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Southeastern Seminary hosts accrediting team

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary hosted a committee of reviewers from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) on its Wake Forest, N.C., campus during the second week of October.

SACS, a regional accrediting agency, accredits hundreds of colleges and universities in the South, while ATS accredits theological institutions in the United States and Canada.

The committee also visited Southeastern extension sites in Florida and Georgia.

Paige Patterson, Southeastern’s president, described the committee’s visit as cordial and significantly helpful.

“I believe that they observed our strengths and made encouraging suggestions for the future,” he said.

By mandatory procedure, the committee only gave a verbal exit interview, which listed the recommendations they had for the school but gave no detail or explanation. That explanation will come in the formal written report in a few weeks.

“The committee left us with some good ideas that will be helpful to us as we look to the future,” Patterson said. “We will be looking for extra funding toward our library, and we may accelerate our faculty hiring process for a year or so, but overall, we are very pleased with what we have heard so far.”

The committee also recognized three particular strengths of the seminary in their unofficial report. They noted a clearly defined understanding of ministry and a sense of common purpose; well-maintained facilities and new facilities supporting the school’s mission; and the gracious hospitality extended to the committee.

“We have every reason to hope that our accreditation will be reaffirmed for another 10 years,” Patterson said. “We look forward to the official report and then to the final word of the accrediting agencies, which will come to us in 2002.”

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