About Accreditation

About the Commission

The Association for Biblical Higher Education Commission on Accreditation is the independent accrediting agency of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. The ABHE Commission on Accreditation:

  • Accredits institutions and programs of biblical higher education in Canada, the United States, and U.S. Territories based on standards of quality that reflect both higher education and spiritual contexts – “where the Bible is central and the development of Christian life and ministry is essential.”
  • Is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as a national, faith-related accrediting agency by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). ABHE is one of only four recognized national, faith-related accrediting agencies, and was a charter member of the Council on Postsecondary Education (COPA) and the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA), the predecessors to CHEA. ABHE’s scope of recognition under CHEA extends to institutions and programs in the United States, Canada, and related territories that offer certificates, diplomas, associate, baccalaureate or graduate degrees aimed at preparing students for Christian ministries through Biblical, church-vocational and general studies.
  • Is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a national, specialized institutional accrediting agency. ABHE recognition by the U.S. Department of Education has been continuous since 1952, when the federal government first began recognizing accrediting agencies. The agency’s scope of USDE recognition (i.e., for the purpose of participation in U.S. Higher Education Act financial aid programs) relates to the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”) of Bible colleges and institutes in the United States offering undergraduate programs through both campus-based instruction and distance education.
  • Is one of the nine international accrediting agencies that make up the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE), the official theological education partner entity of the World Evangelical Alliance. ICETE is a global community comprising nine continental/regional networks of theological schools. ABHE is the North American representative in that network.

Educational Distinctives

  • Biblical – higher education that involves extensive and serious study of the text of God’s eternal Word.
  • Transformational – higher education that calls us to explore the moral and ethical implications of what we are studying.
  • Experiential – higher education that facilitates hands-on ministry, service-learning, and intercultural study opportunities.
  • Missional – higher education that encourage and equip graduates – regardless of present or future occupation – to take part according to their unique gifts, passions and callings in the global cause of proclaiming through word and deed the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

Tenets of Faith

According to the Constitution of the Association for Biblical Higher Education, the following statement of faith is to be subscribed to annually by each member institution.

  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious death and atonement through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal and visible return in power and glory.
  • We believe that man was created in the image of God, and that he was tempted by Satan and fell, and that, because of the exceeding sinfulness of human nature, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary for salvation.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life, and by Whom the Church is empowered to carry out Christ’s great commission.
  • We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost; those who are saved unto the resurrection of life and those who are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.