Educational Effectiveness

Oklahoma Christian University is committed to working with students to “transform lives for Christian faith, scholarship, and service.” In addition, the Graduate School of Theology seeks to “provide rigorous training for the intellectual and spiritual development of persons seeking a life of ministry within the church, academy, and world.”

In order to help assess the educational effectiveness of our degree programs, the Graduate School of Theology began formally surveying graduating students each academic year, beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, using the Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ) generated by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Although the indicators for educational effectiveness are many, three indicators in particular sum up the experience of student respondents. 

Educational Effectiveness Indicator #1

The first indicator is the “measure of educational effectiveness and personal growth.” This indicator is made up of 15 sub-indicators: empathy for the poor and oppressed; ability to pray; concern about social justice; enthusiasm for learning; insight into troubles of others; desire to become an authority in my field; trust in God; self-discipline and focus; respect for other religious traditions; respect for my own religious tradition; ability to live my faith in daily life; clarity of vocational goals; self-confidence; self-knowledge; and strength of spiritual life.

Graduating students were asked to rate the effectiveness of each of these on a scale from 1-5, where a rating of 1=not at all effective, 2=not very effective, 3=somewhat effective, 4=effective, and 5=very effective. The average combined rating for the indicators under the heading of “measure of educational effectiveness and personal growth” is as follows for each degree program.

Summary of average student scores
(Last updated April 2018)

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv): 4.1
  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM): 4.1
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS): 3.8

Educational Effectiveness Indicator #2

The second indicator is “educational effectiveness in facilitating skill areas.” This indicator is made up of 15 sub-indicators: ability to preach well; ability to use and interpret Scripture; knowledge of church polity/canon law; ability to give spiritual direction; ability to teach well; knowledge of church doctrine and history; ability to lead others; ability to conduct worship/liturgy; ability to interact effectively with those of religious traditions other than my own; ability to work effectively within my own religious tradition; ability to interact effectively with those from cultural and racial/ethnic contexts other than my own; awareness and appreciation of the globalized context in which ministry is practices; ability to work effectively with both women and men; ability to relate social issues to faith; ability in pastoral counseling; ability to administer a parish; knowledge of Christian philosophy and ethics; ability to think theologically; ability to integrate insights from science into theology and ministry; and ability to integrate ecological concerns into theology and ministry. 

Again, graduating students were asked to rate the effectiveness of each of these on a scale from 1-5, where a rating of 1=not at all effective, 2=not very effective, 3=somewhat effective, 4=effective, and 5=very effective. The average combined rating for the indicators under the heading of “educational effectiveness in facilitating skill areas” is as follows for each degree program:

Summary of average student scores
(Last updated April 2018)

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv): 4.5
  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM): 4.4
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS): 4.1

Educational Effectiveness Indicator #3

The third and final indicator is "overall experience during the program."  This indicator is made up of 17 sub-indicators given from the student's point of view and includes the following: I have been satisfied with my academic experience; Field Education/internship has been a helpful experience; faculty were supportive and understanding; I have felt accepted within the school community; I have grown spiritually; My faith is stronger than when I came; my personal faith has been respected; individuals of other faith traditions have been respected; I know at least one faculty member well; I have been able to integrate the theology and practice of ministry; the school has tried to be a diverse and inclusive community; I have come to know students from other racial, ethnic, and cultural groups; I have made good friends here; seminary was a good experience for my spouse/family; commuting increased the time it took to complete my program; I have been able to manage financially; if I had to do it over, I would still come here.

Again, graduating students were asked to rate the effectiveness of each of these on a scale from 1-5, where a rating of 1=not at all effective, 2=not very effective, 3=somewhat effective, 4=effective, and 5=very effective. The average combined rating for the indicators under the heading of “educational effectiveness in facilitating skill areas” is as follows for each degree program:

Summary of average student scores
(Last updated April 2018)

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv): 4.6
  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM): 4.5
  • Master of Theological Studies (MTS): 4.1

The Graduate School of Theology administration believes that while there is always opportunity to hone and improve our degree programs, these responses demonstrate that our students have received a high-quality education that prepares them for life of ministry within the church, academy, and world.

Questions about these indicators of educational effectiveness may be directed to the Chair of the Graduate School of Theology, Dr. Jim Dvorak (jim.dvorak@oc.edu).