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PhD Applications Fall '18 Season

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I thought I'd go ahead and start this up. Where are you all applying and in what field?

I'm applying for PhD programs in NT, but have yet to finalize my list of schools. Currently, I'm considering applying to: Baylor, Emory, Duke, Duke Div, Notre Dame, PTS, Yale. I may add some schools before all is said and done.

Faculty changes have made it harder to narrow down my list. It seems like many senior faculty decided to retire around the same time! I'm thinking of Yale (Attridge and Dale Martin), Emory (LTJ and Holladay), and ND (Moss left, so she didn't retire, but they now only have two NT profs). 

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10 hours ago, y00nsk said:

I thought I'd go ahead and start this up. Where are you all applying and in what field?

I'm applying for PhD programs in NT, but have yet to finalize my list of schools. Currently, I'm considering applying to: Baylor, Emory, Duke, Duke Div, Notre Dame, PTS, Yale. I may add some schools before all is said and done.

Faculty changes have made it harder to narrow down my list. It seems like many senior faculty decided to retire around the same time! I'm thinking of Yale (Attridge and Dale Martin), Emory (LTJ and Holladay), and ND (Moss left, so she didn't retire, but they now only have two NT profs). 

If you know for sure you will apply to programs with faculty exiting, you want to be forward thinking about your potential fit. Does the school intend to hire a similar candidate or go a different direction all together? It's also helpful to inquire about contacting current students. They tend to be more open about spreading unofficial news than professors are willing to do.

I've not seen a call for applicants from Yale or Emory for NT, but maybe for next year? That would mean your incoming year of courses would be unchanged by a new hire. Notre Dame has posted a CFA for OT and NT. Who knows what direction they are wanting to go in, but it seems they will add 1 NT faculty member your incoming year. Historically, they have kept 4-5 NT professors on board. They still have Meyer, Fitzgerald, and Lincicum plus two professors in classics who focus on Greek/Latin of the first couple of centuries CE--Plutarch, Pliny, Heliodorus, the Shepherd, etc. 

Without knowing your detailed interests, I would still recommend looking into Florida State University, Fordham (Arts and Sciences), and Chicago Div to see if you would fit there and if the stipend would be enough for you to live on.

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11 hours ago, Onthenahar said:

If you know for sure you will apply to programs with faculty exiting, you want to be forward thinking about your potential fit. Does the school intend to hire a similar candidate or go a different direction all together? It's also helpful to inquire about contacting current students. They tend to be more open about spreading unofficial news than professors are willing to do.

I've not seen a call for applicants from Yale or Emory for NT, but maybe for next year? That would mean your incoming year of courses would be unchanged by a new hire. Notre Dame has posted a CFA for OT and NT. Who knows what direction they are wanting to go in, but it seems they will add 1 NT faculty member your incoming year. Historically, they have kept 4-5 NT professors on board. They still have Meyer, Fitzgerald, and Lincicum plus two professors in classics who focus on Greek/Latin of the first couple of centuries CE--Plutarch, Pliny, Heliodorus, the Shepherd, etc. 

Without knowing your detailed interests, I would still recommend looking into Florida State University, Fordham (Arts and Sciences), and Chicago Div to see if you would fit there and if the stipend would be enough for you to live on.

Thanks @Onthenahar. I agree about being forward thinking. The faculty changes definitely make discerning my "fit" more difficult. Most of the current students I've contacted are as unsure as I am about potential faculty hires. At Notre Dame (acc. to current students), only Fitzgerald has been taking students, so he is usually swamped, though I heard he's great. I'm sure Lincicum will start to take on students, but Meier doesn't advise doctoral students anymore.

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2 hours ago, y00nsk said:

Thanks @Onthenahar. I agree about being forward thinking. The faculty changes definitely make discerning my "fit" more difficult. Most of the current students I've contacted are as unsure as I am about potential faculty hires. At Notre Dame (acc. to current students), only Fitzgerald has been taking students, so he is usually swamped, though I heard he's great. I'm sure Lincicum will start to take on students, but Meier doesn't advise doctoral students anymore.

That makes sense about Meier. I assume he'll take on a seminar or two in the coming years though. I'm interested in 2nd/3rd century, so Notre Dame is a good fit for me, but I can't decide on their CJA or History of Christianity tracks. I'm also planning to apply to Virginia for the added strength of their classics department.

I can add that from personal experience of emailing professors at various programs, some programs emphasize working with X (e.g. UNC) while others want to see a broader appeal to how you'll work with all of the faculty in your track (e.g. UT). Distinguishing the two has been helpful to me while working on SOPs for schools. 

