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Barnham Graduate School and Seminary College

2015 Board Policy and Procedures Revision



Intercollegiate Academic Acceptance & Accreditation


BHGSSC website:


Phone: 281 303 3782

Phone: 713.725.6414

Office Hours: By appointment only

Email: Registrar@Barnhamseminary.Com 

Attn: Admissions Processing Center

PO Box 5441 Katy, TX 77491


Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (US Central Time) by appointment only

Open Enrollment BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE, the Seminary accepts students it believes will benefit from and contribute to its intellectual community.

(See Enrollment Policy)

BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE is a member of Florida Council of Private Seminaries, Inc. 41 N. 20th Street, #17 - Haines City, Florida 33844-4638 Voice: 850-633-4080 - Fax: 863-421-1941 The purpose of the Florida Council of Private Seminaries (FCPC) is to serve private, degree-granting, faith-based, institutions with students in Florida that provide quality faith-based education.  The FCPC has a proven track record that supports "Keeping the Lord's testimony above reproach"  and "United We Stand In Florida, Divided Individually We Can Be Conquered."



CPCA Member in good standing
Any institution that maintains CPCA Sustaining Membership and/or FCPC Sustaining Membership, and has completed the Certification Applicant Procedure process for the steps involved in the Applicant through Candidate process, is ready to proceed to the Eligibility Requirements (ER) for Candidate Status.  Refer to the 2015 update of Eligibility Requirements (ER) for Candidate Status. 


The BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE is a Member in good standing.  The Council of Private Colleges of America is a certification agency that establishes operating standards for educational or professional institutions and programs in the United States, territories, and internationally where it is feasible to do so.  The CPCA determines the extent to which the standards are met and publicly announces their findings.  Certification with the Council of Private Colleges of America includes quality peer review, certification Facilitator Team visits, verifying data to CPCA standards for educational or professional institutions and programs similar to accreditation.


CPCA certification requires the affirmation of compliance with the academic excellence standards of the CPCA patterned after our early historical United States educational institutions of higher learning.  CPCA standards equal or exceed the minimum standards of many State Departments of Education.

Intercollegiate Academic Acceptance.

BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE has formal agreements with several faith-based institutions of higher learning regarding the acceptance of credits and degrees and friendly relations with many others.


BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE meets the requirements established by many private, independent professional associations.  Many and various regionally or nationally accredited Seminary s and seminaries throughout the USA may accept transfer students, credits, and degrees from educational institutions such as BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE.  Transfer of credit is always at the discretion of the receiving institution.  A student's goal with any degree is knowledge which may lead to employment.

BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE qualifies for religious exempt status from the Degree-Granting Institutions Act for the credit-bearing courses that comprise the Biblical Ministry Degree Certificate.  Prospective students and inquirers are encouraged to contact state degree authorization authorities for a clear explanation of the acceptance and restriction of BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE degrees in each particular state.

The real advantage of a degree in Christian Ministry over a secular degree is that the graduate can work for Church, Para-church, social services organizations, and in Christian education schools and programs in Christian Counseling or Education Ministry programs.

It should be expressly understood that the Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree programs do not guarantee employment for any or all students.  It should also be expressly understood that many employers require additional licenses, certifications, credentials, and education in many fields of specialization.  One example is that a certified public accountant must have college credit hours in accounting in additional training on the job training to receive a CPA license.  A degree in Ministry and Counseling will help those seeking to become counselors, but further education will be needed.



1.  Private, faith-based degree-granting institution academic excellence standards are patterned after our early historical United States educational institutions of higher learning.  They equal or exceed the minimum standards of many State Departments of Education.

2.  A faith-based degree-granting postsecondary education institution may offer distance learning programs to students via non-traditional classroom-based education.  These programs may include digital learning or any learning that is facilitated by technology.  The institution shall evaluate and approve all instructional materials provided to students through various modalities, along with structured units of information, assigned exercises for practice, and examinations to measure achievement.  The academic year for distance learning may be continuous throughout the calendar year.

3.  A faith-based degree-granting postsecondary education institution may offer blended learning, which combines online learning with other modes of instructional delivery, including onsite instruction; it involves a shift in delivery to an online or computer-based environment for at least a portion of the course with the goal of improving learning, staffing, and/or facilities productivity.

4.  As a prerequisite for entering an institute, college, university or Seminary, an associate of arts, an associate of science, bachelor of arts, or a bachelor of a science degree program at a faith-based postsecondary education institution, a student must hold a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma unless the institution has a written ability-to-benefit admissions policy exempting the student from the prerequisite.

5. One academic hour equals 50 minutes of scheduled instruction by a professor during an institution-approved class session or live streaming via Skype or a similar mode of distance or blended learning instruction.  One semester credit hour of study equals 15 academic hours or its equivalent.

