Career Considerations: Is Accreditation Necessary for Online Bible Colleges?

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Editor’s note: as parents it seems we need to know more and more information, including things like knowing how to choose the best post high school training programs. In this economy especially, being prepared for their career properly is crucially important for young people.

The Internet is home to a wealth of human knowledge and is utilized in thousands of fields of study and topics of interest, from alternative medicine to vintage clothing.  It has provided users with a means to communicate, learn and share their lives with millions of other users around the world. One of its practical uses is in the field of formal education. There are hundreds of institutions offering classes online, designed for those who are unable to attend classes on campus.

The practicality and convenience these online programs provide make them tempting to many, especially those who are interested in pursuing a college degree. For instance, institutions offering Bible Studies programs have developed their own online Bible college courses to make these accessible to more people. The opportunity to earn a certificate or a college degree online is tempting. However, those who are interested in doing so may do well to check first if the program they are interested in is actually accredited by a recognized agency. Because it seems that anything and everything can exist on the Internet and accreditation is the one proof you have that an online course is actually legitimate.

  • That’s good, but is it really necessary?
    If you value the quality of your education, then yes. Accreditation is done to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth and that the institution offering it is credible and qualified to do so. Colleges and programs that have been accredited offer courses with credits that are transferable to other institutions. In addition, students of accredited schools are qualified for financial support from federal and state agencies. Graduates of accredited Bible study programs stand to gain a better chance of employment or acceptance in church-based ministries. Furthermore, those with degrees that have been regionally accredited may also have an easier time obtaining visas if they would like to live in another country.
  • What if I don’t attend an accredited online Bible college?
    Graduates of unaccredited online programs or those who finished certification courses that are not accredited may have a difficult time getting employed or may not be deemed eligible for religious clergy. They may not be readily received in the ministry or not accepted at all as a Sunday-school teacher. Employers turn a wary eye to unfamiliar schools listed in an applicant’s CV because they have no way of knowing whether the courses are in line with their own standards or if the associated institution meets the educational standards or even if the school actually exists.
  • How do I know if an online college or program is accredited?
    A list of all the accredited schools and programs is published on the website of official accrediting agencies. These agencies are formed to evaluate schools and programs. As such, they have a set of guidelines and quality standards that must be adhered to by the institutions seeking accreditation for their programs. For Biblical studies, check the website of the online Bible college to see if it has been accredited. If not, you can consult the website of the Association for Biblical Higher Education, the national accrediting agency for Biblical studies programs.

Looking for an accredited online Bible college may require extra effort but it is beneficial for you in the long run. It is the way to ensure institutional integrity and that quality education is achieved with your best interests in mind.

Debbie Fletcher is an enthusiastic, experienced writer who has written for a range of difference magazines and news publications. Follow her here: @Debbie_Fletch18

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  • Tarissa January 20, 2014, 10:08 am

    Great article! I have been looking for an accredited online Bible college. Do you know of any colleges like this?
    Tarissa´s last blog post ..Top 10 favorite books of 2013!

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    • Amy LeForge January 20, 2014, 11:06 pm

      Hi Tarissa,

      To be honest, I haven’t researched actual accredited programs. It’s something Hubby is interested in so I guess we’ll be looking into it. There is a program here that our pastor is involved in called FLAME. It’s part of the Wesleyan Denomination, I think. I don’t know about accreditation though. We’re not very far into the process yet.

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