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LSiefferman

2019 MDiv MTS MA Applications

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On 2/22/2019 at 9:37 AM, Pierre de Olivi said:

What is the etiquitte surrounding asking questions about funding after you have been admitted but before you are notified about funding? I got into CUA's Semitics program and was told "funding decisions will be forthcoming" in an email from the graduate admissions department (not the Semitics department). It's a great program but I really need more information on funding before I can commit one way or the other -- is there any harm in e-mailing my POI or department chair about by what time I can expect to hear about the funding, or will this be seen as rude or greedy?

While what @LSiefferman says is true for most programs, my own experience with CUA's Semitics program a few years ago suggests that you could actually end up waiting quite a while. From what I understand, the department has to wait to hear how much funding they're authorized to give each year, and it's not at all consistent from year to year (this is specific to the Semitics dept.; apparently other departments at CUA operate differently). I was admitted to the MA program in late Jan or early Feb a few years back and finally reached out to the department in mid-March to ask about funding. They responded a few days later, telling me they'd just then gotten word on what they would be able to offer. If I were you, I'd just reach out to the department chair and ask gently if he has a sense for the timeline. He didn't seem to mind me asking.

Congrats on your acceptance, and good luck! Funding at CUA is, as I'm sure you've heard, pretty hit-and-miss, but it's an awesome program.

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On 2/22/2019 at 1:03 AM, dkimbab said:

Thanks for that info, I'll definitely take a look at it!! (1) I just typed in scholarships for seminary students and started looking there lol. (2) I currently am a Youth/College Pastor at my church in Chicago (Full Gospel: Pentecostal) and I will receive some measure of financial support. (4) Definitely New Testament, I did my undergrad in Biblical Languages and primarily focused on Greek. I look forward to sitting under Margaret Mitchell and Jeff Jay. What about yourself? Any denominational support? What field do you desire to work in? 

 

 

I am not coming to my MDiv from a denominational affiliation. I grew up in a conservative christian fundamentalist environment, and I stepped away (AKA ran away) from the church when I went to college (AKA as soon as I could). I have stayed away from church as an institution ever since. 

Divinity school inserted itself into my life quite unexpectedly, yet it appears to be a natural next step. I am a social practice artist and I use ceramics to facilitate difficult conversation on social issues. I am also a sustainability project coordinator for my municipal government, so I am very interested in social sustainability and issues of social justice and equity. I am particularly interested in exploring the intersections of race, religion, neoliberalism and nationalism, using ceramics as a storytelling medium for cultural (read: religious) literacy. My approach is that religion undergirds everything we know and experience, and we need to be able to pick apart these hidden forces influencing our behavior and decisions if we are to understand ourselves and others. With a solid academic training in religion, race and nationalism, my goal is to work in conflict transformation across intergovernmental and/or cross-cultural divisions. I also want to study the role of the arts and storytelling in peacebuilding. It's kinda a lot and I need to narrow down these ideas....

I'm going for my MDiv rather than an MTS or MA because, over the past three years, my artwork and personal academic journey have evolved into a theological conversation about our understandings of love and the need to reimagine how we live together. If I want to facilitate these conversations, I figure I should do my own homework. In divinity school I'm hoping to grapple with my own faith... to unravel the lessons of my youth and redefine God in the process.

That was long winded, I know! But I hadn't posted in a while so figured I'd make it worth y'alls time haha. I only applied to two schools: Union in NYC and Harvard Divinity. I was accepted to Union with a 15k grant (wooo!) but it's still not enough money for me to make it work, so I'm wishing and hoping and thinking and praying that HDS not only accepts me, but gives me a great offer that will not put me into crazy debt. I'm an artist AND a civil servant haha - I need all the financial support I can get!!

I'm supposed to hear from HDS mid-March. 

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Did everyone get this from Harvard?:

 

Dear

Greetings from HDS Office of Admissions!

Late winter finds us busily reviewing MTS and MDiv applications. In the meantime, here are a few stories about our students and alumni. Learn more about them—and find school news and events— on the links below and on our website.

