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LSiefferman

2019 MDiv MTS MA Applications

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Looking to start a feed on grad applications to Divinity School for Fall 2019 matriculation. The wait is on! I've only applied to two ? and will be on the edge of my seat for the next few months. I'm seeking my MDiv from either Union Theological Seminary or Harvard Divinity. Would love to hear from all y'all out there! Where are all have you applied? Which school is your first choice? What are you hoping to do in or after school?

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Glad you did this @LSiefferman! I applied to HDS for an MTS and YDS for a MARc so that I can build a more robust understanding of the intersection between politics and religion. Specifically, I want to pursue a PhD in Latin American history in order to examine how religious doctrines inform civilians understandings of previous governments moral authority or lack thereof. HDS is my top choice because the Religion, Ethics, and Politics, specialization engages the intersection I am interested in exploring.

Also curious, what are you hoping to focus on? What school is your top choice?

 

 

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I applied to: HDS (MTS); YDS (MARc- Religion and the Arts); Notre Dame (MA- Early Christian Studies); Syracuse (MA); and Florida State (MA). I'm double majoring in Religious Studies and Art History and my main area of interest is early Christian art, so I was looking for programs that have faculty who work with material culture. With that being said, YDS is perfect because they have a MAR that specifically focuses on art and religion and also because of their Center for Material and Visual Culture of Religion. However, Notre Dame is my top choice (because of faculty) but I seriously doubt I will get in since I don't have high test scores and am mostly relying on my strong LORs and SOPs. I didn't apply for any PhD programs just because I don't have language training since my university doesn't offer Classical Greek. I only applied for one undergraduate program and I pretty much knew that I was going to be admitted, so going through the waiting process is completely new to me! I have been checking the application statuses every day even though I know it's probably too soon...I know that HDS and YDS don't release them until March 15th. Has anyone heard back from any programs yet? 

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18 hours ago, Agnostic said:

Hi! MARc meaning "Comprehensive" or "Concentrated"? If the latter, what concentration? 

YDS MAR Concentrated in "Latinx and Latin American Christianity." Did you apply to YDS as well? If so, what specialization?

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Applied  to MAR Comprehensive. Not sure if I want to go on to a PhD. I understand Concentrated is the route to go for a PhD. Anybody know how difficult it is to switch from Comprehensive to Concentrated?

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Syracuse's Religion "long list" has been finalized. In short: there's candidates that they accept outright and won't bother interviewing, a group they interview, those that go on a waitlist, and then rejects.

Officially university policy says they can start sending out notifications on the third Monday of February but that doesn't mean anything - every department breaks it. They set this deadline because really competitive applicants are kicked up to the university level for fellowship consideration. If the applicant is chosen they get get funding from the university and it frees up the department to admit an additional student. So, most departments tend to wait to see how that jockeying game plays out. If they got a fellowship last year then their chances of one the next year are about 0% unless it's Maxwell or one of the big name schools.

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Applied and was accepted to Princeton’s Theological Seminary’s MDiv program as a transfer student. :)

Visiting next week and will decide if I want to move in this summer to get started on language courses or hold off for a fall start. Either way, I’m very excited to transfer over from my current seminary!

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@newcement I'm currently at PTS in the M.Div - depending on your reasons for taking a language, you may want to refrain from taking the summer session. For example, if you're only taking Greek/Hebrew to satisfy an ordination requirement that allows you to do pass/fail, then go ahead and do it. If you are doing it because you plan to pursue a PhD in biblical studies, I would not recommend taking it in the summer - that is, unless you're coming in with some previous language experience.

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I received an email from the director of graduate studies at Syracuse today and they are only admitting 2 masters students this year. Unfortunately I was told that I would not be receiving an offer, but they thought I had a strong application and passed it to the art history department to be considered for their program, as my field of interest is early Christian art. They are making their initial decisions tomorrow, so I am assuming that acceptances should be out within the next few days. Good luck to everyone that applied!

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Glad to see all y’all here! Lots of excitement building. Or is it dread? Not sure yet haha! To answer your question @fordlandia I’m hoping to work with the Religious Literacy Project and the Center for the Studies of World Religion to explore the relationships between race, religion and nationalism. I’m from the Deep South and am particularly interested in understanding the ways in which religion not only undergirds all that we know and experience, but in particular religion’s role (and legacy) with race relations and our understandings of love in the South. 

Im pursuing an MDiv because I want to wrestle with my own relationship with God and religion, and I feel that if I want to be a leader that calls upon people to reimagine how we love and live together, that I need to do my inner homework too. Fingers crossed everyone! And Fordlandia maybe we will see each other in the fall. Thinking positive!

