I love getting questions like this.
Students in US programs often write and ask where they should go do a master’s or doctorate in LXX. “Where is the center of gravity,” was the most recent question. But it’s also a question that reminds me that there is no center of gravity. Is this good or bad? Negatively, it means that there are dozens of students looking for a school that can reasonably claim the distinction, somewhere they can go that might call itself — or at least aspire to be — a center of excellence in Septuagint Studies. Over the past few decades people like Larry Hurtado have spoken from outside the borders of the LXX kingdom to tell of the fruits within its walls. It seems I keep meeting scholars in New Testament and Early Christianity who are seeing the value of the Septuagint. And the same of Old Testament scholars. Gary Anderson, admittedly an anomaly due to his knowledge in it would seem everything but at least Hebrew Bible, NT, early Christianity, and early Judaism, spoke Monday at a conference on fasting and almsgiving in the OT, and he carefully and happily kept turning to the LXX to illuminate his thesis. Interest on the internet also seems to be rising. So there is clearly a spot for the taking, if a school should wish to distinguish itself as a center of excellence in the study of the Septuagint by offering MAs, MDivs, and PhDs for those anxious and thirsty students.
For the time being, there are advantages to the current playing field. You could link up with the Wuppertalians for one angle, with the Brits for another few (St Andrews, Cambridge, and Oxford all have leading LXX scholars in Kristin De Troyer, Jim Aitken, and Alison Salvesen), with Anneli Aejmelaeus in Finland, with the Belgians in Leuven, with the polymath Jan Joosten at Strasbourg (someone made him a Wikipedia page, which is an indication he’s an international legend), or some others around Europe. In North America, things are much different. Ben Wright is one of the best, but like many others he’s at a university that doesn’t offer a PhD. Even though there’s not a center of excellence specifically focusing on the LXX, there are OT and NT scholars like Ronald Troxel at Wisconsin, Ross Wagner at Duke, and Gary Anderson at Notre Dame, to name only three. All of these would be good programs and good mentors.
So, where would you go?