Author Archives: smallaxe

Multiple Authorities

The notion of authority can imply a range of ideas. Among this range it can mean “the power to act in behalf of”, as well “the possession of specialized knowledge”. An authority in the former sense would be a decision/policy maker for an organization or a representative of an organization. An authority in the latter sense would be an expert or reliable source of information on a particular topic. Continue reading

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Tips on Applying: Spotlight on Harvard Divinity School

This spotlight is on Harvard Divinity School, and comes from Michael I., an alumnus and current PhD student at Harvard. Continue reading

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Tips on Applying to Grad Programs in Religious Studies: GRE (Part V)

In this post I would like to discuss one of the most time consuming, yet least significant components of the application process–namely the GRE. Continue reading

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Tips on Applying: Spotlight on the University of North Carolina

Matthew Grey, a PhD student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, has been kind enough to provide us with our next spotlight. Continue reading

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Tips on Applying for Grad Programs in Religious Studies (Pt III)

Perhaps the single most important part of the application is the statement of purpose (also called the letter of intent, among other names). The statement will vary in length, depending on whether you’re applying to a master’s program or a PhD program, as well as the school’s specific requirements. Generally speaking, however, a statement of purpose for a master’s program will usually be limited to 500-1000 words. A statement of purpose for a PhD program will likely be limited to around 1500 words. What I’m going to do here is to concentrate on PhD programs, although the advice also works for master’s programs, with a few exceptions (which I’ll try to note at the bottom). Continue reading

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Tips on Applying: Spotlight on Yale Divinity School

As part of the “Tips on Applying” series I thought it would be helpful to spotlight a few schools where LDSs are currently enrolled (or have attended recently). Elizabeth Pinborough, a graduate student at YDS, has been gracious enough to provide our first spotlight. Here she is- Continue reading

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Tips on Applying to Grad Programs in Religious Studies (Pt. II)

In this post I’d like to briefly discuss the admissions process for PhD programs. Not every school or even every department uses this process, but something similar probably goes on. This will also give some insight into my comment in the previous post that the departmental situation and other factors outside of one’s control are the some of the largest factors determining admission into PhD programs. I’m tempted to go so far as to say that admissions into PhD programs, for the reasons I’m about to explain, have less to do with the candidate’s merit than admissions into master’s programs do (although such a statement is a bit hyperbolic). Continue reading

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Tips on Applying to Grad Programs in Religious Studies (Pt. I)

It’s that time of the year again, and here at FPR we (or mostly ‘I’) figured that we’d toss out a few thoughts about applying to graduate school programs in religious studies. By “religious studies” we’re casting a fairly wide net not referring to simply Religious Studies departments, but all programs where the applicant will study “religion” in some form or another (although we’re not claiming broad knowledge of the application process for all these disciplines). Furthermore, much of our discussion will be rather anecdotal. While we may even know a few statistics about the schools we attend(ed) or have applied to, even those may not reflect current trends nor be arrived at by any strict statistical calculation (‘strict’ here meaning it’s been a long time since we’ve taken a math course or studied for the GRE). Continue reading

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BYU Hiring Ancient Scrip Prof Rd 2

About a year ago we put up a post discussing the search for a professor of Ancient Scripture in BYU’s School of Religious Education. This year they are again looking for a professor of Ancient Scripture. This search, however, is somewhat different than the previous one. I’d like to point out some of the differences between the two and raise an issue about the LDS notion of ‘education’. Continue reading

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Who is Correlation?

I’m being serious here, and trying not to be cynical. We hear so much about “Correlation” in the ‘nacle, but I honestly have no idea who these people are, how they’re chosen, and how the group functions. My hunch is that most of us are in the same boat. Perhaps my/our ignorance works well from our perspective because it’s easier to be critical of an organization/committee that is impersonal, and has an ambiguous relationship within the structure of authority of the Church. Perhaps this ignorance also works well from the perspective of the Committee because they can do what they do in a “granite tower” of sorts without having to deal with the larger body of saints.

In all seriousness though, does anyone have any insight into this committee? Who is on it? How does one come to be a part of it? What is the structure of the committee? How do they decide what material is fit and what material is unfit for the Church? 

Perhaps there have been posts on this in the past that would be helpful?

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