AUTHORIZATION:  The Washington Student Achievement Council has determined that Cascadia Northwest Theological Seminary qualifies for religious exempt status from the Degree- Granting Institutions Act for the following programs: Associate of Biblical Studies (ABS), Bachelor of Biblical Studies (BBS), Bachelor of Theology (BTh), Bachelor of Ministry (BMin), Master of Biblical Studies (MBS), Master of Ministry (MMin), Master of Divinity (MDiv), Doctor of Divinity (DD), Doctor of Theology (DTh), Doctor of Ministry (DMin). The Council makes no evaluation of the administration, faculty, business practices, financial condition or quality of the offerings by this institution. Any person desiring information about the requirements of the act or the applicability of those requirements to the institution may contact the Council at P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430 or by email at



  • There is secular education and there is religious education.
  • Secular schools seek secular accreditation, and sacred schools receive sacred accreditation — each by their own peers.
  • Religious institutions need no secular accreditation.
  • Secular accreditation associations in turn are recognized by governmental agencies. They trace their authority back to the capitol of a country, like Washington, D.C.
  • Religious accrediting associations are recognized by the Church of Jesus Christ, which has no supreme central office on earth. Our authority is derived directly from Heaven.
  • Civil and religious interests are different and have separate realms of jurisdiction.
  • The State is not superior to the Church. The Church need not wait for approval from the secular world.
  • Civil agencies should not be dictating standards of Christian education, any more than a police officer should be directing the worship of God.
  • Church Related Schools should not be accredited by accrediting associations that are “recognized” by an agency of the federal government, because it is contrary to the principle of “Separation of Church and State,” indicated by Christ when He said, “…Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s…” (Mark 12:17) .
  • What business does a Christian educator have going to the world of unbelievers for recognition and acknowledgement when 2 Corinthians 6:14 clearly tells us, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?“
  • A Christian educational institution securing accreditation from an association which is attached to a governmental agency is a Scripturally condemned and unholy union as James 4:4 says, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?“

(source: Dr. Paul Richardson, WWAC)



Question: Are (educational institutions) required by law to be accredited?

Answer: No. It is voluntary and not mandatory. (In fact; most American “public” grammar, middle, and high schools are not accredited by any federally approved agency. They are “recognized” as legitimate by each state’s department of education. (Source: world wide web – The Trent Schools Accreditation Facts Sheet)

Question: Why do some schools choose to be accredited?

Answer: For many reasons, including:

  1. to take advantage of federal aid programs, (government money).
  2. to add to their credibility.
  3. to aid in transferring their credits to other schools. No matter what school one attends, there is no ironclad guarantee that all credits will be transferred to another school. It is entirely up to the individual school as to whether or not they will accept any part or all of credits earned from another school.
  4. A few states require their secular schools to be accredited in order to grant permission to operate. Most educational authorities claim that accreditation is entirely a voluntary process. Remember, only the school is accredited, not the credits awarded.

Question: If a school is regionally accredited or has any other type of accreditation does that guarantee credit transfer to other schools?

Answer: No. The U.S. Department of Education states “accreditation by a regional accrediting agency or any other accrediting agency does not provide automatic acceptance by an Institution of credits earned at another institution…”

Question: Are all accrediting associations or agencies required to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)?

Answer: No. A direct quote from a letter from the U.S. Department of Education reveals “No accrediting agency needs the Secretary’s recognition in order to… operate, and no agency needs recognition by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the successor to CORPA, to operate.”

Question: What are the different kinds of accreditation?

Answer: Some accrediting organizations are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (Federal agency) and/or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (nongovernmental Coordinating agency). Schools recognized by those organizations qualify for the federal aid programs. This type of recognition is sometimes needed for certifications, licenses, and other secular-oriented positions. However, employment or credit transfer is not guaranteed even with this type of recognition.

(Source: Dr. Cecil Johnson, AAATI)