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Educational Effectiveness

Learning Outcomes

At Regent College, we understand our educational mission to be the process of handing on living faith from one generation to another. In service of the church, our graduate education is intended to enable Christians to live more thoughtfully in varied vocations in the church and the world.

By our formal classroom interaction, and by the culture we foster more generally at Regent College, we aim to help students to see all of life—and all aspects of our own lives—as spheres of God’s creative and redemptive work. As students leave Regent College, they should be prepared to pass this vision on to another generation.

Our primary educational aim is to prepare students to engage with their culture as thoughtful and prayerful Christians, sharing in Christ’s creative and redemptive mission to the world. Each of our programs fosters this goal in a different way. The specific learning outcomes that we intend each program to accomplish are articulated in more detail below.

Note that Learning Outcomes and Educational Effectiveness are measured only in relation to our degree programs. This does not include the Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies. The Master of Arts in Leadership Studies (MALTS) begins its first cohort in July 2018. Information regrading Learning Outcomes and Educational Effectiveness will be provided in relation to that program as that information becomes available.

Master of Arts in Theological Studies

The MA in Theo Studies is intended to provide students with a biblical, historical, and theological foundation. It also provides the opportunity to focus on a particular branch of theological study. The goal of the program is to allow students to gain an integrative perspective and an authentic spirituality that will equip them for engaging in their vocation, seeing it as an arena for God’s creative and redemptive activity.

All students graduating with an MA in Theo Studies should be able to do the following:

  1. Interpret biblical texts competently within an understanding of the overall narrative of Scripture.

  2. Demonstrate how the narrative of the Bible, the history of Christianity, and the primary doctrines of the Christian church are instrumental for shaping one’s identity.

  3. Interpret and critique key texts, images, and narratives of contemporary culture in light of the gospel, and identify the primary challenges facing the gospel.

  4. Demonstrate how the Christian faith can be integrated with vocation and how this integration can effectively be expressed through a genuine embodiment of the gospel.

  5. Articulate the importance of the regular practice of spiritual disciplines as an expression of openness to the work of the Holy Spirit and as essential for a life of faith and witness.

Master of Divinity

The MDiv is intended to prepare men and women for a broad range of leadership roles in churches and in parachurch organizations. The MDiv shares its core curriculum with the MA in Theo Studies, and, like that program, is intended to support the college’s central goal of “preparing students to engage with their culture as thoughtful and prayerful Christians, sharing in Christ’s creative and redemptive mission to the world.” Rooted in the historical tradition of Christianity as a whole, the program seeks to equip students to invigorate the traditions of their denominations. It encourages students to be innovative, finding prayerful and creative solutions for contemporary challenges to Christian mission.

All students graduating with an MDiv should be able to do the following:

  1. Interpret biblical texts competently within an understanding of the overall narrative of Scripture.

  2. Demonstrate how the narrative of the Bible, the history of Christianity, and the primary doctrines of the Christian church are instrumental for shaping identity.

  3. Interpret and critique key texts, images, and narratives of contemporary culture in light of the gospel, and identify the primary challenges facing the gospel.

  4. Demonstrate the knowledge, skill, and character necessary to fulfill leadership roles in church or parachurch ministries.

  5. Articulate the importance of the regular practice of spiritual disciplines as an expression of openness to the work of the Holy Spirit and as essential for a life of faith and witness.

Master of Theology

The ThM is a second master’s degree. It builds on an MDiv, a 60-credit-hour MA in theology, or the equivalent. It is intended to provide students with the opportunity to explore an area of theological thought at an advanced level of study. Students may engage in advanced study to explore an area of theological interest that is relevant to their personal or vocational life. Pastors may take the ThM in order to upgrade their education or reflect theologically on a ministry-related issue. Many others engage in a ThM in order to prepare for doctoral studies or for another teaching or administrative role that is better served by an advanced degree.

All students graduating with a ThM should be able to do the following:

  1. Engage in theological research at an advanced level, exercising independence of judgment, critical awareness, and clarity of thought.

  2. Display advanced understanding and competence in one area of theological study.

Educational Effectiveness

We measure the educational effectiveness of our graduate programs by reference to three factors: the time it takes our students to graduate, the degree to which they experience the learning outcomes articulated above, and the kind and quantity of vocational opportunities available to them following graduation. 