Minimum Academic Standards of the CPCA Number 6.  (d-g)

6.  The minimum credit hours for institute, college, university, or seminary degrees are as follows:

d. For a master degree, 30 semester hours above the minimum credit hours required for a bachelor degree, including a research thesis or project of 6 additional semester hours
e. For a doctorate degree, 30 semester hours above the credit hours required for a master's degree, including a stringent research dissertation or project of 6 or more additional semester hours.
f. Each degree program will require total credit hours within the established practice for degree programs in the sector of institutes, colleges, universities, and seminaries.
g. Honorary degrees must be based on documented merit criteria, including the title 'Honorary' on the degree title line, and be gratuitously awarded.


7.  The degree programs offered by a faith-based postsecondary education institutions for institute, college, university, or Seminary must include liberal arts and general education courses that include humanities or fine arts, social and behavioral sciences, English or communications, history, philosophy, science or mathematics, and computer literacy when a student lacks computer proficiency.

8.  An institution offering institute, college, and university degree programs without liberal arts and general education courses must use the word "in" instead of "of," such as "Associate in Bible," "Bachelor in Bible," or "Master in Bible," without the terms "Arts," "Science," or "Doctor in Bible," and degrees without the terms "Philosophy," "Theology," or "Education." and shall not use degree titles that the sector of institutes, colleges, universities, or seminaries use.  

9.  A minimum of 30-semester credits must be earned at the institution before the awarding of any earned degree or diploma.

10.  Life experience credits applied to a transcript at graduation only and are limited to 12-semester credits, 3-semester credits per academic year, for undergraduate degree programs only with administration approval


2015 Revisions Policy and Procedures and Student Handbook

The current revision affirms the "Policies and Procedures Guide, Student Handbook" contained in the earlier document but contains some significant changes to make the "Policies and Procedures Guide, Student Handbook" more useful to the user.  The key changes are i) a simplification of language to enable ready access and understanding by the user, and ii) a change of format to make the "Policies and Procedures, Student Handbook" consist of stand-alone sections.  This means that each module can easily be updated as required, and new sections can readily be added to the manual.  This format also enables the various sections to be given to those to whom they relate.  Hence, some sections will only apply to staff, some to students, and some to the Seminary community.


Access to Policy and Procedures and Student Handbook

It is understood that two complete copies of the "Policies and Procedure, Student Handbook" will be printed and available in the seminary office for borrowing by staff, students, and Board members at any time.  All "Policies and Procedures, Student Handbook" will be open to public access online located on the Website:

We affirm the following: (Mission Statement)


At The BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE, we encourage harmony and unity among Christians, Counselors, and Educators.  Furthermore, the staff at the BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE is committed to providing mutual Spiritual support to all Christians and Non-Christians.

We exist to further the Gospel, the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ.  The goal must be to impart knowledge and teach principles of sound interpretation, showing people how to do their own research and how to apply truth to life.  A final goal is the ultimate activation of men and women into effective Christian service in any environment to which they may be called to minister.


BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE offers a wide array of programs leading to Masters or Doctoral degree programs.  Whichever program you choose, you will work closely with published scholars, conduct ground-breaking research and prepare for a dynamic future.


Currently, 28 states exempt religious schools or bible Seminary s from their higher education licensing, certification, or accreditation process.  Among the states that exempt religious Seminaries, the statutes vary based on (1) the types of institutions that qualify for an exemption, (2) the programs of study the institutions offer, (3) the degrees or diplomas conferred, and (4) the filing requirements.


It should be expressly understood that all graduate modules of BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE must be completed regardless of how many credits are being transferred.  NO substitutions are allowed.  BARNHAM GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SEMINARY COLLEGE will accept transfer credits from like-accredited institutions and will include those credits hours on the student's final transcript upon graduation.  The student should note, however, that these transfer credits will in no way be a substitute for the Modules required for graduation.  They will, instead, enhance the student's transcript by the student's total credit hours achieved.  It should be expressly understood that the student's GPA on any and all transfer credit hours is not calculated into the overall GPA.


Appendix 1: -Continued State of Florida
FL § 1005.06.  Institutions not under the jurisdiction or purview of the commission.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in law, the following institutions are not under the jurisdiction or purview of the commission and are not required to obtain licensure:
(f) A religious Seminary  may operate without governmental oversight if the Seminary annually verifies by sworn affidavit to the commission that:

1.  The name of the institution includes a religious modifier or the name of a religious patriarch, saint, person, or symbol of the church.

2.  The institution offers only educational programs that prepare students for religious vocations as ministers, professionals, or laypersons in the categories of ministry, counseling, theology, education, administration, music, fine arts, media communications, or social work.

3.  The titles of degrees issued by the institution cannot be confused with secular degree titles.  For this purpose, each degree title must include a religious modifier that immediately precedes, or is included within, any of the following degrees: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and Doctor of Education.  The religious modifier must be placed on the title line of the degree, on the transcript, and whenever the title of the degree appears in official school documents or publications.

4.  The duration of all degree programs offered by the institution is consistent with the standards of the commission.

5.  The institution's consumer practices are consistent with those required by § 1005.04.
The commission may provide such a religious institution a letter stating that the institution has met the requirements of state law and is not subject to governmental oversight.

