University Senate

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The senate is an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.

Membership

The senate is composed of twenty-seven voting members who, at the time of election, are actively engaged in the work of education through employment in an educational institution and are fitted by training and experience for the technical work of evaluating educational institutions. Election is for the quadrennium, except in cases where conflict of interest arises as a result of change in employment.

Nine of these members shall be elected quadrennially by the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church—seven of whom shall be chief executive officers of United Methodist-related educational institutions, the other two holding other positions relevant to academic or financial affairs or Church relationships;

six by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry—two of whom shall be chief executive officers of United Methodist-related higher educational institutions, two holding other positions relevant to academic or financial affairs or Church relationships; and two holding positions relevant to Church relationships.

four by the General Conference—two of whom shall be chief executive officers of United Methodist-related educational institutions at the time of their election, the other two holding other positions relevant to academic or financial affairs or Church relationships;

four by the senate itself, without limitation;

four shall be appointed by the Council of Bishops—two of whom shall be chief executive officers of United Methodist-related educational institutions, the other two holding other positions relevant to academic or financial affairs or Church relationships.

Each of the five electing bodies shall elect at least one woman.

The general secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the associate general secretaries of the Divisions of Higher Education and Ordained Ministry (Section of Elders and Local Pastors and Section of Deacons and Diaconal Ministers) of that board shall serve as ex officio members of the senate, with voice but without vote. There shall be one staff representative on the senate from the General Board of Global Ministries, with voice but without vote, named by the general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries.

Purposes and Objectives

  • To establish the criteria that must be met by schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools to achieve and retain listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.
  • To support the development of institutions whose aims are to address and whose programs reflect significant educational, cultural, social, and human issues in a manner reflecting the values held in common by the institutions and the Church.
  • To provide an effective review process to ensure that schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools listed by the University Senate and qualifying for Church support have institutional integrity, well-structured programs, sound management, and clearly defined Church relationships.
  • To establish effective annual reporting procedures that will provide the senate with the data necessary to complete its review of the institutional viability and program integrity of member institutions.

Approval by the senate is prerequisite to institutional claim of affiliation with The United Methodist Church.

Only institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church through approval by the senate shall be eligible for funding by annual conferences, General Conference, general boards, or other agencies of The United Methodist Church.

To qualify for affiliation with The United Methodist Church, institutions must maintain appropriate academic accreditation.

Assessment of Church relationships shall be a part of the process for those institutions seeking approval of the senate for affiliation with The United Methodist Church. Inasmuch as declarations of Church relationships are expected to differ one from the other, and because of the diversity in heritage and other aspects of institutional life, declarations of Church relationship will necessarily be of institutional design.

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Connect with us via email or phone for any questions or concerns you might have. A full listing of staff is also available.

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