Scofield Seminary is fully accredited by the International Council for Accrediting Alternate and Theological Studies ICAATS, a theologically conservative accrediting agency based in India. ICAATS has been authorized as an (NGO) by the Government of India to accredit theological courses and degrees around the world. Our programs of study are academically vigorous and developed for the serious scholar.
Recognition and International Accreditation
Scofield is accredited internationally through ICAATS which is a government recognize accrediting body based in India. Scofield is not accredited by a USDE recognized agency, therefore Scofield students are not eligible for federal funds or loans but we do offer on campus scholarships. Credits from Scofield have been accepted at USDE recognized institutions but each institution has its own rules for credit transfer. Please check with the college you plan on attending to inquire if they accept ICAATS accredited programs. Scofield’s degrees are religious in nature and provide a scholarly program of study for serious researchers. We do not desire federal funds and the subsequent “control” that receiving such funds entails. It is for religious convictions and our dedication to academic adherence within a Christian context that we do not desire, nor seek regional accreditation. But for Biblical accountability, scholarly application and mutual goals, we willfully submit to the accrediting agency affiliated with the Plymouth Brethren in India ICAATS.
SGSTS’s degrees will be viewed and evaluated here in the USA as a foreign degree. In the USA accreditation for all theological education is done by a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) i.e., USDE or the privately governed but government sanctioned CHEA. In India also (where the secular constitution guarantees separation of religion and the government) all theological accreditation is done by NGOs. ICAATS is one of the six NGOs approved and licensed by the Government of India for accrediting theological studies. It is theologically a conservative accreditor.
Students often ask us if we are government-recognized and whether we are accredited so that they might be able to get a job in USA or be able to transfer credits to another institution in the USA. Often these questions represent a misunderstanding about Theological Schools and their standing with the government. Consider the following:
1. Accreditation is not equivalent to direct “Government Recognition.” Even in the USA the government does not get into recognizing Theological Schools.
2. According the CHEA website “In the U.S., the accreditors are private, nongovernmental organizations created for the specific purpose of reviewing higher education institutions and programs for quality.”
3. The same is the case with Theological Schools in India, where the secular government does not get involved in accrediting Theological Degrees. Accreditation has to take place through private but government-registered accrediting agencies meant for Theological Education.
4. There are several government-registered accrediting agencies for Theological Schools in India. These are BTESS [Theologically Radical], ATA [Loosely Evangelical], NAPTI [Pentecostal], ICAATS [Theologically Conservative]
5. Scofield Seminary is fully accredited by ICAATS [International Council for Accrediting Alternate and Theological Studies] which is a government-recognized private Christian agency.
6. This guarantees that the courses offered by Scofield Seminary meet exceptionally high standards.
7. Accreditation by any agency anywhere only guarantees the quality of education, and nothing more. It does not guarantee admission to all schools, nor does it guarantee job placement in government agencies.
8. If your primary concern is a government job or admission in another school, you should approach them to see if they accept ICAATS accredited degrees.
9. Scofield can guarantee only an international quality education. There is no accrediting agency that is accepted by educational institutions or employers uniformly, and academic quality rarely enters into the picture when credit transfer is being considered. Each educational institution and employer sets their own criteria. This process is commonly bureaucratic and ideologically motivated.
10. Students can request a notarized document about the mandate of ICAATS which they can use in their countries when seeking an admission of a job. This will guarantee that the prospective school or employer knows about our legal standing.