The Policies and Procedures contain two important supplements and complements to the Standards of Accreditation of the Commission on Accrediting (Commission) of The Association of Theological Schools (the Association, or ATS). The Commission Policies describe general policies for achieving and maintaining accreditation, for changing a school’s scope of accreditation through substantive changes, and for how the Board of Commissioners (Board) operates, including how member schools receive and respond to Board decisions. The Board Procedures describe specific procedures for how the Board implements and interprets those more general policies of the membership.
The Commission membership has sole authority to approve or alter a policy, while the Board has sole authority to approve or alter a procedure that implements or interprets a membership-approved policy. In addition, the Board has the authority to adopt other documents that help implement or interpret the Commission Standards or Commission Policies. Those documents include the Self-Study Handbook and various guidelines and petition forms—all of which are posted publicly on the ATS website under Petitions and Notifications.
The Commission on Accrediting has adopted a set of Commission Bylaws that describe, among other things, the Commission membership and the Board of Commissioners. The Commission membership approved several revisions to the Commission Bylaws in June 2020.