Petitions for Substantive Change
Substantive Change Petitions
Any new initiative from an accredited member school that constitutes a substantive change requires a petition to the Board of Commissioners for approval. To help schools determine what changes are considered substantive, the board adopted in February 2013 a new Section Six of the Handbook of Accreditation, "Guidelines for Petitioning the Board of Commissioners." Please also note the following document, "Guidelines for Programs Combining Undergraduate and Graduate Work."
Common Types of Petitions
While Section Six of the Handbook of Accreditation covers a wide range of substantive change petitions, some are more common than others. Listed below are online forms that the Board of Commissioners has adopted that must be used for these more common types of petitions. These online forms require the use of Microsoft Word 2007 or later.
- Petition for a New Extension Site (posted 07/10/13)
- Petition for Comprehensive Distance Education (posted 07/10/13)
- Petition for New or Revised Degree Program (updated 09/20/13)
- Petition for Change in Nomenclature for a Degree Program (posted 02/27/13)
- Petition for an Educational Experiment or Exception (posted 07/10/13)
Petition Deadlines and Protocols
The Board of Commissioners considers substantive change petitions twice annually: at its winter meeting and its summer meeting. The deadline for the former is November 1, and the deadline for the latter is April 1. The petition and any required appendices must be emailed (as a Word attachment) and also mailed (two paper copies) by November 1 or April 1 to
Susan D. Beckerdite, Accrediting Coordinator
The Association of Theological Schools
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1110
New Petition Fee
At its February 2013 meeting, the Board of Commissioners approved a new $250 petition fee, effective fall 2013, for each petition dealing with one of the substantive changes listed above (except Change in Nomenclature for a Degree Program, which has no fee). The same $250 fee is also required for a petition for a campus relocation or for a change in governance or ownership. No online form exists for those two less common types of petitions, so please consult with your staff liaison for guidance. Payment is to be submitted by including a check (payable to "Commission on Accrediting") for $250 per petition with the paper copies that are mailed to Susan D. Beckerdite. No petition that requires a fee will be considered by the board unless payment is included with the mailed copies of the petition.