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Looks Like I'll Be Transferring From Vandy - Program Suggestions?


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Hey everyone, 1st year MDiv at Vandy - as per the title and evidenced from my posts on the forums.


My fiancee has decided that she's ready to apply to PhD programs - literally with about 3-4 months left in the cycle, she's going to go for it. That said, I, faculty, researchers, etc have been pushing her to do this for almost three years now and I'm ecstatic for her. Because of her nuanced interests in Critical Disability Studies and Education, it looks like Syracuse is the only program that's acceptable for her work. There are faculty in other universities with loosely related research interests but they've all said with her interest, Syracuse is where she needs to be. This all works out well for her, she's had several articles published with Syracuse faculty, presented alongside them at conferences, etc - they've agreed to walk her through the process. Given her research, publications, degrees, etc - they've said the application is merely a formality and they look forward to welcoming her to the university in the Fall.


So...all of that means I need to look elsewhere.


There's no program available in Syracuse, so we can check that one off.


I'd love to be as close as possible so that worst case scenario, weekend visits are possible.


Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School catches my eye as writers I've read over the years have been attached to the school as a student or faculty member. Other than that, I don't know anything about the school other than it's progressive, ecumenical, and has an Anglican Studies program.


Outside of Colgate, NYC and Boston are both about four hours away. While I'd entertain Yale for a split second, they rejected me last year so I don't see them changing their mind after a year at Vandy.

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If you are looking for an Anglican MDiv there are a few options, all equidistant, besides the closer Colgate Rochester. General Theological Seminary in NYC, unfortunately, is having a dramatically bad time right now--80% of the faculty are on strike, or quit, or were fired, depending on whom you ask--all as of last week. Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. might be an option. They have a strong "Distributive Learning" program in which you could earn an MDiv via a low-residency model--January and June terms on campus in Cambridge and the rest distance ed online. The online courses are real-time, hybrid, such that students in the classroom and students online hear the same lectures and interact, taught by regular EDS faculty. It has it's challenges, but many students seem to like it, EDS is having something of a tough time faculty-wise, too, but there are still some big names there--Kwok Pui Lan, Gale Yee, Larry Wills--who have not gone on strike, despite some public grievances with the administration. Plus, it's in Harvard Square and part of the BTI, and they seem to be giving decent financial aid--averaging 70% of tuition. Another option would be either Trinity College or Wycliffe College in the Toronto School of Theology. They are both Anglican theological schools. Trinity is liberal and high church, Wycliffe is conservative and low church. They are literally across the street from each other, and all the rest of the TST colleges are within walking distance on the University of Toronto campus. An advantage of Toronto is that if you were interested in doctoral study you'd have a good sense for their program. Union in NYC might be another option, taking Anglican courses at General--still a distance, though 

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I am looking for something Anglican. I'm not presently pursuing ordination but I want to keep that route open without having to do an Anglican Year later down the road. I am interested in ministry, though specifically higher ed and want to keep the door open for a PhD post-MDiv.


Hate to hear that about General but not that surprised. They sent an Admissions Rep to the diocesan convention for NC whom I chatted up about applying to and inquired about financial aid. He was blunt, they had little to none to give out and were frankly "gliding by."


EDS sounds nice and all, I don't think I would enjoy an online education. Also, EDS notes on their website that with how the program is setup, it takes five years to complete if you go the distributive learning route.


I'll certainly look into Trinity though, a four hour car ride wouldn't be bad at all - I'm currently driving 8 hours one way, once a month to see my fiancee.


I applied and was accepted to Union, and was extremely torn between Vandy and them but ultimately it came down to being closer to her. She loved her current job and had no interest in moving to Nashville or NYC so ultimately I settled on what would keep me closer.


Thank you both for your suggestions.

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If you're looking for Anglican formation in the Northeast, there are only four options: EDS, General, Berkeley at Yale, and Colgate Rochester/Seabury-Western-Bexley. At this point, it is unclear how long either EDS or General will exist. Both have been in financial dire straits for years, and with recent flares against administration at both schools, well, it doesn't look good. If either of them closes while you're there, you'd have to relocate your program again—so I'd stay away from either of them. As trinitymathew said, Trinity is also an option. But the big caution is that you should talk to the bishop of your diocese (or more probably, whoever the head of the commission on ministry is) to see if they'd be okay with a Canadian program. The polity and liturgy of the Anglican Church in Canada are different than the Episcopal Church, so they might still require you to do an Anglican year in the US to learn TEC-specific things. As for Yale, showing a year of success at VDS is something else in your portfolio; email admissions there and ask what they think.

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EDS's endowment is actually quite strong now (having sold several buildings). It's actually the third largest among Episcopal seminaries at $66 million. So it's not the finances that are so much at issue there these days, but more the interpersonal, which is a challenge. By comparison, GTS's is only $27 million, with loads of debt still. I have known several Americans who got their MDivs at Trinity College in Toronto and didn't have trouble being ordained or face extra requirements. But every bishop is different. Preparing for and passing the GOEs is the main issue, as Canada doesn't have them. The BAS is largely the same as the US BCP. It just requires planning and attention. More conservative US students have also attended Wycliffe and done fine. Both try to ensure students' needs are met.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've already spoken with trinitymatthew but I'm hoping to get some additional opinions on McGill. I've been to Montreal several times and love the city.

The member colleges of the Toronto School of Theology have recently lost their access to US Department of Education funds. While still a possibility to attend, I do want to consider all my options.

I've recently found out through the Montreal Diocesan Theological College that if I attend McGill my tuition and fees would only amount to about $5000, in addition to living expenses. So it's certainly economical.

That said, what about McGill as a whole? Reputation of the school, faculty, etc. I'd love to hear what others have to say.

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