Christian Leaders Institute Accreditation
Erica Ware is training to be a youth leader. Click here to read her story.
It was not long after CLI started in 2006 with six students that many asked. “Is CLI accredited?” We began the investigation of what that meant and how we could offer free classes and still offer credible high-quality credentials.
Accreditation in the USA started in the late 19th century to assure that independent observers in education (peers of other like schools) checked in on each other to make sure that the quality of education was strong. Academic leaders of two or three schools evaluated the practice of other schools to certify that the education met certain standards.
Christian Leaders Institute is a full member of this accrediting partner visit this link to learn more: http://iabcs.net/
Local states allowed these peer schools to charter an educational non-profit made up of member schools to oversee this. Christian Leaders Institute is a member of one of these state-chartered organizations, called the International Association of Bible Schools and Seminaries. (IABCS)
In 1952, the United States Federal Government got involved to begin chartering peer organizations as well. This became increasingly important as tuition rates for education dramatically increased.
The USA federal government has oversight of the USA student loan program, and their leaders put in place standards that met the goals of doling out large amounts of student loans for American citizens. By the early 2000s, the understanding of “accreditation” meant connecting to the federal government program of accreditation. This was especially true because student loans are connected to schools in the federal program of peer school oversight.
Quality Religious Accreditation
Currently, Christian Leaders Institute teaches under the religious exemption opportunity provided by the State of Florida. We are also connected to the International Association of Bible Schools and Seminaries. This accrediting agency for religious schools is not a USDE-recognized accrediting agency. It offers Quality Religious Accreditation. This accrediting organization has been a blessing to CLI.
Christian Leaders Institute is a full member of this accrediting partner. Click the picture to learn more.
We are also a part of the ACEA, an organization founded by Dr. Peter Wagner.
Our goal is to develop this generosity-driven model of high-quality ministry training. The quality of our education is supported by the fact that Western Theological Seminary, Calvin Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Seminary will gladly accept degree graduate students from CLI who apply and meet their individual guideline standards.
This model of quality education does not have to be substandard or cheap. It just needs to be available for those called into ministry or Christian leadership. That is what we are attempting to do to serve a new generation of local Christian leaders who are prepared to bring revival to the world.
In 2018, Christian Leaders Institute began working with the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). We applied for Applicant status. Five of the 22 Standards for Accreditation needed attention. The most notable three standards that we were not currently in compliance with were: Online Library Access, the Headquarter’s Physical Location, and Admission Readiness Credentials of our students. All of these are being addressed by CLI.
In 2019, CLI will enhance our online library to meet the Standard. We are also in the process of moving our headquarters to Florida, though much of our staff will still be located in Michigan and Illinois due to our online format. These two actions should bring us into compliance with the first two mentioned-above notable standards.
The third standard was Admission Readiness Credentials. In order to meet the US Department of Education standard, students must establish that they are ready for college-level work. Our mission is to admit everyone to study who can do the coursework at CLI. This standard thus seemed in conflict with our mission. After prayer and deliberation, we addressed this issue by categorizing students as either study status students or credential status students. Credential status students will have to complete activities that establish their readiness for college study at Christian Leaders College. Study Status students will be able to receive awards and ordinations at CLI. In addition to being able to receive awards and ordinations, credential status students will also be able to receive official certificates, diplomas, and degrees at Christian Leaders College.
While we are completely happy and are blessed with our current accreditation partners, we hear that students want us to pursue the US Department of Education recognized accreditation, so we are on that journey now also.