The Cat is Out of the Bag: My PhD Journey


Wow.  I don't know quite where to begin. Last summer, I got a nudge to "apply to a PhD program and critique education" (my B.A. is in elementary education and my M.A. is in theology and culture).

So, I did. And worked through the shorter nights of fall and winter through the dawning days of spring and summer.

I applied to four programs: - 3 Departments of Education - 1 Department of Divinity

I received rejection letters from the first three and an unconditional acceptance from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

...They have the best research program for Divinity in the world...

Ecstatic and also a little overwhelmed, I wasn't quite sure of my next steps-- how would I fund such a thing? Would my husband move over?

As it turns out, somehow I missed the memo that people apply for funding before getting in as well as court a professor for two years.

That wasn't my story--I came across David Brown's research in the fall through crafting a research proposal to the other programs--and then-- as I read more about David and his work, I realized there might be an amazing fit between our interests.  So I emailed him.

Through my interviews in May, I met my other supervisor--professor Ann Loades who is not only a theologian, but (1) a woman, and (2) a dancer (very rare in the academic world, as I'm sure you can imagine!).

So, all this to say--with 8 days until I need to accept the letter of acceptance from St. Andrews and after exhausting all other funding options--I am doing something I would never have imagined doing:  putting myself out there in a crowd-sourcing video!!

If you want to support me financially, anything will be gratefully accepted (and it is an all or nothing deal-- I don't keep the funds I raise if the goal isn't met). If you want to support me in other ways--then I ask that you forward this wide. Otherwise, thank you for reading.

With love and gratitude, Jessica