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Fall 2021 MTS


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1) Your concerns are valid. VERY valid.  2) Echoing KungFuKenny and jellyfish7, both schools are top schools within the religious studies world so adding either on your CV will only benefit you. 

Just received an admissions offer from Candler school of Theology (Emory) with 75% tuition funding! This was the only MTS program I applied to along with 4 PhD apps. I didn’t get into any of the PhD p

Closing the loop on this, I've accepted Notre Dame's offer and will be heading to South Bend. Best of luck to everyone and keep in touch.

10 hours ago, waltzier97 said:

Glad so many people are talking here! Today was a big day for me!

Villanova: Accepted to the MTS education track, and they will have funding info around March.

BC: Accepted, 100% scholarship!!!!!!!

I'm over the moon right now.

I appreciate also the convo on housing situations. I'm not sure what I would do in Boston. I'm getting married in June, then packing up and moving somewhere, so we will need something cheap!

Wow, that is amazing, congratulations! Which one will you choose if Villanova gave you the same level of funding? 

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10 hours ago, Joey_Jawad said:

Of yale chicago and harvard I think only Yale does interviews.. so does anyone know if Yale does interviews of ALL potential admits? Wait and see me be paranoid all February if that interview request never comesūüė≠

Ugh, I totally forgot about Yale doing interviews. I know they’re a huge reach for me, though. 

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10 hours ago, Sleepless in skellefteå said:

Wow, that is amazing, congratulations! Which one will you choose if Villanova gave you the same level of funding? 

Thank you!

I'm not sure yet. I think I would prefer BC, but I'm not quite sure how to swing the living expenses just yet... we will have to see there. I imagine Villanova won't be terribly different, but will likely be a smidge cheaper. ATM waiting to hear from ND, as that will make clear, or make more difficult the decision process.

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18 hours ago, Joey_Jawad said:

Of yale chicago and harvard I think only Yale does interviews.. so does anyone know if Yale does interviews of ALL potential admits? Wait and see me be paranoid all February if that interview request never comesūüė≠

i did my MTS at HDS (2018-2018) and did not get interviewed. Decision came in mid March.  

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18 hours ago, Joey_Jawad said:

Of yale chicago and harvard I think only Yale does interviews.. so does anyone know if Yale does interviews of ALL potential admits? Wait and see me be paranoid all February if that interview request never comesūüė≠

When I applied to Yale Div School in the fall of 2018, I got in but was not interviewed. In fact, I don't think they conduct interviews at all now, but I could be wrong.

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6 hours ago, _Athena_ said:

When I applied to Yale Div School in the fall of 2018, I got in but was not interviewed. In fact, I don't think they conduct interviews at all now, but I could be wrong.

I am applying to the MARc in theology, and I asked about this. It's now optional; the admissions person told me that that "we generally offer applicants the opportunity to connect with a YDS representative after all application deadlines have passed." They will reach out to people in the coming weeks; I will bet that quite a number of people will be taking up that offer. Incidentally, they extended the final admissions deadline for the school to this Monday, February 8, due to the recent snowstorm.

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53 minutes ago, crossroadsph said:

I am applying to the MARc in theology, and I asked about this. It's now optional; the admissions person told me that that "we generally offer applicants the opportunity to connect with a YDS representative after all application deadlines have passed." They will reach out to people in the coming weeks; I will bet that quite a number of people will be taking up that offer. 

Thanks to all those replied to my Yale interview question!

Just throwing a question out into the void, because I'm anxious and need something to talk about; do you guys think divinity schools will be decreasing the number of admits or amount of scholarships given? I know humanities PhD programs are cutting admits, if admitting at all .. and I wonder if masters programs will be affected as well.

This is a crazy year to be applying isn't. Extra congrats to those who got in and solidarity to those like me who are waiting and slowing losing..their..minds :(

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3 hours ago, Joey_Jawad said:

Thanks to all those replied to my Yale interview question!

Just throwing a question out into the void, because I'm anxious and need something to talk about; do you guys think divinity schools will be decreasing the number of admits or amount of scholarships given? I know humanities PhD programs are cutting admits, if admitting at all .. and I wonder if masters programs will be affected as well.

