Should I Quit My Ph.D. Program?


Welcome to The Academic Life. You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. So we reached across our own mentor networks to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Wish we’d bring in an expert about something? Find us on Twitter : The Academic Life @AcademicLifeNBN.

In this episode you’ll hear: what happens when graduate school doesn’t go as you’d planned, and what happens to your degree and your career if you leave school before you complete your PhD.

Our guest is: Rev. Rebecca Duke-Barton, a United Methodist pastor. She has a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, and was A.B.D. at Emory University before leaving the program. She has taught at Andrew College, and served as pastor in four United Methodist Churches. She also serves as president of the Georgia United Methodist Commission on Higher Education & Collegiate Ministry.

Your host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian. She specializes in diaries written by rural women in the 19th century. She credits her ability to read nearly-illegible things to her childhood spent trying read her dad’s handwriting. In high school she was trained in peer mentor programs; as an undergrad she worked in her campus Writing Center; while pursuing her Ph.D. she developed and ran a Mentor Program for graduate students. She met Rev. Rebecca Duke-Barton when they were both graduate students, and they’ve been friends ever since. Christina supports her work-life balance by taking photos in nature, which you can find at here.

Listeners to this episode might be interested in:

  • Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables by Phil Vischer
  • Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor
  • Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker Palmer
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
  • CareerShifters

Your Host

Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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