Commission-accredited schools must petition for approval prior to adding any new degree that is in a new degree category or represents a significant departure for its currently approved degrees (per Policies and Procedures IV.D).
As noted in Policies and Procedures IV.D.1, "The Board considers offering a degree in a new category to include offering for the first time a master's or doctoral degree in a category in which it does not currently offer an approved degree. Standard 4 lists three categories of master's degrees: MDiv, MA, and ThM; Standard 5 lists three categories of doctoral degrees: DMin, Other Professional Doctorates, and PhD/ThD. Offering a doctoral degree in a new category may also require a focused visit before approval, especially new PhD degrees (see III.D.1). The Board considers offering a degree representing a significant departure from its approved degrees to include offering a degree in a field outside of the school's current area(s) of expertise and/or requiring significant additions in faculty, facilities, or finances." Schools are to use this form to petition for each new degree by completing the relevant portion (i.e., submit one petition form for each new degree). In completing this form, please include links to additional documentation as requested or as deemed helpful. Your Commission staff liaison will contact you if there are any questions regarding this petition.
NOTE: As described in Policies and Procedures IV.D.1, offering new degrees in the same category or changing the name of an already approved degree DOES NOT require prior approval from the Board. However, any such change (including discontinuing an approved degree; see III.L.1) DOES require notification to, and acknowledgement by, the school's Commission staff liaison at least 60 days before being implemented (see notification forms on ATS petitions and notifications webpage).