Accreditation Matters.

Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is accredited and recognized by the following organizations:

Request for Comment for The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) Site Visit in Spring 2017

The commitment to academic excellence at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is evident in the "good standing" accredited status maintained with both the Higher Learning Commission/North Central Association (regional accreditation) and the Association of Theological Schools (professional accreditation). In both cases, the accrediting agencies provide standards of good practice which enable GRTS to better serve our students, alumni and other important stakeholders. These standards also become the evaluative basis for the re-accreditation process.

During the upcoming spring 2017 semester, GRTS will host a site visit team related to re-accreditation with the Association of Theological Schools.  The site visit will occur March 20-23, 2017 on the Cornerstone University campus.  The purpose of the site visit is to assess GRTS's compliance and alignment with the institutional, educational, and degree program standards established by ATS.

Current students, alumni, donors, or other stakeholders of GRTS interested in providing comment concerning the institution's qualifications for accreditation are invited to do so in writing.  Written comments can be submitted to the attention of Carla Douglas, Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Academics or sent to the The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, The Commission on Accrediting, 10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275, USA.

Educational Effectiveness

Assessment of student learning is highly valued at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. It is our responsibility to deliver on the promise to provide excellence in graduate theological education. At GRTS, assessment of student outcomes is not an externally imposed burden. Rather, assessment of student learning and the disclosure of educational effectiveness is a task of stewardship, a process for organizational learning, and as a matter of accountability.

The effectiveness of our educational programs is assessed in a disciplined and routine manner. Through a variety of instruments and processes, we assess the achievement of the intended student learning outcomes of our curriculum, student and alumni satisfaction, readiness for ministry of our students, and vocational achievement of our graduates.

The following provides a few highlights and demonstrates how GRTS is delivering on its promise to provide excellence in graduate theological education.

Readiness for Ministry

GRTS students are assessed for their readiness for ministry at the mid-point of their degree program and the end of their degree program. The process engages the student with the academic dean, associate dean, faculty adviser, practicum/internship supervisor or ministry residency mentor and the practicum/internship faculty supervisor or ministry residency director to assess student progress holistically as they prepare to serve in ministry. The potential outcomes of the process include the following: 1) The student is making good progress in readiness for ministry, 2) The student is making progress in readiness for ministry but with specific concerns (with reservation), or 3) the student is not making sufficient progress in readiness for ministry. The three-year average outcomes by degree are as follows:

  • 96% of Master of Divinity students achieved the highest outcome (i.e., making good progress in readiness for ministry) at the mid-point assessment and 100% at the exit assessment
  • 94% of Master of Arts in Counseling students achieved the highest outcome (i.e., making good progress in readiness for ministry) at the mid-point assessment and 97% at the exit assessment
  • 93% of Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies students achieved the highest outcome (i.e., making good progress in readiness for ministry) at the mid-point assessment and 89% at the exit assessment.
  • 100% of Master of Arts in Christian Formation students achieved the highest outcome (i.e., making good progress in readiness for ministry) at the mid-point assessment and 100% at the exit assessment.

Degree Completion

Vocational Outcomes

Please Note: Data above was taken from the results of a variety of surveys and other evaluative instruments administered in recent years at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.