7/19/10 ASHLAND, OH -- Ashland Theological Seminary, a graduate division of Ashland University, has received approval from the Association of Theological Schools' Commission on Accrediting to offer two complete master's degree programs at the University's Columbus Center located at 1900 E. Dublin-Granville Road.
"We are very excited to receive this approval and thrilled to be able to offer our complete master of arts (religion) and master of divinity degrees in the Columbus market," said Dr. John Shultz, president of Ashland Theological Seminary. "We will begin offering these complete programs in the fall and expect great interest in the Columbus market."
Shultz said Ashland Theological Seminary is the only evangelical seminary offering a complete degree program in the Columbus area. "We believe this will provide us with a real niche and we see great potential for growth and being able to service the many denominations in greater Columbus," Shultz said.
Dale Stoffer, academic dean at the seminary, agreed. "This approval also opens the door for us in a good portion of southern Ohio and will extend us into many new areas that we have had limited engagement up to this point," he said.
Stoffer said the approval element of accreditation process involved a focused visit to campus as well as meetings with administrators, faculty, students and an advisory board. "They looked at facility and talked with our directors at the Columbus Center and received the report and petition submitted by the Seminary," he said.
"They asked a lot of questions and were very impressed with the program and the energy they felt from the people they talked with down there," Stoffer said.
The Seminary, which has offered courses at the Columbus Center since 1991, will continue to offer up to half of the master of arts in practical theology degree and half of the master of arts degree in addition to the full program in master of arts (religion) and the master of divinity degrees.
"Our next goal in Columbus is to offer the complete master of arts in practical theology degree as well as the full master of arts in clinical counseling," he said.
With campuses in Ashland, Detroit, Cleveland and Columbus, Ashland Theological Seminary integrates theological education with Christ-centered transformation as it equips men and women for ministry in the church and the world.
Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.