Commission on Accreditation
ABHE’s 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.
The historic means of assuring the quality of North American higher education is conducted through the peer review process of institutional accreditation. The Commission on Accreditation (COA) is the independent national accrediting agency of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).
The ABHE Commission on Accreditation Is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as a national, faith-related accrediting agency. 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.
The ABHE Commission on Accreditation 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.