Associate Professor David Leong and students
Associate Professor David Leong and students

Last June, Seattle Pacific Seminary received accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools, joining more than 270 institutions in the U.S. and Canada in the pursuit of the highest standards of excellence in academic research, classroom instruction, and pre-professional training.

The Seminary, which began in 2009, attained accreditation in the shortest possible time after graduating its first class of students in 2011 and was granted accreditation for the longest time allowed for a newly accredited school: seven years.

“Accreditation greatly strengthens our potential for recruiting students, as the churches from which they come can be assured that we are committed both to educational excellence and to responsiveness to what they have told us they need our graduates to know and to be equipped to do,” says Rick Steele, associate dean of graduate theological studies.

The ATS stamp of approval also expands the Seminary’s possibilities for grant funding.

The evaluators noted the benefits of the Seminary’s role within the University: “The richness of resources and relationships that are evident in a seminary embedded in a larger university … serves the seminary by providing benefits it would not otherwise have as a stand-alone school, and it serves the university by providing a leading voice and vision from the theology faculty for the institution’s Christian character and culture.”

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