Saint John’s University School of Theology and Seminary is committed to offering quality theological education and formation rooted in the Roman Catholic, Benedictine tradition for laity, religious, and clergy preparing for diverse forms of ministry and service in the church and the world.
While measuring the effectiveness of this vision of education rooted in spiritual growth, wisdom and the ability to lead others in lives of faithful discipleship is notoriously elusive; we pursue regular, on-going assessment of student learning and growth in all these areas and have a number of institutional mechanisms designed to facilitate that assessment. Each program or degree has learning outcomes that identify academic and pastoral competencies and a mechanism for assessing student progress toward those outcomes. This includes mid-degree assessments of each ministerial student, annual reviews of ordination candidates, and regular evaluations of summative work in comprehensive examinations, theses, and integration seminar projects. We also use sources of evidence such as course evaluations and faculty analysis of course results, student and alumni surveys, and exit interviews. This information is used by the faculty and administration in an annual curriculum conference focused on student achievement, pedagogy, and needed modifications to curricular and formation programs of the School.
The measure that may speak most directly to the concerns of prospective students and others about the effectiveness of the education offered at Saint John’s is the placement rate of our graduates. Does the education our students receive enable them to achieve the vocational and career goals that led them to pursue a graduate degree? We have been formally keeping this statistic for two years and for the second year in a row our placement rate is 100%. Of those who graduated between summer 2012 to spring 2013, 22% earned new jobs in their disciplines, 60% continued in jobs they had before their studies or that they began during their studies, 18% went on to further study.
For questions and inquiries about the School of Theology and Seminary’s educational mission, assessment and effectiveness efforts, please contact the Dean’s Office at [email protected] or by phone at 320.363.2622.