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ATS Shared Values

The Association seeks to implement its mission with attention to four key values:


ATS is committed to diversity that is a visible sign of God’s intention for humanity. The Association values the multiple forms of diversity that exist among the member schools and encourages each school to continuously define and demonstrate its own commitment to diversity within the context of its mission, history, constituency, educational practices, structures, and theological commitments.

Quality and Improvement

ATS schools value quality in the practice of ministry and in educational practices. Quality is always linked to improvement; even schools that have achieved a high degree of quality can improve. The Association encourages schools to advance in quality.


ATS values the contributions that schools make to one another. Regardless of differences in theological perspective, organizational complexity, or institutional size, ATS schools, as peer institutions, can learn from one another, cooperate on common tasks that benefit the broader community of theological schools, and hold themselves accountable to common practices and quality.


ATS values leadership and considers it essential for schools to attain their missions. ATS is committed to developing the skills and capacities of administrators, faculties, and boards of member schools.

In addition to these core values, the Association values formal education for ministerial leadership and advocates on behalf of its benefits for religious leaders, religious institutions, and the work of religion in broader publics; values justice in society and institutions and seeks to embody justice in its organizational life; values accountability for student learning; and both values and advocates for quality in the practice of ministry.