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Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and Beyond Paperback – June 10, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Getting a PhD in biblical studies ain't a walk in the park, it's more like running for your life through the African Serengeti at meal time! Lucky for would be PhD students is that Dr. Nijay Gupta can be your tour guide as you start this journey. Nijay himself has been tried by the ordeal of a British doctorate, he's a successful graduate who landed a job, and an accomplished author to follow up. If you want to know about the A-Z of doing and finishing a PhD in biblical studies, this book will show you the way and save you much pain and frustration too. Anyone serious about doctoral studies in the field of Bible or Theology should consult this volume first."
--Michael Bird
Lecturer in Theology at the Bible
College of Queensland

"This volume is full of wisdom and advice from Gupta's own experience and countless hours of conversation about the topic. Nijay Gupta is a reliable guide for PhD studies-dispelling the myths and misunderstandings of academia. Gupta's Guidebook is essential reading for every stage of the journey."
--Daniel M. Gurtner
Associate Professor of New Testament
Bethel Seminary

"It is hard to imagine a more insightful or practical guide to obtaining a PhD in biblical studies and beginning one's career in the field. Many budding scholars and their mentors will be ecstatic that Nijay Gupta has put his experience and wise counsel into print. I wish I had had such a book when I was starting out."
--Michael J. Gorman
The Ecumenical Institute of Theology
St. Mary's Seminary & University

"There is quite literally a wealth of wisdom in these pages so quite a few will no doubt echo me in lamenting, 'If only this was published when I was writing my PhD!' Thankfully, this wonderfully helpful guide to the rigmaroles of PhD research also offers advice for those of us taking the first steps in teaching, publishing, conference paper presentation, and job hunting. This compact and lucid book will not only inform, inspire, and encourage at all kinds of levels, it could save many from the veritable smorgasbord of potential mistakes and traps that can beleaguer those with even the best of intentions. Read this book! You will only be doing yourself a favor."
--Chris Tilling
New Testament Tutor
St Mellitus College & St Paul's Theological Centre


I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger, and had Gupta sPrepare, Succeed, Advance been written way back then as regards to the pursuit for a PhD and a tenured track post I would have. Frankly, Nijay s insights give an unfair advantage to future PhD s over those of us who have already ran that gauntlet and wish we could do it again. Nevertheless, having read this book, it would now be unjust to fail to recommend it to all PhD bound students. Therefore, I will reluctantly urge these students, even though they will undoubtedly be our future competition for jobs and publications, to read this book. And so should you. It s the Christian thing to do.
-- Joseph R. Dodson, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Ouchita Baptist University --Wipf and Stock Publishers

About the Author

Nijay K. Gupta teaches Biblical Studies at Seattle Pacific University. He is the author of the book Worship That Makes Sense to Paul (2010), and over a dozen academic articles in journals such as The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Currents in Biblical Research, Horizons in Biblical Theology, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Neotestamentica, Perspectives in Religious Studies, and Restoration Quarterly. He is also assistant editor for Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (June 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608997693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608997695
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #879,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nijay K. Gupta earned his Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Durham (UK) and currently teaches New Testament at George Fox Evangelical Seminary (Portland, OR).

He has written three books: Worship That Makes Sense to Paul (Walter de Gruyter, 2010), Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and Beyond (Wipf & Stock, 2011), and Colossians (Smyth & Helwys, 2013). He has also written numerous academic articles for journals such as Journal for the Study of the New Testament and The Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

Please visit his blog: www.cruxsolablog.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Should I get a PhD? If you've asked yourself this question, especially about a PhD in Biblical Studies, you should read Nijay K. Gupta's book. In Prepare, Succeed, Advance, Gupta walks through the stages of applying for a PhD (prepare), working on a PhD (succeed), and using one's PhD to find work (advance).

In Prepare, Succeed, Advance, Gupta seeks to "provide a series of responses to a host of questions that one may encounter when travelling down the path towards a PhD in biblical studies and beyond." The book is right on the money in this sense. While it reads through nicely, it is also the sort of work that one will want to refer to time and again-especially someone who is trying to advance through the stages of the PhD process.

In the Prepare section, Gupta guides the reader through how to select a program, including what factors to consider, such as cost, location, school prestige, and so on. Perhaps the most useful section of the book is the second chapter, in which he counsels PhD applicants in how to prepare for a PhD-what languages they'll need to know, what reference works with which to familiarize themselves, and so on. The bibliography he provides (with comments) is a time-saver to many. He concludes the section with nuts-and-bolts advice for how to fill out a PhD program application.

The second part of the book, Succeed, is all about how to do well in a PhD program, once accepted. Gupta goes in depth with regard to how to work with one's supervisor, how to write and plan for the dissertation, and how to prepare for the oral dissertation defense.
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Traversing the landscape of the PhD in Biblical studies is no small feat. I am about to go overseas to begin a program this fall and am just reading "Prepare, Succeed, Advance" now. I wish I could go back to sophomore me, tell him to put down the video game controller and start reading this book. It could have only done me good. "Prepare, Succeed, Advance" has so many helpful points that my highlighter almost gave out. If you have even the tiniest desire to pursue a PhD in Biblical Studies, get a few pencils, two highlighters, and a copy of this book. You won't be sorry.
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When I started to investigate what a PhD in biblical studies entailed I was lost. What do schools look for? What programs are better for what field? So many questions, and so little (quality) answers. When I found Dr. Gupta's book I found both a map and compass. His book laid out the road ahead - including avenues to avoid, and boulevards to explore in more detail. Following Dr. Gupta's candid advice I have received offers to study at a couple of UK PhD programs. I think I owe Dr. Gupta some money! Buy this book - you will not be disappointed!
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This is an excellent and informative book. The only problem is that the writer seems to assume that we want to apply to a full-time PhD program. The case is that many of those enrolled in a PhD program in Biblical Studies are doing it on a part-time basis (like my case). I think his advice would change if that was the case. Hence, he should have, at the very least, mentioned the option of doing the PhD in 6 years rather than 3.
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This is a very useful book for those who are considering or preparing for a career in Biblical Studies. Even for those who are only interested in what a PhD in Biblical Studies means (but have no interest in going through the whole journey) would find this book a nice read!
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