Criswell News

Criswell College receives highest possible result from accreditation review

Kendall Lyons | March 25, 2020

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) completed their 10-year reaffirmation review of Criswell College, giving the institution the highest rating possible with no recommendations for all required higher ed standards including the Quality Enhancement Plan, “Sowing Seeds of Success.”

“The review by the on-site reaffirmation committee resulted in no recommendations; the final decision on reaffirmation of accreditation is by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees, which will be announced 8 December 2020,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Christopher Graham.

Dr. Graham also added that the maintaining of accreditation ensured that the college is engaged within the higher education community about what makes quality higher education and ensured that the college upholds those standards.

“The reaffirmation process required us to reflect on our own practices and invited peers to evaluate those same practices” Graham said. “It affirmed that Criswell College continues to operate in a way that fulfills its mission in accordance with its core values, while showing us ways that we can improve. The reaffirmation process demonstrated that we are being good stewards of the resources with which have been entrusted including: a student’s education and calling, an employee’s livelihood, a donor’s gift.”

Criswell President Barry Creamer attributes the successful reaffirmation to campus-wide participation and extensive preparation.

“There are a number of reasons our reaffirmation went so well this time, but two seem most prominent: first, the work put in by staff members from every area of campus—it was genuinely a campus-wide effort; and second, the fact that we have been preparing for this review since the end of the last one. In fact, I could put the second reason a different way. Instead of preparing for an accreditation review, we have worked so hard at being strategic for the past eight years that a successful accreditation process was a natural outflow.

What this review really means is simply that we can do our best job ever serving students and supporters, and accomplishing the mission of preparing men and women to serve as Christian leaders,” Creamer said.

Every ten years, Criswell is reviewed by SACSCOC to confirm that campus standards are met for accreditation. Once the process is completed, accreditation is reaffirmed. The process starts with a thorough review of documents by an off-site reaffirmation committee, followed by a visit to the campus by an on-site reaffirmation committee.

“Accreditation has significant consequences on students” Graham said. “For a Criswell College graduate, the possession of a degree from an accredited college signals to other educational institutions and employers that he or she has successfully completed a course of study that meets or exceeds principles of higher education embraced by colleges and universities in the United States. For current students, accreditation also facilitates the acceptance of transfer credit from other schools and allows them to participate in programs such as federal financial aid.”

Criswell has been regionally accredited by SACSCOC since 1985.

SACSCOC serves the southern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Criswell College admits students who are Christians of good character, without regard or reference to race, national or ethnic origin, color, age, disability, or sex (except where regard to sex is required by the College’s religious tenets regarding gender and sexuality) to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of these classifications in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school-administered programs.