Statement of Institutional Effectiveness

The Graduate School of Theology delineates five program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for all its degrees in order to assess the seminary’s effectiveness. The MDIV degree has an additional five SLOs. The MAGS, MACM, and the MA each have an additional three SLOs respectively.

Overarching Practices for the Curriculum--Program Outcomes

Spiritual Life
Pursues life within God, yielding to God's will. Displays transparency and integrity before God and others. Cultivates disciplined habits that enable the godly transformation of thought, character, behavior, and relationship. Welcomes opportunities to grow and works diligently. Attentive to the rhythms of the spiritual life; discerningly exercises active and passive engagement. Seeks the wholeness of a life unified in heart, mind, and action within the life of God.

Wisdom
Seeks and practices the skills and intellectual virtues necessary for disciplined, resourceful theological reflection. Comprehends and critically reflects on the theological resources (e.g., biblical studies, theology, church history) and perceptibly attends to the circumstances of the contemporary context in order to interpret faithfully and enact or prescribe appropriate responses.

Community

  • Demonstrates a compassionate and generous spirit towards others. Inhabits a life of godly service and justice within the world. Able to conduct one's life within a community of shared accountability, respect, and support. Displays healthy connectedness with the church and is able to discern a clear picture of one's vocation. Exercises mature, competent, and contextually appropriate leadership. Engages ministerial relationships through practices of humble receptivity and generous contribution.

Mission

  • Exhibits ardent convictions concerning the redemptive mission of God and offers compelling testimony regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Skillfully interprets cultural contexts and engages in theologically resourceful acts that embody the mission of God in contextually appropriate ways. Conceives of and expresses one's work in relation to the mission of God and Gospel vocation.

Program Student Learning Outcomes for the GST

Christian Scriptures
Graduates will have knowledge of the content and theological shape of the Christian Scriptures (W)

Indicators: 

  1. Comprehends the full range of biblical materials
  2. Exercises sound critical exegetical practices
  3. Critically evaluates scholarly views and traditional readings and applies them constructively in the interpretation of biblical texts
  4. Exhibits theological discernment in the identification, evaluation, and synthesis of fundamental biblical themes

Christian Tradition
Graduates will have knowledge of the major theological content, structures, and procedures of the Christian tradition (W, C)

Indicators:

  1. Analyzes and evaluates the key facts of the Christian tradition
  2. Synthesizes a coherent understanding of the Gospel and the church’s mission
  3. Comprehends the major theological loci of the Christian tradition and their interconnectedness with Christian faith and practice
  4. Critically evaluates the fundamental theological differences among major Christian traditions
  5. Analyzes and evaluates theological claims, formulations, and expressions in terms of their biblical, historical, philosophical, scientific, moral, and experiential dimensions

Languages
Graduates will demonstrate competency in languages appropriate for their degree

Identity
Graduate will have clarity in professional identity (S, W, C, M)

Indicators:

  1. Provides a discerning, coherent accounting of one’s internal and external vocations and motivations to pursue ministry or other related fields
  2. Focuses one’s attitudes, behaviors, and disciplines to live in accordance with one’s professional identity
  3. Expresses a clear understanding of the relationship between one’s professional identity and the life and mission of the church in the world
  4. Honestly and critically evaluates one’s own functioning in a professional role

Communication
Graduates will have facility in critical thinking, analysis, and in oral and written communication (W)

Indicators:

  1. Skillfully gathers information, critically analyzing, synthesizing, and applying it
  2. Critically analyzes arguments and evaluates claims
  3. Applies appropriate methodology in formulating coherent theological proposals
  4. In written and oral communication makes clear, concise proposals and constructs coherent arguments
  5. In oral and written communication conveys ideas accurately and is consistently understandable in diverse settings and for various audiences

Student Learning Outcomes for the DMIN

Foundations

  • An advanced comprehension of the biblical and theological foundations for Christian ministry

Analytical Thinking

  • An increased competence in the art of analytical thinking about ministry situations

Integrative Reflection

  • An advanced level of functioning as integrative reflective practitioners of ministry

Spiritual Formation

  • Continued personal and spiritual formation and maturity

Student Learning Outcomes for the MA

Research Sources

  • Graduates will have critical facility with the most important primary sources and issues of scholarly discussion in biblical studies, theology, or church history

