Are Christian Colleges Accredited?

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Attending a Christian college will appeal to students who are interested in things like quiet dignity, academic integrity, wholesome values and community engagement. Christian colleges are not boring, conservative and unaccredited institutions that exclude non-members. Most Christian colleges successfully integrate secular learning and academic standards with theological concepts and positive religious values.

Accreditation

The Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) have approved six regional accrediting agencies. These include the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) approves almost 20 higher learning institutions in the North Central region of the country.

Related resource: 50 Great Value Online Colleges for Religious Studies and Theology Degrees (Bachelor’s) 2016

These seven regional bodies cover the entire country and implement the highest academic standards. There are also specialized accrediting agencies that are approved by CHEA and the Department of Education. For example, the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) approves online degrees and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) approves trade, technical and occupational degrees. The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) approves vocational and occupational associate degree programs.

Alternative Accreditation

Most Christian schools will have some type of regional or national accreditation as well as faith-based accreditation through the Department of Education. These include the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). These three main accrediting bodies ensure that Christian-based degree programs meet specific secular and religious standards.

Be aware that regional universities only accept college credits from other regionally accredited universities. National accrediting bodies, such as the three faith-based accreditation organization, tend to maintain flexible credit transfer policies. They may accept similar degrees and coursework from industrial training, military school education and professional work experience. For example, service members who are trained as registered nurses may work in war zones and gain the highest level of medical competence, but regional accrediting bodies reject their military-based training.

What are the Benefits of Attending a Christian College?

Christ colleges offer excellent benefits because they have same academic caliber and educational merit as other schools. Those who receive an inadequate education usually have personal choices to blame, such as poor study habits and lack of academic dedication. Many Christian colleges do not cost as much as their secular counterparts because they are strongly supported by alumni, the public and religious organizations that want to promote strong values.

Christian colleges collectively focus on fostering maturity, spirituality and positive relationships with others. Faith-based universities do not focus on trying to reform students, but instead try to instill core beliefs and lifelong habits for success. Christian colleges can actually help religious students expand their worldview by safely exposing them to new ideas, lifestyles and world views.

Keep in mind that attending a Christian college may actually be less expensive for members of the specific church. For example, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) who attend a BYU campus will enjoy lower tuition rates because of generous church member donations. Many Christian colleges offer similar tuition reductions for active church members.