Bexley Seabury engages in a continuous and regular program of assessment of student learning and program effectiveness. The purpose of this program is to evaluate how we are measuring up to our stated goals and how well students are achieving desired learning outcomes; to identify gaps and implement changes which will allow us to close those gaps; and to alter our goals and outcomes in light of changing educational and vocational needs of our students. We also conduct assessment in order to keep our various constituencies well informed of our progress, thus engaging them in the ongoing mission of the seminary. Our aim is to provide the highest possible quality of education, formation, and enrichment for all participants in our program offerings.

Bexley Seabury’s assessment of student learning and program effectiveness is outcome-oriented and evidence-based. The evidence we gather and analyze in order to determine the degree to which our courses and curricula are producing the desired results includes:

  • completion, graduation, ordination, and graduation rates;
  • placement data;
  • student survey results;
  • annual evaluations of each student’s representative work from each course, using rubrics that that measure both course and curricular-level outcomes; and
  • five-year comprehensive reviews of each program based on aggregate student learning data.

The Master of Divinity degree is designed primarily to train persons for lay and ordained ministries in the Episcopal Church. Permission by one’s bishop and entry into the process towards ordination is required in order to enroll in the Master of Divinity program. Thus, key markers of program effectiveness and tracking student success involve the percentage of students who complete their program; the percentage ordained; and the percentage serving more than half-time in an ecclesial ministry setting.

The following numbers concern students enrolled in the MDiv program for the past ten years.

Enrollment, Completion, Ordination, and Employment statistics
Fall of 2004-Spring 2013

Total Number of Students Enrolled: 68
Number who completed program: 64
Percentage of Completions: 94%

Total Number of Students Enrolled: 68
Number Ordained: 61
Percentage Ordained: 90%

Total Number of Students Enrolled: 68
Number Serving in Ecclesial Setting: 63
Percentage Serving in Ecclesial Setting: 93%

Student Loan Default Rate, 2006-present

The percentage of students defaulting on student loans is an additional component of
program effectiveness. A low rate is an indicator that students are capable of paying
back their student loans based on their current positions in the ministry of the Episcopal
Church. The current student loan default rate from 2006-present is 0%.

 

The Doctor of Ministry Degree is designed for experienced ministry practitioners with the MDiv or equivalent. The DMin in Congregational Development encourages students to reflect theologically on the nature of the church, understand the challenges and opportunities facing today’s faith communities, analyze congregations and their contexts, practice effective community organizing and strategizing, and develop a learning community with others who are asking similar questions. The Doctor of Ministry in Preaching Program, offered in collaboration with six other Chicago-area seminaries as the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) DMin in Preaching Program, offers opportunities to achieve that growth in preaching.

The Doctor of Ministry degree is designed to enhance the ministerial leadership of those who have an MDiv (or the equivalent) and have been in professional ministry for at least three years. Key markers of program and educational effectiveness are student enrollment and completion, progress towards curricular goals, quality of instruction and integration of course material with vocation and ministry.

The following numbers include students enrolled in the DMin program for the past ten years and survey data from 2013-2014.

Numbers do not include students in the program who matriculated through Church Divinity School of the Pacific, our partner in the DMin in Congregational Development program from June 2009 though June 2014.

Enrollment in DMin 2000-2014 Number Percent
 DMin in Congregational Development
Total Matriculated  103
Completed degree  53  51
All but thesis 6 6
Certificate 3 3
In course 26 25
Withdrew 15 15
DMin in Preaching (offered in conjunction with 5 other ACTS schools)
Total Matriculated 28
Completed degree 18 64
In course 1 4
Transferred 1 4
Withdrew 8 29

 

 Educational effectiveness, 2013-14i Averageii % 8-10iii
 MDiv
 Courses contributed to students’ progress toward curricular goalsiv  9 84
 Students integrated course material with vocation and ministry  9 83
Quality of instruction 9 82
DMin in Congregational Development
Courses contributed to students’ progress toward curricular goalsv 9 85
Students integrated course material with vocation and ministry 9 92
Quality of instruction 9 91

 

i First full year of both programs

ii Based on range of 1 through 10; goal is 8.5

iii Percentage of answers that are 8-10 on a 10 point scale; goal is 85%

iv Questionnaire for each course asks about all curricular goals, rather than being limited to the 3-4 goals for each particular course. In other words, this tells us about how all courses taken together meet all goals taken together. Specifying the goals for each course and averaging only those would give a higher aggregate average.

v Questionnaire for each course asks about all curricular goals, rather than being limited to the 3-4 goals for each particular course. In other words, this tells us about how all courses taken together meet all goals taken together. Specifying the goals for each course and averaging only those would give a higher aggregate average.