Research Methods

  • Graduates will have ability to use the best current methods of research in one of the following disciplines: biblical studies, theology, or church history

Original Research

  • Graduates will demonstrate ability to produce scholarly contributions in their field of study

Student Learning Outcomes for the MACM

History

  • Graduates will have a basic understanding of the history of the Christian faith

Practice

  • Graduates will have knowledge and skills related to a particular aspect of ministerial practice

Integration

  • Graduates will have ability to integrate theological and theoretical concepts with concrete ministry situations

Student Learning Outcomes for the MAGS
Theologically Formed

Graduates will integrate the biblical, historical, and theological perspectives foundational for contemporary Christian practice. (W, C)

Indicators:

  • Interprets Scripture and tradition in ways that inform understanding of the theological dimensions of contemporary experience.
  • Interprets and inhabits the major theological structures, content, and procedures of the Christian tradition.
  • Practices theology appropriately in contemporary cultural contexts.

Missiologically Adept
Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of the mission of God and their place within that mission as both individuals and members of the global Church. (C, M)

Indicators:

  • Narrates and appropriately analyses the church’s history of working within the mission of God.
  • Demonstrates familiarity with current missiological and global-service challenges and issues.
  • Equips and leads the church in contemporary cultural contexts for missional purposes.
  • Integrates theology, history, anthropology, and methodology in missional practices such as planting and nurturing responsible, reproducing churches.

Interculturally Competent
Graduates will be able to live, work, and communicate appropriately in a variety of cultural contexts. (W, S, C, M)

Indicators:

  • Interprets contemporary contexts in light of the Christian faith.
  • Demonstrates the skills and commitments necessary for spiritual maturity as a Christian leader in multicultural settings.

Student Learning Outcomes for the MDIV

Contemporary Culture

  • Graduates will have ability to integrate theology in contemporary cultural contexts (W, M)

Indicators:

  • Critically interprets the role of historical and cultural contexts in the formation of theological perspectives
  • Discovers and analyzes the key elements of a cultural context, including congregations and a culture other than one’s own
  • Constructs specific theological proposals that are in accordance with the purposes of God’s Kingdom and appropriately suited to particular contexts
  • Formulates and begins to practice a coherent Christian engagement with secular culture and with different religions
  • Explains one’s core theological commitments and applies them effectively to address the spiritual, ecclesial, ethical, and social issues of one’s context
  • Exercises effective pastoral leadership, based on a clear understanding of a congregation’s culture, in shaping the sacramental and symbolic life of the church in accordance with the contextualized practice of its mission
  • Implements practical theological proposals according to the needs of particular contexts, including multicultural and cross-cultural contexts
  • Effectively embodies the Gospel in ways that integrate theological insight with the competent interpretation of one’s context
  • Facilitates a critical engagement between theological insights and other areas of knowledge and practice

History

  • Awareness of the historical and contemporary beliefs and practices of the worldwide church, and the Stone-Campbell heritage in particular (W, C)

Indicators:

  • Comprehends and evaluates the key figures, movements, and events of church history
  • Comprehends and evaluates the key beliefs and practices of contemporary global Christianity
  • Exhibits critical reflection on and mature respect for the historic and contemporary beliefs and practices of the Stone-Campbell heritage (or one’s own tradition)
  • Critically analyzes one’s own theological and spiritual practices in relation to historic and contemporary Christianity, especially that of the Stone-Campbell heritage (or one’s own tradition)
  • Critically analyzes contemporary situations in light of historical knowledge and appropriately applies that knowledge in ministerial practice

Leadership

  • Graduates will have ability to lead and equip the church for its various ministries (C, M)

Indicators:

  • Employs critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making sufficient for ministerial effectiveness
  • Demonstrates the ability to lead the church in interpreting its context, discerning its mission, and evaluating its orientation to the purposes of God
  • Demonstrates the ability to lead the church in shaping its corporate identity and implementing God’s vision in its context
  • Demonstrates the ability to teach, equip, and lead individuals of different ages and various levels of faith development
  • Exercises one’s ministerial role in a way that constructively engages the polity of one’s context
  • Works collaboratively with others
  • Skillfully manages conflict in a way that enables constructive transformation and peacemaking
  • Manages ministerial boundaries with maturity and wisdom