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Don't let the current 'rebuilding' of NT at Notre Dame put you off from applying. Both Fitzgerald and Lincicum will take students, and in the next two years two more NT faculty will be added (to account for Moss's departure and D'Angelo's retirement). At the same time, the early Christianity faculty is very strong (top in the country), and plenty of opportunities to study with Classics faculty. 

I should add that I am a current CJA PhD student, and, to @Onthenahar, if you are interested in 2nd and 3rd century, CJA is probably a better fit. If what you are interested in is history of doctrine, then HC might be better; but for anything else (social history, history of biblical interpretation, etc.) CJA likely makes more sense.

Edited by TheCappadocian

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For those interested in studying Hebrew Bible: UNC and Duke are both accepting applications for PhD students in their graduate schools. I posted an announcement on the main forum. If interested, you should contact David Lambert (dalambe@email.unc.edu) and Marc Brettler (MZB3@Duke.edu). More information: http://religion.unc.edu/; https://graduateprograminreligion.duke.edu/. 

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I had a year off so I have had a lot of time to prepare for this (emailing/phoning phd students, talking to graduate program directors, emailing and phoning professors of interest, flying all over the country to visit these damn schools).

 

Needless to say it taxing, expensive, and exhausting. Why the hell do we continue to do this?!

 

I'm applying to Notre Dame, Marquette, Boston College, St. Louis University, Baylor, Calvin Seminary, Princeton Seminary, Catholic U. of America, Duke, and Wheaton.

Applying to Historical Theology / History of Xianity programs with emphasis on patristic studies.

How many of you plan on visiting unis of interest?

Cheers to everyone self-flagellating this season,

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8 hours ago, brentthewalrus said:

I had a year off so I have had a lot of time to prepare for this (emailing/phoning phd students, talking to graduate program directors, emailing and phoning professors of interest, flying all over the country to visit these damn schools).

 

Needless to say it taxing, expensive, and exhausting. Why the hell do we continue to do this?!

 

I'm applying to Notre Dame, Marquette, Boston College, St. Louis University, Baylor, Calvin Seminary, Princeton Seminary, Catholic U. of America, Duke, and Wheaton.

Applying to Historical Theology / History of Xianity programs with emphasis on patristic studies.

How many of you plan on visiting unis of interest?

Cheers to everyone self-flagellating this season,

What made you decide to fly across the country to visit these schools? Almost every professor and student I've talked to has said visiting doesn't improve your chances of acceptance and that it's best to meet at SBL or to correspond by email/phone. Have you heard something different?

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9 hours ago, y00nsk said:

What made you decide to fly across the country to visit these schools? Almost every professor and student I've talked to has said visiting doesn't improve your chances of acceptance and that it's best to meet at SBL or to correspond by email/phone. Have you heard something different?

True, but it also doesn't hurt them. Most visits resulted in face to face meetings with professors of interest or the director of the graduate program, or others who are on actual board of admissions and we are still far before most deadlines. Rather than being just a nameless faceless application most schools are going to know exactly who I am. If it gets me a leg up then great, if not than at least they know who they are rejecting.

 

Plus the experiences have been awesome. Staying at cheap AirBnB's and getting brews with PhD candidates has been priceless. The end of this month I am flying out to WI, then Boston the beginning of October. Can't wait.

 

Brent

Edited by brentthewalrus
spelling error

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On 9/1/2017 at 9:18 AM, y00nsk said:

I thought I'd go ahead and start this up. Where are you all applying and in what field?

I'm applying for PhD programs in NT, but have yet to finalize my list of schools. Currently, I'm considering applying to: Baylor, Emory, Duke, Duke Div, Notre Dame, PTS, Yale. I may add some schools before all is said and done.

Faculty changes have made it harder to narrow down my list. It seems like many senior faculty decided to retire around the same time! I'm thinking of Yale (Attridge and Dale Martin), Emory (LTJ and Holladay), and ND (Moss left, so she didn't retire, but they now only have two NT profs). 

@y00nsk FYI Dale Martin retired, Yale hasn’t taken an NT student the past two years. 

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3 hours ago, diazalon said:

@y00nsk FYI Dale Martin retired, Yale hasn’t taken an NT student the past two years. 

They made two NT offers the year before last--both were internal: one accepted and the other went to Harvard. Last year, faculty nominated an internal candidate, but the admission committee didn't allot a spot to NT, sadly. I don't want to discourage someone from applying to a program, but it is indeed in your best interest, y00nsk, to reach out to faculty to see if an application is worthwhile since they may very well have zero plans of taking anyone on. 

