Seminary Faculty Submit Self-Study to CACREP for Accreditation Decision
In mid-February, seminary faculty members and administrators concluded an in-depth, year-long analysis of the counseling program. The process resulted in the submission of an application for accreditation to the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Established in 1981, CACREP resulted from a collaboration between the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and the American Personnel and Guidance Association. Recognized among higher education institutions, employers and students for its advancement of excellence in graduate-level counseling education, the council accredits approved programs for two- and eight-year cycles.
For Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, the counseling program accreditation process has involved faculty representatives from each of its program offerings. Dr. Jenny Chien, assistant professor of counseling, has served as the faculty liaison for CACREP and has worked with committee members Dr. Tara Kram, associate dean; Dr. Kendra Jackson, assistant professor of counseling; Dr. Robert Lehman, professor of counseling; Dr. John Hilber, professor of Old Testament; and Dr. Kenneth Reid, assistant professor of systematic and historical theology.
“The self-study is a faculty-led initiative and a micro-assessment of every component of our counseling program,” Kram said. “Following submission of the self-study, a team from CACREP reviews the self-study and issues a written response outlining components they want us to attend to before they schedule a site visit.”
GRTS continues to progress toward hiring an additional counseling professor. The new position will support GRTS’ alignment with CACREP student-to-faculty ratio requirements.
“We’ve had a felt need for a new faculty hire because of the increasing number of students in the counseling program,” Kram said. “We currently have approximately 150 enrolled counseling students so it’s necessary to hire a fourth faculty member so we’re not overloading our current faculty.”
To learn more, explore the seminary’s graduate-level opportunities in counseling.