Probably because of an influx of women, seminary enrollments are rising. Totals for the current year, based on fall enrollment, show 36,830 students in the 192 institutions accredited by the American Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. That is an 8.1 per cent increase over last year. It is more than double the 3.5 per cent rise in undergraduate college enrollment reported in the annual statistics compiled by the University of Cincinnati.
The preliminary AATS reports for 1974–75 speaks of the latest enrollment as a “substantial increase.” It notes that for the past several years enrollment has tended to rise only 1 or 2 per cent and goes on to say:
All of the increase and more is in professional programs, since graduate students (except for D.Min., which is classified “professional”) declined 126 persons. The precise data on program increases will not be available until the computer work for the Fact Book is finished, but the growth is apparently spread across several degree programs.
The Fact Book is an analysis published by the AATS on the basis of reports submitted by its member institutions. The AATS is the recognized accrediting agency for seminaries in the United States and Canada. Among its members are a number of Catholic and some Jewish schools.
A key factor is the growth of the Doctor of Ministry program, which enables working pastors to take courses part-time, do a thesis, and add a D.Min. to their basic M.Div. (Alternatively, new students can go straight through in a four-year program for the D.Min.) In 1972 twenty-nine schools reported D.Min. programs with 1,519 enrolled. In 1974 the totals had about doubled to fifty-seven schools with 3,176 enrolled.
Perhaps the most interesting statistic ...1
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