A few months ago I posted that I was working on doctoral applications and had begun to hear back from schools. As the cards have fallen, I have accepted a place as a doctoral candidate in divinity at the University of Cambridge. The decision took time given the many variables, but in the end I am very happy – honored, actually – to have the opportunity. Come Michaelmas Term of 2014, which begins 1 October, I will begin my work at Cambridge in Old Testament studies under the supervision of Dr. James Aitken (also here).
To those unfamiliar with how a British university system works (this is most of humanity), it comes as a surprise that my work will consist not of attending classes and taking exams. Instead, I will be conducting independent research and writing – lots and lots of writing. Much of this work will take place at my college, Fitzwilliam (“Fitz”) College, and the Faculty of Divinity (which is a building, not just a group of people).
I have also arranged to conduct much of my research at the Tyndale House, which is located in Cambridge, close to Fitz and the Faculty (map). The Tyndale House is a research center specifically for Christian biblical studies scholars. It has carrels “to let” for long-term projects like mine, and even accommodations for shorter-term stays (like professors on sabbatical). It also has a fabulous library, of course!
So although many (many) details have yet to be worked out as to relocating my family across the pond, this is a basic picture of our next three or four years. I won’t discuss my research topic in detail here, but will leave it for a later post, perhaps. I will also likely post on some of the broad differences between British and American doctoral programs (and why my extended family is so confused about what I’ll actually be doing in England).
On a more personal note, my wife is hoping to keep up with posts on our “family blog,” The Ross Family in Cambridge, to post updates about our life in Cambridge. If you’re inclined, you can keep up with us that way!