Dr. Rushdoony addresses the question of accreditation of Christian Schools and Colleges in this 3 minute clip from an Easy Chair conversation he had with various guests.
One of the great evils of our time are the accreditation committees. And they insist that you are not truly a college unless you meet their approval, and their standards tell you that step by step you are going to have to be like the state colleges and universities to please them. Now this is something directed against the independent school. For example Harvard is not accredited, and that’s true of other big universities.
[Robin] Is that right? I didn’t know that.
[Rushdoony] Oh yes, they are not going to have any counsel of professors come in and tell them: “You are okay, you are really a university.” The idea is incredible to them. Those committees are for the idiot groups like Christians who decide to pour millions in to start a new college, and so they call in the accreditation committee to approve them. Well the accreditation committee is very happy to approve them, just given a few little adjustments, because they are now inside the fold. And each time the committee visits them it tells them, well you have this to do and that to do, until step by step they’ve made them the same as the state colleges. We have ways of getting around that, I know here in California if it is a church related college or seminary it is not subject to any such regulation.
[Gene] Well you know it’s interesting, I mentioned CHEM’s Creation Science convention, one of the largest and most successful Christian schools in eastern Michigan determined that they would not teach creation science as a valid alternative, actually their teachers, they’re theistic evolutionists, and I noticed because several of the teachers came up to me from that particular school and they came to the creation science convention to arm themselves with the scientific evidence and all the great work that creation scientists are doing, and the reason why these schools are not open to teaching creation science and affirming the word of God is because of accreditation. They are more interested in getting accredited by these ‘important’ accreditation associations than they are in teaching the truth. And it can be pretty disheartening.
[Robin] Well its very interesting, it’s not necessary, because there are plenty of homeschoolers that put together their own transcripts, and the kids go off to college and do very well, and nobody has accredited anyone.
[Rushdoony] Yes. Well in this state even though a church related college or seminary need not seek accreditation, they do! That’s how brainwashed and stupid they are.
[Gene] They do, they look for it when they don’t need to.
[Rushdoony] Yes, and they boast of it.
[Gene] This whole idea of accreditation and certification and all of this stuff is a myth, it is really used to control, not to further standards and educational liberty.
The first question I get when introducing people to Pocket College is: “Is it accredited?”
Where this programming came from I am not sure but it is based on a myth. The myth is that accreditation from the state will increase your chance of success. This is only true if you measure success in terms of being an agent for the state.
God, YHWH, promises blessings in every area of life if we obey Him (Deut. 28). The idol-state (I hate to say god-state) or Moloch has similar promises for those that obey and worship it. Which one should Christian students put their faith in?
Christian students must understand the true source of success: the free market under God’s Law, not the socialist world of statist regulation and welfare.
This is proven more and more clearly as time go on. 1/2 of all college students drop out. 80% of those who do graduate move back in with mom and dad. Almost all of them are loaded down with a formidable amount of unforgivable debt.
“Yes, but I need that piece of paper to get in the door.” No, you don’t. Offer an employer in the free market 3 months of work, without pay, so he can evaluate you at no risk, and you can get any job you want. And you will have just saved yourself 4 years of drudgery in the salt mines of humanism and decades of debt slavery.
Accreditation is the road to compromise with the world, as Rushdoony explains so clearly above.
Pocket College is there to serve the remnant without compromise. The Internet offers a plethora of educational resources at low or no cost that students can take advantage of to build technical skills. And the free market always needs people to serve others within the context of Biblical Law.
Dr. Rushdoony has also addressed the question of accreditation and what is behind it in Chacedon Report #149.
THE NEW WAR OF RELIGION
Alan N. Grover; Ohio, Trojan Horse. Greenville, South Carolina: Bob Jones University Press, 1977; xv, 154 pp. Also obtainable from Christian Schools of Ohio; 6929 W. 130th Street, Suite 600; Cleveland, Ohio 44130. The publication of this book is an important fact. It is the account of the attempt in Ohio by the statist educators to control Christian Schools, and of the resistance to that attempt. It is, however, much more. What the Christian Schools of Ohio came to realize, in their resistance, was that they were engaged in a major battle of an emerging war of religion, Humanism versus Christianity. In that battle, the major agencies of church, school, and state are in the hands of the enemy, so that the battle lines, while clear-cut, give a confused picture insofar as the forces of Christianity are concerned. The state or “public” schools are religious schools, earnestly dedicated to the teaching of the religion of humanism. In their minimum standards, their curriculum, their accreditation, standards and policies for teachers and schools, and their stated purposes they represent a faith alien to Scripture. Even more, they represent that faith which Scripture declares was first set forth by the tempter and which constitutes original sin: every man as his own god, knowing or determining for himself what constitutes good and evil (Gen. 3:5).