Sending you our best wishes,
HDS Admissions

Edited by rejectedndejected
Outed myself.

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19 minutes ago, rejectedndejected said:

Did everyone get this from Harvard?:

 

Dear

Greetings from HDS Office of Admissions!

Late winter finds us busily reviewing MTS and MDiv applications. In the meantime, here are a few stories about our students and alumni. Learn more about them—and find school news and events— on the links below and on our website.

Sending you our best wishes,
HDS Admissions

Yes, I got the email

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Hey everyone, new member here!
 

Congrats to all who have been accepted and best of luck to those still waiting/waitlisted.

 

I, like many of you, am still waiting to hear back from Harvard Divinity (MTS in History of Christianity). But I've been accepted to the Notre Dame MTS (History of Christianity), Boston College Joint MA in Theology and Philosophy, Duke Divinity MTS, and Candler School of Theology MTS. 

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3 minutes ago, ParagonAlex said:

Hey everyone, new member here!
 

Congrats to all who have been accepted and best of luck to those still waiting/waitlisted.

 

I, like many of you, am still waiting to hear back from Harvard Divinity (MTS in History of Christianity). But I've been accepted to the Notre Dame MTS (History of Christianity), Boston College Joint MA in Theology and Philosophy, Duke Divinity MTS, and Candler School of Theology MTS. 

Congrats.  Are you leaning toward any program in particular, as yet?

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Hey y'all! I also am a new member, so forgive me if this is not the place to post this (like if there's a separate "acceptances" thread somewhere). But, I just wanted to let everyone know that I got a call from Duke University and have been accepted into the MTS program! They said that they'll be emailing me about it within the hour. I'm not sure if any funding information will be in that email or not, but I'll update you if so!

I also applied to Yale MARc in Second Temple Judaism and the Oxford MSt in New Testament Theology. So I've still got some time to wait for those! I apparently made the "shortlist" and interviewed for Oxford a couple weeks back and they said I would hear back "fairly shortly," but who knows what that means!

 

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ahh happy march 1st everyone! 2 more weeks till HDS decision release... the anxiety is cranking up  

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I'm a bit late to this party, but I'm also awaiting HDS and YDS results! I've heard back from two places so far. Best of luck to everybody!!! 

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1 hour ago, rejectedndejected said:

Why on earth does Yale not let people apply two years in a row?  Does anyone know this?

Their argument is that if you were denied you need two years to show that you've bettered yourself to warrant a change of their opinion. Specifically they want you to have taken graduate-level coursework. Presumably you've been taking those courses in a program that you applied to Yale for, therefore making a transfer rather pointless but 🤷‍♂️

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on the HDS waiting-train as well 🙂 best of luck to all the applicants! after many hours of shameless stalking through the old threads, it seems that HDS can pretty much release decisions any day of the week of the 15th (i.e. next week), correct?
 

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I actually have a really bad feeling about my chances for Harvard.  My statement of purpose was really plain: it mainly spoke of my desire for further preparation for doctoral work.  Contrast this with many of the grandiose ideas Harvard is probably used to hearing, i.e. people who want to get an MTS so they can lift the entire third world out of poverty through technologically advanced harpsichord music ministry via the website the applicant designed himself. . .  My statement was incredibly ordinary..."choose me because I would like to be a scholar that studies X. Your program is excellent in X."  

Be blunt--am I just flat out sunk?

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1 hour ago, tqrgx341 said:

on the HDS waiting-train as well 🙂 best of luck to all the applicants! after many hours of shameless stalking through the old threads, it seems that HDS can pretty much release decisions any day of the week of the 15th (i.e. next week), correct?
 

The earliest I have seen is March 12 for Harvard releases.  Has anyone seen earlier than that?

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I think HDS has generally released on the Monday or Tuesday of the week having the 15th in it. This hasn't always been the case, sometimes the Friday before, and sometimes the Mon/Tue after the 15th. Either way, almost certainly next week but unlikely to be beyond the 19th.

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Anyone else apply to Oxford? I saw that someone posted an acceptance for the Theology MSt in History of Christianity. That must mean that the theology department is starting to send out acceptances! I'm feeling anxious. 

