, I decided to return for a seminary degree in hopes of becoming a minister, author, and perhaps adjunct prof on the side. I am also considering the prospects of pursuing PhD studies down the road. I am now 26 credits into my MATS degree at a local, ecumenical ATS-accredited seminary and have decided to transfer for two major reasons: 1) My current seminary has a good reputation locally, but has become increasingly disintegrated. In the year I've been there, they have changed the seminary's name, revised the entirety of their curriculum, fired or lost several professors, dismissed and appointed a new dean, and are soon to change the physical location of the seminary. Many of these changes have been poorly implemented and badly communicated to the students. 2) I was serving as a volunteer ministry director for the past few years at a local independent non-denom church. Unfortunately, I experienced the two lead pastors as increasingly manipulative/abusive individuals, (garden variety pathological narcissists?), and decided to leave. After departing, I learned that a good friend (who also attended the church) was sexually molested by the aforementioned pastors. These leaders have been educated at my seminary and have mentored and taught there as well, so it has made the seminary itself a difficult place for me to be. Those things said, I still want to finish a degree and continue to pursue a ministry vocation. I find myself more at home in progressive evangelical or mainline protestant contexts and have narrowed my search for an MDiv program down to the below schools: Princeton, Vanderbilt, Emory (Candler), Wake-Forest, Union, Boston U. I am most concerned with the school accepting all (or most) of my transfer credits and hope to receive funding as well. I struggled a bit in undergrad with anxiety and depression, and ended up with a 3.4 GPA, though I had a 3.8/3.9 in my last couple semesters and a 3.7 Major GPA. When I took the GRE a few years ago, I had scores that landed me in the 88th percentile for Verbal, 61st percentile for Quantitative, and 60th percentile for Essay. My graduate GPA is 4.0. I have a publication in the works with an undergrad prof and have lots of service experience with nonprofits and churches. My questions: What are my chances of being admitted to the above schools? All of them accept transfer credit, but how likely is it that my credits will be accepted? Does anyone know the likelihood of funding for my situation? Are there any other schools you might recommend for my search? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
  10. Hey everyone, I aim to attend a masters program in religions, focus in East Asia (i.e. Hawaii or Toronto) or history of religions (i.e. Arizona or in a world where hell freezes over, University of Chicago), with the very end goal being University of Chicago's Tibetan Buddhist history. EDIT: I should add my first choice for my master's is FSU, since it's such a well funded program for those studying Chinese Buddhism. So, currently, I have a full-ride at school A(with the occasional loan that is never over 500ish dollars to pay for personal things, since I don't like living at home). I have a good Philosophy program here (focus in religious studies, non-theology) doubled with history, I am studying Chinese, and minoring in Peace & Conflict Studies. I am an honors students, and about to begin work on my senior thesis. I work a few leadership positions and my GPA is fine, I got a few Bs my Freshman year. I've presented research before. My professors have offered to do independent studies with me to bridge any gap I feel I am lacking where they can. That being said my school right now is very small, an open enrollment state school and doesn't really have a name for itself. It's no major state school like UMD or UCLA. I go here since I did so well in high school, I was able to get such good financial aid (plus a few other reasons that don't matter, it just goes that way sometimes). School B is a public honors college where I would have to take out loans, they have a similar program (I would take Japanese instead of Chinese). The coursework is more diverse, such as my current history department doesn't have a history outside of Europe or the US, while this school has a few more historians in other areas. I may be able to keep doing research, maybe not to the same extent to which I am now. This school has gotten people into UoC, Yale and even Oxford from my department but some of my professors have been saying the debt wasn't worth it and I can do that from here (which other professors are doubtful of). School C has offered me money to come be on a team for them, plus a good amount of academic scholarship. This is also a smaller state school, but it is above my current school. There would be loans my first semester but not much after that (I assume, it's out of state which would be new for me, maybe some loans for living). They have an awesome history department, with a chance to work with a historian's whose focus is in East Asia as my senior thesis. The honors college is much better here, I would get a chance for funding research (I fund my own and any travel that comes with presenting it). Plus, they pay for travel to other countries in the summer. They don't have a religions program, which is an issue when that's my graduate school area. I know academia and graduate school is hard and competitive, my dad is a professor so I've seen it from the inside, but I can't imagine doing anything else. I love teaching and researching, and maybe I am being compulsive planning this far ahead, but I would never forgive myself if I don't do what I can to go to the best graduate school. Maybe it's just because I was originally going to a much better school, at least planning, before some last minute issues with family that landed me here. Is a good master's program enough to bridge me into a T16 PhD program? Can I get into a good masters program from this open enrollment school that's very small with my CV and work I'm doing with my professors? Are loans and debt worth it? Sorry for the novel, everyone is telling me different stuff so I thought I would get input from people who have gone through graduate school recently, or just get a clearer picture of this. 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. 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!
  13. ShewantsthePhD101

