It’s a start-up world. Businesses are born faster than ever. Colleges, too, can be created more easily than before, especially online. Should you believe the claims of every bible college that appears in your Google search? How can you know a college will fulfill its promises? Start by checking its accreditation status. Accreditation offers evidence of a school’s integrity and quality. Accredited bible colleges also offer crucial practical advantages.
Accreditation: a public commitment that shows integrity
Accreditation, in some ways, is like a wedding vow. It’s a public commitment. It’s telling the world what you’re promising to do. It invites others to help you keep those promises. An accredited Bible college has made itself publicly accountable to meet professional standards and fulfill its own stated mission.
Accreditation shows that a bible college is serious about keeping its promises to its students with high caliber academics.
Some unaccredited Bible colleges commit themselves to high standards. They may be unaccredited for understandable reasons, such as the high cost of going through an accreditation process. Accreditation isn’t everything. Yet, fraudulent and poor-quality unaccredited colleges exist, and accreditation offers you crucial protection against such institutions.
You can see these public promises in the criteria for accreditation of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an accrediting body. First, a college must have a mission statement or purpose. This should guide all the decisions and actions of the school. It also shows outsiders what the college intends to do, so they can evaluate it on this basis.
These are the other four criteria that accredited universities must hold to:
- Ethical conduct
- A high quality education
- Processes for self-evaluation and improvement
- Adequate resources to fulfill its mission now and in the future
Accreditation isn’t a rubber stamp. It’s a rigorous process of evaluation. It can give you a foundational level of trust in a college that submits to it.
Vital practical advantages
This willingness to commit to a purpose and accountability brings major practical advantages to you as a student. These include:
- Assurance of quality: You’ll know the institution has been carefully evaluated according to professional standards. You’re getting a high-quality education worth the time and resources that you’re putting into it.
- An acknowledged degree: Employers may question your credentials if the school you attended is not accredited. Depending on your field, a degree from an unaccredited institution may significantly limit your job opportunities. It may also prevent you from pursuing graduate studies, including seminary.
- Availability of loans: Federal students loans are not available to students attending an unaccredited college.
- Transferrable credits: If you decide to complete your degree at a non-accredited school, your credits most likely won’t transfer to an accredited university. Without accreditation, your new school will not have a way of verifying that the education you received meets collegiate standards.
Training you can trust = knowledge you can use
There’s far more to choosing a Bible college than its accreditation status, but don’t overlook this factor. Accreditation can give you confidence that an institution will fulfill its promises. You’ll also be better able to put your knowledge to use. Employers and seminaries will have confidence in your credentials.
North Central University was first accredited in 1964. It was recently reaccredited by the Higher Learning Commission and received approval to offer online programs. NCU has a half-century history of pursuing a clear mission in a publicly accountable way. It continues to offer a Christian education that adheres to high professional standards.
Contact us to learn more about NCU and our mission. If you’d like to study the Bible at an accredited university with a tradition of academic excellence, NCU may be the right fit for you.