Accreditation and Educational Effectiveness

Accreditation and Educational Effectiveness

The Department of Theology is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and the following degree programs are approved:


The Commission contact information is:

The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
Telephone: 412-788-6505
Fax: 412-788-6510

The University of Notre Dame is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604.  Further information on the University’s accreditation and state authorization may be found by following this link.


The Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame will receive an evaluation committee from the Association of Theological Schools between October 28 and 31, 2013, which will evaluate the department for reaccreditation and the department’s graduate programs (listed above) for re-approval.  The Department invites comments in writing concerning its qualifications for accreditation.  A description of the accreditation process used by the Association of Theological Schools with links to the standards that are applied may be found at Comments may be sent in writing to:

J. Matthew Ashley
Department Chair
Department of Theology
130 Malloy Hall
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN  46556

Emails may be sent to  Please insert “accreditation visit” in the subject line.

Statement of Educational Effectiveness

With programming in academic, pastoral, spiritual and professional formation, the Department of Theology prepares students for rewarding careers in a variety of fields.  Master’s and doctoral students typically go on for further studies or careers in teaching and scholarship.  While some M.Div. students go on for further graduate studies, the majority graduate to careers in pastoral leadership and pastoral ministry in the Catholic Church.  M.S.M. graduates move on to leadership roles in music ministry.  One measure of the effectiveness of the department’s programs is the high graduation rates compared to national averages.  Using a five year cohort for the Ph.D. program (from 2001 – 2006), 64% of matriculated students have successfully completed the degree, while only 15% of matriculated students withdrew from the program (with the remaining percentage still working toward the degree).  Over a five year period, from 2005 to 2009, 97% of students who entered the M.T.S successfully completed the degree.  87% of M.Div. students who entered the program between 2005 and 2009 completed the degree.  During the same period, 100% of M.S.M. students successfully completed their degrees. 

Another measure of educational effectiveness is the placement of graduates into the careers mentioned above.  A five-year snapshot of   Ph.D. graduates (71 graduates between 2008-2012) shows that 74.7% were placed into full-time academic positions in colleges, universities, and graduate theological education (including 56.3% in tenured or tenure track faculty positions, 9.9% in term positions, 8.5% in post-doctoral fellowships, and 7.0% in academic administration) while 8.5% hold positions of public religious leadership (no employment information is available for 9.9%.).  During the same period (2008-2012), 104 students graduated from the M.T.S. program.  Of this number, 45.2% were accepted into doctoral programs in theology or related field; 21.2% took positions in high school teaching, 9.6% work for the church, and 9.6% work in academic administration (the status of the remaining 14.4% is unknown at this time).  During the same period 51 students graduated from the M.Div. program.  Of this number, 68.6 % gained employment in ministry in the Catholic Church, 11.8 % took positions teaching high school, 10.4% took positions in academic administration, 3.9% went on to doctoral studies, while 5.9% entered other types of employment.   During this period (2008-2012), 36 students graduated from the M.S.M. program.  Of this number 55.6 % found positions in music leadership in churches or high schools, 36.1 % have gone on to doctoral studies, and 8.3%  took up other careers.