Accreditation and Educational Effectiveness

Memphis Theological Seminary is Accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and regionally by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). The following degree programs are approved:
Master of Divinity (MDiv)
MA in Youth Ministry (MAYM)
MA (Religion) (MAY)
MA in Christian Ministry (MACM)
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

The Commission contact information is: The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15275 USA
Telephone: 412-788-6505
Fax: 412-788-6510
Website: www.ats.edu

Regional Accreditation Commission contact information is:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, GA 30033 USA
Telephone : 404-679-4500
Fax: 404-679-4558
Website: www.sacscoc.org

Memphis Theological Seminary is approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.

Statement of Educational Effectiveness

Memphis Theological Seminary is committed to educating and sustaining men and women for ordained and lay Christian ministry in the church and the world through shaping and inspiring lives devoted to scholarship, piety and justice. To that end, Memphis Theological Seminary regularly evaluates its academic programs in light of these goals. Further, the ATS and SACS call for all accredited schools to post public statements of educational effectiveness. To do so Memphis Theological Seminary has assembled data from student demographics, graduation and placement rates, default rates from our graduates who participate in the Federal Student Loan Program, and various student surveys regarding satisfaction with Memphis Theological Seminary’s programs and the post-graduation experience.

Faculty and Student Demographics and Diversity

A key component of the Memphis Theological Seminary educational experience is the diversity of our community of faith and learning (denominationally and racial-ethnically). The Memphis Theological Seminary faculty is made of14 teachers and scholars, 6 women and 8 men. One third of Memphis Theological Seminary’s faculty is African American and among the faculty are a variety of denominational traditions including Cumberland Presbyterian, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalian, Baptist, and Roman Catholic. Memphis Theological Seminary’s student body is ecumenically diverse, 29.5% in the Wesleyan tradition—UMC, CME, AME, 25% Baptist 13.2% non-denominational, 12.3% Cumberland Presbyterian, and the remaining 50.5% an array of other denominations and traditions, e.g. Church of God in Christ, PCUSA, ELCA, Disciples of Christ, and Episcopal. We are also racially-ethnically diverse (58% African American, 33% Caucasian, 7% Asian, 2% Hispanic/other). 56% of our students are male. 44% are female.

Graduation/Retention Rate

As a graduate professional school, Memphis Theological Seminary challenges students with a rigorous course of study that is responsive to the expectations of various denominational bodies and non-profit/community organizations for persons in ministry. Memphis Theological Seminary provides support in advising and student formation to support students in their progress toward degree. The two year graduation rate average for Memphis Theological Seminary is 91%. The two year average completion time for Memphis Theological Seminary graduates is 4.89 years for the Master of Divinity and three years for the Master of Arts degrees.
*Graduation rates are reported based on time periods defined by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) annual reporting requirements.

Placement Rate

Placement rates are calculated based on graduates for whom data exists. Graduates are sent an online survey to collect this data. Over the past three years Memphis Theological Seminary’s average placement rate was 83.5%. Alumni survey completed by 2008-2013 graduates revealed that 66% are still employed as pastors or ministry leaders and 6% are employed as leaders in community/non-profit organizations.

Loan Default and Debt Management

Memphis Theological Seminary’s default rate in the Federal Loan program is low. Further our program of Financial Leadership for Ministry provides financial literacy training and counseling for students and clergy and lay people in the mid-South. The low default rate can be seen as one indicator that Memphis Theological Seminary graduates attain gainful employment post-graduation.

Memphis Theological Seminary has participated in the Lily Endowment Debt Study and has received grants to develop debt-reduction programs and education for seminarians. The financial aid coordinator for Memphis Theological Seminary provides student support in finding and applying for scholarships, and in addressing loan debt.

Student Satisfaction

Annually, Memphis Theological Seminary participates in a survey of graduating students administered by the ATS. Below you will find the results of the 2016-17 survey.
MTS Accreditation Table 21