It is indicative of the extent to which the churches have gone over to the enemy that CSO (Christian Schools of Ohio) had criticism in its stand from pastors and “Christian” schoolmen. One of the opening guns of the assault on Christian Schools was the case of the Rev. Levi W. Whisner, (to whom this book was dedicated), who was ably defended by Attorney William Ball, already an established and great champion of Christian conscience. In the Canal Winchester case, Attorney David C. Gibbs, Jr., began his active and extensive involvement. At issue has been the claim of the state to virtually universal jurisdiction. In opposition to this has been the declaration of the embattled Christians that Christ’s Kingdom (ecclesia, or church) cannot be under anyone or anything, that the state, like the church and school, must obey Jesus Christ. What the state demanded in Ohio, and is now demanding in other states is a single culture, a humanistic one. It became apparent in Ohio that even small and struggling Christian Schools educated their pupils more ably than the state schools.
Where the basic skills are involved, the Christian Schools are clearly superior. The demand for controls and for accreditation is a first step towards creating a single and humanistic culture. In Ohio, the state’s minimum standards require the promotion and teaching of humanism in every aspect of the curriculum.
As against this, the Rev. Levi Whisner held that a Christian School cannot compromise and must be independent. The regenerate man cannot place his school or children under the control of an unregenerate school system which promotes an alien faith.
What came clearly into focus in the Ohio battles was the recognition by the men of CSO that all education is inescapably religious, and a religious neutrality is impossible in education. Every school will implicitly or explicitly witness to and indoctrinate its pupils in one religion or another. The rise of humanism and anti-Christianity in the U.S.A. and throughout the world has been a result of state control of education, and the use of that control to promote humanism.
Moreover, although many churchmen have refused to face up to this fact, the courts have recognized and stated that secular humanism is indeed a religion, and Alan Grover develops the implications of this fact. What we have thus in public education is a state religion, the religious establishment of humanism. (To restore Bible-reading and prayer to such schools would be simply to white-wash sepulchres. We do have, however, a considerable number of churchmen representing a major denomination of our time, the Church of the Whited Sepulchres.)
Grover analyzes the religion of humanism in all its forms, its two Humanist Manifestoes, in the state schools, and in general thought. Its presuppositions are those of the tempter; its faith is anti-Christian, and its plan of salvation involves, among other things, the deliverance of man from Biblical faith. It is a religion of the “now,” of enjoying life in terms of self-realization rather than in terms of faith in and obedience to the triune God. Humanism is hostile to all godly authority. As Alan Grover summarizes it, it is man-centered; it is “now-oriented;” and it teaches faith in a world government as basic to man’s hope. The Christian must not be “conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2), and all state controls on Christian Schools, minimum standards, accreditation requirements, and other controls have at root an implicit requirement and goal of conformity to humanism. (One of the most pernicious of illusions is the faith that bumbling, corrupt and inefficient civil bureaucracies can set and maintain better standards for schools, medicine, businesses, or anything else than can anyone else. This view does not represent experience but rather a blind faith in the state as the omnicompetent agency.)
The issue, as Grover states it clearly, is not quality but control. State intervention or control does not produce quality; quite the contrary. Educators themselves view education as a means of social control. Grover quotes John Dewey to this effect again and again. The goal of the school, Dewey held, is “the formation of the proper social life,…the securing of the right social growth…” and “the teacher is always the prophet of the true God and the usherer in of the true kingdom of God.” Dewey’s “God” is really humanity.
Education in origin was a church function; in essence, it has always been inescapably a religious function. The Christian School is a Christian ministry, and it cannot be made subject to statist controls without a denial of the faith. As Grover points out, “Professional educators have endorsed control of society through education, and they have sought to control all of education to implement their goal. They have been sought to control religion in their grasp for power” (p. 115).
