Should evangelical seminaries drop their ATS accreditation? I believe the answer is...yes. All evangelical seminaries should, without warning, drop their ATS accreditation. Why? The main reason I have for this is that ATS restricts its schools. For example, if you read a catalog from an ATS accredited school most likely you will read something like this: "the prerequisite master's degree (MDiv for DMin, MRE or MACE for DedMin) from an ATS accredited school, or its equivalent." pg74, NOBTS catalog. Some ATS schools will only accept degrees/transfer credits from other ATS accredited schools! That is an outrage! That would be like SACS saying it will only accept degrees from SACS accredited schools, or TRACS, or any of the others doing the same thing. As far as I know, no secular accrediting agency is so silly with its requirments. I have a relative who has done work with SACS before (accrediting schools, etc). When I talked to him about ATS he said it all made no sense. If a school is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency there should be no problem in transfering degrees/credits. Secondly ATS restricts the use of distance education and extension campuses. Many seminaries would like to offer distance education degrees but cannot because of ATS. ATS will only allow a certain number of hours to be earned through distance learning. Meanwhile schools that are accredited by TRACS and SACS are doing away with on campus requirements (ie..Liberty, East Carolina, NC State, etc). In fact the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association is in the process of giving full accreditation to Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary (a total distance ed program). Why is ATS going backwards when the others are going forwards? ATS also does not like extension centers, and requires on campus time for those students as well. Because of this seminaries are having to create week long module classes so that those who need to use the extension centers/distance education can meet ATS's silly on campus requirments. Yes, I used the term "silly" because that is exactly what it is. In fact ATS is "backwoods" and "outdated". At a time when distance education is growing and becoming better and better, ATS is working as hard as it can to keep its schools from growing with the times. What will the results be? In all fields, not just theological education, schools that don't offer complete distance learning programs will began to lose students. In fact, it is my opinion that this may already be happening. It would be interesting to know, for example, the number of students at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary/Liberty Unversity and compare that to the number of students at Knox or NOBTS, or Regent. I am sure that schools such as Liberty are growing faster than those schools that, because of ATS, are stuck in the mud of yesterday. I understand that some people don't like distance education. However I also understand that some people don't like computers. Not liking something is no excuse to be ignorant of it. ATS needs to come into this millennium, it needs to grow up. Otherwise it, and its schools, will fade away. This is not my opinion, this is fact. Anyone in education who is familiar with this subject will agree: Schools that don't offer degrees (mainly graudate) through distance learning will start to be left behind. Just ten years (1995) ago there were very few good distance education programs. Now, just ten years later, there are many. Universities, seminaries, community colleges, and technical schools are all offering entire degree programs via distance learning. If that is where we are today in 2005, imagine where we will be in ten more years (2015)? And what will become of ATS and its cult of anti-progress schools? Well they will either change or they will be thrown into the historical dump of irrelevency. That is not my opinion that is fact. To avoid this all evangelical seminaries should drop ATS. Now I realize that some schools, apart from ATS, just don't like distance learning. Thats fine, but again I think they need to be aware of this fact: Like it or not, distance education is the future of higher education. No it will not do away with classical schools but it will become a major force in education. Schools that fail to keep up will, like ATS, be thrown into the dump of historical/educational irrelevency. There is no reason (no valid excuse) for New Orleans, Southeastern, Regent, Dallas, or any other major school not to be offering degrees via distance learning. The fact that they are not, due to ATS restrictions or institutional ignorance, is sad. Martin.