U.S.Department of Education Staff Report

to the

Senior Department Official on Recognition Compliance Issues

Recommendation Page

  1. Agency: Association for Biblical Higher Education, The ( 1952 / 2017)
    (The dates provided are the date of initial listing as a recognized agency and the date of the agency’s last grant of recognition.)
  2. Action Item: Petition for Continued Recognition
  3. Current Scope of Recognition: The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidate for Accreditation”), at the undergraduate level, of institutions of biblical higher education in the United States offering both campus-based and distance education instructional programs.
  4. Requested Scope of Recognition: Same as above.
  5. Date of Advisory Committee Meeting: 06/20/2017
  6. Staff Recommendation: Renew the agency's recognition for 5 years.
  7. Issues or Problems: None

Executive Summary


The Commission on Accreditation (COA or agency) of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) accredits Bible colleges and institutions offering undergraduate programs through both campus-based instruction and distance education.

The agency is an institutional accreditor and has 89 accredited and 17 preaccredited institutions located in 37 states and territories. The agency also conducts accrediting activities outside of its scope of recognition in that it has extended accreditation to 17 institutions in Canada. The Secretary’s recognition of the agency enables its accredited institutions to seek eligibility to participate in student financial assistance programs administered by the Department of Education under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Consequently, the agency must meet the separate and independent requirements established in the regulations.

Recognition History

The COA of the ABHE appeared on the first list of recognized accrediting agencies in 1952. The agency added distance education to its scope in December 2007. The agency has been periodically reviewed and continued recognition has been granted after each review.

The COA of the ABHE was last reviewed for renewal of recognition at the spring 2012 meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). Both Department staff and the NACIQI recommended to the senior Department official to continue the agency's recognition and require it to come into compliance within 12 months, and submit a compliance report that demonstrates the agency's compliance with the issues cited in the staff report. The senior Department official, Acting Assistant Secretary David Bergeron, concurred with the recommendations. The compliance report was reviewed and accepted by Department staff, NACIQI, and senior Department official, Acting Assistant Secretary Lynn Mahaffie, at the spring 2014 meeting.

Since the agency's last review, the Department has received no complaints and no 3rd party comments.

In conjunction with agency's petition, Department staff reviewed the agency’s supporting documentation and observed a commission meeting in November 2016.


The agency meets the requirements of the Secretary's Criteria for Recognition.


The Department did not receive any written third - party comments regarding this agency.