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Educational Effectiveness

Candler School of Theology is committed to educating faithful and creative leaders for the church’s ministries in the world. In order to assess its effectiveness in fulfilling that mission, the school attends to a number of metrics, including completion rates within degree programs and placement rates following graduation

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

The MDiv, Candler’s primary degree program, is a professional degree intended for persons preparing for service in the parish or for other forms of ministry. Over the last decade (i.e, beginning with the class matriculating in Fall 2002) 83 percent of students matriculating in the program have successfully completed it, with 70 percent doing so within three years. According to the most recent placement data (covering students graduating in 2011-2012), 77 percent of students had secured employment upon graduation, with 58 percent working in church-related ministries.

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

The MTS degree is intended for persons who wish to pursue post-baccalaureate study in theology or religion without the objective of preparing for ordained ministry. In the 2012-2013 academic year, graduates achieved an average of 93 percent on the capstone exercise (which may take the form of either a thesis or an integrative paper) designed to measure student achievement of the program outcomes. In the last decade, more than 85 percent of students matriculating the degree have completed it, with 65 percent doing so in two years. According to the most recent placement data (covering students graduating in 2011-2012), 77 percent of students either had secured employment or were planning to pursue further education upon graduation.

Master of Theology (ThM)

The ThM is designed for students who have already completed a master’s degree in religion or theology and wish to deepen their knowledge of a particular area in order to enhance their vocational preparation or ministry. In the 2012-2013 academic year, graduates achieved an average of 88 percent on the capstone project designed to measure student achievement of the program outcomes. Over the last decade, 93 percent of students who matriculated in the program have completed it, with 67 percent doing so within two semesters.

Doctor of Theology (ThD) in Pastoral Counseling

The ThD is designed to prepare persons for ministries of pastoral counseling through a combination of rigorous academic training and supervised clinical practice (the certification for counseling included in the degree is recognized by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists). Because the ThD is the smallest of Candler’s degree programs (with 2-3 students admitted per year), and because students have nine years to complete the degree, time to completion varies significantly. The average time to completion of the three May 2013 graduates was just over five years.