Adventist College Gains Theology,
Health Science Degree Approval
Atlantic Union College hasn’t set dates for new programs, however (Posted June 27, 2013)
BY ADVENTIST REVIEW Staff
Following several years of academic challenges, including a closure when accreditation couldn’t be sustained, Seventh-day Adventist Church-owned Atlantic Union College (AUC) in South Lancaster, Massachusetts is charting a new course.
On June 20, the school’s leaders announced approval for the granting of the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Theology/Religion and Bachelor of Science in Health Science/Biology by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Board of Higher Education, or MassBHE.
The move continues efforts sought by AUC’s leadership since January 2012. In July 2011, AUC suspended its educational programs after failing to gain state approval for a plan under which Maryland-based Washgington Adventist University would operate the AUC campus as a satellite facility. Employees and faculty were laid off and the campus largely closed, save for an evangelism training center.
The suspension left the Adventist community in the northeastern United States without a tertiary school of its own for the first time in 90 years, since degree-granting authority was given by the state in 1922. The MassBHE approval is an initial step towards returning academic activity to the South Lancaster campus.
“We are delighted with this decision and will be working over the coming months to develop faculty and staff, to seek accreditation, and develop plans for recruitment,” said interim AUC president Duane Cady and Atlantic Union Conference president Donald King, who also chairs the school’s board of trustees. “We are delighted with this decision and will be working over the coming months to develop faculty and staff, to seek accreditation, and develop plans for recruitment,” the two added.
Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, was founded in 1882, and is the oldest Seventh-day Adventist college in the world still on its original site. Long known for strength in the liberal arts, especially literature, art, music, and history, the college adopted a new focus on Christian leadership and community service in a major redirection in 2007, but was unable to meet continuing accreditation requirements before its 2011 suspension.