Measures of Institutional Effectiveness


To ensure that our educational programs have their intended impact for the good of the church and world, Lancaster Seminary assesses the effectiveness of its programs. 

One of the ways we do this is to ask our graduating students how they think we did during their time with us. The instrument we use for this is the Association of Theological Schools Graduating Student Questionnaire, which is used by 120-140 accredited seminaries of all types, sizes, and denominations across the United States and Canada. It asks graduates to rate aspects of the education they received and their experience of the school using a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best).

Here is a selection of key scores that illustrate Lancaster's educational effectiveness in ministerial skills preparation, and data on our graduation, placement and loan repayment rates.

 



2013-2014 Academic Year


Scale: 1 = very dissatisfied    2 = dissatisfied    3 = neutral    4 = satisfied    5 = very satisfied

Educational Satisfaction and Effectiveness



Overall Experience during Theological ProgramMDiv Graduates of LancasterMDiv Graduates of All SeminariesAll Graduates of LancasterAll Graduates of All Seminaries
I have been satisfied with my academic experiences here4.24.44.24.4
Field education / internship has been a helpful experience4.34.23.63.9
Faculty were supportive and understanding4.44.44.44.4
I have felt accepted within this school community3.84.33.74.3
I have grown spiritually4.34.44.24.4
My faith is stronger than when I came3.84.33.94.3
My personal faith has been respected4.14.34.04.4
Individuals of other faith traditions have been respected.3.74.23.94.2
I know at least one faculty member well4.44.34.34.3
I have been able to integrate the theology and practice of ministry4.14.44.04.4
The school has tried to be an inclusive community3.84.24.14.2
I have come to know students from other ethnic groups4.44.34.44.3
I have made good friends here4.44.44.34.3
Seminary was a good experience for my spouse / family3.23.63.23.6
Commuting has increased the time it took to complete the program3.02.72.92.7
I have been able to manage financially3.83.73.93.7
I have been able to manage financially2.83.73.13.8
If I had it to do over, I would still come here3.94.33.94.4


2013-2014 Academic Year


Scale: 1 = very dissatisfied    2 = dissatisfied    3 = neutral    4 = satisfied    5 = very satisfied

 



Educational Effectiveness in Facilitating Skill AreasMDiv Graduates of LancasterMDiv Graduates of All SeminariesAll Graduates of LancasterAll Graduates of All Seminaries
Ability to preach well3.44.13.64.0
Ability to use and interpret Scripture4.44.54.34.4
Knowledge of church polity / canon law3.53.93.53.7
Ability to give spiritual direction3.43.93.63.9
Ability to teach well3.64.03.74.0
Knowledge of church doctrine and history4.34.24.24.1
Ability to lead others3.84.03.84.0
Ability to conduct worship / liturgy3.54.03.63.8
Ability to interact effectively with those of religious traditions other than my own3.84.04.04.0
Ability to work effectively within my own religious tradition3.84.13.84.1
Awareness and appreciation of the globalized context in which ministry is practiced4.04.14.141.
Ability to work effectively with both women and men4.14.24.14.2
Ability to interact effectively with those from cultural and racial/ethnic contexts other than my own4.14.04.04.0
Ability to relate social issues to faith4.14.24.04.2
Ability in pastoral counseling3.53.93.63.9
Ability to administer a parish2.73.42.93.4
Knowledge of Christian philosophy and ethics4.24.14.34.1
Ability to think theologically4.84.54.64.5
Ability to integrate insights from science into theology and ministry2.93.63.33.7
Ability to integrate ecological concerns into theology and ministry3.73.63.53.6


2013-2014 Academic Year


Scale: 1 = very dissatisfied    2 = dissatisfied    3 = neutral    4 = satisfied    5 = very satisfied

 



Measure of Educational Effectiveness and Personal GrowthMDiv Graduates of LancasterMDiv Graduates of All SeminariesAll Graduates of LancasterAll Graduates of All Seminaries
Empathy for the poor and the oppressed3.54.03.43.9
Ability to pray3.23.63.23.5
Concern about social justice3.64.03.73.9
Enthusiasm for learning4.04.24.14.3
Insight into troubles of others3.84.03.64.0
Desire to become an authority in my field3.73.93.74.0
Trust in God3.44.13.64.1
Self-discipline and focus3.94.03.94.1
Respect for other religious traditions3.94.14.14.1
Respect for my own religious tradition3.84.33.84.2
Ability to live my faith in daily life3.54.03.44.0
Clarity of vocational goals3.63.93.33.9
Self-confidence3.84.03.74.0
Self-knowledge4.04.23.94.2
Strength of spiritual life3.43.93.53.9