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On 2/8/2019 at 1:39 PM, LSiefferman said:

 I’m from the Deep South and am particularly interested in understanding the ways in which religion not only undergirds all that we know and experience, but in particular religion’s role (and legacy) with race relations and our understandings of love in the South.

Did you know Cornel West is now on faculty at Harvard? ?

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15 minutes ago, OmniscienceQuest said:

Did you know Cornel West is now on faculty at Harvard? ?

He actually gave a short talk on James Baldwin at Harvard Divinity School a couple years back that is worth checking out:

 

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Anyone know what the acceptance rate is for Harvard and Yale Divinity schools for the MTS/MAR (NOT the MDiv, which is much easier to get in to)?  What are their average GREs, and what makes a strong applicant in general?

Also, I applied to ND for their MTS (liturgy).  They used to post their average GRE scores (but they have since been taken down).  The claimed average was like 161/157/4.5.  But almost every acceptance posted on Grad Cafe's results page had numbers that were off the charts--like 167/162/5.5 (in other words, elite PhD numbers).  Can anyone speak to this disparity?  Is it self-selection of posters?  What does ND's theology department really want in applicants? 

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On 2/10/2019 at 2:31 PM, rejectedndejected said:

Anyone know what the acceptance rate is for Harvard and Yale Divinity schools for the MTS/MAR (NOT the MDiv, which is much easier to get in to)?  What are their average GREs, and what makes a strong applicant in general?

Also, I applied to ND for their MTS (liturgy).  They used to post their average GRE scores (but they have since been taken down).  The claimed average was like 161/157/4.5.  But almost every acceptance posted on Grad Cafe's results page had numbers that were off the charts--like 167/162/5.5 (in other words, elite PhD numbers).  Can anyone speak to this disparity?  Is it self-selection of posters?  What does ND's theology department really want in applicants? 

ND's MTS is hands down the most competitive 'top' program of the kind, followed I would say by Yale's MARc. ND's MTS is fully funded and comes with a small stipend. As for posted numbers, consider the kind of person who even posts on this forum; it attracts a certain kind of applicant and all the more so for the results page. For most of us, it's too painful to type out those average/bad scores. Or people are misrepresenting their numbers (lying). Prolly a bit of both.

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@LSiefferman Curious, are you aware of the GRE/GPA admission stats for Harvard Divinity? Since HDS doesn't report these figures, I have been unable to find even general estimates for the admissions criteria.

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@rejectedndejected and @fordlandia unfortunately no... From what I understand, they really look at the whole application, and that both the Statement of Purpose and Letters of Recommendation are the two most important elements of said application. Be that as it may, you do need to show you are capable of the work, but test scores aren’t always the best indicator. This seems to be why they really try to look at the whole student. But what do I really know? Not much lol. I’ve spoken to several people from Admissions during the application process but I’m still on the outside looking in :) 

I can say that they are understanding that you aren’t going to Divinity school to study math, as I expressed my concerns about my mathematical “abilities”... I maybe got 10 math questions right on the GRE. Sigh. 

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I dug up my old post from last year. HDS' median GRE for M* applicants was 158V 157Q 4.0W. I'd need to find the forwarded information but I think this was 2017 data. I don't specifically recall if it was applicants or accepted.

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On 2/12/2019 at 12:40 PM, LSiefferman said:

@OmniscienceQuest I understand you completed your MDiv at HDS (I follow another thread where you offered this information) - would love to hear more about your focus there, and what prompted the switch from MTS to MDiv. 

My focus was Judaism but a significant part of my program was comparative, because the professor I connected best with was a compararivist. Much of my energy within my area of focus was devoted to learning Hebrew.

The other question is a bit harder to answer. In the first semester they had us read *Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil* by Emilie Townes and it made a deep impression on me (I got the sense that a lot of students shared that experience). In particular she challenges the academic pretense of being emotionally uninvolved in your work and argues that involvement can make our work better. When I arrived at HDS I was keeping a firm separation between my academic studies and my personal beliefs, but my encounter with Townes challenged me to begin integrating the two and to be more honest and open about what I sincerely believe to be true (i.e. that God is a real presence in human history). I think that's what really marked the shift from MTS to MDiv for me. A fair number of people switch programs in their first year, from what I saw.

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Hey guys--has there been any movement in Notre Dame's MTS admissions yet?  Does anyone know when concentrations are planning their reviews?  Last year, it looks like the first acceptance went up on February 19th or so.  In case you're not aware, that's coming up in five days...

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