QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CONCERNING ACCREDITATION
Q. Is all accreditation the same?
A. NO. All accreditation is not the same. Accreditation has many purposes. There are many groups that accredit for different reasons. There exists "so-called" accrediting agencies (best known as accreditation mills) that, for a few dollars, one can be accredited by them. The question needs to be asked as to what is the worth of such accreditation. There are also agencies whose evaluation and annual membership fees are quite exorbitant.
The National Accrediting Agency of Private Theological Institutions exists to assist private theological institutions in obtaining an affordable, reputable and legitimate accreditation which is not government affiliated. Potential students of a school accredited by NAAPTI can check out our webpage and see what our high standards are and have the assurance they will be attending a quality school and receive a quality education.
Q. Does NAAPTI recognize honorary degrees that faculty members may have been given?
A. NO. We only recognize valid earned degrees. Someone may have been recognized for their life achievements with an honorary degree (doctorate for example is common) from a well established and highly regarded institution of higher learning. These "acts of recognition" are not earned and have, in and of themselves, no academic merit. Earned degrees follow an academically accepted progression from associate and/or bachelor to masters and doctorate. These are accompanied by a valid and verifiable transcript from the issuing institution. Unfortunately "diploma mills" also exist where someone can purchase a degree without ever attending classes. NAAPTI accreditation is based on a set of high academic standards and integrity that our members rely on to ensure that what they receive is of the highest value to themselves and their students. This trust of integrity is one that we will never compromise.
Q. Is the size of a school a requirement before the school can become a member of NAAPTI?
A. NO. NAAPTI recognizes that some of the most reputable schools, colleges and universities in the world started with only a few students. NAAPTI recognizes that quality cannot be evaluated by the size of the student body, number and sizes of buildings, and financial endowments. Students must receive quality education in a proper climate to receive the education they need. We have schools with enrollment in the single digits, as well as schools with enrollment of over a thousand. Size is not the final word in accreditation.
Q. How important is a library and its holdings before we can become accredited?
A. While NAAPTI encourages the college or small school to have a vision for a library; we do not reject a school on the basis of a faulty library alone. Some schools and colleges have access to large public libraries only a few blocks away from their location. Other schools and colleges utilize the use of the internet, providing their students with an online library that equals or surpasses their local library. In addition, the internet can provide information that may not be readily available in conventional libraries. These may be utilized while the school strives to obtain its own library holdings.
Q. What are the differences between Associate and Certified Accreditation.
A. Associate membership is designed to provide reputable and legitimate accreditation to those institutions providing undergraduate studies leading to Associate and bachelor's degrees. The evaluation process validates that the curriculum meets academic standards recognized as providing the knowledge and preparation for the graduate to perform in their chosen field of ministry at a competent level. Furthermore, that the faculty of the institution has achieved valid earned degrees(s) at the level in which they are teaching. Undergraduate degree granting institutions can receive certified membership as well which is explained in the next section.
Associate membership is also offered to those institutions awarding a certificate (not a degree of higher learning) after successfully completing a prescribed curriculum of study that is both biblical and secular in nature. The fees for this level of accreditation are the same as Associate Member Status listed below. Those interested in this level of membership should contact us in order to discuss and ascertain eligibility before being granted permission to apply.
Certified membership is designed to provide reputable accreditation to those institutions providing graduate studies leading to master, doctorate and Ph.D. degrees. To receive this level of accreditation the institution must meet standards at the highest levels of certification in both curriculum, faculty and administration. This involves an On-Site visit evaluation that is quite detailed in scope. This level of certification not only affords the institution of having met those high standards of achievement academically but assures potential students that they can be confident in the education they will receive from a NAAPTI certified institution.
For those institutions who only award undergraduate degrees, they may also be able to receive Certified Membership status by undergoing a more in-depth and detailed evaluation.
Q. What are the costs of receiving accreditation by the National Accrediting Agency of Private Theological Institutions?
***NOTE*** All fees can be paid via our PayPal link. Checks are still an option that can be sent in with applications as well as yearly renewal fees. Applicants outside of the United States and its territories will have to contact NAAPTI before paying any fees due to differing exchange rates. Once that is determined the fees will be adjusted and applicants will be notified of same. These applicants will then need to make their payments in US dollars via an invoice from our PayPal account that will be sent to them.
A. All applicants for Associate Member Status are to submit the annual membership fee of $150.00 at the time they submit their application for membership. Upon approval of the application and after the evaluation process, the applicant school is awarded "Associate Member Status" and your certificate will be mailed to you after all fees are received. We will send via email our logo and approved wording of accreditation which is to be placed on your website.
The certification evaluation fee for Associate Member Status is $200.00. Should the application be rejected, a letter explaining the reason(s) and the applicant will be advised as to what they need to do to come into compliance. If the applicant chooses not to comply and indicates such in writing then NAAPTI will return $100.00 of the application fee while keeping $50.00 as an application fee.
Any Associate Member institution who desires to elevate their status to "Certified Member" will need to submit the additional fee of 100.00 along with a cover letter requesting the elevation. The additional documentation of faculty credentials and curriculum to support this request in status will need to be submitted for certification evaluation. The fee for the additional evaluation is $200.00 providing that an onsite visit is not necessary.
