Concordia Seminary here has been given full accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada (ATS) and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
This is the first time the Lutheran Comrch-Missouri Synod institution has been accredited by the NCA, and ends several years of intermittent probation imposed by the other agency.
The ATS placed the seminary on probation in 1972 for reasons involving unclear adminstrative procedures. The probation was lifted in 1974, but a new one was imposed later. The association said at the time that developments at Concordia "have weakened theological education in North America."
The ATS lifted the second probation in 1976, after a team of advisers visited the campus and reported that "at the present time the Board (of Control) is doing a good job of maintaining the vitality and integrity of the institution."
In a recent joint report, the ATS and NCA have now indicated that the strengths of Concordia Seminary include a "stable and supportive relationship" with its constituency, "adequate financial support and realistic fiscal policy for changing times," a "competent, forward looking administration," and an "excellent library with extensive holdings, adequate facilities, and a highly qualified staff."
The report also commented that "the evaluation team was impressed by a spirit of unity an commitment manifest in all aspects of the seminary's life. The courage and determination of the institution's leadership is responsible for a pervasive sense of expectancy."
Members of the team that visited the seminary in March were Dr. Louis A. Gunnenmann, former dean of the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities: Dr. Edwin D. Junkin, dean of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Tex.; Dr. Glenn A. Niemeyer, vice president for academic affairs at Grand Valley State College, Allendale, Mich.; and Dr. John D. Crossman, professor of religious studies at De Paul University, Chicago.