Academic Effectiveness

The academic programs of the Seminary are designed to prepare leaders to serve the church in a broad variety of ministry situations, both traditional and emerging.  Some of our graduates are completing their first professional degree while others are expanding their education through certificates, second degrees or the Doctor of Ministry program.

Each year graduates are asked to complete the Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ) which is produced by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).  For this report we have chosen to only focus on those items which are most clearly related to outcomes and educational effectiveness.  Summary information from those items is reported below:

GSQ Table 15 (All Graduates): Level of Satisfaction with Progress in Skills Related to Future Work

This table provides information which indicates student perceptions about how their academic programs and overall experiences in the Seminary have prepared them for future work.  Presented in the two tables below are results for the last three years of the survey.  In the first table the year–by- year results for Pittsburgh Theological Seminary are presented.  This representation shows trends in each of the components. The second table provides the most recent results for both PTS and all ATS institutions.

Educational Effectiveness in Facilitating Skill Areas 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014- 2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Ability to preach well 4.0 4.0 4.2 3.9 3.5
Ability to use and interpret Scripture 4.3 4.4 4.4 4.3 4.5
Knowledge of church policy/canon law 3.7 3.9 4.2 3.5 3.6
Ability to give spiritual direction 3.5 3.3 3.8 3.7 3.4
Ability to teach well 3.8 3.7 3.9 3.7 4.0
Knowledge of church doctrine and history 4.0 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.1
Ability to lead others 3.8 3.6 3.9 3.8 3.7
Ability to conduct worship/liturgy 4.0 3.6 3.9 3.6 3.6
Ability to interact effectively with those of religious traditions other than my own 3.2 3.2 3.4 3.7 4.0
Ability to interact effectively with my own religious tradition 4.1 3.5 3.7 3.8 4.2
Ability to interact effectively with those from cultural and racial/ethnic contexts other than my own * 3.0 3.6 3.8 4.0
Awareness and appreciation of the globalized context in which ministry is practiced * 3.6 4.1 4.0 3.9
Ability to work effectively with both women and men * 3.9 4.2 3.9 4.4
Ability to relate social issues to faith 3.8 3.6 3.7 4.0 4.2
Ability in pastoral counseling 3.6 3.2 3.7 3.6 3.8
Ability to administer a parish 3 2.8 3.4 3.2 3.8
Knowledge of Christian philosophy and ethics 3.6 3.7 3.9 3.8 3.9
Ability to think theologically 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.5 4.4
Ability to integrate insights from science into theology and ministry  * 3.2 3.5 3.4 3.4
Ability to integrate ecological concerns into theology and ministry  * 2.8 3.2 3.3 3.3

*This information not available prior to 2013-2014

 

Overall Satisfaction with Preparation and Experience

Each academic program has specific outcomes and general program goals. While these are very important there are other factors that contribute either directly or indirectly to educational effectiveness.

Again, the Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ) provides useful information in this area. For this report we have chosen to only focus on those items which are most clearly related to outcomes and educational effectiveness. Summary information from those items is reported below:

GSQ Table 20 (M.Div. Graduates – Selected Items): Level of Satisfaction with School’s Services and Academic Resources

This table provides information which indicates the most recent results for student perceptions about how the Seminary’s services and academic resources contributed to their overall success.  

GSQ Table 21 (M.Div. Graduates – Selected Items): Overall Experience during Theological Program

This table provides information which indicates student perceptions about their overall experience as a student at PTS. These data are a mixture of both academic and non-academic areas and were chosen based on the relationship to outcomes and educational effectiveness. The overall numbers in the last two columns are computed using three year weighted averages based on sample size. 

  PTS ATS
  12-13 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17 12-13 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17
I have been satisfied with my
academic experience
3.9 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.2 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4
Field Education / internship helpful 3.7 3.8 3.4 3.5 3.7 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
Grown spiritually 4.0 4.3 4.1 4.2 4.1 4.3 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4
Able to integrate theology and ministry 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.3
School has tried to be inclusive 3.4 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.2
I know students from other ethnic groups 3.7 4.0 4.1 4.0 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3
I would still come here 3.8 4.2 4.0 4.0 4.1 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.4 4.3