Per usual, I appreciate Pete’s candor. If you are thinking about pursuing a PhD in biblical studies or theology, you should read Pete’s list here carefully and consider it, there’s lots of wisdom here. I thought long and hard about going into doctoral studies. I considered most of these things on this list as I had heard them for years from other scholars in the field (as well as from Pete’s previous musings) and decided to jump in anyways. This was not a quick or easy decision and I had thought about it for years. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else, so I thought here we go. I’m convinced you really have to have one of those “where else would I go” existential moments (or 100 of them).
This kind of talk sometimes exacerbates the already far-too-real imposter syndrome that apparently is common in graduate students and manifests itself in all kinds of ways. This crippling and sometimes paralyzing phenomena could hold you back from pursuing that which you could not imagine doing anything else other than, so sometimes you have to push through. There is a fine line between whether you are actually feeling imposter syndrome common to this line of work or you just legitimately aren’t cut out for it. I probably walk that line like a tight rope (ok so not probably, but undeniably). That being said, take my word for it, as well as many others far more experienced and who are veterans in the field, read Pete’s post considerately and think through these things carefully before you spend lots of time and money on applications, essays, in-person meetings either at conferences or school visits (which you most certainly must do). Cheers.