Central Seminary Gains Standing with ATS

"ATS is the platinum standard for seminary education. From early on Central Seminary had a desire to add ATS accreditation to its TRACS accreditation."

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Bert Perry's picture

Drawing from my trade as a quality engineer, I've got to commend Central on a job well done, and loving Central and many of the people there, I'm glad to see them take another step along the lines of ISO to assure their students that they are indeed minding their Ps & Qs regarding academic vigor.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

LJRusell's picture

It's time Central. I'm glad to see this move. I am concerned, however, with some of the rationale put forth in the article.

1. Why was this good news not proclaimed by its president? Is Kevin the only authorized voice for Central? I would think Sam would be the one to proclaim and promote this change.

2. Why does Central need TRACS to "help to safeguard the doctrinal rigor"? If an institution depends on an outside organization to maintain its theological positions, the institution is already in trouble. TRACS has a pretty broad range of schools and a pretty minimal doctrinal statement, so if Central is simply confined to be something like another TRACS school, they can become almost anything. Central maintained its theology for a long time before TRACS; why declare its dependence on them now?

3. Accreditation is a great external affirmation of quality, but it cannot maintain the internal character. Don't make it sound as if you cannot maintain your academic and theological integrity without accreditation.

Larry Nelson's picture


Becoming an Associate Member of the ATS does not mean that a school has been accredited by the ATS......yet.  Associate Membership is step one in a three-step process toward ATS accreditation.  Here are the steps:

1. Attain Associate Member status (which is where CBTS is right now);

2. Attain Candidacy status toward accreditation;

3. Attain Accreditation.


Per the Handbook & other information provided in the link, accreditation normally takes a few additional years to achieve.



dcbii's picture


I don't know anything about the requirements of ATS, but in general, keeping doctrinal teaching/studies rigorous is not the same thing as dictating the positions.  The whole point of any accreditation for a college is to indicate that the product is sufficiently rigorous to mean something.  It certainly doesn't mean that graduates (in any field) will necessarily come to the same positions on ideas/theories in their respective disciplines.


Dave Barnhart