Accreditation and Authorization


Policies and Procedures Student Handbook

Academic Acceptance
American Seminary qualifies for religious exempt status from the Degree-Granting Institutions Act for the credit-bearing courses that comprise the Biblical Ministry Degree Certificate. Prospective students and inquirers are encouraged to contact state degree authorization authorities for a clear explanation of the acceptance and restriction of an American Seminary degree in each particular state.

The real advantage of a degree in "Christian Ministry" over a secular degree is that the graduate can work for Church, Para-church, Christian Social services organizations, Christian education schools and programs, and in Christian Counseling or Education Ministry programs.

The purpose of accreditation is to:
1. Certify that an institution has met an established standard of excellence
2. Assist prospective students in identifying reputable institutions, which offer degree programs that will meet their needs and goals
3. Allow institutions to evaluate the acceptability of transfer credits into their own curricula programs In the United States, accreditation of colleges, universities and seminaries is a voluntary process with accreditation granted by private, non-governmental agencies. Governmental agencies do not provide theological or ministry accreditation.
Government-recognized accreditation is not necessary for the religious vocations in which we are equipping our students and people working in ministry positions. Our students are not seeking a government-accredited degree. We do not prepare our students for secular work but; rather, we seek to provide a sound theological standing from which our students may fulfill their divine purpose and calling.

Disclaimer Statement
Our courses meet the requirements established by many private, independent, and professional associations. Various regionally or nationally accredited Christian colleges, Universities, and Seminaries throughout the United States may accept transfer students, credits and degrees; however, transferring of credits to another institution is at the discretion of the receiving institution.

AMERICAN SEMINARY is an Open Enrollment College, meaning that it has an Open Enrollment Admissions policy at college level. It accepts candidates regardless of their grade point average and usually regardless of their place of residence and no minimum grade point average (GPA) or test score is required. The college accepts students who it believes will benefit from and contribute to its intellectual community.

Currently, 28 states exempt religious schools or bible colleges from their higher education licensing, certification, or accreditation process. Among the states that exempt religious colleges, the statutes vary based on (1) the types of institutions that qualify for an exemption, (2) the programs of study the institutions offer, (3) the degrees or diplomas conferred, and (4) the filing requirements.

Appendix 1: -Continued State of Florida FL 1005.06. Institutions not under the jurisdiction or purview of the commission.-
(1) Except as otherwise provided in law, the following institutions are not under the jurisdiction or purview of the commission and are not required to obtain licensure: (f) A religious college may operate without governmental oversight if the college annually verifies by sworn affidavit to the commission that:
1. The name of the institution includes a religious modifier or the name of a religious patriarch, saint, person, or symbol of the church.
2. The institution offers only educational programs that prepare students for religious vocations as ministers, professionals, or laypersons in the categories of ministry, counseling, theology, education, administration, music, fine arts, media communications, or social work.
3. The titles of degrees issued by the institution cannot be confused with secular degree titles. For this purpose, each degree title must include a religious modifier that immediately precedes, or is included within, any of the following degrees: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and Doctor of Education. The religious modifier must be placed on the title line of the degree, on the transcript, and whenever the title of the degree appears in official school documents or publications. 4. The duration of all degree programs offered by the institution is consistent with the standards of the commission.
5. The institution's consumer practices are consistent with those required by 1005.04.

The commission may provide such a religious institution a letter stating that the institution has met the requirements of state law and is not subject to governmental oversight.

The following is a list of explanation about the accreditation system:
* Accreditation is not necessary for institutions to have high instructional value.
* Accreditation is one way to judge the value of an academic institution.
* Accreditation is not the only way to judge the value of an academic institution.
* Accreditation usually assures the basic instructional value of an institution.
* Accreditation is a form of peer review for institutions; certification is another.
* Accreditation is unnecessary for most ministry positions.

Many of our students have utilized their skills and received advanced job training for the following positions. Clergy Directors, Religious Activities and Education, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Child, Family, and School Social Workers, Medical and Public Health Social Workers, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers, Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, Social and Human Service Assistants, Guards, Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers, First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Personal Service Workers, First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sales Workers, First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Non-Retail Sales Workers, Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers and Security Guards.