Applying to schools is expensive, but if you decide to shift your Yale application fee elsewhere (or increase your budget!), I second looking into Fordham and would also recommend UT Austin (Religions of Ancient Mediterranean). Neither of these programs get the attention they deserve on gradcafe (at least from my view--obviously debatable). What's not debatable is that they have A++ faculty and competitive stipends. What's more important is that they seem to be adding faculty and foci while other programs are shrinking. 

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On 9/1/2017 at 8:18 AM, y00nsk said:

I thought I'd go ahead and start this up. Where are you all applying and in what field?

I'm applying for PhD programs in NT, but have yet to finalize my list of schools. Currently, I'm considering applying to: Baylor, Emory, Duke, Duke Div, Notre Dame, PTS, Yale. I may add some schools before all is said and done.

Faculty changes have made it harder to narrow down my list. It seems like many senior faculty decided to retire around the same time! I'm thinking of Yale (Attridge and Dale Martin), Emory (LTJ and Holladay), and ND (Moss left, so she didn't retire, but they now only have two NT profs). 

Not sure what you want to do, but keep in mind that Charlesworth is probably not the best choice.

I can't attest to this personally (different field), but I'm told he's not really able to effectively advise anymore. I'd rather not go into why this is, obviously.

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4 hours ago, psstein said:

I can't attest to this personally (different field), but I'm told he's not really able to effectively advise anymore. I'd rather not go into why this is, obviously.

If you're referring to him showing moderate signs of Alzheimer's, that's already been made public by the school and James himself. The university is, for now, willing to let him continue on until it becomes more pronounced and affects his daily routine, then he'll officially retire.

Edited by xypathos

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47 minutes ago, xypathos said:

If you're referring to him showing moderate signs of Alzheimer's, that's already been made public by the school and James himself. The university is, for now, willing to let him continue on until it becomes more pronounced and affects his daily routine, then he'll officially retire.

I was partly referring to that. I knew that primarily through one of his former graduate students.

Some of the anecdotes I've heard are... somewhat terrifying.

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Phd Programs in Historical theology. Applying to Vanderbilt, Fordham, Columbia, UC Berkeley.

My current dilemma is finding professors in the United States that teach at a university accepting PhD students studying the English Reformation. I didn't realize how few and far between the pool of professors in the US is until i had to start looking at professors and programs.

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As of now, I'm applying to Harvard, Brown, Yale, Boston U, Vanderbilt, UVA, Georgetown, Duke, Notre Dame, and Emory. I'm also contemplating UNC Chapel Hill and U Penn. I'm applying to Religious Ethics, Religion and Critical Theory, and Religion and Society degrees. I'm a bit concerned I won't get in anywhere which is partially why I am applying to so many...

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On 10/8/2017 at 7:29 AM, bonhoeffer80 said:

Hello,

Does anyone have an opinion on Keri day from PTS compare with Eric Gregory and John Bowlin? My interest is constructive public theology, religion and society, ethics, and postcolonial reading.

Thanks

If you were at PTS with those interests then your committee would naturally include Day, Bowlin and Gregory. I'd also look at Mark Lewis Taylor, who does a lot with religion and society/postcolonial stuff.

Hope this helps

Edited by Rabbit Run

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5 hours ago, Rabbit Run said:

If you were at PTS with those interests then your committee would naturally include Day, Bowlin and Gregory. I'd also look at Mark Lewis Taylor, who does a lot with religion and society/postcolonial stuff.

Hope this helps

oo so it's the whole package then.

Thanks a lot 

 

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8 hours ago, bonhoeffer80 said:

oo so it's the whole package then.

Thanks a lot 

 

Yeah, like most schools, when you get to the dissertation stage you'll have an advisor as well as a committee composed of two or three other people. Even though you can certainly work with Gregory, don't mention him as a POI in your PTS statement  since he's on faculty at Princeton University, not the seminary.

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Welp, I remember three years ago when I thought I'd get into a PhD program and wouldn't have to go through this long process again. Now, it's the third round of PhD applications. For you newcomers, the moral of the story is: Be prepared to invest a few years, even though its possible you may get in the first. Also, apply to a lot of different schools if you have the time and resources. That being said, doing the applications this go around is not nearly as painstaking and I feel much more confident in my skills and will be in a much better position academically than if I had gotten accepted to my top choice two years ago (which almost happened). 

