Friday, June 8, 2007

Questions about Graduate Programs

The meeting today with the professor from UNC went well, but he said something that...scared me a bit. He said that over 120 people applied for the graduate program at UNC for religious studies, 7 were accepted, 1 in my field. Wow. 1?! I've gotten the same response from Yale (in significantly less nice terms. I basically felt like Yale was saying, "You have a snowball's chance in hell of getting in here. Apply elsewhere....but, we'll take your application money if you want to throw it away.")

So, I need to start gathering together school's that are perhaps 2nd tier. Backup schools, I suppose, just in case I don't get in to my top-choice schools, like Duke (although I've been reading some Joel Osteen and naming and proclaiming a Ph.D from Duke, so I think I'm in). What I'm looking for:

1) A good New Testament staff/scholar - My particular interests are in the historical transmission of the NT text, patristic hermeneutics, and early christian history.

2) A program with pretty significant funding - I've worked 40+ hrs my entire undergraduate career much to the chagrin of my GPA (the most scholarship money a single white male can get from Southeastern is 300 dollars a FAFSA is accepted). I would actually rather the funding be based on being a TA or something along those lines. I'm willing to grade papers until my hand falls off if the school's willing to help me out. But I'd like to have a chance to just be a student. I know this sounds odd...when most people my age are concerned with partying and chasing down people of the opposite sex, all I want to do is study and research. Unfortunately, having won the genetic lottery, I'm constantly plagued by the ladies chasing me. It ain't easy being pretty.


Patrick George McCullough said...

A note on Fuller. If you wanted to use it to get your masters and then hop on to a bigger name school for the PhD, people do it all the time.

I think the Thompson tag-team here would be of interest to you: Marianne Meye Thompson and John Thompson (he might especially be up your alley regarding the patristic hermeneutics issue). They both went to Duke for the doctoral work, btw. What's more, they are great teachers who will push you to be a better writer and researcher. We will also be getting a new NT faculty person in the fall who is a BIG name (I don't think it's public knowledge yet... so I'm not going to let the cat out of the bag), this person's got a strong emphasis on NT theology, though.

On funding: not great. You'd probably have to get a job. And housing is pricey (though, we found a place that is practically rent free!)

On women: there are lots of intelligent and attractive young women at Fuller (especially with three schools), but I'm sure you could find places to hide your irresistible charisma.

Alex said...

There was a list that went around the blogosphere a while back on the best programs and all I remember is that Duke and Notre Dame topped the list. So you might consider looking at Notre Dame.

Brian said...

what about Wheaton. There are other universites out there - one of my profs went to St Louis University and he was awesome.

I agree too with considering doing an MA or MDiv at a seminary and then go on to PhD work elsewhere. Fuller can be a good school- but so could Gordon-Conwell or even Wheaton (MA only - Wheaton has free tuition for the 6 PhD students they accept each year) or Biola, Beeson, the list goes on.

How about one of the British schools? U of Aberdeen, Sheffield, Durham, St Andrews, Wales, etc. Interestinly, many of the good profs in the States went to British schools.

Scott Bailey said...

I believe the list Alex is talking about was on Jim West's site around early May (if you are looking).

Anonymous said...

Dallas Theological Seminary might be a good match, at least for point one.

I think Wallace (tc) and Bingham (patristic interpretation) might be a perfect match for your interests.


Josh McManaway said...

I actually spoke with Drs Bock and Wallace when they were here for a conference. The issue is that they won't have the funding I need and...I was pretty much told by someone that if I wanted to teach in a University setting, I should probably not attend DTS. But, honestly, if they had better funding, it would be at the top of my list.