Each school has two ratings, the Author Rating and the User Rating. These ratings are combine for the seminary’s overall rating.
The author rating is our rating. We tried to find criteria to rate the schools where we could be objective. The categories we rate are:
- Degrees – One star is awarded for every degree offered by the seminary, with a 5 star maximum. We operate under the assumption that the more degrees a seminary offers, the better.
- Locations – One star is awarded for every location the seminary offers. Two stars are awarded for accredited distance education programs. We operate under the assumption that having more locations offers more students access to the seminary as the obstacle of distance is minimized.
- Financial Aid – This ranking is somewhat subjective. We visit the financial aid page on the school’s website and the more forms of financial aid we see, the higher the score. We also take into consideration the information about financial aid that is available. For example, if they school’s website says that 75% of the student body receives financial aid, that would weigh positively in their favor.
- S/T (Student/Teacher) Ratio – We look at the latest data available from the ATS (Association of Theological Schools) and calculate the S/T Ratio. Generally, the lower the S/T the higher the score. We use the scale of 10:1=5 Star, 15:1=4 Star, 20:1=3 Star, 25:1=2 Star, 30(or more):1=1 Star
The user rating is an average score based on all ratings by commenter on the site. This is entirely subjective and based on whatever ranking the users of best-seminary.com want to give a seminary. We monitor all comments and ratings and attempt to identify and malicious comments and rankings, but our general rule is to not interfere with user comments and rankings.