Introduction

In keeping with our mission, Taylor Seminary is committed to developing Christ-minded leaders who make a difference in the world. In keeping with our commitment to the standards of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), we set out objectives for our degree programs and measure our effectiveness in serving our students with excellence.

Taylor Seminary has just conducted a survey of some current students and its graduates of the last five years, and some of the survey results provide our most current and quantitative measurements of the seminary’s educational effectiveness.

 

Satisfaction with the Educational Process

To obtain the most informed data available, the surveys were sent to:

  • Students who have attended in the last five years (most of whom would have hopefully experienced our revised programs and delivery systems), have completed a minimum of nine credit hours, and all who have taken online and offsite courses in the last five years (because their numbers are relatively small); and
  • Alumni who graduated in the last five years.

Those sections of the survey most directly related to the educational (teaching and learning) process reveal the following for current students.

 

THE SURVEY QUESTIONS OR STATEMENTS   PERCENTAGE THAT AGREED OR STRONGLY AGREED
The objectives for the program in which I am registered are meeting my educational needs.   95.50%
I am satisfied with the degree to which the courses I am taking at Taylor Seminary are increasing my understanding of:    
   o   The Bible   91%
   o   Christian theology & church history   97.50%
   o   The society in which I expect to minister   88.90%
I am satisfied with the degree to which the courses I am taking at Taylor Seminary are helping me:    
   o   Grow spiritually   95.50%
   o   Develop moral integrity   90.60%
   o   Mature emotionally   84%
   o   Formulate a distinctly Christian worldview   93.1
Taylor Seminary supports and encourages the participation of women:    
   o   In classroom discussion   91%
   o   In student government   84%       (9% don’t know)
   o   In chapel programs   77.2%   (15.9% don’t know)
   o   In ministry leadership   72.7%   (15.9% don’t know)
Taylor Seminary supports and encourages the participation of ethnic minorities    
   o   In classroom discussion   79.9%   (11.1% don’t know)
   o   In student government   63.6 %   (25% don’t know)
   o   In chapel programs   63.5%   (25% don’t know)
   o   In ministry leadership   63.5%   (22.7% don’t know)
Instructional methods are sensitive to the varied cultural contexts of the students   84.30%
Instructional methods are sensitive to the varied faith communities of the students   88.50%
Instructional methods are sensitive to the varied learning styles of students   73.20%
My seminary education is effective in each of the following areas of study:    
   o   Providing a comprehensive understanding of theology, biblical studies & church history   95.50%
   o   Providing an understanding of the cultural contexts of ministry   91%
   o   Providing development in personal and spiritual formation   95.50%
   o   Cultivating capacity for ministerial and and public leadership   93.30%
   o   Integrating materials from the various theological disciplines, field education and personal experience   84.40%
The extracurricular programs of Taylor Seminary:    
   o   Encourage spiritual growth   71.1 %   (20% not applicable)
   o   Develop ministerial skills   62.1% (24.4% not applicable)
On-line courses provide an effective mode of teaching and learning   73.2% (11.1% not applicable)
Weekend courses provide an effective mode of teaching and learning   73.2%   (13.3 don’t know)
One-week courses provide an effective mode of teaching and learning   73.3% (15.5% not applicable)
I received the needed technical support to negotiate these courses                 70.5 % (13.3% not applicable)

 

Placement Data

When the alumni of the past five years were asked: “If you were looking for employment, how long did it take after graduation for you to obtain your first paid ministry position,” they responded:

  • 40.6%  I was already working when I graduated from seminary
  • 25%     I did not pursue a paid professional position
  • 18.7%  Less than six months
  • 6.2%    One to two years
  • 6.2%    I have not attained a paid professional position
  • 3.1%    Longer than two years

 

Graduation Percentage Rate

Based on the number of students that entered the following programs since 2005, minus those who dropped out and those who are still with us, the percentage that have graduated are as follows: the M.Div. 43%; the MTS 66%; and the MA 100%. Why there is such a difference between these degree programs is something that we are still attempting to analyze.

 

Retention Rates in all Programs

TAYLOR SEMINARY RETENTION DATA

 

Semester

Retention Rate

Fall 2008

71.43%

Fall 2009

57.43%

Fall 2010

76.19%

Fall 2011

75.38%

Fall 2012

65.79%

 

How the Retention Rate is Calculated

Current Fall program students who were registered in previous Fall semester divided by (Previous Fall semester program students minus Graduates from most recent graduation minus previous winter semester dismissals)

 

The lower retention rate for the fall of 2012 is not a final figure. Since these numbers were produced in September, additional students have continued to register for one week intensive modules that are offered in October and November. January Intersession courses will also be included in the final numbers for the Fall Semester 2012.

 

Conclusion

 

An analysis of these data would require at least two to three times the space needed to present the data itself. My impression is that these reports are to be relatively brief. Therefore, we are just letting the data speak for itself and trust that meets the requirements of this report.