The question of “accreditation” comes up frequently for Christian Schools across the nation. Most often it is phrased in terms of asking if a Christian School is “State accredited” which is to ask, does the Christian School have the same philosophy, standards, curriculum, goals, methods, etc., of the State accredited government schools?

A minority of Christian schools do pursue and acquire State approval by way of accreditation. In doing so they lose their Christian distinctiveness. State accreditation requires the embracing of an educational creed (i.e., statement of faith) built upon a worldview and presuppositions that are decidedly anti-Christian, a creed grounded upon the worldview of secular humanism.

The word accreditation comes from the Latin word credo. It is the word from which we derive our English word creed. A creed, like the well-known “Apostle’s Creed,” is a profession of faith and history, grounded upon a particular worldview, the worldview of the Christian Gospel.

All education, including state-controlled “public education,” is inescapably grounded upon and driven by certain assumptions (faith presuppositions), and therefore all is inescapably religious. The question concerning education is never, “Is the education religious or not religious?” The question is this, “Which religion is the education built upon?” These (faith) presuppositions form the foundation upon which the “house” of the school is built and, if you will allow me to change metaphors, provides the fuel that drives the bus! Accreditation is the formal statement of faith that describes the “creed” by which the task of education is done. Christian schools must always reject the creed and religion of the government-controlled State schools: secular(human)ism. Christian schools, to be consistently Christian, must embrace the religion of the Bible as the only creed for doing education

Christians, therefore, ought never accept accreditation from any organization or entity that does not hold to an unswerving commitment to the authority of the Bible as the only foundation for True education and to the confession that Jesus is Lord over all, including Sunday school and Monday through Friday school.

Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ’s Church in Moscow, Idaho, writes that the only consistent option for Christian schools is a commitment to “…that of a genuine biblical worldview….” It “…is to establish Scripture at every point as the foundation on which to build all knowledge. Moreover, Scripture is now to be the final arbiter of whether such knowledge was built in line with the foundation. If Jesus Christ is not the Lord of all, then two added to two does not equal four. If He did not die for the sins of His people, then A and non-A cannot be distinguished. If the triune God of Scripture did not speak the universe into existence, then there is no universe to understand. The protest will come – ‘But you are presupposing the truth of Christianity.’ And the answer which must follow is, ‘Most certainly. This is a Christian school.’ Those involved with a genuinely Christian school must understand the antithesisbetween faith and all forms of unbelieving thought at very start of the process.”[1]( emphasis added) Wilson continues, “True education must therefore be unabashedly Christian. The modern opium dream that education can be religiously neutral should be, in our minds, equivalent to the question of whether or not, to use a phrase from Dabney’s great essay, ‘schoolrooms should be located underwater or in dark caverns.’[2] Neutrality about the ultimate questions can be pretended in education, but it cannot be accomplished. Therefore, all schools must confess that Jesus is Lord over all and in all.”[3] I might add, especially in Christian Schools!

Accepting State Accreditation is to tear the heart out of the Christian school. It is to deny the ultimate authority of the Bible as the foundation and blueprint for education and all of life and to deny the affirmation “Jesus is Lord.” It denies the truth of Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

[1] Douglas Wilson, Repairing the Ruins, (Moscow, ID: Canon Press,1996) p.15.

[2] R.L.Dabney, On Secular Education, (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1993) p.2.

[3] Douglas Wilson, Repairing the Ruins, (Moscow, ID: Canon Press,1996) p.16-17.