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MDIV to MTS


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Hello, 

I am in the process of deciding my next steps regarding my academic future. I will graduate soon with an MDIV from Fuller Seminary. I want to pursue doctoral work at a tier 1 institution, but I do not have a narrowed area of study yet. Is it irregular for MDIV grads to pursue an MTS or MAR immediately after an MDIV?   How does entering an MTS or MAR program with an MDIV impact funding potential? 

 

My goal is to go from Fuller to a competitive program. 

I was not a stellar undergraduate student. I ended up with a 2.95 undergraduate GPA. But I fell in love with studying theology and ethics during my masters program.  I work full-time., so my Masters GPA is still not as high as I would like, but it currently is 3.85. i still have some time to increase this GPA. 

I have not taken the GRE yet, but I will soon. 

Do you think I would have a shot at a competitive MTS or MAR despite the disparity between undergraduate and graduate GPA?  

 

I would appreciate any helpful feedback. 

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6 hours ago, Enkidu15 said:

Hello, 

I am in the process of deciding my next steps regarding my academic future. I will graduate soon with an MDIV from Fuller Seminary. I want to pursue doctoral work at a tier 1 institution, but I do not have a narrowed area of study yet. Is it irregular for MDIV grads to pursue an MTS or MAR immediately after an MDIV?   How does entering an MTS or MAR program with an MDIV impact funding potential? 

 

My goal is to go from Fuller to a competitive program. 

I was not a stellar undergraduate student. I ended up with a 2.95 undergraduate GPA. But I fell in love with studying theology and ethics during my masters program.  I work full-time., so my Masters GPA is still not as high as I would like, but it currently is 3.85. i still have some time to increase this GPA. 

I have not taken the GRE yet, but I will soon. 

Do you think I would have a shot at a competitive MTS or MAR despite the disparity between undergraduate and graduate GPA?  

 

I would appreciate any helpful feedback. 

From my admittedly limited understanding, it is common for MDiv students to pursue an MAR/MTS. Although your UGPA isn't incredibly high, your Masters GPA would definitely help in an application for an MTS or MAR. You should not write off pursuing an MAR/MTS solely off GPA alone.

What's most important however, is your ability to write a compelling SoP and Personal Essay that explicitly states your reasons for pursuing an MTS/MAR. It should address why you think a given divinity school can help you explore various questions and how your pursuit of an additional masters fits into your future plans! 😃

 

 

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To come at it from another angle: I'd make sure that you're very clear about the specific area you want to study (for example, "theology and ethics" are probably two separate concentrated programs in most places), and why you need the 2-3 years of an MAR/MTS rather than doing a one-year STM/ThM/whatever they call it at different places, which is very typical for people who already have an MDiv.

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@KA.DINGER.RA

I agree partially that moving from M.Div into a TT phd is not always possible, but I have found that it depends on one’s concentration and/or dissertation topic. A glance through the phd candidates at top programs will show that at least 50% have only one M* degree. All that to say, it appears to be worth applying to phd programs after your first M* if you have a firm grasp on what it will take to be successful in your concentration.

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1 minute ago, JDD said:

@KA.DINGER.RA

I agree partially that moving from M.Div into a TT phd is not always possible, but I have found that it depends on one’s concentration and/or dissertation topic. A glance through the phd candidates at top programs will show that at least 50% have only one M* degree. All that to say, it appears to be worth applying to phd programs after your first M* if you have a firm grasp on what it will take to be successful in your concentration.

Oh definitely. It's certainly worth applying. I would just imagine that in a lot of places they'll prefer an MA or MTS as well.

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I disagree with some of the above comments. Of course, it depends on the PhD program and one's subfield, but many 'top tier' programs accept students with an MDiv (and without any other M* degree). Many also accept students with only (one) MTS/MAR. If you decide to do another masters, my advice is not to do a ThM or similar degree, since: 1) they are usually completely unfunded and 2) a year isn't enough time given your current 'problem' (i.e. uncertain what you want to specialize in). Again, it depends on your subfield (or what you think you want), but you are far better off doing an MTS/MAR or an MA in religion/religious studies (or related field). Either way, it is essential that your second M* allow you freedom in coursework, since you have already done all the MDiv 'fluff' and you don't want to repeat (and repay for that). A ThM will allow that freedom, but if you hope to transition straight from the program, again, you will be applying to PhD programs before the end of your first semester at said program (and, again, consider the funding issue). In the end, you may well end up having to pay (loan) for much of the degree. Anyways, without more information on what you (think you) want to do, we can't really help you.

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