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It's between University of Chicago and Vanderbilt for me. I currently live in Chicago but I have already made friends with some great people who are/will be attending Vanderbilt. Planning on applying to PhD programs upon completion of the M.Div. I am nearly fully-funded at both institutions. Any advice? 

Edited by Norman G
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It's between University of Chicago and Vanderbilt for me. I currently live in Chicago but I have already made friends with some great people who are/will be attending Vanderbilt. Planning on applying to PhD programs upon completion of the M.Div. I am nearly fully-funded at both institutions. Any advice? 

Dude, take Vanderbilt. People there just seem happier

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I actually heard this. Can you tell me a little more about the culture/academic atmosphere at vandy. im really on the fence between vandy and hds

Vandy's M* programs are a pretty solid balance between rigor and congeniality. You can't avoid the few "one uppers" and cut throat types, but in the years I've been here, there have been very few, and honestly they made zero friends and ended up shooting themselves in the foot. Maybe the best thing for the academically ambitious here is the relation between the doctoral students and masters students. If you can think and argue well, the PhDs will take you seriously and treat you like an equal without pulling rank. This paid huge dividends for me during my time there.

I will say, however, that I've also held the perspective on uChicago as an über competitive, zero fun, stab your friend in the back atmosphere. I should say, though, that I stayed with a group of MDivs and AMs for AAR last year, and they were surprisingly chill. Probably still a bit more high strung than the Vandy crowd, but not as bad as I'd heard. Then again, I was an outsider, and I was mostly drinking with them, not studying.

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Germany, totally out of left field

 

Wow! Totally jealous of you here. Tell me more about this! I've thought a lot about a Fulbright (also to Deutschland). Do you have any sense of how competitive that was versus PhD apps?

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Wow! Totally jealous of you here. Tell me more about this! I've thought a lot about a Fulbright (also to Deutschland). Do you have any sense of how competitive that was versus PhD apps?

 

Way less competitive than the top PhD programs for sure, though I've also gone through the past years to see how many they accept in the field of "Theology and Religion" in Germany and it's averaged about 1 or 2 a year. If they have a quota for the various fields (I have no idea if they do or don't) then it's a bit more competitive than the statistics would suggest, but still not horrible. Here are the acceptance rate stats for the last few years http://us.fulbrightonline.org/studyresearch-grant-application-statistics 

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