Due to the ongoing battle with the Coronavirus, the 2021 ADME conference will be a Zoom-based synchronous video two-day conference on April 8 & 9, 2021


This year the conference theme is New Directions for DMin Education: Envisioning the Future, with special guest lecturers Leonard Sweet, PhD, Tom Tanner,PhD, and Barbara Mutch, DMin



Tom Tanner, PhD
Association of Theological Schools

Tom Tanner joined the ATS staff in August 2012 after serving for 33 years in various academic leadership roles at Lincoln (IL) Christian University. As a director of accreditation, his work includes facilitating accrediting reviews, providing education and support to member schools about the process of accreditation, and providing staff support to the work of the Board of Commissioners of the ATS Commission on Accrediting.

Tanner served on many accreditation visits for decades before joining the ATS staff—for the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) since 1984 and for ATS since 2006—as well as serving on several joint regional accreditation visits with SACS and HLC. He has presented numerous self-study workshops for ATS, ABHE, and HLC. He also served as a board member and commission member for ABHE. Tanner is a licensed minister among Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, having served as resident and visiting minister for several congregations in Illinois. His published works include two books (What Ministers Know and Verses and Voices), numerous articles for various journals, and former editorship of the Journal for Biblical Higher Education. In addition, he has published numerous articles in Colloquy Onlinethe Association’s newsletter

A graduate of Lincoln Christian University (BA and MDiv) and the University of Illinois (MA, MLIS, and PhD), Tanner holds degrees in ministry, New Testament, classical philology, and library and information science.

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Leonard Sweet, PhD

Author of more than 60 books and 1500 published sermons, Leonard’s most recent publications are Rings of Fire: Walking in Faith through a Volcanic Future (2019) and co-author with Portland Seminary doctoral student, Michael Beck, Issachar’s Secret: Unlocking Contextual Intelligence in Followers of Jesus (forthcoming in 2020). Other recent publications include Mother Tongue: How Our Heritage Shapes Our Story (2017) and The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing Us the Way to Live Right in a World Gone Wrong (2016).


For almost two decades, Len has served as the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Currently he is a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas. He also has just become the Charles Wesley Distinguished Professor of Doctor of Theology Studies at Evangelical Seminary in Myers, Pennsylvania. He is President Emeritus of United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He is the founder and chief contributor to the online preaching resource, Len often appears on the “Most Influential Christians in America” lists, and issues a podcast called “Napkin Scribbles” sponsored by Portland Seminary of George Fox University. His microblogs and blogs on Twitter and Facebook are ranked as some of the most influential religious sites in the world of social media. He conducts monthly webinars on semiotics and preaching that are open to everyone.


Len lives on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands (Washington State), where he frequently conducts two-to-three day campfire conversations in his home, Dolphin Cay ( He calls them “advances,” not “retreats.”   


Barbara Mutch, DMin
Association of Theological Schools 

Barbara Mutch was appointed to the ATS staff as director, accreditation and institutional evaluation in September 2015. Her work includes facilitating accrediting reviews, providing education and support to member schools about the process of accreditation, and providing staff support to the work of the Board of Commissioners of the ATS Commission on Accrediting.

Prior to coming to ATS, Mutch completed nearly 20 years of service at Carey Theological College in British Columbia, most recently as chief academic officer. She has taught courses in preaching, spiritual formation, issues in women’s faith and development, supervised ministry, and DMin theological reflection in ministry as well as a doctoral project seminar. She also taught at Regent College from 1996 to 2014, teaching a variety of courses including, most recently, the Seminar in Women’s Faith and Development.

In service to ATS, she contributed a chapter to the book C(H)AOS Theory: Reflections of Chief Academic Officers in Theological Education and an article on “Assessing a Doctor of Ministry Program” in the Theological Education journal. She has also served a full term on the ATS Board of Commissioners as well as on multiple comprehensive accrediting evaluation visits, and on the ATS Faculty Advisory Committee.

A graduate of Briercrest Bible College with both a Bachelor of Religious Education and a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Mutch earned her DMin at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is ordained in the Baptist Union of Western Canada and served as associate pastor of First Baptist Church in Regina, Saskatchewan, for 15 years while pursuing her graduate studies. In 2014, she was recognized as one of Canada’s preeminent preachers with the Lester Randall Preaching Fellowship at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church.


       New Directors Workshop: March 17 @ 12:30 pm CST

Online/Hybrid Delivery: May 6 @ 1 pm CST


Connect with ATS-ADME liaison, Dr. Barbara Mutch and engage colleagues in a 2.0 roundtable discussion on the upcoming changes to the DMin degree program accreditation standards.


The 2022 ADME national conference will be meeting at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA tentatively scheduled –March 31-April 2, 2022.


The 2023 ADME National Conference will me at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX.  Date to be determined.