Educational Effectiveness Statement

– updated Sept. 16, 2022

 

The uniqueness of Metro Atlanta Seminary is not that we strive to be different from all the other seminaries. Our goal is to always seek to learn if there is a better way to train students for ministry. Here are some goals:

  1. Academic Studies: Goal: To Know = Head. The goal of every seminary is to impart knowledge. No one is capable of doing ministry without this. Seminaries have always struggled to know how much they can teach in three years. All agree, not enough. Some seminaries have even gone to a four-year program. But still, it is not enough. MAS knows there is never enough time to teach all a new minister needs to know, so, our goal is to impart what we cannot; we use process curriculum not content curriculum. That is, we want our students to walk away from every class knowing how to be life-long learners.
    1. Academic Papers: In place of writing many formal academic papers, we understand most pastors don’t spend their time writing papers for their congregations. Pastors spend the bulk of their time preaching and teaching. Therefore, MAS has made it a policy to not only have a course or two on preaching, but to incorporate into many of our courses the opportunity to write a sermon or Bible study in place of a paper. Just as much research goes into this, but the student walks away with extra attempts to perfect their sermons and then can immediately use what was created.
    2. Biblical Languages: Seminary training has focused on students learning the grammar and vocabulary of Hebrew and Greek. However, it has been known for years that 80-90% of pastors didn’t retain enough of what they learned to keep up their ability to use the languages in their studies. MAS has decided, instead of teaching students Greek and Hebrew, we would rather teach them how to use Greek and Hebrew by equipping them to be proficient in the use of Logos Bible Software, which already contains all the language helps they will need to do their research. We do teach basic grammar and vocabulary, but do not require as much memorization of paradigms, etc.
  2. Personal Mentoring: Goal: To Be = Heart. From previous research, and more recent research done by Lifeway, we know that more pastors who leave the ministry leave because of personal issues than doctrinal issues. MAS did some early research into several PCA presbyteries asking how many of the pastors had ever been mentored. 40% was the finding. MAS decided to make this a focal point of our mission. Each student will spend all three years with a trained mentor who will get to know them personally and ask the difficult questions about their lives. We deal with how they spend their time, what they watch on the internet, their relationships with their wives and children, their finances, their spiritual lives, etc. We want them to experience being mentored so they will also be able to start mentoring ministries in their own churches.
  3. Practical work experience: Goal: To Do = Hand. When a student has to leave their home church to go to seminary, they lose contact with the people they need most to help them mature in their lives and develop their gifts for ministry. Our students can remain in their home churches where they can put what they are learning directly into practice, as well as being mentored by someone who already knows them. The sermons and Bible studies they write for class can be put into practice right away, helping them get better and better before they finish seminary.

RATE OF COMPLETION CHART

*two are going part-time and are still in the program
^four are going part-time and are still in the program
**Thirteen students started in 2020 for a four-year program

CONTINUOUSLY LOOKING FOR BETTER WAYS

There is always room for improvement. However, since there is never room in which the Scripture can be improved, MAS is committed to continuously looking for ways of being better at communicating the Scripture both to the people of God (the Church) and to the world.

As such, MAS evaluates every course to be sure it is taught clearly and accurately. Every instructor is evaluated after each course is taught, and the curriculum is regularly examined.

A major goal of MAS is for every student to successfully complete the program into which he or she has invested their time and money. To that end, MAS continuously trains and works with the mentors assigned or chosen by each student.

In the areas of practical work assignments, MAS is always striving to tailor each student’s work in the areas in which they striving to serve the Lord, whether in the church, the workplace, parachurch, or the world.