Care of Souls

  • Graduates will have capacity to exercise care of souls in fitting and compassionate ways (C, M)

Indicators:

  • Treats others with respect and acts according to their best interests
  • Exhibits sensitive, caring, and skillful attention to the needs of those in crisis
  • Provides apt counsel, guidance, and practical instruction
  • Integrates the practice of skillful caregiving techniques with disciplined theological reflection

Character

  • Graduates will demonstrate growth in Christian character essential for ministerial faithfulness and effectiveness (S, W, C, M)

Indicators:

  • Conducts oneself in the manner of a Christian exemplar
  • Demonstrates healthy awareness of one’s personality, behavior patterns, level of interpersonal effectiveness, and patterns of response to anxiety and conflict
  • Demonstrates commitment to conduct one’s life out of a confessed Christian faith and exhibits the practices of discipleship
  • Demonstrates sustained participation in Christian community and constructive investment in its life
  • Takes honest responsibility for one’s actions, habits, and growth, applying effective strategies and spiritual disciplines for achieving ongoing growth
  • Acts in a principled fashion so as to increase one’s credibility and build trust—with integrity, humility, dependability, and compassion
  • Discerningly receives criticism and takes initiative to change if necessary
  • Demonstrates commitment to the well-being of one’s spouse and family

The GST uses various rubrics (curricular and co-curricular) to measure SLOs including course evaluations, ePortfolio Reviews, oral thesis defense, and Mentoring assessments. The chart below indicates that students performed at a higher level on every SLO as they progressed through the program. The scores are on a 3-point scale. A score of 1 indicates adequate, while 3 indicates proficiency.

 2010-2011 2011-2012
Junior Reviews 19 students; 1.81 composite average15 students; 1.8 composite average
Middler Reviews 6 students; 2.83 composite average15 students; 2.42 composite average
Senior Reviews NA8 students; 2.95 composite average
Mentoring Totals 60 students52 students
Mentoring 1st year 2.19 composite average1.79 composite average
Mentoring 2nd year 2.43 composite average2.46 composite average
Mentoring 3rd year 2.93 composite average2.72 composite average
Course Evaluations Faculty reported that all SLOs were metFaculty reported that all SLOs were met
  • Composite average is for all the SLOs combined.

Student graduation rates for those completing the MDIV, MACM, or MA degrees.

Year of Graduation Graduated Within 3 Years Graduated Within 4 Years
200868.4%94.7%
200988.9%88.9%
201044.4%88.9%
201154.5%81.8%
2012100.0%100.0%

 

How effective was your D.Min. education in developing each of the following areas in you as a learner and ministerial leader?

Answer Options Very Ineffective Ineffective Effective Very Effective Response Count
Advanced comprehension of the biblical and theological foundations which inform Christian ministry00192546
0.0%4.3%41.3%54.3%
Increased competence in the art of analytical thinking about ministry situations00182446
0.0%8.7%39.1%52.2%
Advanced functioning as integrative reflective practitioners of ministry00182345
0.0%8.9%40.0%51.1%
Continued growth in spiritual formation and maturity00202245
00.0%6.7%44.4%48.9%
Understanding of the cultural contexts of religious work00221245
0.0%24.4%48.9%26.7%

Answered Question: 46
Skipped Question: 2

How important do you think each of these same areas has proved to be for your ministry since completing the D.Min. program?

Answer Options Not Important Somewhat Important Very Important Response Count
Advanced comprehension of the biblical and theological foundations which inform Christian ministry293546
4.3%19.6%76.1%
Increased competence in the art of analytical thinking about ministry situations283646
4.3%17.4%76.1%
Advanced functioning as integrative reflective practitioners of ministry1113446
2.2%23.9%73.9%
Continued growth in spiritual formation and maturity134246
2.2%6.5%91.3%
Understanding of the cultural contexts of religious work2152946
4.3%32.6%63.0%

Answered Question: 46
Skipped Question: 2

Overall, how well did your experience in the D.Min. program prepare you for your current work?

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
Very inadequate for the work I am currently doing4.3%2
Lacking in many areas6.5%3
Very well in some areas, but not in others50.0%23
Very well39.1%18

Answered Question: 46
Skipped Question: 2