Conditions of Eligibility
The Committee on Applicant and Candidate Status of the Association’s Commission on Accreditation will grant applicant status to those institutions that (1) document compliance with the Association’s Conditions of Eligibility and (2) appear, in the committee’s judgment, to be able to achieve candidate status within four years.
To be considered for applicant status by the committee, an institution must provide the Commission with (1) an official statement from its chief executive officer reflecting a decision of its board of control to pursue accreditation, (2) a completed application form providing both essential data and a trend analysis of that data, (3) an official statement from the chief executive officer reflecting a board of control decision to affirm support of the ABHE Tenets of Faith, and (4) a document indicating compliance with the following Conditions of Eligibility.
1. Authorization. An institution must have authorization from the appropriate governmental agency (if required) to operate as an educational institution and to grant all degrees, certificates, and diplomas that it awards.
2. Institutional Mission. An institution must have a clear statement of mission as well as formally adopted and widely publicized institutional goals that are in accord with the association’s definition of Bible institution education.
3. Governance. An institution must have an external governing board of at least five members that has the authority to carry out the mission, goals, and objectives of the institution.
4. Chief executive officer. An institution must employ a chief executive officer whose major responsibility is to the institution and who possesses appropriate authority.
5. Academic Programs. An institution must offer one or more educational programs that are at least two academic years in length and are consistent with the mission of the institution and appropriate to higher education.
6. Catalog. An institution must have available to students and the public a current and accurate catalog setting forth the institution’s governance, mission, institutional goals, specific objectives, programs and courses, resources, admissions and standards, academic offerings, rules and regulations for conduct, degree completion requirements, full-and part-time faculty rosters with faculty degrees, fees and other charges, refund policies, a policy defining satisfactory academic progress, graduation rates, rate of recent graduate employment in program related occupations, and other items related to attending, transferring to, or withdrawing from the institution. Claims regarding educational effectiveness must be supported by appropriate data.
7. Learning resources. An institution must have learning resources to support the courses, programs, and degrees offered.
8. Faculty qualifications. An institution must have at least one qualified faculty member for each major offered.
9. Admissions policy. An institution must have an admissions policy that is compatible with its stated objectives.
10. Student Body. An institution must have students enrolled in and pursuing its educational programs.
11. Biblical/theological studies. An institution must meet, in all its programs, the minimum requirement for biblical/theological studies as specified in the Criteria for Accreditation.
12. General studies. An institution must meet, in all its programs, the minimum requirement for general studies as specified in the Standards for Accreditation.
13. Christian Service Program. An institution must require that students participate in a program of Christian service.
14. Program completion. An institution must have graduated at least one class in its principal program by the time of the committee’s decision regarding applicant status.
15. Institutional stability. An institution must have a pattern of stability in enrollment, administration, faculty, and finances.
16. Potential for growth and development. An institution must possess the capacity for growth and development.
17. Financial base. An institution must have a financial base indicating that the institution can achieve its mission and objectives within a balanced budget and at a safe level of debt.
18. Income allocation. An institution must devote substantially all of its generated income to the support of its educational purposes and programs.
19. Annual audit. An institution must have financial records that receive an annual, opinioned external audit.
20. Agency disclosure. An institution must agree to disclose to the association any and all such information as it may require to carry out its evaluation and accreditation functions.
21. Compliance. An institution must commit itself to comply with the association’s Standards for Accreditation, either current or as hereafter modified, during the period of its affiliation.
22. Public Disclosure. An institution must attest in writing that it understands and agrees that the association may, at its discretion, make known to any agency or member of the public the nature of any action, positive or negative, regarding the institution’s status with the Association.