Statement of Educational Effectiveness (updated 01-13-16)
The Mission of Talbot School of Theology is the development of disciples of Jesus Christ, whose thought processes, character and lifestyles reflect those of our Lord, and who are dedicated to disciple making throughout the world. The objectives that form the general context for our degree programs include theological training, spiritual development, and ministry skill development.
Graduates of Talbot School of Theology report great satisfaction with Talbot’s quality of instruction and accessibility of their faculty, as well as library and academic resources. They are satisfied in both areas of academics and spiritual life.
Biblical and Theological Training
The theological position of Talbot School of Theology is Christian, Protestant, and theologically conservative. The school earnestly endeavors to make these doctrinal positions a vital reality in the spiritual life of this present generation.
Graduates report that they are highly satisfied with Talbot academic life in the following areas: their ability to think theologically, knowledge of Christian philosophy and ethics, ability to use and interpret Scripture, to teach well, and give spiritual direction. They strongly agree that their faith became stronger at Talbot, that faculty were supportive and understanding, and that they are able to integrate theology and ministry. Graduates rate experiences in ministry, personal life experiences, and interaction with students as some of the more important influences on their educational experience.
Talbot School of Theology purposes to develop the spiritual life of our students in harmony with the great doctrines of the faith.
Graduates report that they are much stronger in the areas of trust in God, knowledge of self, enthusiasm for learning, strength of spiritual life, and ability to live one’s faith in daily life.
Ministry Skill Development
We aim to educate and graduate student students characterized by practical Christian service, missionary and evangelistic zeal, and a working knowledge of the Scriptures.
Our Talbot graduates report that they are able to integrate theology and ministry. They are satisfied with their ability to think theologically, to use and interpret Scripture, to teach well, to lead others, and to relate theologically to social issues. Additionally, Master of Divinity students reported that through their field education and internships, they gained a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses and improved their pastoral skills. They have a greater sense of people’s needs and cultivated a greater interest in future ministry. Ultimately, Master of Divinity students are satisfied with their ability to preach well and think theologically.
Ministry Roles Upon Graduation
Our graduates expect to fill positions within five years in the following areas: pastoral ministry, university teaching, global mission, church planting, youth ministry, spiritual direction, and doctoral study.
In June 2015, all May 2014 graduates (111) were surveyed using our Graduate Placement Survey. Fifty-nine (59) alumni responded, leading to a 53% return rate.
Of those May 2014 graduates who completed our placement survey and who pursued a Talbot degree in order to continue in or secure part or full time employment (36 respondents), 20 were engaged in such employment within the first year from graduation--55%.
In June 2014, all May 2013 graduates (145) were surveyed using our Graduate Placement Survey. Eighty (80) alumni responded, leading to a 55% response rate.
Of those May 2013 graduates who completed our placement survey and who pursued a Talbot degree in order to be employed in a ministry setting (54 respondents), 45 were so employed within the first year from graduation – 83%
Program Assessment and Effectiveness
We are thoroughly committed to a process of regularly improving our degree programs to enhance their quality and effectiveness. We want our graduates to be well-equipped for their respective professions. Our Program Learning Outcomes represent the criteria we use to evaluate student work and thereby gauge the results of student learning. The primary instruments we use to evaluate our success at achieving our Program Learning Outcomes include assessment data results and alumni questionnaires. Our assessments are closed-looped, as we have regularly scheduled evaluations that use data to inform changes to make our degree programs more effective. Assessment data takes into account information gleaned from Entering Student Questionnaires and Graduating Student Questionnaires—surveys given to our students upon entering and graduating, respectively — as well as tangible evidence from student work that establishes whether learning outcomes have been achieved. Also, the alumni questionnaire provides us with placement statistics, which enables us to determine how many students were employed following graduation and an indication of the nature of their employment. These various forms of data allow us to assess and to make regular improvements in our degree programs.
Completions by Graduation Rate:
Retention and Graduation Rates help the university understand how well our students are able to persistent to completion in their educational goals. The university evaluates these measurements to help identify and remove barriers to student success and to help forecast annual enrollment levels and set new student recruiting targets. To review our historical measurements, please visit our university outcomes page here.