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For those of you with multiple offers. Be ruthless in your evaluations. Don't let POIs sweet talk you. Don't assume that because your POI is famous they are good at helping their students get jobs. Check track records. Look at their last 7-10 supervised dissertations and see how many of those people got jobs. You'd be surprised how many slightly less famous professors have a better placement record because they go out and do work for their own. Ask for department placement statistics. Also, don't pick a school just for a POI. You have to take classes with a lot of people and you never know what the internal politics are like. Pick the school that is most likely to land you a job. The reality is that the quality of the education is essentially the same at tier 1 and near tier 1 schools and everyone knows it, but the name of your school matters a lot in the job hunt. If you have a POI you love at a near tier 1 and a POI you just feel pretty good about at an elite place, (assuming there aren't other factors) you should go with the more elite school. Don't worry about anyone's feelings. They didn't give a shit about yours until they decided they wanted you. 

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I just logged mine. Very ecstatic and grateful. It was an especially tough year for me: I was accepted to Oxford last year, obtained outside funding, and then realized that the funding came with too m

For those of you with multiple offers. Be ruthless in your evaluations. Don't let POIs sweet talk you. Don't assume that because your POI is famous they are good at helping their students get jobs. Ch

I emailed them and it's all fixed!!!

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39 minutes ago, Kuriakos said:

For those of you with multiple offers. Be ruthless in your evaluations. Don't let POIs sweet talk you. Don't assume that because your POI is famous they are good at helping their students get jobs. Check track records. Look at their last 7-10 supervised dissertations and see how many of those people got jobs. You'd be surprised how many slightly less famous professors have a better placement record because they go out and do work for their own. Ask for department placement statistics. Also, don't pick a school just for a POI. You have to take classes with a lot of people and you never know what the internal politics are like. Pick the school that is most likely to land you a job. The reality is that the quality of the education is essentially the same at tier 1 and near tier 1 schools and everyone knows it, but the name of your school matters a lot in the job hunt. If you have a POI you love at a near tier 1 and a POI you just feel pretty good about at an elite place, (assuming there aren't other factors) you should go with the more elite school. Don't worry about anyone's feelings. They didn't give a shit about yours until they decided they wanted you. 

Agreed on not just choosing a school for the POI, there are other important factors, but I have literally heard the exact opposite on "name brand." Scholars in the field, who will be on your hiring committee, aren't going to be starstruck by a Harvard Ph.D just because it's from Harvard. What will impress them is evidence of high quality research. I think they would much rather hire a Ph.D from a "non-brand" institution which has a solid Religion department and whose research has obviously benefited from good mentoring rather than hiring a Harvard Ph.D for the sake of the name. (Disclaimer: no hate on Harvard)

 

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53 minutes ago, Kuriakos said:

 Ask for department placement statistics. Also, don't pick a school just for a POI. You have to take classes with a lot of people and you never know what the internal politics are like. Pick the school that is most likely to land you a job. The reality is that the quality of the education is essentially the same at tier 1 and near tier 1 schools and everyone knows it, but the name of your school matters a lot . . .

So as we are evaluating offers (not prepared to disclose anything yet), would anyone hazard a guess at what the top 10 and second 10 programs are in terms of job placement at like institutions in the area of NTEC, Christian Ethics, Theology, or HB? This is pretty much guess work, but opinions matter and I want yours!

This is obviously subjective and I have only my own limited perspective to draw from, but what about this list for NTEC or the rough equivalent:*

First group (11):

  • Duke (PhD)

  • Notre Dame

  • University of Chicago

  • Emory

  • Baylor

  • Duke (ThD)

  • PTSEM

  • Yale

  • Loyola Chicago

  • Johns Hopkins

  • Boston College

Second group (11):

  • Catholic  University of America

  • UNC

  • Vanderbilt

  • Marquette

  • Indiana

  • Brown

  • Michigan

  • Boston U

  • Harvard

  • Fuller Theological Seminary

  • UC Santa Barbara

*Don’t get upset at this list…this is total guesswork, just trying to get a conversation started that could help inform my decision and that of others. I’ve applied to schools in both groups and consider them all to be outstanding.

