The Distinctives of ARTS
The mission of the Association of Reformed Theological Seminaries (ARTS) is to preserve and advance the academic quality, accountability, and improvement of seminaries committed to educating students in the tenets of Reformed Theology.
Created in 1999 to meet the need for an accrediting organization dedicated to Reformed theological education, ARTS, through its independent standing Commission on Accreditation, accredits seminaries, which satisfy Commission's eligibility and academic standards.
ARTS is committed to bringing glory to God by contributing to the building of the Church, the progress of God’s Kingdom, and the preservation and advancement of the Reformed tradition by providing a context where the Association and member institutions can hold one another accountable for fulfilling their individual purposes and commitments.
Tenets of Faith
Each accredited member and affiliate institution must profess adherence to one or more of the historic creeds of the Reformed tradition, namely, the Westminster Confession and Catechisms, the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dordt, the First and Second Helvetic Confessions, or the Second London Confession of 1689.
Membership in ARTS is institutional and is open to seminaries, which meet the qualifications and requirements of the ARTS Commission on Accreditation. Institutions which have been accredited by the ARTS Commission on Accreditation (ARTS-COA) are classified as association/accredited members, can advertise that they have achieved ARTS-COA accreditation, and are eligible to participate in ARTS association governance and its professional society.
Institutions that are applying, but have not yet been accredited by ARTS-COA, are classified as having obtained either applicant or candidate status and are not considered ARTS association members. Applicant and Candidate institutions may not claim ARTS-COA accreditation and are not eligible to participate in ARTS’s association governance.
Scope of Accreditation
ARTS Commission on Accreditation accredits U.S. based seminaries that offer certificates, diplomas, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees in ministry-related fields aimed at preparing students for Christian service through biblical and theological studies of Reformed traditions.
ARTS Leadership and Governance
ARTS consists of a board of directors, comprised of member institutions, with responsibility for the business affairs of the Association. ARTS also consists of a separate and independent Commission on Accreditation that exercises authority over accreditation decisions, policies & procedures, academic standards, and site review processes.