Statement of Accreditation Status

    The Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS) is the official statement of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) about each institution’s current accreditation status and scope of accreditation. The SAS also provides a brief history of the actions taken by the Commission.

  • Institution:
    Union Theological Seminary
    New York, NY
  • Chief Executive Officer:
    Dr. Serene Jones, President
  • Carnegie Classification:
    Special Focus Four-Year: Faith-Related Institutions » Exclusively graduate/professional
  • Control:
    Private (Non-Profit)
  • Address:
    3041 Broadway
    New York, NY 10027-5710
  • Phone:
    (212) 662-7100
  • URL:
  • Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO):
    Nicole Mirando
  • Commission Staff Liaison:
    Dr. Robert Bonfiglio, Vice President

Accreditation Summary

For more information, see the Commission’s Accreditation Actions Policy and Procedures.

  • Phase: Accredited
  • Status: Accreditation Reaffirmed
  • Accreditation Granted: 1967
  • Last Reaffirmation: 2019
  • Next Self-Study Evaluation: 2026-2027
  • Next Mid-Point Peer Review: 2023

Alternative Delivery Methods

The following represents approved alternative delivery methods included in the scope of the institution’s accreditation:

Distance Education
Approved to offer programs by this delivery method

Correspondence Education
Not approved for this delivery method

Credential Levels

Approved Credential Levels

The following represents credential levels included in the scope of the institution’s accreditation:

  • Post-baccalaureate Certificate
  • Master's Degree or Equivalent
  • Doctor's Degree - Professional Practice Approved to offer ONE program at this credential level: Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Supervisory Clinical Spiritual Care Education
  • Doctor's Degree- Research/Scholarship

Locations

The following represents branch campuses, additional locations, and other instructional sites that are included within the scope of the institution’s accreditation:

Location Type

Definitions: For definitions of branch campus, additional locations, or other instructional sites, see the Commission’s Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.

Accreditation Actions

The following represents the MSCHE accreditation actions taken in the last ten (10) years. For more information, see the Commission’s Accreditation Actions Policy and Procedures and the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.