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11 minutes ago, tankis9 said:

So as we are evaluating offers (not prepared to disclose anything yet), would anyone hazard a guess at what the top 10 and second 10 programs are in terms of job placement at like institutions in the area of NTEC, Christian Ethics, Theology, or HB? This is pretty much guess work, but opinions matter and I want yours!

This is obviously subjective and I have only my own limited perspective to draw from, but what about this list for NTEC or the rough equivalent:*

First group (11):

  • Duke (PhD)

  • Notre Dame

  • University of Chicago

  • Emory

  • Baylor

  • Duke (ThD)

  • PTSEM

  • Yale

  • Loyola Chicago

  • Johns Hopkins

  • Boston College

Second group (11):

  • Catholic  University of America

  • UNC

  • Vanderbilt

  • Marquette

  • Indiana

  • Brown

  • Michigan

  • Boston U

  • Harvard

  • Fuller Theological Seminary

  • UC Santa Barbara

*Don’t get upset at this list…this is total guesswork, just trying to get a conversation started that could help inform my decision and that of others. I’ve applied to schools in both groups and consider them all to be outstanding.

I think it might be more helpful to have fewer names in each group and possibly more groups. For example, I don't think Baylor and Boston College should be in the same group as Yale.

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46 minutes ago, tankis9 said:

So as we are evaluating offers (not prepared to disclose anything yet), would anyone hazard a guess at what the top 10 and second 10 programs are in terms of job placement at like institutions in the area of NTEC, Christian Ethics, Theology, or HB? This is pretty much guess work, but opinions matter and I want yours!

This is obviously subjective and I have only my own limited perspective to draw from, but what about this list for NTEC or the rough equivalent:*

First group (11):

  • Duke (PhD)

  • Notre Dame

  • University of Chicago

  • Emory

  • Baylor

  • Duke (ThD)

  • PTSEM

  • Yale

  • Loyola Chicago

  • Johns Hopkins

  • Boston College

Second group (11):

  • Catholic  University of America

  • UNC

  • Vanderbilt

  • Marquette

  • Indiana

  • Brown

  • Michigan

  • Boston U

  • Harvard

  • Fuller Theological Seminary

  • UC Santa Barbara

*Don’t get upset at this list…this is total guesswork, just trying to get a conversation started that could help inform my decision and that of others. I’ve applied to schools in both groups and consider them all to be outstanding.

Curious what you'd view as the list for Systematic?

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28 minutes ago, Hopeless_Academic said:

I think it might be more helpful to have fewer names in each group and possibly more groups. For example, I don't think Baylor and Boston College should be in the same group as Yale.

Interesting idea. Not sure I know enough about all the programs to break it up further. From your perspective, who else should drop out of the top group? Do some programs in the lower group belong in the top group? Are there other standout NTEC programs not on either list?

What about other areas of study?

These are fairly subjective valuations of course, but I know we all form them based on research we conduct and conversations we hold over a span of multiple years.

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4 minutes ago, tankis9 said:

I've spent less time looking into this, but for systematic I might guess at a top five of:

  • Yale

  • Notre Dame

  • University of Chicago

  • Duke (PhD)

  • Vanderbilt?

Gotcha, I'm already starting the research for next year. I got a feeling I struck out across the board. Trying to stay positive so I don't tank a midterm this weekend...

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Here are two interesting reports that have to do with the job market, and they might relate to what school you'll want to choose.

https://www.ats.edu/uploads/resources/publications-presentations/documents/tenure-and-other-faculty-facts-part-2.pdf

https://www.aarweb.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/Career_Services/AARSBLJobsReport2015-2016.pdf

 

EDIT: I post these because, if I was applying this year, I wouldn't put too much stock in people's speculations of what have good placements rates. Sure, they are better than nothing. But look at the numbers. It's easy to think that one school's reputation or lack thereof means that it is good or bad. You should look at the data. (And if someone has other data besides what I've posted, then, please, obviously, post it)

Edited by RiskyNT
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10 minutes ago, RiskyNT said:

Here are two interesting reports that have to do with the job market

Thanks for posting -- there's a lot of surprises on the ATS one for me, in terms of who's on the list, where, and how they've moved (or not moved). Great find.