This is a crazy year to be applying isn't. Extra congrats to those who got in and solidarity to those like me who are waiting and slowing losing..their..minds :(

I’ve been realizing lately that a lot of divinity school scholarships aren’t actual scholarships. Let me explain.

A true scholarship is money from an endowment. A true grant is also money from somewhere, like the NEA. 

I was happy to get a 70% scholarship from BU, but after having looked at their website...pretty much everyone gets a 70% scholarship! What that says to me is that when BU does their accounting every year of how much tuition money they‚Äôre getting, they‚Äôre always putting down 3k per semester, not 10k. Maybe a handful of rich students are paying the list price. No 7k has left the endowment¬†‚ÄĒ they overinflate the cost on their website.¬†

So you might get less money, but you‚Äôre not going to be paying the price it shows on their ‚Äėhow much does our program cost‚Äô page, because that was never the real price.¬†

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¬†Sorry to double post, but is anyone else thinking ‚Äėyes, I love my topic, but there‚Äôs so many other cool topics‚Äô? I‚Äôm really interested in women‚Äôs religious life, but I‚Äôm also interested in vestments and clerical attire and the changing American approaches to them in the late 20th century to now (bringing in chasubles, throwing out cassocks, bringing back cassocks,¬†throwing out any distinctive clerical dress, etc.) But I admit I have a chronic problem of thinking every humanities and social science field and topic sounds cool (my transcript has a lot of weird classes on it, to be sure).¬†

Also, let’s talk about languages! Is anyone else nervous about language requirements? BU doesn’t have one, but HDS requires competency either through a passing grade or an exam to graduate. For me the only really relevant language is Latin, and I did take four years in high school, but I am nervous about getting to graduate levels of proficiency if I get in. 

 

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5 hours ago, MaryHildegard said:

¬†Sorry to double post, but is anyone else thinking ‚Äėyes, I love my topic, but there‚Äôs so many other cool topics‚Äô? I‚Äôm really interested in women‚Äôs religious life, but I‚Äôm also interested in vestments and clerical attire and the changing American approaches to them in the late 20th century to now (bringing in chasubles, throwing out cassocks, bringing back cassocks,¬†throwing out any distinctive clerical dress, etc.) But I admit I have a chronic problem of thinking every humanities and social science field and topic sounds cool (my transcript has a lot of weird classes on it, to be sure).¬†

Also, let’s talk about languages! Is anyone else nervous about language requirements? BU doesn’t have one, but HDS requires competency either through a passing grade or an exam to graduate. For me the only really relevant language is Latin, and I did take four years in high school, but I am nervous about getting to graduate levels of proficiency if I get in. 

 

I hear you on the plethora of study interests, and it has made me wary of applying because I thought my interests were too broad. It sounds like you have great interests, and they have at least a thread (haha) of connection. Maybe the thing to do in your next studies is to work out what your umbrella is and go about figuring out what stays close to you via your umbrella of thought. I think women's religious life offers an interesting sense to talk about vestments and attire, and maybe even how women's orders connect to ordained life via clothing.

As for languages, I'm not sure what I'll do. I love Spanish and would enjoy fluency, but a French or German would be great too. A professor once explained that she thought of it less of a "I need to know these exact languages" situation and more of a "here's what I want to study, what language tools will get me there?" sort of thing.

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On languages: I am fluent in Spanish. I read it, write it, and speak it. The last time I took a course was in the early part of my undergrad. That said, I was able to take the Language Exam during my last semester at HDS. It was an hour exam (maybe 90 min?) where I had to translate a random theological document. I was allowed an approved Spanish-English dictionary. And passed the exam. However, I really wish I would have taken at least one other language class just to be able to connect with other people. 

On funding: I was able to get a fellowship that paid for tuition (25k) and a monthly stipend that was less than $800 a month. I had to budget like crazy! At some point I had to move places and ended up taking out a loan. I have a friend who took out a 50k loan. I was like whoa! 

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1 hour ago, CafeConGabi said:

On languages: I am fluent in Spanish. I read it, write it, and speak it. The last time I took a course was in the early part of my undergrad. That said, I was able to take the Language Exam during my last semester at HDS. It was an hour exam (maybe 90 min?) where I had to translate a random theological document. I was allowed an approved Spanish-English dictionary. And passed the exam. However, I really wish I would have taken at least one other language class just to be able to connect with other people. 

