Accreditation & Cost / Educational Accountability
In the educational world today, regional accreditation is not always a mandatory requirement especially for ministry related, non secular, avocations/ professions. Many Pastors, Christian teachers, Christian Counselors, etc. opt for Bible Colleges and Seminaries with non regional accreditation which result in huge financial savings while still achieving a quality standard of education. In fact, the majority of Bible schools are NOT regionally accredited.
At Northwestern, we have numerous students and graduates who have come to us from major seminaries, colleges and universities, including Liberty and Fuller etc. for their post graduate studies, to earn a Master's or Doctoral degree. Of course many of our graduate school students already have a regionally accredited Bachelor or Master's degree but it is not necessary for many ministry related positions.
Northwestern Theological Seminary is a member in good standing with the IACEA. The International Association for Christian Educational Accountability is a Christian alternative to secular accreditation and as such, is not controlled or dictated to by the U.S. Dept. of Education thus allowing Biblical positions to be supported in areas such as Abortion, Same Sex Marriage etc. Educational Accountability and Accreditation are interchangeable.
Concerning seminary accreditation or educational accountability; the value of any accredited university, accredited bible college or educationally accountable online seminary degree is subjective, depending on the amount of work that went into earning it, the studentís attitude and aptitude, and external circumstances related to the school itself or to the graduateís working world.
You should be aware that the vast majority of Christian Private Schools, Bible Colleges and Seminaries elect not to be governed by the U.S. Department of Education and do not seek Regional Accreditation, which is more common among Secular Colleges and Universities. Christian Educational Ministries are automatically exempt from the dictates of both the Government and secular accreditation agencies. Northwestern Theological Seminary, like other Christian Education Ministries, has a form of theological accreditation which may be recognized and respected as an acceptable form of accreditation / Educational Accountability for those in pursuit of non secular, ministry related avocations.
Northwestern Theological Seminary is both a state authorized and theologically accredited / educationally accountable institution of higher learning. Most accredited universities, accredited seminaries, accredited Bible colleges and accredited colleges have their own criteria for recognition and acceptability of online educational credits. The individual should always address specific questions to selected institutions in determining their particular criteria concerning accreditation / educational accountability.
Northwestern Theological Seminary is an educational outreach ministry of Christian Alliance Ministries Worldwide. Our ministry, established in 1980, has branch seminaries, evangelistic ministries and thousands of members in over 40 countries included within the United States, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Concerning the "MONOPOLY" on accreditation in the USA today.
Accreditation is BIG BUSINESS today and what is happening amongst the major accreditation agencies fits the definition of a monopoly.
Only a few agencies are recognized by the Government through the U.S. Department of Education and these agencies have instituted astronomical fees and requirements that make it financially impossible for smaller colleges, universities and seminaries to comply.
They go as far as to assume that any accreditation that is not provided by Governmentally approved accreditors is not accreditation at all and they then call all non traditional schools, Bible Colleges and Seminaries that do not have regional accreditation or D.O.E. / Governmentally approved accreditation as non accredited. Unfair? Yes of course it is.. But, this is BIG Business and it is controlled by the few major accrediting bodies recognized by the Government.
Controlling the market and not recognizing any accrediting organization that is not part of their, Governmentally recognized, select group is a highly unfair practice and should be deemed illegal. Furthermore, calling quality Bible Colleges and Seminaries unaccredited, just because they are not regionally accredited, is deceptive and a blatant lie, since numerous smaller Bible Colleges, Christian Universities and Seminaries do have non traditional accreditation (Not recognized by the Government) yet remain just as accountable in providing quality education to their students. They simply refuse to pay the exorbitant cost to participate in the "monopoly" on accreditation.
The cost of accreditation with a major accrediting organization adds up to millions of dollars in expense for colleges and universities that have such accreditation. That is why it costs up to $200,000.00 or more, for a four year degree from a private universality today, making it impossible for the under privileged and many middle classed students to enroll. In fact, many of the students who do enroll in the major colleges and universities wind up strapped with huge student loans which compound and take many years to pay off.
None of this is fair to the average person or under privileged individual who seeks a quality education today. There is a huge educational gap populated by students who cannot afford to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for education. But, thankfully there are non traditional schools, Bible Colleges and Seminaries available that are equipped and able to meet this great educational need.