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11 minutes ago, kay0213 said:

I am also genuinely interested in seeing the list for Hebrew Bible (perhaps with a focus on NELC or Semitics)!

Now I am really wading in over my head! But . . .

I could speculate a top 6 and second 6 for HB and NELC might look something like:

Top group:

  • University of Chicago

  • Harvard

  • Yale

  • Brandeis

  • Johns Hopkins

  • NYU

Second group:

  • Duke (PhD)

  • PTSEM

  • Berkeley

  • UT Austin

  • Brown

  • UCLA (or Cornell, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Michigan, Toronto, Emory, etc.)

Here is a link to placement results for NYU in this area: http://as.nyu.edu/hebrewjudaic/graduate/phd-placement.html

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5 minutes ago, tankis9 said:

Now I am really wading in over my head! But . . .

I could speculate a top 6 and second 6 for HB and NELC might look something like:

Top group:

  • University of Chicago

  • Harvard

  • Yale

  • Brandeis

  • Johns Hopkins

  • NYU

Second group:

  • Duke (PhD)

  • PTSEM

  • Berkeley

  • UT Austin

  • Brown

  • UCLA (or Cornell, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Michigan, Toronto, Emory, etc.)

Here is a link to placement results for NYU in this area: http://as.nyu.edu/hebrewjudaic/graduate/phd-placement.html

Thanks, tankis9! Your insights are most appreciated! :)

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49 minutes ago, tankis9 said:

Now I am really wading in over my head! But . . .

I could speculate a top 6 and second 6 for HB and NELC might look something like:

Top group:

  • University of Chicago

  • Harvard

  • Yale

  • Brandeis

  • Johns Hopkins

  • NYU

Second group:

  • Duke (PhD)

  • PTSEM

  • Berkeley

  • UT Austin

  • Brown

  • UCLA (or Cornell, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Michigan, Toronto, Emory, etc.)

Here is a link to placement results for NYU in this area: http://as.nyu.edu/hebrewjudaic/graduate/phd-placement.html

It's a shame that the University of Georgia doesn't get more of a spotlight considering they have Baruch Halpern and R. E. Friedman on faculty and accepting students.

 

(I am most certainly biased) but I would have to include Notre Dame for Hebrew Bible over several of the programs that you listed (particularly UT-Austin since both John Heuhnergard and Jo Ann Hackett are retired/retiring and Emory with Carol Newsom).

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31 minutes ago, KA.DINGER.RA said:

It's a shame that the University of Georgia doesn't get more of a spotlight considering they have Baruch Halpern and R. E. Friedman on faculty and accepting students.

 

(I am most certainly biased) but I would have to include Notre Dame for Hebrew Bible over several of the programs that you listed (particularly UT-Austin since both John Heuhnergard and Jo Ann Hackett are retired/retiring and Emory with Carol Newsom).

Thank you! That is definitely the type of valuable insight I am hoping for!

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3 hours ago, archibald said:

Agreed on not just choosing a school for the POI, there are other important factors, but I have literally heard the exact opposite on "name brand." Scholars in the field, who will be on your hiring committee, aren't going to be starstruck by a Harvard Ph.D just because it's from Harvard. What will impress them is evidence of high quality research. I think they would much rather hire a Ph.D from a "non-brand" institution which has a solid Religion department and whose research has obviously benefited from good mentoring rather than hiring a Harvard Ph.D for the sake of the name. (Disclaimer: no hate on Harvard)

 

I'm talking about elite in terms of grad department. No one gives a shit how exclusive the undergrad program is. 

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1 hour ago, RiskyNT said:

I post these because, if I was applying this year, I wouldn't put too much stock in people's speculations of what have good placements rates. Sure, they are better than nothing. But look at the numbers.