Graduation and Retention Rates

Another way we measure our effectiveness as an educational institution is through our graduation rates and student loan default rates.  
National completion rates for Master of Divinity degree students are not available. However, nonscientific estimates suggest that approximately 80% of entering MDiv and MA students graduate from theological schools. Although that figure has not been nationally verified, Lancaster Seminary’s average graduation rate is above that threshold. Our completion rates for master’s level students is well above the average in the area of humanities.
 
(*) Indicates that this cohort still has students enrolled in the program
 

National completion rates or nonscientific estimates of completion rates for Doctor of Ministry degree students are not available.

 



MASTER OF DIVINITY Entering YearOrig. Grad YearEntering ClassGraduated in 3 years or lessGraduated within 4-8 yearsCurrently Active (2013-14)Left MDiv Program WDLeft MDiv Program to MA(R)Changed from MA(R) or Unc. to MDivExpected to graduate in May 2014% Graduated To Date
2005-062008311612390%
2006-072009291872286%
2007-082010331951811*73%
2008-092011241010484%
2009-102012312137*67%
2010-11201322115515*50%
2011-122014312182116
Average Graduation Rate for Entering Classes of 2005-2006 through 2008-200983.25%


MASTER OF ARTS (RELIGION) Entering YearOrig. Grad YearEntering ClassGraduated 2 years or lessGraduated within 3-6 yearsCurrently Active (2013-14)Left MA(R) Program WDLeft MA(R) Program to MDivChanged from MDiv to MARExpected to graduate in May 2014% Graduated To Date
2005-062007422100%
2006-07200810552100%
2007-0820099144155%
2008-09201061321*16%
2009-102011825187%
2010-1120127322*43%
2011-1220131022151*40%
2012-13201453222
Average Graduation Rate for Entering Classes of 2005-2006 through 2007-200885%


DOCTOR OF MINISTRY Entering YearOrig. Grad YearEntering ClassGraduated in 4 years or lessGraduated in 5-6 yearsGraduated over 6 yearsLeft ProgramCurrently Active (2013-14)Expected to Graduate May 2014% Graduated To Date
2005-06200951420%
2006-072010811625%
2007-082011811625%
2008-0920121121443*27%
2009-1020135221*40%
2010-112014112541*22%
2011-122015624
2012-132016716
2013-14201799
Average Graduation Rate for Entering Classes of 2005-2006 through 2007-200823%


Student Loan Default Rate

The default rate of our graduates has been consistently in the single digits, suggesting that our graduates are employed and continue to value the education that they received from Lancaster Seminary.

Updated 17 October 2014



OFFICIAL 3 YEAR COHORTPERCENTAGE OF STUDENT LOANS DEFAULTED
20098.0%
20104.1%
20118.1%


Employment of Seminary Graduates Report

MDiv and MA(R) graduates only.

Updated 17 October 2014

Degree-related employment includes: congregational ministry, chaplaincy, non-profit positions, CPE residency, area-related teaching positions, and related graduate studies. These data are based upon our communications with these graduates and information they have shared with us. In a few cases, we have lost contact with the graduates and have been unable to substantiate their use of their degree.

These figures also include full-time and part-time positions. Conclusive data on income from the positions are not available. 



On Graduation Day201020112012201320142015
Total Number of Students Who Graduated3030232924
Who Reported Degree-Related Employment43%27%18%45%42%
Who Did Not Report Employment47%63%78%55%58%
Who Reported Employment Not Related to Seminary Degree10%10%4%0%0%


As of October 2014201020112012201320142015
Total Number of Students Who Graduated3030232924
Who Hold Degree-Related Employment80%90%74%79%75%
Who Are Not Employedn/an/an/a10.5%12.5%
Who Are Employed in Unrelated Positionn/an/an/a10.5%12.5%