Accrediting Bodies

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Dr. Bob, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    HISTORY: A bible college or christian university can opt for recognized national accreditation by:

    Regional Association - one of six that cover the entire US and historically have 95% of all accrediting

    AABC - American Assoc of Bible Colleges which for some years has been recognized by the govt and most Regional associations

    TRACS - Newest of the bodies to be recognized by the govt for accrediting

    There are other smaller groups for specialized schools, institutes, training facilities. There are some for correspondence-type schools. Some international associations where a school in the US links with another overseas to become "accredited".

    It is big business, big money, to a school it means students.

    ISSUE TO DISCUSS: If I was recommending a school to a 18-year old in my church, I would recommend one that is REGIONALLY accredited before one that is by AABC. And one that is AABC over one in TRACS. And one in TRACS over a non-accredited.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    BTW, accrediting DOES mean something to me personally. I teach adjunct at a local college. They "call" me doctor, but pay me at an M.A. level since my BA/MA are accredited by North Central Regional Association, but my D.Min was not.

    Trinity has now been accepted by North Central as Candidate Status for accreditation. That means next semester I teach (don't know when) I will be PAID at a doctor's level. $500 more than the Master's level per credit hour, doing the exact same teaching!
     
  3. Plain Old Bill

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    Have you looked at the schools TRACS has accredited and have on thier candidate list. I would look to see What my Fellowship (IFB)or denomination (SBC)thought of a school before attending any TRACS school.
    There are a lot of very liberal Bible colleges and seminaries that are accredited .I would not put them in front of any good unaccredited Bible college or seminary.
    If teaching at an accredited school is your goal then of course accreditation is a primary consideration.
     
  4. PatsFan

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    Accreditation has always been interesting to me. Liberty is accredited regionally and by TRACS. Some seminaries seek to also be accredited by ATS, the Association of Theological Schools. I wonder if ATS accreditation is more prestigious or more suspect since all the liberal seminaries are ATS accredited?
     
  5. Broadus

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    I, too, would probably recommend the regionally accredited school over the others, but I would recommend AABC and TRACS schools equally. All three groups are certified by the U.S. Dept. of Ed. and, more importantly, by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

    That said, what the young person aspires to learn and the individual schools would be priority. I think accreditation is important. There are more degree and diploma mills than one can keep up with. No one should want a degree which requires less than challenging work. Accreditation helps to keep schools honest and accountable.

    Many love to promote the view that accreditation equals theological liberalism. That concept is false. Accreditation simply affirms that a school is legitimately being what it claims to be and that its requirements are legitimate.

    BTW, there are many bogus accrediting agencies out there, and many students have been duped into thinking their degrees were acceptable to get into legitimately-accredited grad programs only to find out otherwise.

    There are, of couse, some solid schools which have eschewed accreditation and whose grads have been accepted into grad programs without probation. BJU is one example, although they are now pursuing accreditation through TRACS. I would check out such schools thoroughly, though, because I suspect that many shun accreditation because they are academically incapable of achieving it.

    Bill
     
  6. Broadus

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    One of the requirements that TRACS has for accrediting a school is that the school hold to a literal six-day creation. No theologically liberal school would hold to such. One may not agree with a TRACS-accredited school's theology, but aberrant theology is not necessarily the same thing as liberalism. A TRACS school will be theologically conservative, but it may be theologically unacceptable, nevertheless.

    Bill
     
  7. Broadus

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    ATS accreditation is considered by many to be more prestigious. I have graduate degrees from a TRACS-accredited school and from a regionally and ATS-accredited school. Both are theologically conservative. Most ATS schools, however, are liberal, and some (many?) are heretical.

    If a seminary is regionally accredited, I would not be concerned with the additional ATS accreditation. I'm not convinced that ATS accreditation gives a seminary any more legitimacy. The Master's Seminary in California is accredited by WACS, but I don't think they have desired or sought ATS accreditation.

    Bill
     
  8. PatsFan

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    " Originally posted by Broadus:
     
  9. Broadus

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    Was the problem with Gordon-Conwell because of (1) the work being MDiv equivalent instead of an MDiv degree or (2) because of the non-ATS accreditation of the institution(s) where you did your master's work?
     
  10. PatsFan

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    Originally posted by: Broadus
    quote:Was the problem with Gordon-Conwell because of (1) the work being MDiv equivalent instead of an MDiv degree or (2) because of the non-ATS accreditation of the institution(s) where you did your master's work?
     
  11. Johnv

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    I think you're using reverse logic here: If an accrediting body accredits liberal schools, then a conservative school shouldn't be accredited by them. That's backwards reasoning.

    I think accreditation is important, because it certifies that the school has achieved certain criteria set by nationally or regionally set standards. It demonstrates a certain level of educational accountability as well.

    One should beware, though. There are a few accreditation mills, just as there are degree mills. Many degree mills are accredited via these accteditation mills. In effect, it just means that a diploma issued by these folks is twice as illegitimate.
     
