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Members of Redevelopment Task Force

(underlined names also serve on ATS Board of Commissioners):

Sarah Drummond (Chair) is Academic Dean (and President-Elect) at Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School. She was a member of the Board’s Preparatory Committee that proposed a redevelopment process and has been on six accreditation visits.  She brings expertise in educational assessment and online learning. She is attentive to collaboration, conflict management, and getting things done.

Oliver McMahan (Vice Chair) is Vice President for Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness and Professor of Counseling at Pentecostal Theological Seminary.  He was also a member of its Preparatory Committee and has served on at least 20 accreditation visits.  In addition to this experience with ATS member schools, he brings knowledge of counseling programs and standards, as well as of other accrediting agencies.

Mitzi Budde is Head Librarian and Professor at Virginia Theological Seminary.  She has served on 21 accreditation visits, bringing experience in educational assessment, ecumenical formation, governance, and information technologies in education. She has wide and deep experience of theological education in the US. Her work on visits demonstrates attention to detail, commitment to collaboration, and strategic vision.

Debbie Creamer is Senior Director of Accreditation on the ATS Commission staff.  Prior to joining ATS in 2013, she served at Iliff School of Theology, beginning in 1997 as a member of the library staff, becoming a faculty member in 2005, then director of the library, associate dean for academic affairs in 2009, and interim dean and vice-president for academic affairs in 2012.  One of her areas of expertise is assessment.

Rene Espinosa is Vice President for Finance at Oblate School of Theology.  He has served on eight accreditation visits. He has been an active participant in ATS CFO leadership events. Service on visits demonstrates comprehensive understanding of financial and resource issues faced by member schools, as well as wisdom and prudence in matters of governance.

Harry Gardner is President and Dean of Theology at Acadia Divinity College and recent chair of the Board of Commissioners. He brings a broad and deep understanding of the work of the schools from his experience on the Board and has excellent understanding of and expertise in governance, institutional development, planning, and evaluation, as well as Canadian concerns.

Stephen Graham is Senior Director of Programs and Services on the ATS staff, as well as Director of the Lilly Endowment-funded Educational Models and Practices Project.  In addition to providing oversight of programs and services, he leads the programming for chief executives and chief academic officers.  Prior to joining ATS in 2008, he served as the dean and professor of American church history at North Park Theological Seminary.

Betty Holley is Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and African American Religious Studies, and Director of the MDiv Program at Payne Theological Seminary.  She has served on seven accreditation visits. She brings expertise in theological curriculum, educational assessment, and academic administration.

Vergel Lattimore III is President and Professor of Pastoral Psychology and Counseling at Hood Theological Seminary. He is a member of the ATS Board of Directors and brings to the table experience and expertise in executive leadership, governance, teaching, and concerns related to Historically Black theological schools.

Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi was Director of the Center for Analytics, Research and Data for the United Church of Christ and now directs the Office of Professional Formation at Iliff School of Theology.  She has served as a ministry practitioner on three visits and brings expertise about trends in Christianity in North America.

Mary McCormick is Academic Dean of Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology.  Her experience with the work of the Commission includes several accreditation visits.  Her work with Roman Catholic schools will be particularly helpful in terms of assessment and theological curriculum.

Barbara Mutch is Director of Accreditation on the ATS Commission staff.  Prior to coming to ATS in 2015, she served nearly 20 years at Carey Theological College in British Columbia as associate professor of pastoral ministry and, for ten years, as chief academic officer. She is a former member of the ATS Board of Commissioners and brings expertise in DMin education and Canadian concerns.

Valerie Rempel is Dean of the Seminary at Fresno Pacific University.  She has served on four accreditation visits.  She brings experience with mergers and with the complexity of consortia, as well as embedded institutions. She has expertise in academic administration, theological curriculum, and planning.

Lester Edwin J. Ruiz is Director of Accreditation and Global Engagement on the ATS Commission staff.  Prior to joining ATS in 2008, he served at New York Theological Seminary, as professor of theology and culture and later as vice president for academic affairs and academic dean. He also served as associate professor of political science at International Christian University in Tokyo.

Tom Tanner is Director of Accreditation on the ATS Commission staff.  Prior to joining ATS in 2012, he served for 33 years at Lincoln Christian University as library director, director of planning and assessment, accreditation liaison, undergraduate dean, seminary dean, vice president of academics, and dean of adult and online learning.  He serves as the Commission staff liaison for the redevelopment process.

Tite Tiénou is the Tite Tiénou Chair of Global Theology and World Christianity Research Professor, and dean emeritus at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  He is a former member of the Board of Commissioners and has served on nine accreditation visits. He brings experience in governance, global theological education, and a long history with ATS.

Peter Vaccari is Rector of Saint Joseph's Seminary and a member of the ATS Board of Directors.  He has served on two accreditation visits. He also serves on the Educational Models and Practices Project advisory committee.  He brings expertise in governance, institutional planning and evaluation, and Roman Catholic theological education.

Arch Wong is Professor of Practical Theology, Director of e-Learning and Modular Learning, and Associate Director, Flourishing Congregations Institute at Ambrose University in Calgary.  He was a member of the Board’s Preparatory Committee and has served on five visits. He brings expertise in Canadian theological education, theological curriculum, and educational assessment.

Frank Yamada is Executive Director of ATS, joining the staff in 2017.  He oversees the work of both the Association and the Commission on Accrediting. Prior to ATS, he served as president of McCormick Theological Seminary, as well as associate professor of Hebrew Bible and director of the Center for Asian American Ministries.