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Accreditation and Acceptance of Credits

Acceptance of Credits and Degrees

 No college can guarantee the acceptance of credits or degrees since each student is evaluated and then accepted or denied based upon a number of individualistic factors. For instance, courses in theology would not normally be applied toward a degree in physical education; therefore, those credits, even if they were from a regionally accredited college, would not be transferable. Other factors that influence the acceptance of credits or degrees include the grade point average, entrance exam score, the degree major, ability to pay, etc.


In past years, International Seminary has sent official transcripts to more than 107 colleges, at the request of students applying for transfer. To help determine the acceptability of an International Seminary degree, the seminary conducted a survey of colleges, seminaries, and universities to determine whether the International Seminary degree graduate was actually accepted. More than 50 institutions responded, in writing, stating that they had accepted, or were willing to accept, credits and degrees from International Seminary. A number of these colleges are regionally accredited.


In a 1978 study, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services documented acceptance of nontraditional or non-regionally accredited programs. Of the thousands surveyed, 97 percent were admitted to the traditional graduate school of their choice, 94 percent experienced no problems in graduate school admission because of having an unaccredited degree, and 99 percent of the holders of nontraditional degrees felt that their degree was as good as, or better than, a traditional degree. In addition to this, a survey of the top personnel officers at 81 large corporations indicated they felt that a nontraditional degree was just as useful as one from a traditional school with a “strong reputation.” As the report said, these findings “run counter to some popular beliefs.” Source: Sosdian, Carol P. and Laure M. Sharp, The External Degree as Credential: Graduate’s Experiences in Employment and Further Study, Washington D.C., U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1978.


For the most part International Seminary graduates experience little difficulty in the acceptance of their degrees. Between 5 and 10 percent do experience some difficulty because of life experience credit, or a nontraditional transcript, but this means that 90-95 percent have no problem when it comes to job placement, career advancement, or acceptance to graduate school. International Seminary graduates have been accepted in virtually every position in the Gospel ministry, and presently serve as:


Associate Pastors


Christian Counselors

Christian School Administrators

Christian School Principals

Christian School Teachers

Church Administrators and Leaders

College Deans and Presidents

Conference Speakers

Denominational Officials



Large-Church Pastors

Military Chaplains


Music Ministers

Para-Church Ministry Leaders

Pastoral Counselors

Police Chaplains

Prison Chaplains


Religious Musicians and Vocalists

Small-Church Pastors


and others



Credits and degrees from International Seminary have been accepted in various states for teacher certification in non-public school systems.



Accreditation is found only in the United States of America, as all other countries regulate colleges and universities through government approval. In the United States, accreditation is a voluntary process governed by independent accrediting agencies that are either recognized by the federal government or not. The license to operate a college or university is regulated by the state government and is not considered accreditation. Each state has different guidelines concerning universities, seminaries, and Bible colleges.


There are six private corporations, referred to as agencies, that provide accreditation for universities within certain regions of the country. These agencies are recognized by the federal government and all colleges accredited by them are listed in a publication produced by the Department of Education.

Many excellent colleges and universities have chosen to become regionally accredited, while others of equal standing and reputation have chosen, for Biblical or theological reasons, to remain non-regionally accredited.


Almost 100 different professional accrediting associations such as the American Dental Association, The American Bar Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Home Study Council, have been established to provide accreditation for a particular field of study or professional occupation.

Obtaining a regionally or professionally accredited degree is not important to most of the ministers who apply to International Seminary since they are in church-related occupations. Those interested in military chaplaincy, government-affiliated positions, or teaching positions in regionally-accredited colleges, are concerned with regional accreditation. These students have, in many cases, been accepted by virtue of International Seminary’s position in the academic community. For example, military chaplains are required to have a Master of Divinity degree or the equivalent, from a regionally accredited seminary, or from a seminary whose credits and degrees are accepted by regionally-accredited colleges. Since International Seminary’s credits have been accepted in regionally accredited colleges, a number of our graduates have received appointments as military chaplains.


Since accreditation is purely voluntary, and since all accrediting agencies are private corporations, a number of agencies have formed to provide recognition in areas where regional or professional accreditation has left gaps. For instance, no college or seminary offering all three levels of instruction (bachelor, master, doctoral) through home study, has ever been regionally or professionally accredited.

International Seminary was a member of the Accrediting Commission International for Schools, Colleges, and Theological Seminaries, in good standing from 1979 through 2010. This agency is not affiliated or recognized by the federal government; however, acceptance by state agencies, church organizations, and businesses has been relatively good. Furthermore, the Commission never received a formal complaint against International Seminary.

For many years International Seminary was the flagship college with this agency, being the largest and, by far, the most recognized. In 2010 we did not renew our membership, deciding instead to rely on the high level of recognition and acceptance we have earned based on our own merit.

International Seminary is listed in the Directory of Postsecondary Institutions produced by the Postsecondary Education Statistics Division, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education.


The term “state accreditation” is a misnomer, as states do not provide accreditation for colleges or seminaries.


Accreditation is basically an organized way of determining the acceptance of credits or degrees from any particular institution. Credits and degrees from International Seminary have been accepted in virtually