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About ATS

More than 270 graduate schools of theology in the United States and Canada form The Association of Theological Schools. Member schools conduct post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs to educate persons for the practice of ministry and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines. These schools differ from one another in deep and significant ways, but through their membership in ATS, they demonstrate a commitment to shared values about what constitutes good theological education. Collectively, ATS member schools enroll approximately 74,500 students and employ more than 7,200 faculty and administrators.

One mission

to promote the improvement and enhancement of theological schools to the benefit of communities of faith and the broader public

Two separate corporations

The Association provides a host of programs, services, research, and other resources to support the work of administrators and faculty at member schools.

The Commission on Accrediting of ATS accredits institutions and approves degree programs offered by accredited schools.

Three levels of membership

Membership is open to schools located in the United States and Canada that offer graduate theological degrees, are demonstrably engaged in educating professional leadership for communities of the Christian and Jewish faiths, and meet the standards and criteria for membership established by the Association. The current member schools, numbering more than 270, include Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox graduate schools of theology that reflect a broad spectrum of doctrinal, ecclesiastical, and theological perspectives.

  1. Schools initially join the Association as Associate members upon a vote by the membership at its Biennial Meeting in even-numbered years.
  2. Within five years, Associate members are expected to pursue Candidate for Accredited Membership through the Commission on Accrediting.
  3. Once a school has completed the requirements of the Commission on Accrediting, it is recognized with Accredited Membership.

To pursue Associate Membership, please visit Membership Process.

Organizations that do not qualify for membership may be considered for Affiliate status.
To pursue Affiliate status, please contact Eliza Smith Brown, director of communications and external relations.