    Brown

    Anybody else here applying to Brown? I'd love to meet other hopefuls! I'm applying to the RCT program. What about you?
  14. I just submitted my last of six PhD applications to programs in Religious Studies. As I play the waiting game, I'm planning to do some traveling over the course of the next two months, both domestically and abroad. I planned these trips with an eye to previous admissions decisions as posted on this site, aiming to be back in the US to visit schools (the ones that admitted me, if any, that is) in early March, with a full month before I would have to make decisions about matriculation by mid-April. However, it looks like a lot of folks on here have been invited to interviews prior to their admissions decisions. Uh oh. Can anyone tell me (1) how common it is to be asked for an interview in a Humanities PhD program generally, and/or in Religious Studies PhD programs in particular, and (2) if declining an interview would essentially doom one to be rejected?
  15. 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?
  16. Hi all: First time poster here. I want to ask about how much the GRE Quant section actually matters for admissions to HDS. All aspects of my application are extremely competitive however, there is one setback: my Quant score. While my Verbal scores and AWA are well above averages, my Quant is at a dismal 20%. Could this be a deal breaker for me? Might I be weeded out of the competition before my application ever reaches someone's desk? Thanks for your feedback.
  17. FromBricktoTemple

    Strong app with low GRE: What to expect

    Dear GradCafe, What can I expect for myself while applying for religious studies masters programs with a 4.04 GPA and associated awards, a great writing sample, a senior thesis project, superb recommendation letters, a resume that proves my involvement on campus and in the workplace, and these less than hoped for GRE scores: Verbal: 157 (75th percentile) Quant: 149 (35th percentile) Writing: 4. Here are contributing factors to these low scores: 1. my family moved so often during my childhood that I never had the opportunity to learn basic mathematics with any consistency (but, I did make A's in college algebra and trig). This quant score is a huge improvement from my first practice test, when I scored in the 9th percentile. 2. Given that I work full time during summers and breaks, and part time during the semester while maintaining high grades and staying involved on campus (particularly in the religious studies department), I have less time to study for the test. 3. I have had to retake standardized tests as young as 1st grade for earning outlier-low scores. The test anxiety is strong with this one. 4. I am poor and cannot afford to take fancy preparation classes, though I did buy the Kaplan study book, read the whole thing, and took all the associated web-based practice tests. 5. I took the test with a 101 fever from a cold. I am applying to Harvard Divinity School, Columbia, Indiana Bloomington, and University of Colorado Boulder. It would kill me if my application was thrown away for a GRE score that does NOT represent my academic abilities to any extent. My recommenders will address this in their letters. What are my chances of being accepted into these schools, or to any school? I AM retaking the test tomorrow, but am anxious to the point of debilitation. ANOTHER 205 dollars down the drain for a test I will probably do poorly on. And, to make things worse, I have been working 13 hour days for the past two weeks and am burnt out. I am currently attempting to jam math equations down my throat, but nothing is sticking. Thank you for any help, even though this is half rant.
  18. Haeyeon Han

    How do I contact professors?

