The results of the Association Of Theology School visit this past week will be made official in June. The Board of the ATS needs to give its formal approval to the report of the Evaluation Team. However, we have seen the recommendations of the Evaluation Team and we wanted to share with you a précis of those recommendations:
- The Vancouver School of Theology and its degree programs have been accredited for the next seven years without a single notation! This is good-news!
- We’ve been acknowledged for particular strengths and encouraged to maintain and enhance them
1. sustained commitment to ministry of, for and about indigenous communities
2. unique attention to maintaining formation and education for three denominations
3. high level of faculty and staff engagement with students for their well-being
- We been given encouragement to continue to give attention to a number of matters in the interim, before our next visit 7 years from now
1. clarity of mission and purpose,
2. staff adequate to needs and growth,
- 3. attention to diversity in faculty - denominational and cultural
4. continued care for institutional and denominational relationships
- We’ve also been given assignments which involve providing a greater measure of clarity to commission staff about our extension sites and a job description. We will also provide, over the next three years, an assessment of our educational programs so that we continue to deliver what we promise (a recommendation made at over half of all ATS accreditation visits) and finally a small group from the ATS wants to return again next year to check-in on the progress we are making at our repurposed new location at Somerville.
The report is good news. It affirms great strengths at the school and gives us some assignments that will only improve our educational excellence. The encouragements we’ve been given compliment the trajectories we are already pursuing as a school. We are so grateful to Prof. Pat Dutcher-Walls for her guiding us through this exercise and to the many staff, faculty, students, alumni, denominational officials and members of the Board who invested their time in writing and interviews. We’re grateful too to Kelly Lee, administrative assistant to the Principal, for her organizational skill. And we are grateful to God for this affirmation of our mission and ministry at the Vancouver School of Theology.