On funding: I was able to get a fellowship that paid for tuition (25k) and a monthly stipend that was less than $800 a month. I had to budget like crazy! At some point I had to move places and ended up taking out a loan. I have a friend who took out a 50k loan. I was like whoa! 

Wow, I can’t imagine taking out a 50k loan for grad school. I still have some undergrad debt that I would like to avoid adding significantly to. Were they at HDS or somewhere else? 

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3 hours ago, CafeConGabi said:

On languages: I am fluent in Spanish. I read it, write it, and speak it. The last time I took a course was in the early part of my undergrad. That said, I was able to take the Language Exam during my last semester at HDS. It was an hour exam (maybe 90 min?) where I had to translate a random theological document. I was allowed an approved Spanish-English dictionary. And passed the exam. However, I really wish I would have taken at least one other language class just to be able to connect with other people. 

On funding: I was able to get a fellowship that paid for tuition (25k) and a monthly stipend that was less than $800 a month. I had to budget like crazy! At some point I had to move places and ended up taking out a loan. I have a friend who took out a 50k loan. I was like whoa! 

90 minute translation of a theological document?? Holy Moly, my Arabic is pretty good so I thought maybe I'd be able to pass it without taking any classes but this is making me doubt my abilities. I'm not sure if I want to learn a new language, but I agree that language classes seem to be a good way to connect with other students and also have a sense of routine, so we'll see.

Full ride at HDS with a stipend, that's so impressive. You must have been a crazy compelling candidate! Yeah 50k loan seems excessive, but then I realize even with a full ride for tuition, a 2 year living cost at Boston might come close to that? so ha ha . . .

13 hours ago, MaryHildegard said:

Sorry to double post, but is anyone else thinking ‚Äėyes, I love my topic, but there‚Äôs so many other cool topics‚Äô?

I think just the fact that I'm applying to div school is proof enough that I haven't been able to narrow my academic interests ;) So far it's something like this particular one issue in world missions + evangelicalism in my country + christian zionism in my country + neocolonial dependency between american and global evangelicalism + secularization theory + religious freedom + religion and modernity.. etc so hopefully I'll be able narrow down my interests and more importantly find a topic that will be viable for long term research.

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2 hours ago, MaryHildegard said:

Wow, I can’t imagine taking out a 50k loan for grad school. I still have some undergrad debt that I would like to avoid adding significantly to. Were they at HDS or somewhere else? 

I know right?! Same. My friend was also an HDS student in the MTS program. I would hear from other folks on campus often say "at least you're not in the law school. Tuition there is 88k". 

I only considered matriculating at HDS because of the fellowship. A year before I had a friend working on her Master's in Art History who told me to only go for a master's program if it was going to be fully funded. 

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2 hours ago, Joey_Jawad said:

90 minute translation of a theological document?? Holy Moly, my Arabic is pretty good so I thought maybe I'd be able to pass it without taking any classes but this is making me doubt my abilities. I'm not sure if I want to learn a new language, but I agree that language classes seem to be a good way to connect with other students and also have a sense of routine, so we'll see.

Full ride at HDS with a stipend, that's so impressive. You must have been a crazy compelling candidate! Yeah 50k loan seems excessive, but then I realize even with a full ride for tuition, a 2 year living cost at Boston might come close to that? so ha ha . . .

On funding: Honestly, I had a patchy start to my undergrad but I put in hella work at the end of the undergrad process (it took me 8 years to do the undergrad). So, I felt like I had lots of promise going in. I was able to find a room for $500 an hour away from campus but it was hell commuting! Moved around a few places in Boston, including the residence halls at Harvard Business School, and picked up jobs off campus for the summer because the stipend didn't cover summer. I found that to be rewarding though because it took me out of the Harvard bubble for a few days out of the week.  

