Michigan Theological Seminary (MTS) is now officially Moody Theological Seminary – Michigan, after an agreement to merge with Moody Bible Institute officially went into effect with the arrival of the New Year.
The merger, which was approved by the Higher Learning Commission last October, brings together the 400 students of Moody's seminary program with the 200 students at MTS, and moves Moody into the middle-tier of seminaries.
The combined size of the Chicago and Michigan graduate student bodies, meanwhile, places the seminary in the top 15 percent of seminaries in the country.
"We conducted an extensive nine month due diligence process surrounding this merger and are confident that we are joining two theologically and doctrinally like-minded schools in a way that will give our students exceptional educational benefits," said Dr. Charles Dyer, provost and dean of Education for Moody, in an announcement. "It is our goal to use the opportunities this merger provides us to enable students, faculty and staff at both schools to better serve the Lord and His people."
MTS initially approached Moody leadership with the merger possibility in summer 2008, after which a nine-month due diligence process was launched to explore the option.
At the board meetings of the two institutions last spring, both boards approved the decision to join the seminaries and sought approval from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which oversees the accreditation of degree-granting colleges and universities in nineteen Midwestern and South-Central states.
After receiving the green light from HLC, along with a few additional merger conditions, MTS was all set to become a fully-functional Michigan campus of Moody Theological Seminary, the graduate studies branch of Chicago-based Moody Bible Institute.
According to the new MTS, joining the two schools into a single entity allows for greater cost savings and efficiency. This, the school added, will be achieved through the use of a shared technological infrastructure and back-of-the-house operations.
"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 to merge," the school reported.
The formal merger agreement between the two schools was officially put into place on Jan. 1, 2010.