  12. paidagogos

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    There are some issues with accreditation from a theological standpoint. Liberal or secular accrediting associations have tended to side with faculty and academic freedom over against doctrinal purity in disputes between faculty and administration. Does an institution risk the ability to enforce doctrinal purity when it enters into an accreditation arrangement?
     
  13. Greg Linscott

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    That's where you have to be extremely careful in screening your faculty. At Faith, my alma mater, they have been regionally accredited for a few years now. If anything, they have gotten more conservative and fundamental in their new hires and adjunct faculty since they recieved North Central status. That has, on some occasions, also involved going outside their traditional GARBC orbit. In that time frame, they have also strengthened their teaching of biblical, nouthetic counseling (as opposed to integration of secular psychology principles).

    From my campus visits, it seems as though Maranatha has also done an excellent job at maintaining doctrinal purity while strengthening their academic programs through NCA accreditation. Interestingly, another area in which they have shown some degree of excellence without compromise has been with their NCAA Div. III football program.

    All I'm saying is that doctrinal purity can be compatible with high academic standards.
     
  14. Plain Old Bill

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    No John what I'm saying is that some schools are so stinking liberal that the faculty does'nt believe the Bible or related subjects they supposedly teach.They have atheists or heretics on thier staff.
    Think Ivy league schools divinity departments.I'm just saying you have to be careful. Accreditation does not equal spiritual or doctrinal purity.
     
  15. Broadus

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  16. Johnv

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    I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. Accreditation does not equal spiritual or doctrinal purity any more or less than non-accreditation. But it does attest to a school wishing to be pedagogically accountable.
     
  17. Plain Old Bill

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    Which is why I stated in my original post that it is important to find out who your fellowship/denomination supports and recommends,along with a talk with your pastor.They will generally have a reasonably good handle on something along these lines.
     
  18. gb93433

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    So you think the leadfers are always so ethical and their theology is great? Don'tlook any further than the chairman of the trustees at SWBTS about 1995. Doctrinally I have heard he chairman today speak and at times his doctrine is arther poor. It is obvious he touts the ignorant Baptist line and doesn't studfy much. Another former trustee as SWBTS regularly plagiarized sermons that W.A. Criswell preached eyas earlier. I found it interesting that the same sermons W.A. Criswell preached at FBC, Dallas that I heard them the next week at the church I attended. That pastor is a leader in the SBC. Ethics? Think again!

    The institution has the right to hire and fire but not the right to be tyrannical. Having been a teacher for sometime I have seen several cases of laziness by an administration that would not been known on the outside had it not been for an accrediting agency. I have experienced two cases where a superintendent asked me to do something in violation of the educational code and in violation of standard ethical practices. I was aksed to do things for private individuals using school funding and materials for them under the guise of my program. Of course I refused. That superintendent left after a few years. Accreditation was a good time to brings some of those things out.

    Interestingly the principal and superintendent before him were well liked and ethical. In the accreditation report the administration were commended.
     
  19. paidagogos

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    So you think the leadfers are always so ethical and their theology is great? Don'tlook any further than the chairman of the trustees at SWBTS about 1995. Doctrinally I have heard he chairman today speak and at times his doctrine is arther poor. It is obvious he touts the ignorant Baptist line and doesn't studfy much. Another former trustee as SWBTS regularly plagiarized sermons that W.A. Criswell preached eyas earlier. I found it interesting that the same sermons W.A. Criswell preached at FBC, Dallas that I heard them the next week at the church I attended. That pastor is a leader in the SBC. Ethics? Think again! </font>[/QUOTE]What does this have to do with accreditation? Both accredited and non-accredited schools suffer from poor boards because selection has more to do with money and power than integrity and quality of character. Go figure!

    Or, gloss right over them depending on the accreditation team, etc.[/] Again, there are vested interests in accreditation teams. It's a good ole boys club much like doctors who are relucant to rat on other doctors for malpractice. Accreditation is still a fraternal function.

    Oh, this is standard boiler plate for accreditation reports.
     
  20. paidagogos

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    So you think the leadfers are always so ethical and their theology is great? Don'tlook any further than the chairman of the trustees at SWBTS about 1995. Doctrinally I have heard he chairman today speak and at times his doctrine is arther poor. It is obvious he touts the ignorant Baptist line and doesn't studfy much. Another former trustee as SWBTS regularly plagiarized sermons that W.A. Criswell preached eyas earlier. I found it interesting that the same sermons W.A. Criswell preached at FBC, Dallas that I heard them the next week at the church I attended. That pastor is a leader in the SBC. Ethics? Think again! </font>[/QUOTE]What does this have to do with accreditation? Both accredited and non-accredited schools suffer from poor boards because selection has more to do with money and power than integrity and quality of character. Go figure!

    Or, gloss right over them depending on the accreditation team, etc.[/] Again, there are vested interests in accreditation teams. It's a good ole boys club much like doctors who are relucant to rat on other doctors for malpractice. Accreditation is still a fraternal function.

    Oh, this is standard boiler plate for accreditation reports.
     

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