The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology has been formally granted Candidacy status for Accreditation with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)*. Recognition as a Candidate for regional accreditation is a reflection of The Seattle School’s viability and sustainability as an educational institution.

“This has been 20 years in the making,” says Dr. Craig Detweiler, President of The Seattle School. “It represents the hard work, hope, and dreams of our founders, faculty, staff, alumni, and students. This confirmation is a living testimony of our resilience.”

The Northwest Commission approved The Seattle School as an Applicant for Candidacy in the summer of 2015, launching a season of in-depth study and evaluation. This year, a team of representatives from institutions across the country spent more than a month reviewing The Seattle School’s rigorous self-study before visiting the School on April 16-18 for a site visit. During the three-day visit, committee members immersed themselves in The Seattle School community for the purpose of performing a comprehensive evaluation toward the application for Candidacy. The site visit committee toured the building, interviewed faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and observed the daily rhythms and functions of The Seattle School. They commended the culture of hospitality, welcome, transformation, and innovation, and expressed appreciation for how the entire community—current students, alumni from different eras, faculty, staff, and trustees—talked about the personal and vocational transformation they experienced through The Seattle School.

“This confirmation is a living testimony of our resilience.”

“After years of hard work from our whole team,” says Cheryl Goodwin, Director of Institutional Assessment and Library Services, “this is an affirmation that the education and formation we offer students is tangible, sustainable, and so needed in our world today.”

The site visit team created a thorough report that affirmed The Seattle School’s impact, commended its unique strengths, and recommended ways to sharpen the self-assessment and application moving forward. The report—and official recommendation for Candidacy status—was presented at the NWCCU’s annual board meeting, June 27-29; in attendance on June 29 were President Detweiler, Dr. J Derek McNeil, Senior Vice President of Academics, and Cheryl Goodwin.

As a Candidate for Accreditation, The Seattle School will create an Interim Candidacy Self Evaluation Report and will continue reviewing the site visit team’s recommendations for growth, which largely align with existing institutional priorities and strategies. The Candidacy stage typically lasts between two and four years—a season that will be spent solidifying and clarifying The Seattle School’s capacity for long-term, sustainable impact.

“The participation in this process from all realms of the institution has been profound,” says Dr. McNeil, “which is a reflection of the deep, collective commitment to our mission. We know there is work ahead, but I am profoundly grateful for this milestone and what we have achieved so far.”

*Candidacy in NWCCU denotes recognition by the Commission that the institution meets its Eligibility Requirements and is progressing toward Accreditation status. It does not, however, imply or ensure eventual NWCCU Accreditation.