We have come to an hour in the United States of America that accreditation has become a coveted word in the vocabulary of academic institutions. Today the term accreditation simply identifies that an educational institution is accepted by one of seven key regional or national accreditation organizations permitted by the secular government of the land. But what does this term mean regarding a Bible college and or a theological seminary?
Before addressing this subject of accreditation, we acknowledge that Foundations Bible College and Theological Seminary has been in existence since September of 1974. The school began with several undergraduate and master’s degree programs. Foundations honorably waited ten years before granting our first doctoral degree. It was with great care that our beloved founder established our educational reputation and academic integrity in those formative years. And our allegiance to this academic integrity has been maintained over the ensuing years.
As a Bible college and seminary dedicated to religious education in the state of North Carolina, we fall under the provisions of the North Carolina General Statutes Section (G.S.) 116-15(d) for exemption from licensure. While we are exempt from the requirements for licensure, this “exemption from licensure is not based upon any assessment of program quality under established licensing standards.”
As a Bible college and seminary, we have honorably refused to seek accreditation, believing that the secular world has no right to dictate what is and what is not permissible in our religious context. Although the secular world may believe it can dictate who, how, and what should be taught regarding secular colleges and universities, it has no understanding of God and the sacred teachings of Scriptures. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). The apostle Paul goes on to declare, “But he that is spiritual judgeth [or discerneth] all things [all things of God], yet he himself is judged of no man [or discerned of no natural man]” (1 Cor. 2:15). Secular educational accreditation organizations may discern the natural things, but they have no insight to spiritual things—the things of God and His Word as well as a Bible college. We therefore look not to the judgment of the secular world for its stamp of approval on sacred and spiritual things.
Additionally, there is the clear warning of 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” Thus, by the principles of biblical separation expounded and clearly defined by God’s Word, we cannot permit the natural man to control what we believe, what textbooks we use, what teachers we hire, or what content we teach or not teach in our classes. Although certain honorable accountabilities may aid an educational institution, coming under the dictates of accrediting organizations would demand our school to yield to their assessment regarding the above-mentioned categories. Even though some accrediting organizations profess to be “Christian,” when carefully investigated, their memberships often include unbelievers of the world as well as Charismatics, Neo-Evangelicals, Liberals, and Modernists. By becoming part of such a religious melee, a true Bible school would find itself unequally yoked with the end-time apostasy. For Foundations to join such an organization would be contrary to the principles and doctrines declared by the Word of God for which we came into existence to declare.
Often the motive to pursue accreditation is tied to the coveted financial aid of the federal government’s Pell grants. Once a school becomes dependent on such income, it will ever be given to various compromises to maintain the flow of financial subsidies. “In God we trust” begins moving toward the god of the government rather than the God of heaven. Through the centuries, God’s schools came into existence by faith in His Word and the faithfulness of God’s people in supporting God’s work whereby all needs were maintained. Church history is replete with such men who were supported by God’s providence rather than by turning to the world or liberal religious organizations for their supportive needs. It is far better never to have tasted the wealth of the world than to become addicted to its coffers.
Basically, three types of schools have arisen throughout Church history. There have been schools that were given to scholastic pursuits. Although they gave witness to the intellect, they tended to be absent of a spiritual walk with God. In reaction to empty scholasticism, mystic schools were born hoping to emphasize the spiritual life more. However, this emphasis yielded another problem antithetically, causing an imbalance in the paradox of truth. The third type of school, the divinity school, arose endeavoring to wed the scholastic with a spiritual walk with God. The divinity school sought for the “Truth of the Spirit” with the “Spirit of the Truth.” This third type has been the desire of Foundations from its founding vision—to be committed to the paradoxical balance of academic excellence and the promotion of a spiritual walk with God. The secular world knows nothing of this hope and would not permit such a school in its accreditation.
Our present contemporary world is deepening its hatred for God. Therefore, God has commanded us to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” It is not the accrediting signature of the secular government we seek but the A.U.G. signature—“Approved Unto God.” If you are seeking a school that will teach you how to live with and for God, preparing yourself to do God’s will in the End Time of the last days, then Foundations may be the school for you. We are not here to promote sports, to provide waterslides, or even to pamper contentment with a carnal Christian life. We are here to academically and spiritually present the Christ of Scripture Who can build for His glory a precious, balanced life.
Christian service must not be contingent upon what the world says you need for your preparation; your preparation must be what God declares through His Word for Christian service. Accreditation is what the world declares permissible in accordance to its standards. But God’s schools must come under His canon of rule, and exist to and for His glory alone, and to the excellence of His Word.