In June 2009, after mutual trustee board approval, Moody Bible Institute and Michigan Theological Seminary (MTS) submitted the necessary requests and paperwork to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for approval to merge the two schools. The HLC officially approved the merger at their October 29 meeting, stipulating a few additional merger conditions. These issues will be addressed in anticipation of a formal merger agreement to be in place by January 1, 2010 when MTS will join with Moody Theological Seminary.
“MTS and Moody not only align theologically and doctrinally but this merger combines two schools with the same mission to train and equip students for ministry,” said Jerry Jenkins, Moody Bible Institute board chairman. “As a single entity we can be more effective for the Kingdom.”
Moody currently enrolls 400 students in its seminary program and by merging with MTS, whose enrollment is 200, the school population will move it into the middle tier of seminaries, providing opportunities each school would not have on its own. Additionally, the merger allows more students access to broader study programs, and will enhance students' educational experience by providing access to a diverse faculty in both locations through brilliant classroom technology.
“MTS brings a well-established counseling program and Moody brings an effective online education program―combining the two schools offers students access to courses and ways of studying they may not have had otherwise,” said Dr. Charles Dyer, Moody's provost and dean of Education.
In addition to the exceptional educational benefits of joining the two like-minded graduate schools, the economic potential for better stewardship of resources was an important factor in the discussion. Joining the two schools into a single entity allows for greater cost savings and efficiency. This will be achieved through the use of a shared technological infrastructure and back-of-the-house operations.
MTS initially approached Moody leadership with this merger possibility in the summer of 2008, and both schools launched a nine-month due diligence process to explore the option. “Our MTS board is passionate about sustaining solid biblical education in the Detroit area,” said MTS board chairman Rick Warren. “We felt that seeking to merge with a school such as Moody would make this not only possible, but would provide even greater potential for the future.”
To learn more about Michigan Theological Seminary, please visit their Web site. For more details of the approval, please read the letter from the HLC.