ARTS-COA Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting News and Events.

At the ARTS-COA Annual Meeting, October 5-6, 2023, the following official actions were taken:

Official Actions – Congratulations to Metro Atlanta Seminary, Metro Baltimore Seminary and Grace Bible Theological Seminary.  In official actions of the COA:

  • Metro Atlanta Seminary (MAS) was presented an official certificate documenting the letter of Commendation and Continuation after satisfying the requirements of their reaffirmation study.
  • Metro Baltimore Seminary (MBS) appeared before the COA and successfully answered all final questions regarding their candidacy.  The COA voted to award membership and accreditation to MBS.
  • Grace Bible Theological Seminary (GBTS) also appeared before the COA.  The COA voted to extend full accreditation to GBTS with a letter of notation.  Items in the letter of notation must be addressed by the next annual meeting.

Official Actions with Affiliates — At the COA annual meeting on Thursday October 5th, the COA approved all the Annual Reports from Affiliate members.  Approval for several affiliates had been delayed because the COA had been waiting for additional information. The application for Affiliate Membership for Forge Theological Seminary was also approved.

New COA Members:  Dr. Thad James of Birmingham Theological Seminary was confirmed by the ARTS Board of Directors to fill the open COA position created by the resignation of Dr. Joey Pipa of Greenville Seminary.  The Board also approved Dr. Sidney Dyer of Greenville Seminary as an alternate to the COA.  Dr. Dyer will participate in COA activities, go through the Commissioner training, but will not have a vote.  Welcome to both Thad and Sid!

You-Tube Channel: Please check out the ARTS YouTube Channel:  Special thanks to Brice Bigham at CBTS for creating the videos on this channel.

COA Commissioner Training Program: In early 2023 ARTS-COA created a Commissioners training program for site-visitors.  During the COA meeting the effectiveness of the training was evaluated and areas of improvement were noted. The revised training course is located here: q5vv74r

Review of COA Documentation:  Another important activity we took at the annual meeting was the annual review of COA documentation and training.  Each year we look at our Policies and Procedures, our website, our procedures for evaluation of site-visits and much more.  Our goal is continuous improvement.

Finally, a copy of the COA’s report which was given on October 6th to the BOD is found here.

MAS receives Letter of Commendation and Continuance.

Metro Atlanta Seminary re-accredited for 10 years.

The COA voted on September 7th to approve a letter of Commendation and Continuance to Metro Atlanta Seminary.  The accreditation period will be good for 10 years.  Thad James, chair of the site-visit committee, reported that members of the site-visit team were satisfied in MAS’s responses in resolving the 11 notations issued to them on April 29th, 2023.

Background on this decision

At its regularly stated meeting on February 10th, 2023, the COA reviewed a letter of notation to Metro Atlanta Seminary (MAS) in response to their 5-year reaccreditation visit, subsequent follow up report, and an MAS response to the report.  (More information about site-visit reports and process is found in this blog post.) The reaccreditation site-visit was conducted in July of 2022.

The Letter of Notation documenting discrepancies is based on a two-thirds decision of the ARTS-COA.  In the case of MAS, the newly revised ARTS-COA rubric for assessing compliance with standards was employed. Our rubric specifies that institutions must fully meet all the criteria for sub-standards in order to be in compliance with the full standard.  Institutions receiving a letter of notation remain full members, but are expected to respond to the letter within 60 days, and resolve all issues noted within 12 months after the date of the notation.  (Policies and Procedures, Section 1.d.iii)

Accordingly the COA is seeking from MAS further details regarding a curriculum overview showing a plan for resolution for standards 2.4, 3.5, 5.2, 5.3, 6 and 10.5.  We mention these items to be in compliance with ARTS-COA Policies and Procedures, Section 4.a.ii.

While further clarification is being sought on the above items, the COA also commended MAS for the many other improvements which MAS has implemented as a result of the site-visit report.

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