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13 hours ago, rejectedndejected said:

I actually have a really bad feeling about my chances for Harvard.  My statement of purpose was really plain: it mainly spoke of my desire for further preparation for doctoral work.  Contrast this with many of the grandiose ideas Harvard is probably used to hearing, i.e. people who want to get an MTS so they can lift the entire third world out of poverty through technologically advanced harpsichord music ministry via the website the applicant designed himself. . .  My statement was incredibly ordinary..."choose me because I would like to be a scholar that studies X. Your program is excellent in X."  

Be blunt--am I just flat out sunk?

What about your LORs? Did you reach out to any faculty in advance? I think they want applicants to be honest and say what is true rather than try to impress them. If you submitted it, you must have felt good about it. I'm assuming you had others help you edit and think through the SOP? Anyway, it may also come down to the particular class profile/research interests they want this year. Not sure if that factors so much in this line of academia... i know it's a big factor for MFAs. I had terrible GRE math and essay scores (verbal was OK) and I failed a semester in undergrad. Granted, that was 15+ years ago and I've taken graduate level coursework since and done fine, but still, I had a rocky academic past. I guess if I don't get in, I don't get in. Where else did you apply?

12 hours ago, xypathos said:

I think HDS has generally released on the Monday or Tuesday of the week having the 15th in it. This hasn't always been the case, sometimes the Friday before, and sometimes the Mon/Tue after the 15th. Either way, almost certainly next week but unlikely to be beyond the 19th.

Yikes. this is all too slow and also too fast. ugggggggggggg i just want to know already! a yes or no is much better than the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not my life is going to completely change in a few months.  I'm married and my husband will likely move with me, and we have pets... a whole life being relocated. I've not started looking at housing or anything because it feels way too presumptuous. I guess I'll know what I should be thinking about come next Friday.

Good luck to everyone - it's a nail biter... what are all y'all doing during the day to keep busy? I have a municipal government job, but it sure is hard to stay focused!

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, LSiefferman said:

What about your LORs? Did you reach out to any faculty in advance? I think they want applicants to be honest and say what is true rather than try to impress them. If you submitted it, you must have felt good about it. I'm assuming you had others help you edit and think through the SOP? Anyway, it may also come down to the particular class profile/research interests they want this year. Not sure if that factors so much in this line of academia... i know it's a big factor for MFAs. I had terrible GRE math and essay scores (verbal was OK) and I failed a semester in undergrad. Granted, that was 15+ years ago and I've taken graduate level coursework since and done fine, but still, I had a rocky academic past. I guess if I don't get in, I don't get in. Where else did you apply?

I also had a rocky academic past, but am graduating with top grades from my regional theology MA program (wherein I had to take like 5+ undergrad courses as prereqs).  My GREs should be fine at 164/**/4.5.  I have one year of an ancient language.  Also, very strong LOR's from professors with whom I've cultivated strong relationships.  However, I just don't think it'll cut the mustard to have said "I want to go to Harvard for further PhD preparation, because I feel called to be an academic."  No, I didn't have anyone look over my SOP--it's well written; it just sounds like it was written by an automaton with a personality disorder: Me want PhD; Me want Harvard help me get PhD; me good candidate because of great accomplishments; choose me. 

Also, I didn't contact any HDS faculty ahead of time.  At the M* level, I think that this is wholly unnecessary.  I was actually admitted to a PhD program in a different field this year--and I didn't even reach out to the PhD program ahead of time. 

I applied to Notre Dame's MTS and was waitlisted, although I found out this morning they aren't going to their waitlist because all of their first round offers accepted in my subfield. 

Edited by rejectedndejected

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7 minutes ago, rejectedndejected said:

Me want PhD; Me want Harvard help me get PhD; me good candidate because of great accomplishments; choose me. 

Tbh, if I were on an adcom, I would much prefer this level of bluntness (that everyone knows is true for a number of MTS applicants) to the flowery BS that normally adorns SOPs.

Not saying that it will necessarily help your chances... but it did make me laugh. 

