International Association for Christian Educational Accountability
"The Biblical Alternative to Secular Accreditation"
IACEA is not a traditional accreditation agency or body. IACEA is an INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY ASSOCIATION fulfilling the need for a Christian alternative to secular accreditation, through a process of educational evaluation leading to theological accreditation. By fulfilling the IACEA Christian educational standards, a Christian educational institution does meet many international standards for accreditation and may therefore be considered theological accreditation.
The following quote is taken from the website of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA):
"There are accrediting organizations that may not be recognized but are not accreditation mills. For example, the accreditor may be seeking recognition, but the process is not complete. Or, the accreditor does not meet the requirements of CHEA or USDE for reasons that do not relate to quality."
The following quote from the United States Department of Education:
"It should be noted that some institutions have chosen not to participate in the federal student aid program and therefore do not have to be approved by an accrediting agency recognized by the Department. While these institutions do not appear on the Department's list, they may be legitimate schools."
This quote from the former executive director of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education), stated as follows:
"There are hundreds of Bible Colleges and Seminaries in the United States and Canada that are offering good solid theological training, yet they are not accredited."
As of May 2010 accreditation is still a voluntary unregulated function of both government-approved and governmentally unapproved agencies. There are no laws governing accreditation in the USA. Those accreditors meeting GAAP standards are those Regional and National bodies that are approved by the United States Government/ Secretary of Education or CHEA.
Unfortunately, there are accrediting agencies that are little more than accreditation mills that provide a certificate of accreditation for a fee and then provide little or no evaluation or have no ongoing programs for follow-up evaluations and reporting by colleges and universities that have received their accreditation certificate.
However, there are also a few legitimate organizations and associations such as IACEA that provide stringent standards and do a thorough evaluation of colleges and universities, Bible colleges, seminaries, and Christian schools that seek to improve their educational standards and institutional integrity. Such governmentally non-recognized providers of educational quality recognition, encourage and support compliance with quality educational standards and institutional professionalism through ongoing evaluations and reporting, for continuous improvement in educational curriculum and institutional integrity.
The problem is that government-recognized accreditation is exorbitantly expensive which results in complying colleges and universities having student expenses as high as $100,000 or more, in tuition, costs, and fees for a 4-year degree. This restricts many of the less financially privileged, from enrolling in the BIG colleges and universities that hold governmentally approved accreditation. However, Colleges and Universities that choose to hold accreditation from governmentally non-recognized accrediting bodies or Christian educational accountability organizations and educational ministry membership associations like IACEA, are thus enabled through financial feasibility to meet a huge need in providing education to the masses at up to 80% or even 90% in financial savings when compared with the BIG colleges and universities that hold Regional or National accreditation under the approval of the government/ secretary of education/CHEA.
Non-Governmentally Recognized Schools
Non-governmentally recognized schools are those that have non-governmentally recognized accreditation. However, non-governmentally recognized college and university credits are often accepted in transfer to governmentally approved colleges and universities. The major difference between governmentally approved and non-governmentally recognized colleges and universities is that colleges and universities not recognized by the government, do not qualify for student loans. But, when a student can save up to 90% on tuition, costs, and fees, there is no need for a student loan anyway.
IACEA is not and does not claim to be a governmentally approved accrediting body. As a Biblical alternative to secular accreditation, IACEA is an international educational ministry association for Christian educational accountability composed of hundreds of member institutions worldwide. As a ministry, our board of Christian institution leaders evaluates and advises Christian education institutions concerning effective measures that result in improved Christian education standards of quality and integrity for member educational institutions. In view of the new legislation being proposed as H.R 4535 choosing to sever ties with non-governmentally approved creditors and becoming an approved member of IACEA, as an alternative to secular accreditation, may be a wise decision for many colleges, universities, Bible colleges, and seminaries.
As a ministry: IACEA is focused on providing stability, integrity, and improved educational program quality and standards through ongoing education, evaluation, and accountability for Christian educational institutions, better enabling them to provide quality education to the masses who otherwise could not afford such quality Christian education.
H.R. Bill 4535
There is new *legislation being proposed as of May 2010. Bill H.R. 4535 seeks to define accrediting Mills as any accreditation that is not approved by the Government / Secretary of Education or CHEA. Furthermore, the new *legislation seeks to label all colleges and universities that do not have governmentally approved accreditation as Diploma Mills. The same legislation gives the FTC a limited amount of time to develop and enforce laws against what the government is defining as accreditation mills and degree mills. Under the new proposed *legislation a college or university that requires students to complete full credit hours and qualified courses for degree awards will still be labeled a Diploma Mill just because they have non-governmentally approved accreditation from what the government would define as an Accreditation Mill.
This new legislation may result in the closure of many non-governmentally approved secular colleges and universities. In turn, this would do injury to potentially millions of Americans over the years to come, who would be deprived of education, because they cannot afford to pay $40,000 to $100,000 for a 4- year degree program.
In accordance with the Constitution of the United States, a Christian education-related institution cannot be dictated to or controlled by the Government / Secretary of Education CHEA, (or) any law, in regard to Christian education-based degree programs.
*Christian institutions remain protected by the First and Tenth amendments of the U.S. Constitution and cannot be affected by the current legislation.
Concerning Secular Colleges and Universities Which Become Christian Educational Institutions
In the United States of America, most of our nation's first colleges and universities, such as Harvard and Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Vassar, Wellesley, Mt. Holyoke, etc. began as Christian colleges and universities offering Christian education. Harvard began in 1636 and was founded for training in the Gospel ministry. Harvard's charter in 1650 stated that the university was established for the purposes of educating the English and Indian youth in knowledge and Godliness. Harvard's motto was " Christo et Ecclesiae."
Our U.S. Constitution provides that NO law shall be made prohibiting such free expression regarding religious education.
One of our goals is to secure the future for not just legitimate Bible colleges and seminaries and Christian schools but also for legitimate secular colleges and universities that would add a Christian education curriculum and offer inexpensive tuition for the masses who enroll in Christian educational degree programs.
We intend to ensure that quality non-governmentally recognized Christian education-based degree programs are supported by a legitimate international non-governmentally influenced Christian membership association. IACEA is such a membership association with hundreds of Christian education-related, affiliate members worldwide.
All approved IACEA members are allowed to display their approved membership certificate or the IACEA LOGO signifying achievement of recognized higher standards in Christian education, on the ACCREDITATION page of their institution's website. Furthermore, such institutions can use, promote, advertise and place our Logo along with an IACEA pre-approved statement regarding the institution's membership in IACEA which denotes the fulfillment of higher standards of Christian educational and institutional excellence through IACEA.