Seminary  Exemption
In general, buildings, property, whether owned or leased, and used exclusively for educational purposes by a nonprofit educational institution of collegiate grade, are eligible for the Seminary Exemption.  A nonprofit educational institution of collegiate grade is an institution incorporated as a nonprofit Seminary  or Seminary of learning, which requires for regular admission the completion of a four-year high school course or its equivalent, and confers upon its graduates at least one academic or professional degree, based on a course of:

At least one year in flight test technology or flight-test science, or
At least two years in liberal arts and science, or
At least three years in professional studies, such as law, theology, education, medicine, dentistry, engineering, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, architecture, fine arts, commerce, or journalism.  (Revenue and Taxation Code section 203, subd. (b))


Why Accreditation is Important
Regional accreditation is a process of recognizing educational institutions for performance, integrity, and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community and the public.  Accreditation qualifies institutions and enrolled students for access to federal funds to support teaching, research, and student financial aid.  The process of accreditation helps the Seminary dedicate time to reflect on its programs and processes, what it does well, where it needs to improve, and how well it serves its mission and goals, and therefore its students.  This self-analysis helps the institution become a more effective organization.  The facts about accreditation: accreditation is never permanent; institutions that have it can also lose its accreditation is unnecessary for some/most religious exempt degrees and some professions, accreditation, and ministry education.

The following is a list of explanations about the accreditation system:

Accreditation is not necessary for institutions to have high instructional value.

Accreditation is one way to judge the value of an academic institution.

Accreditation is not the only way to judge the value of an academic institution.

Accreditation usually assures the basic instructional value of an institution.

Accreditation is a form of peer review for institutions; certification is another.

Accreditation is unnecessary for most ministry positions.

Many of our distinguished Alumni have utilized their Master's Degrees and Doctoral Degrees as a gateway to other employment opportunities.  The students have utilized their skills, and many received advanced job training for the following positions.  Clergy Directors, Religious Activities and Education, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Child, Family, and School Social Workers, Medical and Public Health Social Workers, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers, Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, Social and Human Service Assistants, Guards, Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers, First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Personal Service Workers, First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sales Workers, First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Non-Retail Sales Workers, Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers and Security Guards.

How do accreditation and certification differ?  Accreditation is essentially a statement of approval.  In the United States, if it is to be meaningful, it must come from an independent association having attained its own approval from the United States Department of Education (USDE).

In the United States, the government does not accredit schools.  However, the USDE is in the business of approving the associations which do accredit schools (for the purpose of serving as gatekeepers for Title IV Funding).  This point must be understood in order to properly understand accreditation.  Title IV Funding is the nearly 80 billion dollars congressionally approved annual money stream that flows from taxpayers to educational institutions that are accredited by an agency approved by USDE.

The reason that USDE approves accrediting agencies is to assure control over the flow of Title IV Funds.  The greater part of accreditation requirements is geared toward satisfying the USDE mandated standards that are specifically designed to regulate the huge taxpayer investment in higher education.

Accrediting associations in the United States are not required to seek USDE recognition, but without it, the value of such accreditation may be questionable, and schools they accredit are not eligible to receive Title IV Funds.  That is why schools promoting accreditation from sources not approved by the USDE are considered "unaccredited."

Certification is also essentially a statement of approval significantly different from accreditation in several important ways.  Most importantly, certification is not tied to Title IV Funding.  Only USDE recognized accreditation qualifies institutions to receive such funding.  Certification is not the same as accreditation because certification criteria is not geared toward satisfying the requirements for Title IV Funding.  This is one of the reasons that certifying agencies are not as well known, and their value is not as readily understood.

Legitimate certification is similar to legitimate accreditation in that it also involves voluntary peer review through private agencies accountable to their constituents, but not to the federal government since Title IV Funding is not involved.  Much of the misunderstanding that arises between the two is due to the lack of consumer awareness and the generally held, though false belief, that accreditation is the only standard for academic legitimacy.

Furthermore, certification is a term more often associated with professions.  For example, there are certified professionals in banking, insurance, medicine, and in many other areas.  Of course, the term "accredited" is also used in many of these situations.  For example, an organization may be an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau.  This is because the two terms often serve as synonyms.  However, when it comes to higher education, accreditation is tied to Title IV Funding and certification is not.

Certification is an excellent vehicle for achieving academic legitimacy, especially for faith-based educational institutions with no desire, or need, to seek accreditation for the purpose of qualifying for Title IV Funding.  In fact, within higher education circles, it is understood that not all higher education institutions actually need USDE recognized accreditation, as is evidenced in the following quotes.

This quote is from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  "There are institutions that may not be accredited but are not degree mills.  For example, the institution may be seeking accreditation, but the process is not complete.  Or a legitimate institution may choose not to be accredited for reasons that do not relate to quality."

This quote from the United States Department of Education also makes the point.  "It should be noted that some institutions have chosen not to participate in the federal student aid program and therefore do not have to be approved by an accrediting agency recognized by the Department.  While these institutions do not appear on the Department's list, they may be legitimate schools."

A former executive director of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (an accrediting agency recognized by the USDE), stated "There are hundreds of Bible Colleges and Seminaries in the United States and Canada that are offering good solid theological training, yet they are not accredited.  This would be the case with our Affiliate institutions that take advantage of the programs and services that we offer."








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