Statement of Educational Effectiveness


United prepares faithful and fruitful Christian leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

United is committed to its mission and publishes a number of measures of educational effectiveness and success. When possible, United benchmarks its results against those for schools accredited by The Association for Theological Schools (ATS).

Statement of Educational Effectiveness

As United prepares people for service and leadership in the church, information is gleaned from United students, graduates and alumni/ae to evaluate educational effectiveness in this endeavor.


United Theological Seminary surveys its students annually. For the 2020-2021 Student Satisfaction Survey, 65% of students responded.

United strives to cultivate an environment where its students may learn and grow. When responding regarding the learning environment, several themes emerge as a high percentage of students agree or strongly agree with the following statements:


  • 94% I feel I am growing intellectually in seminary.
  • 91% I feel I am growing spiritually in seminary.
  • 89% The United community supports my academic and spiritual growth.


  • 87% My views are respected in the classroom/seminary community.
  • 89% I have been taught to respect the views of others in the classroom/seminary community.


  • 91% Faculty and/or mentors are committed to my growth in the faith.
  • 93% Faculty and/or mentors are committed to my learning.


United participates in an annual survey of its graduates administered by The Association of Theological Schools. For the ATS 2020-2021 Graduating Student Questionnaire, 91% of United’s 118 graduates responded1. We compare United’s results to those from participating ATS schools.

Based on responses to this survey:

Agree or strongly agree they were satisfied with their academic experience at United.

Were offered a position or will continue in their current ministerial position, as compared to 56% for ATS schools.

Plan to serve in parish or congregational ministry, as compared to 60% for ATS schools.


United also conducts an alumni/ae survey.2 In 2021, 13% of the 2,169 alumni/ae contacted responded to the survey.

United’s dedication to providing an educational experience that values the local church and prepares people for pastoral ministry is recognized by judicatories and borne out in levels of ordination and service in local churches.

According to responses to this survey:

Would recommend United to a prospective student.

Are currently employed in or retired from ministry.

Serve in local parishes.3

Work in either denominational offices or chaplaincy positions.4

Average Time to Completion and Graduation Rates by Degree for 2020 5

According to results from the ATS 2020-2021 Strategic Information Report, which approximates time to completion, on average United’s Master of Divinity students completed their degree in 5.42 years, Master of Arts in Christian Ministries and Master of Ministry students in 4.13 years, and Master of Theological Studies and Master of Arts students in 3.50 years.

Graduation rates6 are also evaluated in this report, with United results compared to industry in the table below.

Degree ProgramUnited Theological SeminaryAll ATS Schools
Master of Divinity (MDiv)49%59%
Professional MA (MACM and MMin)80%52%
Academic MA (MTS and MA)0%52%
Advanced Professional (DMin)72%48%

Retention Rates by Program Category 2020-2021 7

The Office of Student Success tracks student retention rates on an annual basis.

Master Degrees and Certificates: 90%
Doctoral Degree: 95%

Note: All percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.

[1] The Association of Theological Schools 2020-2021 Graduating Student Questionnaire, Report for United Theological Seminary compared to Total School Profile (142 participating ATS schools, 5,087 respondents). The survey was sent to students graduating with a degree or certificate from United in the 2020-2021 academic year. Data collected represents a 91% response rate of the 118 United degree- and certificate-seeking graduating students contacted (107 respondents).
[2] The 2021 alumni/ae survey was sent in April 2021 to alumni/ae who graduated with a degree or certificate from United in years ranging from the 1940s to 2020, for whom the seminary had email contact information (2,169 of 4,412 living alumni/ae). Data collected represents a 13% response rate of the 2,169 alumni/ae contacted.
[3] Or if retired, were serving in this capacity at time of retirement.
[4] Or if retired, were serving in this capacity at time of retirement.
[5] The Association of Theological Schools 2020-2021 Strategic Information Report for United Theological Seminary, United’s programs in each ATS category are listed in parentheses following the category.
[6] Graduation rates represent the percentage of students who were able to complete their chosen degree within a specified period of time which approximates two times the normal length of the degree.
[7] Retention rates are calculated as the percentage of students who enrolled in the previous Fall or Spring who have enrolled in either of the following two semesters. Retention rates reflected above are calculated from Fall 2020 to Fall 2021.

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