Accreditation & Educational Effectiveness


Princeton Theological Seminary is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801 and by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools, 10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1110 (412-788-6505). Princeton Seminary is also licensed by the State of New Jersey.

The following degree programs are approved: MACEF, MDiv, MDiv/MACEF, MA(TS)/MTS, ThM, PhD

To file a complaint with Princeton Seminary’s Accreditors and/or with its State Licensing Entity (New Jersey Association of Colleges and Universities), refer to this link (pdf).

Statement of Educational Effectiveness

Princeton Theological Seminary is a school dedicated to forming women and men in service to Jesus Christ for leadership in changing churches and to serving as an unsurpassed resource for Reformed theology worldwide.

The Seminary engages in ongoing evaluation of its educational effectiveness which, as an institution of the PC(USA), is measured in part through: 1) graduation rates, 2) completion rates, 3) PC(USA) ordination exam pass rates, 4) students’ rating of effectiveness in preparation with primary areas of the core curriculum, and 5) placement.

1. Graduation rates for 2020-2021 class: 90% for Master of Divinity, 100% for Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation, 91% for Master of Arts (Theological Studies), 89% for Master of Theology (ThM), and 58% for Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

    2. Completion rates for the 2020-2021 graduating class:

      • 86% of the Master of Divinity (MDiv) graduates completed the degree in three years or less and 14% in four years.
      • 86% of the Master of Theology (ThM) graduates completed the degree in one year and 14% in five years.
      • 67% of the Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation (MACEF) graduates completed the degree in two years and 33% in three years.
      • 83% of the Master of Arts (Theological Studies) graduates completed the degree in two years and 17% in three years.
      • 17% of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) graduates completed the degree in five years and 83% in six or more years.

      3. PC(USA) April 2021 ordination exam pass rates for Princeton Theological Seminary students:

        • Biblical Exegesis: 100% (national average: 68%)
        • Theological Competence: 100% (national average: 72%)
        • Worship and Sacraments: 100% (national average: 81%)
        • Polity: 90% (national average: 66%)

        4. 2021 graduating MDiv students’ rating of PTS’ educational effectiveness in facilitating skills in areas of the core curriculum as reported on the ATS Graduating Student Questionnaire (Average rating based on a 5-point scale: 1-Not at all effective, 2-Not very effective, 3-Somewhat effective, 4-Effective, 5-Very effective). Items rated the highest (out of 21) include the following:

          • Ability to relate social issues to faith: 4.2
          • Ability to think theologically: 4.1
          • Ability to use and interpret Scripture: 4.0
          • Ability to preach well: 3.9
          • Ability to work effectively with women and men: 3.9
          • Knowledge of church history and doctrine: 3.7
          • Ability to work effectively within my own religious tradition: 3.7
          • Awareness and appreciation of the globalized context in which ministry is practiced (3.7)

          5. Placement information for various graduating classes:

          MDiv and ThM Graduates

          • Placement for the 2019-2020 graduating MDiv, Dual, MA(TS), and MACEF students who have reported to the Placement Office - 72% in vocational church ministry placement, 0% in non-church placement, 13% on to further study, 0% seeking placement, and 15% unknown.
            • Church ministry - pastor (senior/associate/youth/campus), Christian education director
            • Non-church ministry - chaplain (college/hospital/military), teacher at a Christian school

          PhD Graduates

          • Placement for PhD graduates from 2011-2021 - 48% in higher education faculty positions, 7% in contingent faculty positions, 16% in professional clergy/ministry positions, 3% in post-doctoral fellowships, 18% in other professional positions (private and non-profit enterprises, higher education administration), and 8% unknown.
          • PTS PhD graduates are serving at institutions such as Canadian Mennonite University, Candler School of Theology, China Graduate School of Theology, Duke Divinity School, Evangelical Theological Seminary (Cairo, Egypt), Fuller Theological Seminary, Lancaster Theological Seminary, California Lutheran Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Busan Presbyterian University (Korea), Princeton Theological Seminary, Seattle Pacific University, Seigakuin University (Japan), Taiwan Theological Seminary, Tokyo Christian University, Torch Trinity Graduate University (Korea), Union Presbyterian Seminary, Université de Genève (Switzerland), University of Greenland, University of Texas, Villanova University, Wartburg College, Wesley Theological Seminary, Wheaton College, Yale Divinity School, and others.

          Educating faithful Christian leaders.

          Pastor at Franklin Lakes United Methodist Church, New Jersey

          Alison VanBuskirk, Class of 2015

          “My call as a pastor centers on shaping a community where people can connect and be real with each other and God.”