About Accreditation / Accrediting Types
"Making sense of the three kinds of accrediting organizations in the U.S."
Written by Paul Chappell
1. Institutional accreditors accredit entire institutions-that is, all degree programs, schools and delivery systems within an institution. These organizations are categorized as regional or national accreditors. All public postsecondary institutions-from large, prestigious universities to local community colleges-and most private institutions and liberal arts colleges are regionally accredited. CHEA and the USDE recognize two types of national accreditors: faith-related and career-related. Within the faith-related field, four organizations accredit institutions with a distinct religious or spiritual identity or affiliation: the Association for Biblical Higher Education, Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, and Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools.
2. Programmatic accreditors accredit specialized professional programs such as a business school, seminary or music school. In most cases, however, these free-standing schools and programs are units within a larger educational structure (college, university) and have sought programmatic accreditation in addition to regional or national comprehensive accreditation. Because of this, most universities and colleges with regional or national accreditation simultaneously have programmatic accreditation for programs within the institution.
accrediting is a developing avenue for many churches and ministries
offering higher education. This type of accreditation not only allows
churches and ministries to retain their constitutional rights of "free
exercise" of religion, it also lets a church or ministry's leaders
be directly involved with their institution-something not typically
permitted due to government-imposed limitations. These institutions
fully finance themselves via their ministries rather than through government-dependent
funding, grants, etc. Non-governmental accrediting organizations, such
as Transworld Accrediting Commission International based in California,
continue to grow in popularity among churches and ministries seeking
an alternative route to validate their educational institution's academic
and biblical standards. Many of these Bible and ministry schools have
partnered with and been accepted by major institutions throughout the
U.S. that are accredited regionally or otherwise. Christian leaders
such as Rodney Howard-Browne, Jentezen Franklin, Bayless Conley, Frederick
Price, Guillermo Maldonado and Ron Phillips have established institutions
that now receive this type of accreditation.
Accrediting Commission International
on Petra Theological Seminary Inc., Accreditation
Petra Christian University, Inc.
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