The Graduate School of Theology is not just a school, it’s a community. We are a community of learners and disciples, curious about our faith and history, committed to becoming the hands and feet of Christ in our world.
While we are not here to give you all the answers or tell you what to do, we are here to teach you how to ask good questions; how to be curious and virtuous in your pursuit of knowledge. We are here to show you the skills of ministry and scholarship, and offer you models of success and mentors to help you in your journey. We want you to learn how to listen and learn from those different from you and with whom you may disagree. Most of all, we want you to take what you learn here, and practically share it through word and action to a hurting world.
ACU's faculty of Christian scholars and professionals are the foundation for student success. Each faculty member is an expert in their field, and at building supportive relationships with ACU students.
The mission of the Graduate School of Theology (GST) is to equip men and women for effective missional leadership for ministry in all its forms and to provide strong academic foundations for theological inquiry. We intend our mission statement to reflect our commitment to foster students' desire to minister to congregations, to initiate new ministries, to participate in public service, and to serve the academy all for the sake of the world. The GST strives to fulfill this grand vision by being attentive to the following overarching principles:
Spiritual Life: Students will pursue a life within God, yielding to God's will as they display transparency and integrity before God and others. They will cultivate disciplined habits that enable the godly transformation of thought, character, behavior, and relationship. And they will welcome opportunities to grow and work diligently as they pay attention to the rhythms of their spiritual life.
Wisdom: Students will seek and practice the skills and intellectual virtues necessary for disciplined, resourceful theological reflection. They will critically reflect on the theological resources (e.g., biblical studies, theology, church history) and perceptibly attend to the circumstances of the contemporary context in order to interpret faithfully and enact or prescribe appropriate responses.
Community: Students will demonstrate a compassionate and generous spirit towards others by inhabiting a life of godly service and justice within the world. They will be able to conduct their life within a community of shared accountability, respect, and support. They will display a healthy connectedness with the church and as they discern a clear picture of their vocation. And they will exercise mature, competent, and contextually appropriate leadership.
Mission: Students will exhibit ardent convictions concerning the redemptive mission of God and offer compelling testimony regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will skillfully interpret cultural contexts and engage in theologically resourceful acts that embody the mission of God in contextually appropriate ways. And they will express their work in relation to the mission of God and Gospel vocation.
The GST 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, MA, and DMIN each have additional SLOs respectively (listed on their program pages).
Graduates will have knowledge of the content and theological shape of the Christian Scriptures
Comprehends the full range of biblical materials
Exercises sound critical exegetical practices
Critically evaluates scholarly views and traditional readings and applies them constructively in the interpretation of biblical texts
Exhibits theological discernment in the identification, evaluation, and synthesis of fundamental biblical themes
Graduates will have knowledge of the major theological content, structures, and procedures of the Christian tradition
Analyzes and evaluates the key facts of the Christian tradition
Synthesizes a coherent understanding of the Gospel and the church’s mission
Comprehends the major theological loci of the Christian tradition and their interconnectedness with Christian faith and practice
Critically evaluates the fundamental theological differences among major Christian traditions
Analyzes and evaluates theological claims, formulations, and expressions in terms of their biblical, historical, philosophical, scientific, moral, and experiential dimensions
Graduates will demonstrate competency in languages appropriate for their degree
Graduate will have clarity in professional identity
Provides a discerning, coherent accounting of one’s internal and external vocations and motivations to pursue ministry or other related fields
Focuses one’s attitudes, behaviors, and disciplines to live in accordance with one’s professional identity
Expresses a clear understanding of the relationship between one’s professional identity and the life and mission of the church in the world
Honestly and critically evaluates one’s own functioning in a professional role
Graduates will have facility in critical thinking, analysis, and in oral and written communication
Skillfully gathers information, critically analyzing, synthesizing, and applying it
Critically analyzes arguments and evaluates claims
Applies appropriate methodology in formulating coherent theological proposalsIn written and oral communication makes clear, concise proposals and constructs coherent arguments
In oral and written communication conveys ideas accurately and is consistently understandable in diverse settings and for various audiences
The Graduate School of Theology is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools, an organization of more than 250 graduate schools that conduct post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs to educate persons for the practice of ministry and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines. The following degree programs are approved: M.Div., M.A. in Christian Ministry, M.A., D.Min., M.A. in Global Service.
The commission contact information is:
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275 USA
What should I do if I have a complaint against a member institution?
The Commission has a policy regarding complaints against member schools (see section XI of the Commission Policies and Procedures) Please note that complaints must be filed in writing and must provide evidence that the member school is in violation of a stated policy or accrediting standard or a membership criterion.
Curious about ways to help pay for your GST education? Learn more here.
Ready to Be a Part?
We’re eager to see not only what you can accomplish with an ACU education, but how your unique perspective can enrich your fellow classmates and ACU as a whole.