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Recommended prep before applying to ma in theology?


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I graduated in 2012 as a history major with philosophy and religious studies minors. I have a decent overall gpa of 3.76, and am a member in alpha sigma nu and theta alpha kappa. I aspire to teach religious studies at the collegiate level, but am open to high school as well. Do you have any recommendations on what I can do to better prepare myself for graduate work and applications? I have been researching and reading the works of professors I'd like to study under and intend to seek out their advice, yet still worry that my application will be weak. In addition, I am only confident about two potential academic references. Thanks for any advice and insights! 

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Feel free to ignore this if you already know about it, but since you didn't mention it:  one important part of the application is the writing sample.  Go back, pick one of your papers from undergrad, and proceed to make it as awesome as possible.  In particular, it should show the ability to think critically and wrestle with the relevant issues at hand.  One of the adjustments I had to make from undegrad to grad was writing not just descriptively (showing that I understood something) but engaging the materials in some way (the proverbial 'so what?').  It's also a good idea to have the topic of the paper match up well with the strengths/interests of the departments you're applying to.  Obviously a paper can't be a perfect match for everywhere, but in general it is something to keep in mind.

Edited by bondsdw
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For graduate study in theology, study more philosophy, especially the hard stuff -- Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Wittgenstein, etc.

For admission into programs, work on your statement of purpose. It should go through at least 15 drafts. You want to show, rather tell, about how you are a perfect of the particular program you're applying to. It should be a coherent narrative about your research interests and educational background that doesn't just repeat things found elsewhere in your application. The statement of purpose is where your personality will shine through, so it shouldn't sound like someone else could've written it.

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Develop some bad habits (drinking, smoking, too much caffeine, too little sleep). The rest really just comes together as you go.

 

Well, that explains everything. I do all of those!

 

 

As for advice: take the GRE (prep, prep, PREP!), write a stellar statement of purpose, and as for letters of recommendation, just hit up one of the professors of a class that you did exceptionally well in - preferably one that remembers you. Even if you weren't that close, they should be willing to write you one.

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Thanks or all the advice! I am just worried about my prospects to get into a top mts program like Notre Dame or Loyola of Chicago's ma program.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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