Another Semester of School…

Well, with the incompletes I took in both Biblical Hebrew and Europe’s Reformations in order to reduce stress, and the finishing up with them both, I am officially through with another semester of school. The grades I received were as follows:

Biblical Hebrew: A-
Witchcraft and Christianity in the Atlantic: A
Ancient Greece II: A-
Europe’s Reformations: B
Existentialism: A
Judaism and the Origins of Christianity: A+

All of this totaled for me a 3.78 semester GPA which is not the best semester GPA I’ve ever had but my GPA is now bumped up to a total of 3.66 combined. Seeing that Oxford’s Oriental Studies program only requires a 3.5 GPA from U.S. students, applying there for an M.Phil. in Eastern Christian studies is doable (though as Auntie said yesterday, you don’t need a doctorate in Christianity to be a Christian!) though I’m still leaning heavily toward Auntie’s school where she used to work at, it’s nice that Oxford is another place I might be able to study at doing the studying I just simply love most–liberal arts!

This summer, I’ll be taking a religion and moral issues course. I’m hoping I don’t get one of those professors who just shows people the diversity within religious moral views as a way of saying–“See?!? You can be religion x without having to believe in such a moral value!” Those professors are boring. This is a grad student teaching it though so I’ll see how it goes and since he teaches both philosophy and religious studies from his pro-file, it seems like it’s going to be a much more critical thinking course. Which is good and it may come in handy for applying to the Catholic University of America (another option I have) for an M.A. in historical and systematic theology (unless I decide I’d rather go into moral theology).

This fall, I will be studying the following:
Literary Approaches to the Hebrew Bible (same professor as my Biblical Hebrew and Judaism and the Origins of Christianity professor)
Approaches to Religion (necessary for my religious studies major)
Russian Revolution (it’s my senior thesis course and so I hope the professor allows me to look at the political philosophy leading up to it or I could look at the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in it as well)
England to 1689 (the professor is apparently one of the most qualified historians of England in the world)
Philosophy of Law (with a regent’s professor–ASU’s equivalent to a distinguished professor–and holds a J.D. as well but studies Native American law so no cheesy or cheap promotion of the superiority of U.S. law will occur in this class!)

These are some of the books I get to read for school this fall. I can’t remember all of them and since something on the ASU site isn’t working right now or undergoing remodeling, I won’t be able to recall until Sunday.

Regardless, I’m happy to find myself in a situation right now where I have the opportunity of exploring some of the best graduate schools to study Eastern Christianity, historical theology, or the history of ancient philosophy and I’m going to get a big chunk of work done on applying for those schools throughout the semester and hopefully turn them in by winter! Maybe I’ll find out if I get in though since I graduate next spring, it may only be an “in but pending”. We’ll see, I guess, right? I just don’t know where God wants me to go at all and wish I did but I think right now, he wants me to go where help is offered, not where help is not. I’m done doing everything on my own.

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About newenglandsun

A student. Male. Passionate. Easily offended. Child-like wonderer. Growing in faith, messing up daily.
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6 Responses to Another Semester of School…

  1. JessicaHof says:

    That looks tremendous, and congratulations of getting that GPA with so much else going on. Looking forward to seeing how it goes. xx

  2. theophiletos says:

    I agree with Jess that not all Christian’s need PhDs. Perhaps one might think of a PhD as a severe penance for intellectual skepticism, although like all severe penances it can be spiritually dangerous and lead to pride (1 Cor 8:1).

    But the most important thing about graduate school is your relationship with your supervisor, so you should email people before you decide to apply. You really can email professors to say something like, “Hi, I’m interested in such-and-such and I’m considering applying to your school for X degree. I’m currently a student at Y school. I noticed from your website you are working on blah, and I might be interested to work with you. Do you think X degree might fit my interests? Do you have any advice for the application process? Would you recommend that I consider any other faculty or other schools?” Some professors won’t write back to you, but that will already tell you something about what it will probably be like to work with them. You can also email current graduate students at the school to ask what their experiences are like. I received several such emails. And if the professors know who you are ahead of time, that will help your application process.

    I did an MSt in Syriac at Oxford, so I can speak to the situation at the Oriental Institute there. I know several people at CUA, although I’m not familiar with their historical theology MA (more with their semitics PhD). If you email me, I’d be happy to answer questions about those two schools from what I know, and to put you in contact with people there. I think you can harvest my email address from this comment.

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