ONTARIO, Calif. – The Western Association of Senior Colleges and Universities Commission (WSCUC) officially affirmed reaccreditation for Gateway Seminary on March 4.
Highlights of the commission's report included a reaccreditation period of 10 years and praise for educational excellence. It also singled out the online program as "a high quality program that exhibits the best practices in distance education."
"We are so pleased by the affirmation we received in the reaccreditation process from WSCUC," said Jeff Iorg, president of GateWay Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention. "They were complimentary of the transition and what we have accomplished since moving the main campus to Ontario. Their recommendations are helpful as we move forward."
The commission's report included commendations related to the seminary's transition, as well as recommendations for the future. The introduction of that section of the report read, in part: "Since the relocation of the main campus from Mill Valley to Ontario, California, major changes have occurred including enrollment growth, campus facilities expansion, branch campus closure and increases in faculty and staff. It is within this context that the following commendations and recommendations were identified by the team."
WSCUC made the following commendations:
– The leadership and vision to rename and rebrand the institution and relocate it to Southern California.
– The planned, actualized, and significant improvement in the institution's financial sustainability that has resulted from the sale of the Mill Valley campus and the move to Ontario.
– Demonstration of a strong sense of commitment, community, and common purpose among the faculty and staff, and between faculty and staff and the administration.
– The thoughtful design of tasteful, modern educational facilities.
– The pursuit of a robust, inclusive and comprehensive strategic planning process that has the potential for significant and positive impact on the future of the institution.
– The development and implementation of a high-quality online program that exhibits best practices in distance education.
– The intentional and systematic inclusion of online and regional campuses to ensure a cohesive academic program.
The 10-year reaccreditation was the result of extensive self-evaluation and reporting by the seminary, which culminated in three days of visits by an accreditation assessment team.
"The board of trustees and the seminary community has been fully engaged in this process and working hard to achieve this result," stated Larry Felkins, the chair of the seminary's board of trustees. "We are grateful for this outcome and the validation that accompanies it."
The report also included recommendations given by WSCUC, which include attention to educational effectiveness, institutional research, student services, data management, faculty scholarship, and diversity. Each of these six areas were also identified by the seminary's self-study as priorities for improvement.
"The decision to affirm the accreditation period for 10 years is the best outcome we could have anticipated," stated Michael Martin, vice president of academic services. "We are grateful for the seminary-wide commitment to continually improving and refining our educational enterprise."
The full report and additional information about the reaffirmation is available on the WSCUC website.
Written by Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.