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Meadville Lombard Receives Accolades

Meadville Lombard Receives Ten Year Accreditation

ATS Board of Commissioners reaffirms accreditation citing “distinctive strengths”


Chicago, IL -- The Board of Commissioners of The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) voted last month to reaffirm accreditation of Meadville Lombard Theological School for a period of ten years, the longest term possible.

The vote to re-accredit follows the board’s review of favorable recommendations by the ATS Comprehensive Evaluation Committee and the school’s exhaustive self-study. The Evaluation Committee made a four day visit to the school in March to interview representatives of the Meadville Lombard Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae.

In addition to reaffirming accreditation, the ATS board also approved Meadville Lombard’s four degree programs: Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Arts in Leadership Studies (MALS), Master of Arts (MAR), and Doctor of Ministry (DMin).

“I am deeply honored by the observations of the ATS,” said Meadville Lombard’s President, the Reverend Dr. Lee Barker. “We are thrilled to receive a full ten year reaccreditation that affirms our Meadville Lombard Touchpoint℠ model of theological education.”
The ATS report highlights “distinctive strengths” of the school:

a. The collaborative process engaged by the school’s leadership that has established for this seminary a unique niche in graduate theological education – one that successfully affirms the school’s distinct identity through an imaginative curriculum that is delivered creatively to a distinctive audience.
b. The formational focus of the school’s ‘signature’ courses in its MDiv program that emphasizes team teaching, service learning, and integration of praxis and theological reflection in multi-cultural contexts.
c. The new sense of nimbleness that has led to an amazing turnaround over the last decade, from a school based on a more classical model of education that had become financially unsustainable to a more agile model that is mission-driven, market-sensitive, and monetarily sustainable.

“I am grateful to our faculty under the dynamic leadership of Provost, Dr. Sharon Welch, our staff, and our Board of Trustees for leading our school to the forefront of theological education,” said Barker. “Our unique place within Unitarian Universalism and the quality formation that is recognized by ATS calls us to expand our impact on our faith tradition by: preparing more ministers for service to Unitarian Universalism, offering additional scholarship aid, increasing access to our UU library and archival collections, and strengthening lifespan religious education through the innovative undertakings of the Fahs Collaborative.”

If you would like to read the entire text of the ATS letter, click here.

Meadville Lombard Theological School educates students in the Unitarian Universalist tradition to embody liberal religious ministry in Unitarian Universalist congregations and wherever else they are called to serve. Meadville Lombard does this to take into the world our Unitarian Universalist vision of justice, equity, and compassion. Visit to learn more.


Media Contact:

Madeleine Robins, Director of Development and Communications

Meadville Lombard Theological School

T: 312-533-4647  |  M: 218-390-6233