A Special Message from the President – ATS Accreditation

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photo of Rebecca Parker

Starr King School’s Future

Dear Starr King Friends,

I am delighted to announce that the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) Commission on Accreditation has affirmed the educational excellence of Starr King School for the Ministry, granting us a ten-year renewal of our accreditation with no notations. This is the maximum a school can receive and it represents strong confidence in the School’s work going forward. In addition, the ATS has approved Starr King’s emergent educational model which incorporates on-line learning and low-residency options for students. We have reason to celebrate!
The ATS praised distinctive strengths of Starr King School:

  • the school’s practice of multi-religious, counter-oppressive education for Unitarian Universalist ministry and progressive religious leadership
  • the vitality of community-life fostered by the school
  • the excellence of our approach to individualized student assessment and learning
  • the clarity and coherence of the school’s mission and values, reflected in all that we do

This ten-year renewal of our accreditation culminates several years of intensive institutional self-evaluation and strategic planning.  Over fifty people – from within and beyond the School – participated in our self-study process, opening the future path for Starr King School. (Read the complete Starr King School ATS Self-Study online.)  I am grateful to everyone for the generosity and hard-work that has enabled us to achieve this milestone.

Recommendations from the ATS to further strengthen the School will guide us as we move forward. (Read the letter from the ATS that summarizes their recommendations.)  We’ll design and implement a more formal approach to assessing our degree programs; we’ll take further steps to improve compensation for faculty and staff, and we’ll raise more money to sustain and advance our mission.

Starr King’s visionary commitments and educational excellence are attracting a growing student body.  Statistics show that we are the only school at the Graduate Theological Union that today has a higher enrollment than ten years ago.  Applications for our M.Div., M.A., and M.A.S.C. degrees are still being received for fall 2010.  May 1 is the final deadline.  If you know of someone who would be a good fit for the school, encourage them to visit our website (www.sksm.edu) and apply now.

At a time when many theological schools are struggling to survive, Starr King is emerging with a solid foundation for the future – a balanced budget, an exceptional faculty, and a vibrant student body.   The continued and increasing generosity of our supporters is critical for our success.  Please make a gift today!  Donate online from our secure server.