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Posted (edited)

@rejectedndejected haha the robotic line made me crack up too. Honestly, I think at this point it’s human nature to start poring over any seemingly weak points of our application and fear we’ll be denied bc of them. I know I’m doing the same. For what it’s worth, your stats seem strong, HDS MTS program isn’t crazy competitive (at least from what I had read — the admission rate seemed to hover around 30-40%? Not sure if anyone has raw data to back this up or the other top Div schools like YDS, UChic MDiv etc), and a lot of MTS students ARE future academics. It might have been a dif story were you an MDiv student, but I’m sure they’re not expecting a similar template across the board. Either way best of luck! Sending good wishes your way. 

@LSiefferman wow that sounds even more stressful of a wait. I’m still just an undergrad so the upcoming week will be just before finals. I can’t seem to focus on studying at all for them! The fact that it can come out any day is definitely not helping my study habits (or more precisely, current lack thereof)...

Edited by tqrgx341

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, tqrgx341 said:

@rejectedndejected haha the robotic line made me crack up too. Honestly, I think at this point it’s human nature to start poring over any seemingly weak points of our application and fear we’ll be denied bc of them. I know I’m doing the same. For what it’s worth, your stats seem strong, HDS MTS program isn’t crazy competitive (at least from what I had read — the admission rate seemed to hover around 30-40%? Not sure if anyone has raw data to back this up or the other top Div schools like YDS, UChic MDiv etc), and a lot of MTS students ARE future academics. It might have been a dif story were you an MDiv student, but I’m sure they’re not expecting a similar template across the board. Either way best of luck! Sending good wishes your way. 

@LSiefferman wow that sounds even more stressful of a wait. I’m still just an undergrad so the upcoming week will be just before finals. I can’t seem to focus on studying at all for them! The fact that it can come out any day is definitely not helping my study habits (or more precisely, current lack thereof)...

Y'all have finals in early March?  But either way, I agree. 

The better question is why does HDS website say this: "We encourage you to come back to this page frequently to check on the status of your application," when they always release in mid March?  Perhaps if someone is smart enough to find the answer for such an enigma, said person receives automatic admission and a presidential fellowship?

Edited by rejectedndejected

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7 hours ago, tqrgx341 said:

Either way best of luck! Sending good wishes your way. 

Best of luck to you as well.  Hopefully good things are in store for us.

What concentration did you apply for at HDS?  Where else did you apply?

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11 hours ago, rejectedndejected said:

Also, I didn't contact any HDS faculty ahead of time.  At the M* level, I think that this is wholly unnecessary. 

I almost always agree to this but as someone formerly well acquainted with YDS - they strongly encourage prospective M* students to visit campus and/or interview with Admissions or a faculty member. By strongly, I know for a fact that good, strong applicants were only denied because they did not have an Adcom/faculty interview on file come review time and didn't feel that the applicant wanted YDS hard enough.

YDS is probably the outlier on this but since they stress the importance of campus visits and an Adcom interview several times on their site, I always encourage applicants to tread lightly in opting not to make themselves known to Admissions folk. To be fair, I've seen a handful of students admitted without visiting but they had strong applications that there was no real use debating.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, xypathos said:

I almost always agree to this but as someone formerly well acquainted with YDS - they strongly encourage prospective M* students to visit campus and/or interview with Admissions or a faculty member. By strongly, I know for a fact that good, strong applicants were only denied because they did not have an Adcom/faculty interview on file come review time and didn't feel that the applicant wanted YDS hard enough.

YDS is probably the outlier on this but since they stress the importance of campus visits and an Adcom interview several times on their site, I always encourage applicants to tread lightly in opting not to make themselves known to Admissions folk. To be fair, I've seen a handful of students admitted without visiting but they had strong applications that there was no real use debating.

Thanks. This is gold.  If only someone had posted this last year before I got rejected by YDS...  You know anything about time travel?  Back in '82, I could throw a pigskin a quarter mile.  I'd also go back in time and contact Yale faculty.  

Also, XYpathos, do you know if Harvard is of this same mindset?  

Edited by rejectedndejected

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