AALE Grants Patrick Henry College Initial Accreditation
- Les Sillars
- 2002 11 Nov
Patrick Henry College was informed Nov. 14 that it has received initial accreditation by the American Academy for Liberal Education. The board of AALE granted the College "pre- accreditation" status at its Nov. 2 meeting. This status is the standard path of official sanction for new institutions.
AALE had denied accreditation to PHC last April because of its views on creationism. That denial led to an administrative appeal before an outside panel of college administrators selected by AALE.
The appellate panel reversed the initial denial and remanded the decision to the AALE Board for reconsideration. The panel rejected the view that a college that teaches creationism fails to adequately teach the sciences. But the appellate panel left open the question of whether Patrick Henry allows full discussion of alternative views of origins.
PHC has contended from the beginning that it allows and welcomes full discussion of opposing views while ultimately teaching that six-day creationism is the truth.
The PHC Board of Trustees amended its Statement of Biblical Worldview to clarify that the college truly intends for all viewpoints to be discussed adequately. PHC did not amend its statements regarding its affirmation of the truth of six-day creationism.
The AALE Board of Trustees cited this clarification in granting accreditation.
"We are thankful that we were able to work this out with AALE. We have always believed that it is possible to be strongly committed to the truth of God's Word and yet be open for discussion in the tradition of classical liberal education," Michael Farris, President of Patrick Henry College, said of the decision.
"We are very heartened by the action of AALE and look forward to working with them in the future," Farris added.