 

All that aside, I'm PhD applicant in Hebrew Bible, focusing on comparative ancient Near Eastern studies and gender and sexuality. I'll be seeing all of you frequently here within the next few months. But in the meantime, good luck on your applications and getting in touch with professors! 

 

 

Also, for those of you applying to Emory: How does placement look in your field? I was interested in the Hebrew Bible department, but their placement for that field did not seem to be too high (although, I could just be mistaken). 

Edited by Almaqah Thwn

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I'm in year one of a PhD program and will probably be applying to leave, this cycle. It's a well regarded Catholic school and while I had reservations about attending after a campus visit, I went through with it since I liked the school better than the others. Lo and behold, the professors are noticeably more conservative than they led on and being the only non-Catholic student, the jeers and remarks toward my denomination (Episcopal Church) are going ignored when I ask them to stop.

This being said, I have the blessing of the director and my advisor. My grades have been solid and I co-authored a paper with a prof that has been accepted to a well regarded journal. All in all, I'm not leaving soured by the university - I just can't see myself being here 5+ years and coming out better for it.

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16 hours ago, Almaqah Thwn said:

Welp, I remember three years ago when I thought I'd get into a PhD program and wouldn't have to go through this long process again. Now, it's the third round of PhD applications. For you newcomers, the moral of the story is: Be prepared to invest a few years, even though its possible you may get in the first. Also, apply to a lot of different schools if you have the time and resources. That being said, doing the applications this go around is not nearly as painstaking and I feel much more confident in my skills and will be in a much better position academically than if I had gotten accepted to my top choice two years ago (which almost happened). 

 

All that aside, I'm PhD applicant in Hebrew Bible, focusing on comparative ancient Near Eastern studies and gender and sexuality. I'll be seeing all of you frequently here within the next few months. But in the meantime, good luck on your applications and getting in touch with professors! 

 

 

Also, for those of you applying to Emory: How does placement look in your field? I was interested in the Hebrew Bible department, but their placement for that field did not seem to be too high (although, I could just be mistaken). 

I am also applying to Emory for HB this application cycle. A friend of mine currently studying MTS in HB at Emory told me that the recent placement for PhD graduates has been somewhat bad contrary to what it used to be in the past. But I think this phenomenon is not restricted solely to Emory but applicable to every school (perhaps certain exceptions to Ivies/top-tier programs) due to a competitive job market for humanities PhDs. Even though Newsom is near retirement, I think Emory still remains strong with Wright, Strawn, and Gilders. 

 

If you don't mind me asking, what schools are you currently looking at? I am interested in applying to Brandies, Chicago, Emory, and Notre Dame. Best of luck to your application this year!

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11 hours ago, xypathos said:

I'm in year one of a PhD program and will probably be applying to leave, this cycle. It's a well regarded Catholic school and while I had reservations about attending after a campus visit, I went through with it since I liked the school better than the others. Lo and behold, the professors are noticeably more conservative than they led on and being the only non-Catholic student, the jeers and remarks toward my denomination (Episcopal Church) are going ignored when I ask them to stop.

This being said, I have the blessing of the director and my advisor. My grades have been solid and I co-authored a paper with a prof that has been accepted to a well regarded journal. All in all, I'm not leaving soured by the university - I just can't see myself being here 5+ years and coming out better for it.

Oh man, that sucks. I was a more moderate grad student in a fundamentalist school, so I can somewhat relate (although, I was on my way out and not in). Are you looking to continue your PhD studies elsewhere?

6 hours ago, kay0213 said:

I am also applying to Emory for HB this application cycle. A friend of mine currently studying MTS in HB at Emory told me that the recent placement for PhD graduates has been somewhat bad contrary to what it used to be in the past. But I think this phenomenon is not restricted solely to Emory but applicable to every school (perhaps certain exceptions to Ivies/top-tier programs) due to a competitive job market for humanities PhDs. Even though Newsom is near retirement, I think Emory still remains strong with Wright, Strawn, and Gilders. 

 

If you don't mind me asking, what schools are you currently looking at? I am interested in applying to Brandies, Chicago, Emory, and Notre Dame. Best of luck to your application this year!

Yeah, they seem to have good people. I've talked with a few schools on the same level as Emory and they seemed to be a bit higher, though. That being said, if I were to only get into Emory and no other school, I would run with it anyway.

 

And yes! I am looking at Baylor, Chicago, Cornell, Duke, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, UT Austin, Vanderbilt, and possibly Brandeis, depending on how much time I have. What specific interests do you have in Hebrew Bible?

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