All applicants for Certified Member Status are to submit the annual membership fee of $250.00 at the time they submit their application for membership. Upon completion of the evaluation and approval by the NAAPTI evaluation committie, the applicant is granted Certified Member Status. Providing that an onsite visit is not necessary, your letter of recognition and accreditation certificate, our logo and approved wording of accreditation that you agree will be placed on your website, will then be mailed to you once the evaluation fee of $400.00 is received.
Should an on-site visit be required for the Certification Evaluation, those costs will be determined by the most economical travel arrangements at the time; $35.00/day/person food allowance; most economical auto rental cost if necessary (should the school be willing to provide transportation as needed, then this would eliminate this cost); most economical lodging cost; and $400.00 per person required for the evaluation. The number of persons and days required for the On-Site visit will be determined by the size and scope of the school.
***NOTE*** Typically established institutions can have the on-site visit waived by submitting a substantive documentation package reflecting everthing that the evaluation committee would expect to find during an on-site visit. The fee for the Certified Member evaluation would be $400.00. As long as the initial application fee is submitted with the application the Certified Member Status would be awarded to the applicant institution upon a positive outcome of the evaluation process. Please contact our office via e-mail regarding this and someone from our staff will call you to discuss this further.
NAAPTI is committed to working with all applicants who desire a reputable and legitimate accreditation. We realize that the budget of some institutions may not provide the initial funds and therefore we are receptive to working out an arrangement that will make it possible for those institutions to achieve accreditation with us.
****NOTE**** All Members will receive a RENEWAL INVOICE for their annual renewal of membership fee. Simply mail it in with your payment or make your payment via our website PayPal link. YOU MUST notify us of any changes (additions or deletions) in your faculty, staff, curriculum and operation since your last renewal. Along with this YOU MUST submit the required documentation for validation of those changes. In some cases an evaluation fee may be charged for verifying and validating those changes. We will notify you if this is the case. We will send you a certificate stating your renewal for another year once we receive your payment and have validated the additional documentation of changes if any that have been submitted. All Members seeking accreditation renewal must come into compliance with all criteria requirements before accreditation can be renewed.
Q. What is the process of being reinstated when a NAAPTI member does not renew their accreditation?
A. If a NAAPTI member does not renew their membership and pay the fee on or before the renewal date they will be sent an email reminder indicating that their accreditation has lapsed. They will be asked to contact NAAPTI if they intend to renew or if they no longer desire to remain a member. If no response is received after one week of sending the reminder email their membership will be withdrawn and they will be notified to remove from their website any and all wording of accreditation by NAAPTI. Also, NAAPTI will remove their name from our website members page.
If the lapsed member contacts NAAPTI within the following three weeks after receiving notice of no longer being accredited and requests to be reinstated they will be required to pay their renewal fee plus a $100.00 reinstatement fee.
If after a two months lapse period the member contacts NAAPTI and wants to be reinstated they will be required to reapply, go through the evaluation process anew and pay the associated fees for that process as though they were a new applicant.
Q. Do the benefits of membership justify the cost?
A. Absolutely! One of the first questions a prospective student asks is, “Are you accredited?” Students are looking for quality. Reputable and legitimate accreditation helps lead them in the right direction. Member schools use our name as a referral and testimony that the school uses our services. Students are gained by the school as a result of having reputable and legitimate accreditation.
Q. Does accreditation make the school “above the law of the land?”
A. NO. All NAAPTI member schools are required to operate in compliance with the laws governing their particular local, state or country of domicile.
Q. Once a school receives accreditation can they use the NAAPTI logo on their website?
A. YES. One of the requirements of accepting accreditation through NAAPTI is that the school agrees to acknowledge their being accredited by us and to place our logo on their website as a hyperlink pointing to the NAAPTI website along with the approved wording of accreditation. We will provide these items via an email.
Q. Do all member schools of NAAPTI accept credits issued by other member schools?
A. YES. One of our requirements is that member schools accept credits from other members if they apply to their programs. Because of our strict guidelines in achieving accreditation all members can have the assurance that the levels of academia of each school is of the highest standards
Q. Do other schools outside of NAAPTI membership receive our credits?
A. This depends. Some schools, governments, and industries have accepted credits, etc. from our members. NAAPTI makes no guarantee outside of our own membership. However, it is up to each institution to determine the number of credits it will accept towards the degree being sought.
Q. Will NAAPTI supply our name, address and contact information to anyone who asks?
A. We will provide specific information to those who visit our website and request confirmation of a school being accredited by NAAPTI.
Q. Will NAAPTI recommend our school to potential students?
A. YES. We endeavor to recommend member schools which maintain the nearest to detail of the program the student is seeking. In some cases, we do take into consideration the geographical location of the school.
Q. Can a school become accredited by NAAPTI who provides only courses through online distant learning and correspondence?
A. YES. Some schools only provide courses and programs through online distant learning and correspondence. This is a totally acceptable practice. Those schools must still meet the high standards required in the evaluation process in order to be awarded accreditation.
Q. Are NAAPTI schools required to observe Civil Rights laws where they exist?
A. YES. NAAPTI insists that our membership does not discriminate because of race, color, age, sex, national origin or physical handicap.