Graduate theology programs granted accreditation

June 6, 2018

This week, Northwest Nazarene University's (NNU) Graduate School of Theology was granted initial accreditation by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). With more than 500 master's-level theological graduates, NNU's Graduate School of Theology is the first institution in the history of ATS to offer all of its Master of Divinity and Master of Arts programs exclusively online.

“This is a historic event for both ATS and NNU,” shared NNU President Joel Pearsall. “Congratulations to the Graduate School of Theology on this achievement. It is a privilege to join the other institutions recognized by this marker of quality and integrity.”

After a thorough review of NNU's self-study and artifacts, and a comprehensive site visit report, the ATS Board of Commissioners granted NNU initial accreditation for seven years—the maximum length possible. The Graduate School of Theology now has dual accreditation by ATS and NNU's regional accreditor, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. ATS offers the Graduate School of Theology numerous collegial and professional development opportunities with more than 270 seminaries and divinity schools across the U.S. and Canada.

In its report, ATS affirmed NNU's Graduate School of Theology for a number of distinctive strengths, including its visionary and entrepreneurial leadership and a focus on the holistic formation of students: spiritually, pastorally, and contextually.

"NNU has long been an innovator in graduate theological online education," noted Dr. Brent Peterson, Dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministries. "Since 2002, NNU's online programs have grown out of our global mission to offer high quality theological education to those for whom a residential campus was untenable. We at NNU will continue to seek first God's kingdom and righteousness, and pray we may be faithful stewards of the mission to which we have been called."