Enrollment in theological schools in North America has continued on a gradual (2 to 3 percent) annual increase over the past five years, according to new data released this spring. But the largest U.S. seminary, California-based Fuller Theological Seminary, reported a head count of 4,128 students for two years in a row.
Fuller’s statistical oddity initially puzzled a spokesperson at the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and Fuller registrar David E. Kiefer, who said the evangelical school’s campus in Pasadena and regional extension centers have been showing growth.
After reviewing figures that Fuller submitted last fall, Kiefer said he recalled that the ATS informed Fuller that it could not include 70 students working toward their doctorate in psychology. Kiefer said the figures submitted in previous years had included those students. Nancy Merrill, ATS communications director, confirmed that the psychology doctoral candidates could not be counted.