July 21, 2016
Grand Canyon Theological Seminary, set to open in August, has been elected as an associate member of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) and will seek full accreditation.
GCU's interdenominational Seminary will teach the same doctrinal principles and Biblical truths that the university embraces while also incorporating two components it is known for: a vibrant campus atmosphere and the opportunity to make a difference in the community through GCU's many outreach efforts. The Seminary will offer 12 graduate degree programs, available in three modalities: full-time daytime, full-time evening and online.
ATS membership includes more than 270 graduate schools that educate students for the practice of ministry and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines. Associate ATS membership means that an institution is eligible for accreditation, a process that can take between two and seven years. GCU's academic programs already are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, but accreditation by ATS is focused solely on theological education.
"When people who are accreditors of the academic community take a close look at you and say you have quality programs, that's a big deal," said Dr. Jason Hiles, dean of the College of Theology at GCU. "ATS establishes clear standards for institutional effectiveness that address key issues related to integrity and quality. These standards help ensure that theological institutions are well-prepared to provide excellent theological education to students. Since Grand Canyon is similarly committed to the excellence in its academic programs and the highest standards of theological education, the decision to seek membership with ATS was an easy one to make."
GCU applied for associate member status in August 2015, and two ATS accrediting officials visited the campus in February. "We had a very positive visit and a very encouraging response," Hiles said. "We look forward to continued dialogue, development and progress toward the goal of full membership."
About Grand Canyon University: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona's premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers more than 200 academic programs for both traditional undergraduate students and working professionals. The University's curriculum emphasizes interaction with classmates, both in-person and online, and individual attention from instructors while fusing academic rigor with Christian values to help students find their purpose and become skilled, caring professionals. For more information, visit gcu.edu.
- Bob Romantic
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