On Language Exams: I would say that my Spanish was rusty by the time the test came around. I didn't really study but my research did require working with similar primary documents so I was familiar with certain concepts (Liberation Theology in Latin America) in Spanish. You have time before you take the test to prepare. The HDS website even has some sample tests from previous years. https://hds.harvard.edu/academics/registrar/language-qualifying-exams I would say that if you have a working knowledge of the language you'll do well. : ) 

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On topics: My topic before HDS wasn't as broad but at the end of the MTS it narrowed down to one particular historical actor.

I found these pieces to be helpful: 

1. Take classes that you are interested in. This may seem obvious but I really had to allow myself to take classes that I felt were going to help my research interests, and sometimes it was taking a class just so I could have access to some of the professors. I know friends who took classes all across campus and some off campus. 

2. Office Hours. Use them. I was struggling in a class of 12 students--one student was working on their PhD at Oxford--so I felt intimidated. As dumb as this sounds I shared these feelings with the professor during office hours and he became my mentor for the remainder of my time there. He's a trained historian from Stanford so I picked his brain and took all the classes I could with him. He helped me focus on my topic, to some extent, but also helped me refine my methodologies. This eventually helped with letters of rec during the PhD application process.   

3. Read for interests. Yes, grad school had some reading I didn't care for. So, when I felt like I wasn't getting my personal research needs met I would compile a reading list of books and articles I was interested in and read them during break (spring, summer, etc.). This helped solidify my topics and it allowed me to connect with other researchers at different institutions (potential phd advisors?). I'd just send a quick email thanking them for such-and-such perspectives. This also helped as an introduction when I met them at conferences. 

4. Attend conferences. Lectures, symposiums--anything that sounds interesting to you. This will help bring you into conversation with scholars and their work in real time.  

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58 minutes ago, CafeConGabi said:

This helped solidify my topics and it allowed me to connect with other researchers at different institutions (potential phd advisors?). I'd just send a quick email thanking them for such-and-such perspectives. This also helped as an introduction when I met them at conferences. 

Wow thanks for all the great advice (and the language test examples! They were fun to look at!) I tend to find professors a bit intimidating and am loathe to bother them by inflicting my presence haha so your advice to be proactive with reaching out and connecting with them was very inspiring. One downside is that I've become just that more desperate to GET IN and simply be able to be in an academic enviornment again. Ah HDS.. what tantalising beacon of hope... anyway thanks again for all the great advice!

(The stanford trained historian isnt prof Holland is he? I'm sure there are more stanford trained HDS professors :) but just wanted to mention him because I took his summer course and he was phenomenal!)

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5 hours ago, CafeConGabi said:

I know right?! Same. My friend was also an HDS student in the MTS program. I would hear from other folks on campus often say "at least you're not in the law school. Tuition there is 88k". 

I only considered matriculating at HDS because of the fellowship. A year before I had a friend working on her Master's in Art History who told me to only go for a master's program if it was going to be fully funded. 

HDS offers better aid now (75% minimum for everyone). But yeah, I’ve heard so many horror stories about law school debt. I applied for some of the internal Harvard scholarships, but I don’t know how much they’d be for even if I got one. 

@Joey_Jawad, you can also fulfill your requirement by taking and passing an advanced or high intermediate language class with a good grade. Scroll down the page here. https://hds.harvard.edu/academics/degree-programs/mts-program/mts-requirement

 

Edited by MaryHildegard
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6 hours ago, Joey_Jawad said:

Wow thanks for all the great advice (and the language test examples! They were fun to look at!) I tend to find professors a bit intimidating and am loathe to bother them by inflicting my presence haha so your advice to be proactive with reaching out and connecting with them was very inspiring. One downside is that I've become just that more desperate to GET IN and simply be able to be in an academic enviornment again. Ah HDS.. what tantalising beacon of hope... anyway thanks again for all the great advice!

(The stanford trained historian isnt prof Holland is he? I'm sure there are more stanford trained HDS professors :) but just wanted to mention him because I took his summer course and he was phenomenal!)

Bahahahaha! Was I that obvious?¬†ūüėā¬†Ooh! What class did you take?

