The Iliff School of Theology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), one of six regional accreditors in the United States www.hlcommission.org/ ; 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504.
The Iliff School of Theology is also 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: M.Div., MA, MTS, DMin, MA in Pastoral and Spiritual Care, MA in Social Change, PhD. Iliff is also approved for a Comprehensive Distance Education Program. The Commission contact information is:
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
Listed by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, Iliff is an official seminary of the denomination (http://www.gbhem.org; 1001 19th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212).
Degree programs at Iliff have been approved by the Colorado State Approving Agency for Veteran’s Education & Training under Title 38, Chapter 36, United States Code (38 U.S.C. 3671[a] and 3672[a]).
Accreditation and approval are subject to review and revision on a periodic basis.
Statement of Educational Effectiveness: Iliff measures its educational effectiveness in a variety of ways. Individual courses are assessed in relation to student learning outcomes, and a comprehensive outcomes assessment program measures achievement degree learning goals for each program. Retention and graduation rates (including length of time to graduate) are tracked. Iliff uses the Association of Theological Schools’ Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ) as a measure of student satisfaction with their educational experience and to gain information about their plans for work after graduation. We also seek input through occasional surveys and focus groups with alumni/ae, and consult with our denominational partners for feedback on issues such as placement and professional preparedness.
55 graduating students were surveyed in the 2013-2014 GSQ. When asked about their personal growth during their time at Iliff, each of the following key themes received an average rating of “agree” or “strongly agree” and met or exceeded the ATS average: Self-knowledge (4.7/4.4)*, Respect for other religious traditions (4.7/4.5), Concern about social justice (4.7/4.4), Empathy for the poor and oppressed (4.5/4.3), and Insight into the troubles of others (4.5/4.3). M.Div. graduates were asked to indicate their satisfaction with progress in skills related to their future work. Some of the key areas, all of which equaled or exceeded the average ranking of all ATS schools, included Ability to think theologically (4.6/4.5), Ability to relate social issues to faith (4.6/4.2), Knowledge of church doctrine and history (4.2/4.1), and Ability to lead others (4.1/4.1). Students expressed high satisfaction with Iliff’s services and academic resources, with the top rated choices of our graduates being: Quality of teaching (4.4/4.4), Class size (4.2/4.2) and Accessibility of faculty (4.0/3.9). Graduates cited the following as the three most important influences on their educational experience at Iliff: “Faculty,” “Classroom discussion,” and “Differences in perspective.” A list of sixteen statements was presented to graduates to explore their satisfaction with their seminary experience. The three most important sources were: “Faculty were supportive and understanding,” “Individuals of other faith traditions have been respected,” and “The school has tried to be an inclusive and diverse community.”
*(the first number indicates Iliff’s average, on a 1-5 scale where 4 indicates agree and 5 indicates strongly agree; the second number indicates the average across all surveyed ATS schools)
Educational effectiveness is also demonstrated through our internal surveys. In a 2014 survey of 119 current students, over 95% indicated that Iliff was meeting their expectations. Over 90% indicated that Iliff was understanding of their denomination. Our classroom experience ratings consistently indicate a strong level of respect of divergent viewpoints. High numbers of students that indicate that they were referred to Iliff by pastors or other religious leaders, friends, and alums – the consistency of these referrals over time serves as another indicator of long-term educational effectiveness.
Iliff recognizes that students leave theological education for a variety of reasons (including transferring to another program, pausing their education, or being dismissed from the school). The sum total of our retention losses over the last five years have averaged 10% of master’s degree-seeking students.
For more information about educational effectiveness, please contact the Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs.