Statement of Educational Effectiveness

Turner School of Theology Statement of Educational Effectiveness
The purpose of the Turner School of Theology (TST) is to provide for the educational development of qualified persons to be effective Christian ministers, church leaders, teachers, and scholars who will use their gifts and knowledge in proclaiming the gospel, strengthening the church, and serving humanity.  To accomplish this purpose, the TST seeks to prepare students for the ministerial and teaching professions and for effective voluntary Christian service through both academic and practical studies on the graduate level.  The programs of instruction are biblical in orientation, scholarly in intellectual preparation, and relevant to contemporary life in application.  These programs include a strong emphasis in biblical studies, supported by studies in such fields as biblical languages, church history, systematic theology, homiletics and communication, religious education, professional ministerial studies, and missiology.Degrees offered by the TST include the Master of Arts (MA), Master of Divinity (MDiv), Doctor of Ministry (DMin), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).  There are five different master’s programs and several degrees which allow concentrations in the Old Testament or the New Testament.  In accordance with the TST continuous improvement efforts, several tools are used to help determine the level of educational and organizational effectiveness and to chart and track the program and service improvements implemented to better meet the needs of the TST stakeholders.  Two such tools are conducting statistical analysis on key institutional indicators and the analysis for survey findings.  One example of the statistical analysis is the use of multiyear cohorts to determine program completion rates at the individual degree levels as well as comprehensive program completion rates for the TST.  An example of such a rate is the program completion rate for seven degrees offered by the TST.  Specifically, the TST comprehensive program completion rate for the 2005 cohort ending in the spring of the 2010-2011 school year is 72%.

In turn, the TST uses the Alumni Questionnaire (AQ) offered through the Commission on Accrediting (COA) of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) .  The AQ was first administered by the TST during the 2011-2012 academic year.  One of the questions in the questionnaire asked the alumni to specify current position held in a congregation or parish. As reflected in Table 1, 84% of the alumni hold key leadership positions within their respective congregation, which is one of the educational goals of several of the TST programs of study.

Table – Current Positions Held by Alumni[1]

Grouped Positions[2]

Percent

Cumulative Percent

Sole minister

76%

76%

Head of staff (Minister supervising other staff)

4%

80%

Co-minister

4%

84%

Associate of assistant minister, Minister or director of Christian/religious education

8%

92%

Other

8%

100%

Totals

100

The results of the analysis of the two sample tools provided within, the program completion rates and the AQ, are used to help determine the educational effectiveness of the TST programs of study.   Coupled with the determination of educational effectiveness, the results of the data analysis are used to help develop and implement improvements to help better meet the educational mission and purpose of the TST as well as to help determine if the respective educational goals of each program of study are being met. Examples of such program improvement initiatives could include the deletion, addition or enhancement of program courses.  Another example would be to use the data from the two tools described and pair the findings with other statistical analysis or analysis of other survey data to determine if an adjustment is warranted in the outcomes of the respective degree program.



[1] Commission on Accrediting (COA) of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).  Alumni/ae Questionnaire –2010 – 2011 Profile Based on 47 Respondents. Pittsburgh: COA. p. 50.

[2] Note:  Position titles from the Alumni Questionnaire have been grouped for summary purposes and with titles appropriate to the TST.