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Garrett-Evangelical Accredited through 2028 by the Association of Theological Schools

March 8, 2019
ATS logo and photo of Garrett-Evangelical

EVANSTON, Illinois – At their meeting on February 7-8, 2019, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Board of Commissioners for the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) voted to re-accredit Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary for ten years, the maximum period for which accreditation is granted. All nine degrees currently offered by Garrett-Evangelical were approved, including: the master of divinity, five master of arts, the master of theological studies, the doctor of ministry, and the doctor of philosophy. The next comprehensive visit will be held in the fall of 2028.

Citing numerous strengths of the seminary and its outstanding work in theological education, the Board of Commissioners praised Garrett-Evangelical’s clear commitment to its heritage while simultaneously engaging in diverse and innovative expressions of that heritage. Specifically named was the seminary’s consistency to produce well-equipped faith leaders in the midst of significant social transitions. The Board of Commissioners also recognized Garrett-Evangelical carries a strong sense of the contextual nature of theology and theological education. These strengths and more were named in conjunction with the strength of the seminary’s faculty and its commitment to a model of shared governance.

The ATS visiting team, which was on campus September 24-27, 2018, affirmed both the individual and communal dedication of the seminary’s constituents to the school’s vision and mission. In addition, they praised the seminary’s robust and prudently-managed endowment resources and affirmed this tremendous financial strength among stand-alone seminaries in North America.

President Lallene J. Rector remarked, “We are delighted to learn of the ATS Board of Commissioners’ affirmation for a 10-year period of re-accreditation. It was wonderful to feel institutionally recognized by our visiting team of ATS peers, both in terms of our strengths and in terms of the self-study that surfaced some areas for continued improvement. All in all, the visit was a very positive experience and constructively critical in the best sense of the term.”

Recognizing the scope and vision of the seminary’s current strategic plan, the Board of Commissioners also identified areas of growth, focusing on adequate staffing to support its mission, technology support, and learning assessment.

Rector thanked those who participated in what was a two-year endeavor leading up to the site visit this past September, saying, “It did take a village to complete a strong self-study and to hospitably support the site visit. I am deeply grateful to Dean Luis Rivera, Drs. Ron Anderson and Rene Schreiner, the faculty, the staff and administration, our trustees, alumni, and students for excellent leadership and for engaged participation.”

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is accredited by two associations, The Association of Theological Schools and The Higher Learning Commission. Each association holds rigorous standards that challenge the seminary to assess its work in light of its mission and of common standards for excellence in graduate education. In addition, Garrett-Evangelical is evaluated by the Commission on Theological Education of the University Senate of The United Methodist Church. To learn more about the seminary’s accreditation, go to Garrett.edu/Accreditation.