Statement of Educational Effectiveness
In an effort to assess the effectiveness of its educational programs, Dallas Theological Seminary tracks persistence rates, graduation rates, and placement information for all its educational programs. Since the majority of graduate theological institutions track such effectiveness data in a variety of ways, the following information is designed only to give interested individuals and the seminary’s constituents information about the seminary and should not be used as a comparison, either good or bad, to the effectiveness of other seminaries and graduate-level theological institutions.
DTS tracks persistence and graduation rates for its master’s-level degree programs. The persistence rates are a measure of the number of students that continue in a seminary degree program three years after initial matriculation into the seminary. Of master’s students initially matriculating from fall 2004 through fall 2014, 66% continued or graduated after three years. Within that group, 75% of Master of Theology (ThM) students (the seminary’s flagship, four-year, ministry-preparation degree program) continued after three years.
Graduation rates are a measure of the number of students who actually graduated with a DTS degree within eight years of initial matriculation. Eight years is the upper time-limit within which a student must complete a program of study. Of the master’s-level students initially matriculating from fall 2004 through fall 2009, 57% graduated within eight years. Within that group, 63% of students matriculating into the ThM earned their degree within eight years.
The seminary also tracks the percentage of known graduates who are in various categories of employment within a specified number of months of graduation. Of the graduates in 2017 whose ministry placements are known to the seminary, 49% are working in church ministry, 22% in parachurch ministry, 4% in missions, 10% in education, 13% in secular employment, and 4% are students in doctoral and other programs. Further evidence that graduates of the seminary are prepared for a lifetime of ministry can be seen from a recent canvass of the seminary’s 14,821 living alumni. Of those for whom the seminary has the information, 34% are working in church ministry, 18% in parachurch ministries, 13% in education, 6% in missions, 17% in secular work, and 12% are retired.