Northwestern Christian University is such a school and we are meeting a great need by providing a quality, accredited educational opportunity for 98% less than it costs to attend a private university in the United States. We do this while providing our students a state of the art online library and the MOODLE online educational management system which is the same system used by major colleges and universities.
Northwestern has fulfilled
rigorous educational requirements in our determination to acquire and
maintain a quality educational program. Further information concerning
the process of evaluation leading to our Christian educational
accountability, may be obtained by visiting IACEA at:
Northwestern has fulfilled rigorous educational requirements in our determination to acquire and maintain a quality educational program. Further information concerning the process of evaluation leading to our Christian educational accountability, may be obtained by visiting IACEA at: www.ChristianEducationalAccountability.org
United States Government Approval
We are recognized by the Government of the United States of America, as a 501 (c)(3) Religious Organization with all rights and privileges as provided by law.
The State of Florida
State of Florida Department of Education
Northwestern Theological Seminary operates under authorization, as a degree granting institution through exemption, by the Florida State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities under Section 1005.06 (1) (f), FLA Statutes. The state, like other states, does not require accreditation or theological accreditation for our religious education based programs.
IACEA Theological Accreditation by Christian Educational Evaluation and Accountability.
The International Association for Christian Educational Accountability (IACEA)
For a better understanding of Theological Accreditation visit IACEA at: www.ChristianEducationalAccountability.org
Northwestern Theological Seminary and University is a member in good standing with The International Association for Christian Educational Accountability, a Worldwide organization for Christian Theological accreditation through evaluation and accountability, with the goal of maintaining the highest educational standards for its' member institutions. IACEA accreditation standards are maintained through ongoing evaluation, compliance and accountability.
IACEA supports the Biblical principle of separation of Church and state; Mark.12:17; James 4:4; II Corinthians. 6:14. Remaining consistent with Biblical standards and not liberal or secular positions, IACEA has chosen not to seek endorsement by either the EAES or COPA, CHEA etc. which are all governmentally influenced accrediting organizations. IACEA is a rapidly growing and respected network of over 500 schools on the cutting edge of Christ-centered, Biblical education.
IACEA is an international membership association of hundreds of Christian educational institutions. Members must pass an evaluation process, leading to theological accreditation for their educational programs in accord with Christian educational standards and institutional integrity through initial and ongoing evaluations. All IACEA member institutions are enabled to demonstrate educational accountability to the Christian educational community. This accountability is demonstrated through documented evidence of compliance with IACEA standards of structure, governance, material resources, policies, faculty and curriculum. Further information concerning our process of evaluation leading to Christian educational accreditation may be obtained by visiting IACEA at: www.ChristianEducationalAccountability.org
The following quote is taken from the web site 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 is 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 is 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.
But, will a degree
from Northwestern, be accepted by your Church or place of employment?
Ministry and education: Your ministry avocation is one of those areas where Godís will and plan is more important than anything else. In fact, for those already serving in ministry, a degree from a highly credible though governmentally unrecognized school may be the smartest choice. Especially when you can receive a quality online seminary education for a fraction of the expense associated with regionally accredited schools. We should not forget that, especially in the Christian tradition, academic freedom is considered a cornerstone of religious liberty. Of course, so is academic responsibility! Therefore, any program of study leading to a theological degree should be both Biblically sound, and academically honest. At NTS, you can be assured of such integrity with quality educational materials based soundly on Biblical principles.
However, if you are concerned whether your church or place of employment will accept you with a degree earned through a privately accredited school, that is not regionally accredited, then you should simply inquire concerning the same. Remember too, that even with degrees earned from regionally accredited schools; there could be restrictions on what kind of degree is recognized. Always inquire first, since in some cases, denominations and ministries may not accept degrees from secular schools, or schools not affiliated with a specific denomination or organization.
Northwestern Theological Seminary is a member is good standing with the following:
1. The Christian Educators Association International C.E.A.I.
2. The International Association of Christian Theologians T.I.A.C.T.
3. The American Theological Library Association A.T.L.A.
4. The Theology Journal Editorial Committee T.J.E.C.
5. International Fellowship of Christian Ministries I.F.C.M
Throughout history there has always been some religious confusion, and
there is some controversy over the subject of accreditation today. But
to clarify the issue:
*Secular schools seek secular accreditation, and sacred schools receive sacred
accreditation - each by their own peers.
*Religious institutions need no secular accreditation because they do not offer secular education or degrees.