    I am planning to apply to several universities(M.A and PH.D) this fall. Including Chicago University(Ryan Coyne), Boston College(Vanessa Parks), Oxford University(Joel Rasmussen), University of Leeds(Mark Wynn) and Yale University(Noreen Khawaya). Since this is my first time, I would like to know how to contact professors. Do I have to send a wirting sample? How long does it have to be? And what should I wirte in e-mail to give a good impression?
  19. seung

    Choices and Decisions

    Menge, the one who started the 'PhD Applications Fall '17 Season' topic, mentioned that it may be a good idea to start a new discussion where people can share their decisions--where they will accepting or rejecting offers, and where they are waitlisted. So, if you are willing, let's start up some conversations, and hopefully, those of us who are interested in the same schools can work something out.
  20. 8bdk477

    Toronto PhD?

    Anyone get into Toronto's religious studies program? Planning on visiting? I'm heading later this month for the religion, culture, politics are and am looking to touch base with other prospective students.
  21. Lysdexia

    Asking for Admission Extension

    Hi everyone! I was accepted last week into BU's MTS program at the School of Theology. I am beyond excited and know this school is a great fit for me - however, like every other student applying for grad programs, I applied to HDS as well. According to GC and Google info, they don't release their admissions until March 15-16, which is a week after my acceptance deadline for BU. I asked my current professor if I should accept the offer - he suggested i accept BU and later reject if I get into HDS, but I feel that asking for an extension would be better since I would still possibly want to take classes at BU through the institute. How would I ask for an extension without sounding like it's not my top pick? I would be very happy at BU so it is a top pick for me, but I don't want to put all my eggs in a basket before I hear back from HDS. I want to make sure I make the best pick financially and long term. Thanks!
  22. I don't want to come across as arrogant or anything. I am just really wondering if it's worth attending an "average" Grad School if my plan is to go for a career in academia. I am an international student and have chosen to apply in the US because of my relationship but also because I hoped to improve my career chances by attending one of the great universities like Columbia, Princeton, Harvard etc. I have not heard back anything yet and I know that doesn't mean anything at this point (except at Columbia; they apparently have already sent out their admission letters and I didn't get one). I was lucky enough, however, to be accepted at one school already. While I am waiting to hear back from other universities, I am trying to evaluate if I would really like to go there. It's not a perfect fit when it comes to expertise in my field but I will definitely learn something. I received a fellowship for the first year and would teach the rest of the time. What do you think? How does it work in the US? Will I only have a shot at an academic career if I have a PhD from one of the top ones or can I work my way up by kicking a...? I would value any advice!
  23. I am completing my MA in religious studies (Islamic studies) this December and have nearly everything ready in regards to applying to PhD programs (religion, middle eastern, near eastern), however I have had some health related setbacks and was unable to take the GRE in time for applications this cycle, I was wondering do any schools have application cycles in the Spring? I would prefer not to wait an entire year to apply in December 2017... Please let me know
  24. Hey all, I am applying to a series of Religious Studies grad programs, and in several of them have indicated an interest in pursuing 'North American Religion'-type concentrations (out of Christianity, Judaism, Theology, Ancient Religions, etc.), but does that mean the writing sample necessarily has to be in the same area of concentration? I ask because I have some thesis chapters on Jewish emancipation in Germany on hand that I think could be, easily enough, edited into very strong writing samples. Whereas the thesis chapters that pertain more directly to religion in North America are far longer and more difficult to edit into writing sample format. Both options are very relevant to Religious Studies, but I worry about presenting writing that doesn't match up with my intended concentration. On the other hand, intended concentrations are purely informal, and I am fairly sure graduate students don't even formally select them until after the first few semesters or so. And it seems relevant to show breadth. Any ideas?
  25. MstarTheology

    Is the MDiv or MTS better for PhD-track?

    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!
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