In this battle between Christians and humanists, the courts have closely examined the faith of the Christian defendants. At stake has been the issue of motivation and faith. Are the defendants motivated by a preference, or by a conviction? If the decision is a matter of preference, the court refuses to honor the defendant’s position. A man may prefer one course above another, but the alternative is then not an impossible one for him but simply lower in acceptance. Conviction is another matter: it is faith, and the conscience of faith. Conviction is grounded in the mandate and law of God, which gives us no alternative but to obey. Is the independence of the Christian ministry in church and school grounded on a total dependence on and an obedience to Christ as Lord? If so, it is conviction, when a man’s faith and a life in conformity to that faith are in evidence. (It was clear to the Ohio Supreme Court that the Rev. Levi Whisner is a man of conviction, and hence his vindication.)
It is the expectation of major federal judges that one of the most common kind of cases appearing on appeal during the next decade will involve Christian Schools. A battle is under way which will not disappear simply because men choose to ignore it. The importance of this book is that it sets forth the basic geography of that battle, and, as a result, is necessary reading. It will be a major, if not the central, battleground because it will govern the future. If Christian Schools continue to grow at their present rate, they will, in 20 years or less, have created a different kind of United States, one in which trained and informed Christians predominate, and one in which leadership will pass into the hands of Christians. The humanists recognize this clearly. This is the reason for their full-scale offensive in state after state to control and thereby suppress and destroy this strong and resurgent Biblical faith. What is at stake is, first, the life or death of Christianity or humanism. Whichever triumphs educationally will prevail/The humanistic state schools are a growing disaster. The only way that disaster can be prevented from bringing on the death of humanism and its culture is to kill off the opposition, the Christian School movement, through controls. This is a fight for life for both parties. If the state schools prevail, then the destruction of our children will be effected. Second, the future of the United States is at stake. Humanism spells the degeneration and collapse of any country it commands. The Christian School movement is America’s best hope for a Christian future.
In this developing war of religion, there is no neutrality. The delusions of neutrality are ably exposed by the Rev. Alan N. Grover.
THE MEANING OF ACCREDITATION
A growing and central issue of our time is accreditation. The central area of conflict is with schools; in the background lurks another issue, the accreditation of churches (by welfare agencies, because of their nurseries; by councils of churches for their legitimacy, etc.)
Accreditation is an act of faith. We express our faith in someone when we go to them for accreditation, for approval. Paul speaks of accreditation when he tells Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). The root meaning of accreditation is credo, I believe. When a school goes to an accreditation council, it declares, I believe in you and in your word, and I present myself as one who seeks to be approved by you. If you approve of me, then I need not be ashamed, for then I teach the word of truth and respectability.
Again and again, we have seen seminaries established in order to reform the church. The new seminary wants to teach the true word, it claims, but one of its first steps is to seek accreditation. Very quickly, the new seminary begins to resemble the old, and, in all its ways, it seeks the approval of the very world of humanistic scholarship it abandoned. As a result, the new reform begins to resemble more and more the old sin. This is no less true of Christian Schools. Parents rebel against the corruptions produced by the humanistic state schools. Christian Schools are started and flourish, but soon evil voices begin to promote the need for accreditation, and they seek the approval of the same corrupt system they abandoned. Such men are no different than the Israelites in the wilderness journey who said, “Let us make us a captain, and let us return to Egypt” (Numbers 14:4). Such men are governed by the principle of reprobation.
Whose approval do you seek? Where your faith is, there too is your source of accreditation. Those who seek accreditation from humanistic agencies carry within their heart the principle of captivity and sin. They feel naked if they stand in terms of the Lord and His word, and they demand of the enemy, come and clothe us with the rags of your accreditation. Accreditation is the humanistic form of circumcision or baptism. It summons the faithful humanists to show the marks of their faith and to witness to it. Accreditation councils simply require the faithful to stand up and be counted in terms of their faith in humanism and its agencies. The real cause for the persecution of the Christian Church by Rome was the refusal of the church to submit to licensure and taxation by Rome, i.e., to submit to state approval and accreditation. Rome promised to leave the church more or less alone if only Christian leaders would offer a little incense before Caesar’s image and say, “Caesar is lord.” They would then be licensed or accredited and free to go their way. Instead, Christians confessed, “Jesus is Lord” and resisted; the apostates were accredited. The same issue is with us today, and, again, the apostate cry is, what harm is there in licensure, in accreditation? The harm is still the same: another lord is confessed, another creed is affirmed, and another faith is put into practice.”