I want to second this, but also add some unsolicited advice based on my own talks with schools. Statistics are hard to get. More often, even when you are frank about it, professors don't normally have hard numbers. From my interviews, I've discovered that there are actually better ways to get answers than asking for job placement rates. One question I lean on now is this: "How normal is it for students to stay on as adjuncts or in some other capacity after graduation for a few years?" I was really surprised by the answers I've gotten to this. Far more common than I ever thought. I've also realized that professors will lump together post-docs and visiting lectureships under the heading, "We placed so-and-so at such and such." I don't think it is to be dishonest, but if what you want to know is about placements in post-docs, ask that. If you want to know about placements in non-tenure track faculty positions or tenure track, ask that. The more general you are with your question(s), the more general the response will be. It's also common for professors to highlight a single success story. Cool, but that's not quite illustrative of broader placement rates. Be shrewd in all of this. 

A few more things I am keeping in mind. First, I am concerned with the type of places graduates do find jobs. That is, Stanford graduates probably will not be placed in the same types of places Wheaton grads go on to teach. Some of the best conversations I've had with professors have centered on this. I learned a ton about the schools this way. I know that I want to teach at a research institute, preferably a state school or larger private university.

Second, ask about the publishers who routinely publish their graduates' dissertations--or if their dissertations ever make it to print.

I discovered that a school I have been accepted to (competitive program with some fanfare) has graduates who are adjuncting at the school (or sticking around for an extra year of teaching though the dissertation is complete). The same school eventually places them in non-academic settings (i.e. the pulpit [not a problem for many, I realize]) and occasionally back at the student's alma mater. The death blow for me was that it does not have a record of dissertations being picked up by the major academic publishers (e.g. Mohr Siebeck and the like). This aside it is otherwise a competitive school to gain admission into with good senior professors (I would say that before all of this I had a false equivalency between competitive and happily ever after).

On the other side, I have been accepted to a program that is not as well-known (still known) but is just as competitive. They have a good, broad placement record with mid-tier private universities and a few state schools. They also have some post-doc placements (competitive ones). Their most recent graduate is under contract with YUP for a revision of their dissertation. Before questioning, it was lower on my list (almost the lowest). Now it is near the top, and I might just end up there when all is said and done.

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1 hour ago, cr615 said:

Any body have PhD thoughts on St. Louis University? What schools would you compare it to for theology?

SLU has some clout in Catholic schools that tend to lean conservative but their placement hasn’t been remarkable. Keep in mind that they’re competing with schools like BC, Notre Dame, CUA, etc.

they're quite strong in medical ethics and theology though or at least they’re certainly investing in that realm for the long haul.

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Along with all of you, I suppose, I'm no authority on the matter, but regarding program "rankings," there is no definitive list. The disappointing news is that, depending on your interests, goals, strengths, and a million other things, the "best" program will likely be different for many of us. There are, however, some good things to keep in mind when deciding between multiple offers:

 

First, make sure your department is not a one-person show. They could leave, retire, or be a terrible advisor/teacher/person.

 

Second, if you're in it to get a job, go to the program out of which people are getting jobs. There are lots of recent PhDs from fancy schools being tossed from post-doc to post-doc, while some schools that don't impress your friends back home quite as much are doing a really good job of placing people in TT positions.

 

Finally, because I'm a sucker for lists like everyone else, here's a *very* subjective list of top programs for people interested in academic study of Ancient Christianity (i.e. the New Testament, Christian Origins, whatever) in alphabetical order by group:

 

Group A: Chicago, Duke (GPR), Harvard, Princeton University, University of Texas at Austin, Yale.

 

Group B: Boston University, Emory, Fordham, Notre Dame, NYU, UNC Chapel Hill.

 

I may be forgetting one or two, but I'm not sure if there are many more that are placing people in jobs. If you want to work in a confessional institution, maybe you can go to DDS, PTS, Boston U, or Baylor, but the field is flooded enough that it's probably wiser to go to a place named above that'll allow you to play the confessional game (Emory, Duke GPR, even Yale). 

 

Also, no one should pay a dime for a PhD; you're contributing labor to the school and they need to pay you for it. 

 

Happy waiting, friends. 

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Apparently PTS is notifying much earlier than they have in the past. Just got a waitlist email for Systematics/Ethics.

Anyone know Theology folks accepted and planning to decline?

Edited by sd_waco
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