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Union Theological Seminary


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Thoughts on how UTS (NY) is doing in terms of academic rigor, status, facilities, finances, general stability, etc? I'm applying to the MA program, concentration in Ethics, and I've been having a hard time assessing how the school is doing in these areas.  

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I applied to Union Theological Seminary in NYC, but I applied without knowing much. I do know that there is little to no funding for students (more emphasis on the latter). I applied to UTS because of their affiliation with Columbia -- which would suggest that there is a very good chance of them having high academics. However, I do know that the religious studies department at Columbia is undergoing some transitions and they're recruiting new faculty and the like in order to reshape their program -- so pretty much, they're up and coming. In a discussion I had with a colleague, I was told that UTS tends to be very Christian. I don't know if that matter to you or not. I know for me I prefer to be in multi-religious settings.

This information probably wasn't too useful, but I figured I would offer up what I do know. Hopefully someone a little more informed about the school can follow up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is my only acceptance and I'm not expecting anymore so I am very curious to know anything anybody else knows. I haven't noticed too many people applying to the program on this forum. I know that Union was at one point the center of the theological universe when they had Tillich, Niebuhr and Bonhoeffer. The website repeatedly mentions the Burke library which is the largest theological collection in the western hemisphere. It seems fairly academically rigorous while keeping an interdisciplinary student centered curriculum. Thirty of the 60 credits for the Mdiv are free electives and most can be taken through departments at Columbia University.

I don't self identify as a Christian, but a Christian environment doesn't bother me in the least as long as it is far from dogmatic and literal. The only drawback would be a lack of critical discussion. But this can happen in multifaith atmospheres as well, where the politically correct verbage can dominate and spoil an otherwise vigorous discussion.

One good thing is the affordable(for nyc)on campus housing which is available to almost all students who want it.

Anywho, anybody else have thoughts?

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