In February 2013, in response to a Readiness Report submitted by Baptist Seminary of Kentucky to the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the Commission granted BSK Candidacy for Accredited Status. Candidacy status sets the stage for our final approach to accreditation by ATS. The accreditation process involves a comprehensive institutional self-study followed by evaluation by a visiting committee of peers from other institutions. The report of that visiting committee will provide the basis for a decision by the ATS Board of Commissioners on granting accreditation.
A steering committee has been established to oversee the BSK self-study process, and working groups have begun the primary work of evaluating all aspects of the Seminary’s operations. The criteria for this evaluation comes from the ATS General Institutional Standards and Educational and Degree Program Standards, which can be accessed at the ATS website.
BSK faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and students, as well as community and denominational representatives, make up the self-study steering committee and working groups. The steering committee has established a timeline of research, writing reports, and combining and editing those reports into an integrated report to be submitted to ATS by December 1, 2014. Pending approval of the report by the ATS Board of Commissioners in February 2015, the evaluation by the visiting committee would occur in the spring of 2015 in order for the Board of Commissioners to consider our accreditation in the summer of 2015.
The steering committee will be sharing its findings with the BSK trustees and with the larger BSK community as work progresses. We invite the involvement and input of the whole BSK community—we hope you will take note of opportunities along the way to review the findings of the self-study and offer feedback. Prayers, suggestions, and encouragement are also welcome. This process will be the most strenuous test the Seminary has ever faced, but at the same time it is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate how far we have already come as an institution birthed, nurtured, and sustained by faithful churches and individuals with a vision for preparing “men and women sensing God’s leadership for life and ministry in faithful witness to Christ in the church and the world.”