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Anchored in Christian Faith

Northeastern Seminary and Roberts Wesleyan University Merger

Dear Roberts and Northeastern Community,

As announced in our Vision 2030 Strategic Plan, Roberts Wesleyan University and Northeastern Seminary are committed to the academic excellence and spiritual development that have made us New York’s Leading University for Character Education. I am excited to announce the next era of this transformative education through an intention to merge these two historic institutions. 

Roberts Wesleyan University has continuously evolved since its founding as a seminary in 1866. Today, the school offers wide-ranging undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs rooted in Free Methodist heritage and the Wesleyan theological tradition. Roberts strives to prepare thoughtful, spiritually mature, service-oriented people who will help transform society.

Founded in 1998 as a separate graduate school of theology located on the Roberts campus, Northeastern Seminary has grown to offer Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, Doctor of Ministry, and graduate-level certificates to students who seek lives characterized by personal integrity and devotion to high academic and ethical standards.

While historically existing as two separate educational corporations, the academic programs of both Institutions have long been intertwined, and they operate cooperatively under a common heritage.

For administrative and strategic synergy, Roberts Wesleyan University and Northeastern Seminary now seek to combine operations and governance to form a single institution that reflects a shared history and mission to provide comprehensive Christian and theological education. Northeastern Seminary’s work and history will continue on as an embedded seminary within the University. 

This alignment signifies a union of shared values, commitment to excellence, and a deep-rooted dedication to fostering holistic development. Northeastern Seminary's longstanding tradition of theological education and Roberts Wesleyan University's commitment to academic excellence and Christian faith have paved the way for this synergistic partnership that will redefine educational possibilities.

Key Benefits of an Embedded Seminary

  • Expanded Academic Offerings: The new structure will provide opportunities for an expanded array of academic programs, equipping students with a comprehensive range of knowledge and skills to thrive in their chosen fields.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Students and faculty will have the unique opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration, enriching their learning experience by drawing from diverse perspectives.
  • Spiritual Enrichment: The integration of theological education from Northeastern Seminary with the broader educational offerings of Roberts Wesleyan University will provide a holistic approach to personal and spiritual growth.
  • Community Engagement: This alignment will bolster and expand our commitment to community engagement and service, empowering students to make meaningful contributions to society.
  • Innovative Research and Teaching: The combined resources and expertise of the faculties of these institutions will facilitate innovative research initiatives that continue to equip all students with the character and competence to lead in the midst of societal tensions and influence the most profound issues of today.

Next Steps

Pending government and accreditor approvals, in the coming months, leadership teams from both institutions will be working to ensure a seamless transition, aligning academic offerings, campus resources, and administrative functions. Throughout this process, our primary focus remains on delivering exceptional educational experiences for all students.

As we move forward, we will keep our community informed about the progress and developments through regular updates. You can track the progress of the merger at or 

Your support, enthusiasm, and dedication have brought us to this significant milestone. We look forward to the opportunities this merger will create for our students, faculty, staff and the communities we serve.

Thank you for being a part of the work of Roberts and Northeastern. We look forward to a bright future together. 

Warm regards,

Rupert A. Hayles, Jr., Ph.D.
585.594.6100 | 

About the only way in which men can effectively express their love for God is through service to the children of God, to men.

B.T. Roberts

Anchored in Faith

Students at Northeastern Seminary

Our Northeastern Seminary Community is 18,000 church and non-profit leaders who are actively serving in the world to bring the love of Christ to their congregations and communities. THAT will never change! And you, our students, will continue to be a part of this place where Christ-centered men and women of different ages, ethnicities, and denominations gain the theological understanding, spiritual formation, and proven skills necessary for effective ministry to the church and the world.

Read a letter from Dr. Kristen Brown to our students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check back for your questions to be answered here!

Accreditation through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) is standard and essential credential for seminaries. The rigorous academic standards required by ATS ensures that credits will transfer to other graduate schools and that licensing bodies for denominations, hospital, military, and prison chaplains programs will accept our degrees.

The decision to surrender accreditation does not compromise the quality of education or academic standards at Northeastern Seminary.

This temporary and voluntary change in our MSCHE accreditation will not impact the recognition of our programs. For graduate theological education, the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools serves as the primary accrediting agency. To be accredited, a school must undergo an initial review that examines a wide variety of factors, including library holdings, faculty quality, and financial stability. The ATS commissioners repeat this process on a regular basis to make sure each of its schools maintain an acceptable level of academic quality. Our most recent reaffirmation of accreditation took place in 2017. You can find our status of accreditation on the ATS website.

Northeastern Seminary continues to meet the standards of education set by both MSCHE and ATS and expect that once the merger is completed that our programs will once again be covered twice over by both accrediting bodies.

The anticipated date is July 1 for regaining accreditation after the merger with Roberts Wesleyan University.

Check back regularly to this page or by emailing their questions to

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