  • June 17, 2020
    To acknowledge receipt of the substantive change request. To include the first Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Social Justice within the institution’s scope of accreditation. To require written evidence of approvals from all necessary licensing, regulatory, or other legal entities as necessary, including the New York State Education Department (NYSED). To note that the Commission may rescind this action if the requested substantive change is not implemented within one calendar year from the date of this action. The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2026-2027.
  • June 17, 2020
    To acknowledge receipt of the substantive change request. To include the second Post- baccalaureate Certificate in Interreligious Engagement within the institution’s scope of accreditation. To require written evidence of approvals from all necessary licensing, regulatory, or other legal entities as necessary, including the New York State Education Department (NYSED). To note that the Commission may rescind this action if the requested substantive change is not implemented within one calendar year from the date of this action.
  • April 16, 2020
    To acknowledge receipt of formal written notice from the institution in response to the Commission’s request of March 9, 2020. To temporarily waive Substantive Change Policy and Procedures and allow the use of distance education to accommodate students impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) interruptions, in accordance with United States Department of Education (USDE) guidelines published March 5, 2020. Continued use of distance education beyond the limitations of USDE guidelines will require substantive change approval in accordance with Substantive Change Policy and Procedures. This flexibility is not available for clock-hour courses that lead to licensure if the licensing body will not accept distance learning courses or hours or give credit for them toward the number of hours a student must complete. The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2026-2027.
  • June 27, 2019
    To acknowledge receipt of the supplemental information report. The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2026-2027.
  • March 14, 2019
    To acknowledge receipt of the self-study report. To note the visit by the Commission’s representatives. To reaffirm accreditation. To request a supplemental information report, due April 15, 2019 providing (1) further evidence of a clearly articulated and transparent governance structure that outlines roles, responsibilities, and accountability for decision-making by each constituency (Standard VII), and (2) submission of a Complex Substantive Change Preliminary Review Form related to the agreement with the Episcopal Divinity School that includes (a) Strategic Plan for Implementation of the Affiliation Agreement, (b) Non-binding Transition Plan, (c) Purchase and Sale Agreement, (d) EDS bylaws, articles of incorporation, and other similar governing documents, and (e) UTS bylaws, articles of incorporation, and other similar governing documents (Substantive Change Policy). The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2026-2027.
  • March 22, 2017
    To acknowledge receipt of documentation of approval from New York State Education Department (NYSED) and to include the online Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Supervisory Clinical Spiritual Care Education within the scope of the institution's accreditation.
  • June 27, 2016
    To acknowledge receipt of the substantive change request. To include the first distance education program, online Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Supervisory Clinical Spiritual Care Education, within the scope of the institution's accreditation, effective upon receipt of documentation of state approval. The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2018-2019.
  • June 27, 2016
    To acknowledge receipt of the substantive change request. To include the first Doctor's - Professional Practice, Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Supervisory Clinical Spiritual Care Education, within the scope of the institution's accreditation, effective upon receipt of documentation of state approval. The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2018-2019.
  • June 23, 2016
    To accept the progress report. The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2018-2019.
  • November 20, 2014
    To accept the Periodic Review Report and to reaffirm accreditation. To request a progress report, due April 1, 2016, documenting further progress on the implementation of (1) admissions policies, developed and implemented, that support and reflect the mission of the institution and incorporate a review of the enrollment management plan for recruitment, retention, marketing, and advertising (Standard 8); and (2) a documented, organized, and sustained assessment process to evaluate student learning and development with evidence that results are used to improve teaching and learning (Standard 14). The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2018-2019.
  • March 7, 2013
    To accept the monitoring report and to note the visit by the Commission's representatives. To remove the warning and to reaffirm accreditation because the institution is now in compliance with Standards 3 and 14. To request that the Periodic Review Report, due June 1, 2014, document further progress made in the development and implementation of (1) direct methods of assessment of student learning at the institutional and program levels (Standard 14) and (2) a long-term financial plan and an updated status on the Business Transformation Plan (Standard 3).
  • June 28, 2012
    To accept the monitoring report and to note the visit by the Commission's representatives. To note that the institution is now in compliance with Standard 3 (Institutional Resources). To continue to warn the institution that its accreditation may be in jeopardy because of insufficient evidence that the institution is currently in compliance with Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning). To note that the institution remains accredited while on warning. To request a monitoring report, due November 1, 2012, documenting the institution's progress in developing and implementing an organized and sustained process for the assessment of student learning and evidence that results are used to improve teaching and learning (Standard 14). A small team visit will follow submission of the monitoring report. The due date for the Periodic Review Report will be set when accreditation is reaffirmed.
  • March 1, 2012
    To note the visit by the Commission’s representative and to accept the Commission-requested information report. To remind the institution that it has been warned that its accreditation may be in jeopardy because of insufficient evidence that the institution is currently in compliance with Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning). To note that the institution remains accredited while on warning. To remind the institution of the monitoring report due by March 1, 2012, documenting evidence that the institution has achieved and can sustain ongoing compliance with Standard 14, including: (1) an organized and sustained assessment process to evaluate student learning, and evidence that results are used to improve teaching and learning; (2) establishment of measurable learning goals at the institutional, program, and course levels appropriate to the institutional mission; and (3) evidence of direct methods of assessment of student learning at the institutional and program levels (Standard 14). In addition, the report should document further evidence of the development and implementation of a long-term financial plan, including detailed financial projections in support of FY 2012-2014 projections and updated status on the Business Transformation Plan (Standard 3). A small team visit will follow submission of the monitoring report. The due date for the Periodic Review Report will be set when accreditation is reaffirmed.
  • June 23, 2011
    To note the visit by the Commission's representative. To accept the monitoring report. To warn the institution that its accreditation may be in jeopardy because of insufficient evidence that the institution is currently in compliance with Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning). To note that the institution remains accredited while on warning. To request a monitoring report due by March 1, 2012, documenting evidence that the institution has achieved and can sustain ongoing compliance with Standard 14, including: (1) an organized and sustained assessment process to evaluate student learning, and evidence that results are used to improve teaching and learning; (2) establishment of measurable learning goals at the institutional, program, and course levels appropriate to the institutional mission; and (3) evidence of direct methods of assessment of student learning at the institutional and program levels (Standard 14). In addition, the report should document further evidence of the development and implementation of a long-term financial plan, including detailed financial projections in support of FY 2012-2014 projections and updated status on the Business Transformation Plan (Standard 3). A small team visit will follow submission of the monitoring report. To direct an immediate Commission staff liaison guidance visit to discuss the Commission's expectations. The due date for the Periodic Review Report will be set when accreditation is reaffirmed.
  • November 18, 2010
    To reject the monitoring report because it provided limited institutional response to the requested information and to note that the report was of insufficient quality and lacked evidence. To request the institution to resubmit the monitoring report due by March 1, 2011, documenting evidence of (1) steps taken to align faculty credentials and numbers with doctoral programs (Standards 10 and 11); (2) further steps taken to strengthen the institution's finances, including audited financial documents and management letters for FY 2010 and fiscal projections and analysis for 2011-2014 (Standard 3); (3) development and implementation of a formalized information literacy program (Standard 11); and (4) implementation of a comprehensive, organized, and sustained process for the assessment of student learning, including evidence that assessment results are used to improve teaching and learning (Standard 14). To direct a prompt Commission liaison guidance visit to discuss the Commission's expectations for reporting. The Periodic Review Report is due June 1, 2013.

Information about the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is one of seven institutional accrediting organizations in the United States and is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). MSCHE accreditation applies to an institution as a whole rather than the specific programs within an institution. MSCHE does not approve or accredit individual programs. The MSCHE accreditation review cycle is continuous and accreditation does not expire. Each institution is reevaluated and monitored on a regular and consistent basis in accordance with the institution’s assigned accreditation review cycle and Commission policy and procedures. An institution maintains its accreditation unless it is voluntarily surrendered or withdrawn by the Commission for cause, after the institution has been afforded due process. The institution’s current accreditation phase and accreditation status are displayed on the institution’s listing in the Institution Directory and in the Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS).