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Notre Dame vs. Fordham Theology PhD


hopealways
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Hey y'all! With the April 15th PhD decisions deadlines coming up, I find myself facing a difficult decision as I'm discerning between a more traditional but better-ranked Catholic theology department (Notre Dame) versus a progressive Catholic theology department that might be slightly less well-known outside the field (Fordham). My progressive political & theological leanings definitely fit a lot better at Fordham, even though I know that my progressive theological work is possible at both places even though it'll have more conversation partners at Fordham.

I'm slightly concerned about placement statistics at Fordham. But my question for everyone is whether/how much placement + mainstream ranking matters? (My goal currently is still to get a job within academia.)

(P.S.: Also if anyone is on the waitlist in either place and want to convince me to drop the offer so that they could get in, feel free to do so as well haha!)

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Great questions. I don't really have any solid answers. Perhaps somewhat related, have you visited ND? When I went there for the interview (PhD) I was so turned off just by the general conservative atmosphere as well as what seemed to be an awful place to live. I recall one of the orientation events discussing things like "what your spouse can do around town for fun when she gets pregnant and you're busy with school." I promptly raised my hand and asked what South Bend had to offer for secular homosexuals with no interest in kids. They didn't have any good recommendations. Anyways, my expectations were set by liberal Jesuit schools (like Fordham) and I mistakenly assumed that ND would be similar-ish. I guess with COVID the on-site interviews are canceled?

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On 4/1/2020 at 11:28 AM, sacklunch said:

Great questions. I don't really have any solid answers. Perhaps somewhat related, have you visited ND? When I went there for the interview (PhD) I was so turned off just by the general conservative atmosphere as well as what seemed to be an awful place to live. I recall one of the orientation events discussing things like "what your spouse can do around town for fun when she gets pregnant and you're busy with school." I promptly raised my hand and asked what South Bend had to offer for secular homosexuals with no interest in kids. They didn't have any good recommendations. Anyways, my expectations were set by liberal Jesuit schools (like Fordham) and I mistakenly assumed that ND would be similar-ish. I guess with COVID the on-site interviews are canceled?

I have visited both campuses this cycle right before things were shut down! I echo some but not all of your impressions of South Bend vs. NYC & really appreciate it.

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