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In the News

Speaking on behalf of its membership, ATS periodically provides data and insights to various media sources interested in current trends in theological education. See highlights below:

Chicago Sun-Times, August 30, 2014 . . . Women at work: Female ministers find obstacles on path to pulpit
Women have made greater inroads serving in lesser ministerial roles, with nearly a third of congregations reporting they have clergy women on their staff, but not necessarily serving as the head person.

MarketPlace, August 21, 2014 . . . Teaching Theology . . . For Profit?
For-profit colleges are not exactly known for leafy campuses or lofty philosophical discussions. Most of their marketing focuses on getting a practical degree—like business or medical assisting—in hopes of getting a better job. But one for-profit university based in Savannah, Georgia, is venturing into new territory: offering theology degrees to aspiring clergy members.

The New York Times, August 17, 2014 . . . Despite a Turbulent Work Life, a Minister Doesn’t Question Her Calling
Profound social and economic changes are upending the working lives of many young ministers who feel called to a full-time religious life. Declining attendance has forced some churches to close or shift to part-time pastors, and the economic turbulence of recent years has made some older ministers reluctant to retire, leaving fewer vacancies for young clergy members to fill.

The Christian Century, September 12, 2013 . . . Seminaries expand online options
Changes in the ATS accrediting standards have opened the door for fully online MDivs and professional MAs. A few schools have already stepped in.

Faith & Leadership, August 6, 2013 . . . One God, two questions, and three things the church needs
Daniel Aleshire makes three points for new seminary graduates about ministry in a time that has no name, for a future that is not yet here.

The Washington Post, May 20, 2013 . . . Seminary graduates not always ministering from the pulpit 
A growing number of divinity students don't plan to become pastors but instead envision using their degrees to "minister" in a variety of professions.

The Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2013 . . . For Second Careers, A Leap of Faith
Growing numbers of people see retirement as a chance to “do good” and are turning to divinity schools and a more spiritual life. Personal accounts and statistics tell the story. (Viewable only by WSJ subscribers.)

Inside Higher Ed, March 29, 2013 . . . The Struggling Seminaries
With declining enrollments, rising costs, and ballooning student debt, seminaries face continued challenges. Inside Higher Ed cites the recent experience at one school as well as the overall trends across all ATS member schools.

The Christian Century, October 31, 2011 . . . US Seminaries consider radical changes
For more than 200 years, Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) has trained future pastors to have expertise in biblical studies, pastoral care, and preaching. But in today's world, the nation's oldest school of theology has decided that's no longer enough, and other schools are starting to agree.

Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2011 . . . Pastors and Rabbis and Imams
Eventually, the borders of the 16-acre California campus of Claremont Lincoln University will be marked by the architectural features of the world's religions, with a cross next to a minaret next to a Buddhist pagoda. At the heart of campus, students of all faiths will gather in one space for prayer and meditation.

CTV News British Columbia, July 22, 2011 . . . Students follow a divine calling at midlife
Baby boomers return to school after accomplished careers not only to study ministry but also to find a higher meaning to their lives. Many discover, however, that they are forced to reformulate their views of the world and some struggle with the challenge of unmaking a view of God that had sustained them for many years.

Time, January 31, 2011 . . . Holy Enrollers: Why Boomers are Going to Divinity School
Baby boomers are the fastest-growing demographic at theological schools in the United States and Canada.

Time, August 22, 2010 . . . Training pastors, rabbis, and imams together
When low enrollment and books in the red threatened to close Claremont School of Theology, the school established a "theological university" to train future pastors, imams, and rabbis under one roof.

The New York Times, May 15, 2009 (print May 16) . . . Economy intrudes on a haven of faith
Samuel Freedman examines the challenges faced by graduating seminarians in a shrinking job market.