*Secular accreditation associations in turn are recognized by governmental
agencies. They trace their authority back up to the capitol of a country, like
*Religious accrediting associations are recognized by the Church of Jesus Christ,
which has no supreme central office on earth. Our authority is derived from
*Civil and religious interests are different and have separate realms of jurisdiction.
*The state is not superior to the Church. The Church need not wait for approval
from the secular world.
*Civil agencies should not be dictating standards of Christian education, any more
than a police officer should be directing the worship of God.
*Theological Seminaries should not be accredited by accrediting associations that
are "recognized" by an agency of the federal government, because it is contrary to
the Biblical principle of "Separation of Church and State", indicated by Christ when
he said, "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that
are God's." Mark 12:7.
*What business does a Christian educator have, going to the secular world influenced by liberal non-believers for recognition and acknowledgment?
II Cor. 6:14 says, "Be not equally yoked together with unbelievers: For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?"
As a theologically accredited Biblical seminary, we are not required, by the U.S. Dept. of Education or any other agency, to have regional accreditation nor are we subject to governmental or secular oversight. As such, our educational programs are not required to qualify our students for either governmental or secular certification. However, legally, our degrees are classified as theologically accredited and state authorized as exempt, which fully qualifies all degrees from Northwestern Theological Seminary to be recorded professionally both on your resume and in personal employment records. You can be proud of the legitimacy of your Degrees from Northwestern Theological Seminary.
Our ministries are recognized by the Government of the United States, as a 501 ( c ) (3) Religious Organization. Since we are considerate of, and obedient to, all of the laws set by our government, as a Christ centered biblical education ministry, our ultimate authority is God and as such we choose to remain free in our rights to teach degree programs based on the word of God as found in His Holy Bible. However, Because of our legal position based on the U.S. Constitution, NO outside agency has any authority over our educational content regarding our right to teach Bible based educational programs leading to the award of appropriate certificates and degrees.
In the United States, accreditation of universities and seminaries is a voluntary process with accreditation granted by private, non-governmental agencies. Governmental agencies never provide theological accreditation.
Additionally, there is no national standard for educational accreditation, and the educational world is currently re-examining criteria for accreditation, focusing less on institutional inputs and more on educational outcomes.
What the Department of Education Does Not Do
The United States Department of Education does NOT accredit any College, University, Seminary or any Education Program. Here is a quote from the U.S. Department of Education's Web Page:
Under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Nothing specific is said about education in the Constitution; therefore it falls outside federal authority.
In creating the Department of Education, Congress made clear its intention that the secretary of education and other Department officials be prohibited from exercising "any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system." The establishment of schools and colleges, the development of curricula, the setting of requirements for enrollment and graduation -- these are responsibilities handled by the various states and communities, as well as by public and private organizations of all kinds, not by the U.S. Department of Education."
The Facts Concerning Regional Accreditation
Our board of advisors has chosen not to apply for regional accreditation.
∑ Regional Accreditation is a "Voluntary Process" that is not required of religious institutions.
∑ A regionally accredited degree is required for public school teachers in all states, and for some state and federal employment situations. It is our opinion, that the vast majority of ministry related employers do not require that a minister or religious worker have a degree from a regionally accredited school.
∑ Ministers and Religious workers do not need a degree from a regionally accredited school unless regional accreditation of the school is required by their Church Board or as a requirement of ordination by the particular religious denomination.
∑ Individuals in today's world have sufficient information resource to evaluate programs, schools and universities without depending on the "opinions" of accrediting associations.
Regional Accrediting Association does NOT guarantee the
quality of a school, its programs or acceptability of the Degree by any
other school or employer.
Regional Accrediting Associations:
∑ Do not require regionally accredited schools to accept transfer students from other regionally accredited schools and are not required to accept transfer students from schools that are not regionally accredited
∑ Try to dictate hiring practices
∑ Attempt to influence guidelines for faculty selection
∑ Presume to influence curriculum. Such practices clearly interfere with Academic Freedom
∑ Regional Accrediting Associations' policies have not kept up with technology for the modern trend of Web Based Distance Education
And the authorities said, "We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching, in the name of this man Jesus, behold now you have filled all of Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring the blood of Jesus upon us." But Peter and the Apostles answered and said, "We must serve God rather than men." (Acts 5: 28-29)
"And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:2)
All NTS Degree Programs are intended to prepare students for Ministry Avocations.
All races and nationalities are fully welcome at Northwestern Theological Seminary.
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