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Educational Effectiveness

Mission

Through an advanced academic program prioritizing biblical authority and local church discipleship, our mission is to train men for pastoral ministry—to preach the Word of God, reach the world for Christ, and teach others to do the same.

Educational Priorities

The Master’s Seminary offers graduate-level biblical, theological, and professional education designed to equip men for effectiveness in Christian ministry to the universal body of Christ, primarily through the local church. This educational task is accomplished through emphasis on the following:

  • Careful instruction in the Scriptures, including the original languages.
  • The study of various systems of theological thought including exposure to both past and present movements in church history and Christian missions with a view to embracing a comprehensive, coherent theology built from Scripture.
  • A consistent focus upon involvement and accountability within the local church context.
  • Ongoing efforts to challenge each student in developing a biblical philosophy of ministry.
  • The development and improvement of communication, relationship, leadership, and administrative skills for ministry. The objective is to produce graduates who are recognized as men of God and who are equipped to serve effectively as pastors, missionaries, teachers, evangelists, counselors, and leaders in evangelical ministries around the world (1 Tim. 3:1–7; Tit. 1:5–9).

Training Distinctives

The seminary community and curriculum are designed with the following goals and ideals in view:

  • Excellence in academics is to be cultivated in an attitude of spiritual devotion.
  • The essential focus of all study at the seminary is to be biblical, exegetical, theological, expositional, and practical.
  • Though other viewpoints are given careful consideration, the emphasis is to be positive in building upon the certainties of God’s inerrant Word.
  • Careful attention is to be devoted to the cultivation of Christian character qualities and living skills which are essential for godly living, for leadership in ministry, and for effective involvement in serving others.
  • Each program of study is to include a significant focus on the development of the appropriate ministry skills which are necessary for effectiveness in the various areas of Christian service.
  • The entire seminary community is to be characterized by the desire for the worship of God, mutual edification, and by an evangelistic and missionary zeal.

Personal Objectives

The following characteristics portray an alumnus of The Master’s Seminary in terms of the kind of person he should be, what he should know, and what he should be able to do.

  • Character—He should be a godly man, notable for holiness of conduct in all his relationships (Ps. 1; 15; 1 Tim. 3:1–7; Tit. 1:5–9).
  • Knowledge—He should have a general comprehension of the entirety of God’s written revelation and should have developed a well-formulated theological framework which adequately synthesizes the biblical and historical data. He should have a functional linguistic facility in biblical Hebrew and Greek, and a basic knowledge of the contributions of major Christian leaders, thinkers, and authors throughout church history (Ezra 7:10; 1 Tim. 4:13–16; 2 Tim. 2:2, 14–15; 3:14–17; 4:1–4).
  • Abilities—He should be able to articulate a biblical philosophy of ministry that balances principles of worship, prayer, exposition, edification, evangelism, and discipleship.

Educational Parameters

To adhere unswervingly to the founding purpose of training pastors to shepherd and equip Christ’s church.

To keep The Master’s Seminary faithful to its biblical foundations. All biblical content is to be based on God’s inerrant Word and developed through the exegetical process. The curriculum must constantly reflect scriptural absolutes to avoid deviation from God’s truth.

To enrich faculty leadership. Every member of The Master’s Seminary faculty fits a fivefold profile in that they are all men of God, men of the Word, men of scholarship, men of Christ’s church, and men of compassion.

To insist on an educational philosophy that is consistent with Scripture by:

  • Majoring on biblical certainty, not doubt or theory
  • Striving for spiritual development in The Master’s Seminary students, not intellectualism alone
  • Preparing men to serve the Lord, not merely to know about the Lord
  • Emphasizing a methodical, disciplined approach to studying Scripture rather than using a haphazard approach
  • Encouraging excellence and never accepting mediocrity
  • Expecting the faculty to be examples, not merely experts
  • Stressing the imperative to function in the body of Christ, not merely function as an individual

To emphasize the well-articulated goals of The Master’s Seminary—both personal and pastoral:

Personal —

  • To cultivate a holy, intimate relationship between every student and God
  • To produce compassionate men who have gracious relationships with others

Pastoral —

  • To study God’s Word with precision
  • To speak God’s message with power
  • To serve God’s purpose with zeal
  • To shepherd God’s flock with care
  • To fight God’s battle with courage

Educational Assessment

In pursuing the seminary’s mission, TMS values academic quality and educational effectiveness. To that end, the seminary regularly evaluates its academic programs and assesses student progress. Institutional research and the collection of assessment data is overseen by the Associate Dean of Academics, in coordination with the faculty, the office of the Registrar, the Student Services Department, and other relevant departments.

Specifically, the seminary evaluates its educational effectiveness in the following ways:

  • Each semester, assessment data is collected that corresponds to student performance on key signature assignments strategically mapped throughout each program.
  • Student feedback is acquired anonymously for specific classes through CAFÉ (Course Assessment and Faculty Evaluation) forms.
  • Additional student feedback is received through the MAP (Ministry Aptitude and Placement) survey. Also, the Student Services Department conducts an anonymous student satisfaction survey on an annual basis.
  • Once per semester, the faculty conducts a candidacy review of the student body. The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the academic progress and spiritual development of each student, identifying areas in which the seminary can assist students as they continue through their program of study.
  • The Associate Dean of Academics annually meets with each faculty department to work through the data collected.
  • The faculty committees that oversee each academic program meet regularly to assess student learning and educational effectiveness within that specific program. The seminary engages in a formal program review of each academic program once every five years.
  • In addition to responses from students, faculty members are evaluated by the administration on an annual basis. The faculty review process includes the development of a faculty portfolio, ensuring that faculty members are approaching the student learning process in a manner consistent with their colleagues and with established best practices.
  • In addition to the above data points, student retention and graduation rates are calculated and collected by the Associate Dean of Academics for each program.

The data collected through the above channels enables the seminary to evaluate and enhance the quality of its instruction and strength of its academic programs. All of this is done as an act of worship to the Lord, knowing that the work of training pastors represents a solemn stewardship that comes from Him.