Pittsburgh, PA - Meeting in February, the ATS Board of Commissioners voted in favor of re-accreditating McCormick Theological Seminary for ten years, citing several examples of its outstanding work in theological education. Approved degree programs include: the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theological Studies, and the Doctor of Ministry.
In addition, the Commission encouraged McCormick to maintain and enhance its distinctive strengths. They recognized McCormick's unwavering and intentional identity as a cross-cultural, urban, Reformed, and ecumenical seminary, and more than a marketing tag line. The visiting team affirmed McCormick's identity is coupled with a strategic vision that emphasizes diversity, innovation, and the needs of the next generation. In the report the visiting team recognized McCormick’s position as a seminary of the 21st century which learns from minority voices, leads and serves the church of the future.
The commission also recognized a cultural ethos that is creative, relevant and nimble. A willingness to experient and a non-anxious presence in the face of change is modeled by the senior leadership and the board. The faculty was recognized for its collaboration, accomplishments and the culturally attentive and relevant curriculum. The commission attributed particular significance to the success of the master's level program to classes in Pilgrimage and Faithfulness and Leadership Across Diversity, and the support of resources like the Language Writing and Resource Center (LRWC) and the Strong Start program.
President Frank Yamada remarked, "As ATS reports go, ours was exemplary. This was an exceptional report back on the good work that we have been doing."
Growth opportunities were also identified. In addition to McCormick's emerging programs and initiatives, the commission suggested McCormick continue to encourage and develop an environment of planning and evaluation for those, as well as developing and evaluating adjunct faculty. The commission also recommended McCormick strengthen its student services and support in light of changing staffing patterns and shifting demographics of the student body, including renewed attention to pastoral care as it relates to students.
Yamada thanked those who participated with ATS in what was a two-year endeavor, saying, "I wanted to express my gratitude to the self-study co-chairs, Anna Case-Winters and Ted Hiebert, to Sylvia Miller our administrative support for the self-study process, to all of the faculty and staff writers on the self-study committees, to Jennifer Ould, who covered much of the on-the-ground logistics along with Sylvia, and to all of our trustees, staff, faculty, and students who were part of this intense and long process."