Prof. Holland was the most intimidating professor I ever had class with, and now he is the kind of professor/researcher I strive to be. He's not perfect but he never fails to remind me that I belong in these spaces. I TOTALLY get feeling intimated, especially at a place like Harvard. I come from a working-class Mexican household. I have indigenous features like many of the custodians and cooks on campus. I easily felt like I didn't belong there, or that I was less than in some way (intellectually, economically). Heck, I even had my first advisor (during my 1st semester) tell me to come back to office hours once I had an outline of questions. (Um, it was our first meet? I was still finding my topic/questions). She is no longer there so it doesn't help to mention names. But I felt so terrible. Subsequently, I kept getting advisors/professors who were just super inaccessible or uninspiring. During my 2nd semester I got my self-esteem back and realized no, I belong here. Harvard totally needs my analytical expertise. That mentality + maintaining my humility = opened so many opportunities while I was there.    

And I totally get being in an academic setting again. I've currently been feeling that (I graduated in 2018 and got rejected from 1st round of phd apps). It feels uneasy. But I think that's a strong indication about ourselves as researchers. I think. At some point I had to make peace with the fact that neither phd program accepted me. Am I even interested in this stuff? Was this all just for school/show? Then I became aware of the activities I chose to do on my days off (lecture series, read on certain topics, etc) and thought maybe I could always just be an independent scholar. I would still research but wouldn't be formally backed up by an institution. I mean, what is research? Someone once told me that writers write so I applied the same logic. As a researcher I would continue to do research. So, I did. And it's a good thing I did because it reminded me of the joy/fulfillment I feel when I go into the archives. It also allowed me to find a new potential advisor. So, I reached out, and he's not my potential advisor should I accept the UCLA offer (which I'm 99.9% sure I will). No one ever gave me the title of researcher. So, I claimed it for myself.  

 

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5 hours ago, MaryHildegard said:

HDS offers better aid now (75% minimum for everyone). But yeah, I’ve heard so many horror stories about law school debt. I applied for some of the internal Harvard scholarships, but I don’t know how much they’d be for even if I got one. 

I sure hope so. Boston/Cambridge was pretty expensive. 

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On 2/9/2021 at 1:13 AM, CafeConGabi said:

Ooh! What class did you take?

Prof. Holland was the most intimidating professor I ever had class with, and now he is the kind of professor/researcher I strive to be.

I took his Bibles and Ballots which was offered as an online zoom class this summer, and I saw him herd 20+ students while engaging with every single one of their ideas. It was awe-inspiring to be honest. I was constantly feeling 'woah that's a great teacher right there.' I totally get what you say about him being intimidating from the very short interactions I had with him though. I think it's super impressive that you had him as your mentor, kudos kudos.

Congrats on (potentially) heading to UCLA and thank you for sharing all these great anecdotes and advice! Another poster from previous mdiv threads said something along the lines of how Yale profs (in private interactions) will try to gauge how seriously you've engaged with your topic and that combined with your story is reminding me to keep reading and studying instead of obsessing about the application process XD 

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1 hour ago, Joey_Jawad said:

I took his Bibles and Ballots which was offered as an online zoom class this summer, and I saw him herd 20+ students while engaging with every single one of their ideas. It was awe-inspiring to be honest. I was constantly feeling 'woah that's a great teacher right there.' I totally get what you say about him being intimidating from the very short interactions I had with him though. I think it's super impressive that you had him as your mentor, kudos kudos.

Congrats on (potentially) heading to UCLA and thank you for sharing all these great anecdotes and advice! Another poster from previous mdiv threads said something along the lines of how Yale profs (in private interactions) will try to gauge how seriously you've engaged with your topic and that combined with your story is reminding me to keep reading and studying instead of obsessing about the application process XD 

Haha aww thanks. I was happy about the acceptance but I was 5x more excited when I emailed Prof. Holland about it. I'm so thankful I've been able to share with him my high's and low's. I cannot tell you how empowering it was to meet someone like him on my academic journey, especially at a place like Harvard. 

I've been obsessing about the application process so it's not just you¬†ūüėā¬†I should totally listen to my own advice.¬†

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Hi all, first time posting here. I got into Emory Candler MTS just recently and the letter said I have until March 1st to accept the offer. I know that other schools won't have the results until mid March, so I'm thinking about emailing to ask for an extension to decide. Is this a good idea or should I wait at least a week for other results to come in? The two week deadline seems way too short to properly weigh my options..

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