Statement of Educational Effectiveness
The Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary is accredited by the Southern Association of college and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelors, and masters degrees. BMA Seminary (Graduate Studies Division) is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and the following degree programs are approved: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Church Ministries, Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology), and the Master of Arts (Religion).
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools’ (ATS) Educational Standard (ES) 6.4.4 reads: “The institution shall, on a regular basis, make available to the public a summary evaluation of the educational effectiveness of its approved degree programs…” SACSCOC also requires such a Statement of Educational Effectiveness per the U.S. Department of Education. The data included in this report attempts to make such a statement via direct and indirect measures.
Data reported appear in the ATS 2020 Strategic Information Report for BMA Seminary.
Data reported appear in the IPEDS Data Feedback Report (2019). IPEDS selects the Comparison Group on other schools’ similarities with BMA. Criteria for the 25 institutions include: faith-related institutions, highest level of degree offering, and size of enrollment.
Direct measurement of educational effectiveness includes placement upon graduation. The following data reflect the number of graduates from each degree earned from 2010-2020 and identifies ministerial/religious vocations held by students at the time of graduation, their admittance into further educational studies, or other positions not particularly related to a graduate’s field of study:
The table shows that 94% of Associate of Divinity, 74% of Bachelor of Arts in Religion, 83% of Master of Arts (Religion), 88% of Master of Arts in Church Ministries, and 87% of Master of Divinity graduates from 2010-2020 entered the next level of academic study or held a vocational position related to their fields of study at the time of graduation.
Master of Arts in Church Ministries and Master of Divinity students must complete a semester of supervised field ministry. Field supervisors for the supervised ministry course evaluate students based upon their guided interaction with students and their professional opinions. The experience guides supervisors and students to address items directly related to degree program outcomes and course learning objectives. Supervisors provide written comments and rate students with the following scale: 1=Strongly Disagree 2=Disagree 3=Sometimes 4=Agree 5=Strongly Agree NA=Not Applicable. Data collected from 2013-18 for MACM and from 2017-19 for MDIV showed that field supervisors rated MACM and MDIV graduates an average of 4.6 (92%) within a range of 4.00-5.00. Field supervisors also listed these strengths of graduates: dedication, leadership skills, people skills, teaching and research, doctrine, theological convictions, commitment to authority of scripture, preaching scripture, heartfelt convictions, strong character, and ability to teach. Third-party ministry professionals serving as field supervisors strongly agree that BMA Seminary MACM and MDIV graduates have obtained the desired program outcomes of each degree.
As an indirect measure of learning, graduation questionnaires revealed that graduates were very satisfied with how their program of study enhanced their Christian ministry. Graduates rated their increase in knowledge on a scale of 1 to 5. Master of Divinity graduates (2014-2020) rated their increased knowledge at 4.4 across all degree objectives. Master of Arts in Christian Ministry graduates (2015-20) rated their increased knowledge at 4.5 across all degree objectives. Master of Arts (Religion) graduates (2018-2020) and Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) graduates (2020) rated their increased knowledge at 4.3 across all degree objectives. Graduates in the Bachelor of Arts in Religion *2018-20) rated their increased knowledge at 4.6 across all degree objectives. Associate of Divinity graduates (2018-20) rated their increased knowledge at 4.5 across all degree objectives.