USA: Accrediting Agency Affirms UTS Accreditation
By FFWPU USA, New York, NY, March 5, 2016: At its session on March 3, The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) acted to accept Unification Theological Seminary’s monitoring report and remove UTS from probation.
The Commission ruled that UTS is now in compliance with all of the accreditation standards. The Seminary is required to submit a further monitoring report, due September 1, documenting adequate staffing, further development of financial planning and budgeting, and further implementation of assessment processes to evaluate and improve student learning.
“Continuing approval by MSCHE is essential for UTS,” said Dr. Hugh Spurgin, the President of UTS. “It recognizes the standard of excellence in theological education to which we have devoted ourselves since the inception of our Seminary in September 1975.”
The Commission action brings to a conclusion a two-year process that began in June 2014. At that time, a site team from the accrediting body found that UTS met ten of the fourteen standards necessary to retain accreditation and gave the school two years in which to come into compliance with the other four standards, which dealt with the issues of mission, finances, admissions and student learning outcomes. UTS has remained accredited throughout this process.
Dr. Spurgin expressed his gratitude for the assistance received from the Middle States Association and various visiting site teams for helping the Seminary to successfully meet these challenges, and he thanked the sponsoring church of UTS for its long-standing support.
MSCHE follows a rigorous process, which includes a self-study, an audit, on-site visits by a committee of peer educators, observations, interviews, an evaluations, and monitoring reports. Accredited schools must demonstrate that they are in compliance with Middle States’ Characteristics of Excellence.
“Compliance with the characteristics of excellence established by MSCHE gives students confidence that they are getting a high level of theological education,” said Spurgin. “It solidifies everything that we have been working toward.”
UTS was founded in 1975 by the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. The Seminary obtained its Absolute Charter from the State of New York in 1990 and its initial accreditation by MSCHE in 1996. The Seminary’s accreditation was reaffirmed in 2009 and again by this action of MSCHE on March 3, 2016.
UTS is based on the principles of interfaith, rigorous academic standards, and a diverse faculty and student body. Currently located in two locations in New York, UTS recently opened an extension site in Maryland near Washington, D.C.
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