Union Theological Seminary Academics




Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York was founded in 1836 and incorporated in 1839 under a charter granted by the Legislature of the State of New York. Its programs are registered by the New York State Education Department.

Union Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The following degree programs are approved:  M.Div., M.A., S.T.M., Ph.D.

Union Theological Seminary is accredited by the following agencies:

The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada

10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1103

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Statement of Educational Effectiveness

The Mission of Union Theological Seminary is to prepare women and men for committed lives of service to the church, academy, and society. A Union education develops practices of mind and body that foster intellectual and academic excellence, social justice, and compassionate wisdom. Grounded in the Christian tradition and responsive to the needs of God’s creation, Union’s graduates make a difference wherever they serve. 

As a seminary and graduate school of theology we have close to 5,500 alumni scattered among 58 nations on six continents and across 41 denominations and religious communities. Our graduates have always been at the forefront of the significant social movements of their time, whether it was the abolitionist movement of the 19thcentury, the civil and equal rights movements of the 20thcentury, or today’s continuing struggles for women’s equality, peace and democracy.

In their undertakings, today’s Union graduates draw on the spiritual and intellectual preparation afforded by their Union education. They serve in congregational ministries as ordained clergy and lay leaders, and in specialized ministries as counselors and chaplains, social workers, faith-based directors of ecumenical and religiously related agencies and theological educators. Union also prepares leaders for non-church related service such as teaching, nonprofit organization work, business, law, journalism, medicine and higher education.

For the past ten years, our total enrollments have remained stable at approximately 250. Each year, we graduate between 70 and 100 students. Interviews with 710 alum showed that between 2001 and 2009, 43% worked as ordained clergy, 23% entered the academy, and 22% worked in social justice ministries.  Overall, 48 percent of our students go into congregational or specialized ministries and are serving over 90 social  service agencies and faith communities in New York City.

According to the ATS Graduating Student Questionnaires for academic years between 2007-2012,  Union graduates rated:

  1. The top areas of personal growth during their time at Union  were: self knowledge, concerns  about social justice, empathy for the poor and oppressed, and  a respect for other religious traditions.
  2. The top areas of satisfaction with progress in skills needed for future work: The ability to think theologically, the  ability to relate to social issues of faith, ability to use and interpret scripture, ability to preach well and the ability to lead others.
  3. The top resources and services provided to them: the adequacy of  the Burke Library collection, the quality of teaching and the helpfulness and support of the administrative staff.

In addition to the above noted measures of educational effectiveness, Union Theological Seminary assesses the effectiveness of its educational programs and services utilizing both, direct and indirect methods. 

Direct Methods of Assessment: 

  • Entrance Exam on Biblical content (MDIV)
  • Language Exams (MA, STM, PHD)
  • Senior Thesis (MDIV, MA, STM)
  • Internships/Evaluations  (MDIV)
  • Collective ePortfolios  &  Evaluation ((MDIV, Fall 2012)
  • Reflective Essay (MDIV)
  • Scoring Rubrics for selected courses  (MDIV, fall 2012)
  • Comprehensive Exams (PhD)
  • Dissertations (PhD)
  • Oral Defenses (PhD)

Indirect Methods of Assessment:

  • Entrance Questionnaire
  • Exit interviews
  • Alumni surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Graduation and Retention rates 

The Seminary also provides the infrastructure and resources necessary to achieve sustainable assessment including: Assessment Coordination, Faculty Governance & Leadership of Assessment, Professional Development, Technical Support/World Class technology, Internal Communications & Collaborations.

Assessment at Union is a collaborative effort of Office of Academic Affairs, Integrative & Field Based Education program, Office of Student Life, The Office of Admissions, The Faculty Steering Committee, The Committee on Standing, Faculty, current students, and alums.


©Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York

3041 Broadway at 121st Street, New York, NY 10027 | Tel: (212) 662-7100