Time to Graduation

We seek to help our students complete their programs in a reasonable time frame. That said, the shortest time to completing a program is not necessarily the best. 

We believe that the process of theological education is not simply a matter of downloading information, but also a process of personal transformation. We accordingly encourage our students to take the time necessary to complete their programs in a way that allows them to reflect on the implications of the material for themselves and the world. 

Many of our students engage in this process by studying part-time while remaining in their vocational spheres. Others find that they are best served by intensive full-time study, which allows them to complete the program more quickly.

The information outlined below illustrates common completion times for our graduate degree programs.

Number of terms to complete the degree program MA Theo Studies MDiv ThM
Fewer than 6 terms 2.2% 0.7% 28.1%
6–8 terms 26.2 11.7 15.6
9–11 terms 27.0 37.9 6.3
12–14 terms 13.0 24.1 6.3
15–17 terms 7.3 11.0 6.3
More than 17 terms 24.3 14.5 37.5

Note that students who have not completed their program within the following timelines must apply to the Academic Standards Committee for additional time to complete their program:

  • MA Theo Studies: 18 terms (6 years)
  • MDiv: 24 terms (8 years)
  • ThM: 15 terms (5 years)

Accomplishment of Learning Outcomes

In order to ensure that our students actually experience the learning outcomes articulated under each graduate program above, we take a survey of our graduates two years after they have completed their program at Regent.

Each year, alumni who graduated two years previously are asked to reflect on the effect of their Regent College education in light of their experience following graduation. The questions focus on the learning outcomes of the various programs. Students are asked to rate the degree to which their experience following graduation reflects each outcome using a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = a very small extent; 2 = a small extent; 3 = a moderate extent; 4 = a large extent; 5 = a very large extent). The data outlined below represents the experience of the alumni who graduated from 2011 to 2015.

To what extent has your Regent education... MA Theo Studies MDiv ThM
helped you to interpret Scripture? 4.11 4.53 –*
been instrumental in shaping your identity? 3.93 3.81
helped you to interpret and critique key texts, images, and narratives of contemporary culture? 4.05 4.07
given you a theological understanding of ministry? 4.22
equipped you in preaching? 3.87
nurtured in you an awareness of the work of God in your life? 3.71 3.93
helped you to engage in research at an advanced level? 4.35
helped you to exercise independent judgment? 4.26
helped you to become more critically aware? 4.18
helped you to think clearly? 4.35
helped you to develop competence in an area of theological study? 4.49
To what extent is the work you are now doing consistent with your vocational intentions? 3.79 4.03 4.24

* Because our various programs are intended to have different learning outcomes, graduates of each program received a different list of questions. A dash indicates that the question was not put to graduates of the relevant program.

Employment Outcomes

We measure the impact of our programs on our students' employment prospects through a survey administered to our graduates two years after completion of their program.

The vast majority of our graduates find employment or move on to further studies within a year of graduation. Unsurprisingly, graduates of the MDiv program typically gravitate toward church and parachurch ministry, while graduates of our MA Theo Studies and ThM programs are more likely to find themselves in societal occupations. Survey results are outlined below.


How long after graduation did it take for you to find employment? MA Theo Studies MDiv ThM
Within 6 months 58% 63.4% 47.8%
6–12 months 13.0 11.3 4.3
1–2 years 3.7 7.0 4.3
2–3 years 3.1 9.9 4.3
Not yet employed 4.3 4.2 0.0
Chosen not to seek employment 1.2 2.8 4.3
Continuing studies 16.7 1.4 34.8

What kind of employment do you have? MA Theo Studies MDiv ThM
Church ministry 15.4% 50.9% 28.3%
Para-church ministry (incl. chaplaincy, missionary, and non-profit work) 10.5 15.8 10.9
Post-secondary education (instructor) 9.8 0.9 13.0
Other occupation* 45.1 27.2 26.1
Student 12.6 2.6 17.4
Volunteer or not employed 6.6 2.6 4.3

*Our graduates find themselves in a wide range of occupations, including administration, education, publishing and writing, business, healthcare, homemaking, arts, information technology, construction, communications, sales and marketing, social services, secretarial work, finance, trades, engineering, sciences, and more. 

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