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Dean's Office

Assessment and evaluation are part of our culture as a Seminary accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). In the fall of 2010 VTS started preparing for spring 2013 when we will welcome to campus a group of individuals from other ATS-accredited institutions who will evaluate the institution based on the ATS standards of accreditation.

The ATS Handbook of Accreditation provides the following explanation of the accreditation process:
Each school is evaluated according to the standards in a three-part process: (1) the school evaluates  itself by conducting a self-study; (2) a committee of peers from other accredited institutions visits the school to evaluate the institution and, on the basis of its findings, prepares a narrative report with recommendations to the accrediting body; (3) the accrediting body considers reports from the various accreditation committees and, in the context of the formally adopted standards, makes decisions about the accredited status of the schools. Accreditation, at its most basic level, is the practice of engaging these activities as a means by which autonomous institutions hold themselves and each other accountable to mutual understandings of educational and institutional quality.
 
On September 20,2012 the Steering Committee for the ATS Self-Study had its final meeting. They reviewed the final draft of the Self-Study and affirmed the recommendations. The ATS Handbook of Accreditation clearly states that "appropriate consitutencies within the institution should have the opportunity to participate in a process of review and endoresement of the final report of the self-study." The Seminary's process has included "appropriate constituencies" since the beginning and the next step in the process will be to share the final draft with these constituencies.

When the visiting team of accreditors is here in February they are likely to ask individuals on campus about their awareness of the process for preparing the self-study and whether or not they were given opportunities for input and were provided access to the final report. The Steering Committee did a very good job of ensuring that the process was open and consultative. We thank them for their time, their input and their counsel.

At their November 13-14, 2012 meeting the Board of Trustees received the self-study reportand then the the text was finalized and sent to the ATS in December, and on to the members of the visiting team in January 2013.

We are grateful for all the work that the Board, Alumni, Faculty, Staff and Students have done over the past year. We now await the arrival of the visiting team.