Talk:List of unrecognized higher education accreditation organizations/Archive 1

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This page is meant to complement[edit]

List of unaccredited institutions of higher learning as a further resource on higher educational institutions.

Why thank you. No wait, you meant complement. --Calton | Talk 02:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Fixed. Arbustoo 05:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Online Christ Centered Ministries[edit]

According to their web site, this organization [1] does not accredit schools, so it should not be listed. JzG said that some schools claim accreditation by OCCM. Who is saying this? --Steve Jackson1 18:43, 3 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet

I Googled for "accredited by online christ-center ministries" (which was the original spelling when the entry was rmeoved) and got nothing, but when I corrected the spelling and tried again I got this [2], which seemed to support the original addition so I assumed it was just a typo and put it back in. On closer inspection it seems that the first few are only claiming membership, along with "Accredited courses" (from unaccredited institutions). But I agree that at present OCCM seems to be a club for diploma millls, rather than an accreditation mill. Just zis Guy you know? 21:42, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
According to[3] it offered accreditation. Yet, one website then "as of Aug. 2004 a different version ... could be seen where “accreditation” was replaced by “affiliation.” (Web page has been subsequently changed.)" The link I provided has a screen capture of this accreditation mill/ministry scam before 2004. It has clearly offered accrediation in the past despite having no recognition or authorization by any USDE group. Arbusto 00:11, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
JzG is right. And your link is pointing to a personal home page. The org. in question does not accredit. Plus, does not have any record of the org. claiming accreditation powers. -- 00:37, 4 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
From Sherpherd's website[4]

SBC Accreditations:

  1. Florida Department of Education: Commission for Independent Education
  2. WWAC: Worldwide Accreditation Commission
  3. OCCM
So according to the diploma mill's website this webpage gave them accredition. For that reason alone since this information is out there and viewer's might be misled that OCCM offers approval or accreditation through a recognized median it should stay. Arbusto 01:09, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
This information isn't "out there" for regular viewing. It can only be found by those who specifically seek old copies of it from, therefore nobody will be misled because only investigators will find it and investigators will certainly find the whole truth: the current Shepherd site does not say accreditation and Online Ministries does not even list Shepherd as a member. -- 01:37, 4 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
There are academic frauds out there who still use Shepherd's worthless diplomas. Groups associated (whether in the past or present) with this academic fraud should be listed. Arbusto 02:05, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
  • A good investigator isn't just interested in what's available for "regular viewing," though neither Gastrich, nor his socks, would appreciate that. Checking the history of a person or organization is quite often quite revealing, and an encyclopedia entry isn't going to be limited to post-controversy spin and events. The fact is that SBC did claim to be accredited by OCCM, and this was not changed until there was a controversy about it. The fact is that SBC was a member of OCCM, as listed on the OCCM member list page, until the falling out between Gastrich and Dennis Tio. It is completely disingenuous for Gastrich to complain that the information is not "'out there' for regular viewing." "Only investigators will find it?" That's a good thing. But to say that "investigators will find the whole truth" is to completely miss what an investigator should be doing. - WarriorScribe 15:03, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
You couldn't be more wrong. When searching, did you miss this link?[5] This is where Shepherd Bible College, in bold letters, says Online Christ Centered Ministries does not offer accreditation. Since their site says this, and since the Online Christ Centered Ministries site (also according to has never mentioned anything about accreditation, they do not belong on this list of accreditation associations. --Particulate Matters 21:29, 5 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
  • Well, what do you know...another Gastrich sock. Does he get a free toaster or set of Ginsu knives when he hits 1,000? - WarriorScribe 15:03, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Online Christ Centered Ministries' claims[edit]

Is there even one shred of evidence from Online Christ Centered Ministries, in their site, materials, statements, etc., that indicates they offer any sort of accreditation? What it looks like to me is Shepherd Bible College listed them on their Accreditation page, then Online Christ complained to them, and they clarified who Online Christ really was. Just a theory, but it would make sense to me. Leave it to some to crucify an organization, and even continue to mislabel an organization, because another organization temporarily misspoke about them. --Particulate Matters 22:10, 5 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
See the Talk page: the article header as written is ambiguous. It is reasonable to construe it as including those groups which degree mills use to pretend credibility. Plus it seems to be run by Gastrich, who is a huge fan of degree mills. Just zis Guy you know? 22:17, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
First, you're not dealing in facts and reality. You're dealing in assumptions and labels. "Gastrich this" and "degree mill" that. The fact is that you avoided my question above because you know the answer and it doesn't fit into your bias.
Online Christ Centered Ministries is not an accreditor and has never claimed to be one. Shepherd Bible College, whether it be a "degree mill" or not is not the point, but thanks for revealing your opinion. Shepherd clearly states, in bold letters, that Online Christ Centered Ministries is not an accreditor. All that is left is your bias and Arbusto's bias and it's awfully difficult to pit facts against one's bias because facts never matter.
Currently, Shepherd Bible College does not claim to have even a membership with the Online Christ Centered Ministries.[6] Likewise, the Online Christ Centered Ministries does not claim to have Shepherd Bible College as a member.[7] So, all we're talking about is Arbusto finding, on, that Shepherd temporarily listed their membership with Online Christ Centered Ministries on their accreditation page, without specifically stating that they were a membership organization and not an accreditor; which was subsequently removed.

And you want to list Online Christ Centered Ministries on the List of unrecognized accrediting associations. This is incorrect. --Particulate Matters 22:30, 5 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet

A school has claimed accreditation from this mill in the past and it currently has no accreditation status[8]. Arbusto 00:55, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but I see no claim of accreditation there. The school writes:
Shepherd Bible College is a member of the (OCCM) On-line Christ Centered Ministries that is a professional association for individuals and ministries proclaiming the true gospel of Jesus Christ (on and off the internet)

Being a member of a professional association is not the same as being accredited by that association. Directly above that quote on the webpage, the school does claim accreditation from WWAC, when it writes: Shepherd Bible College is fully-accredited by the (Worldwide Accreditation Commission) of Christian Educational Institutions

In short, the webpage does not prove that OCCM is an accreditor. We need a real source for this. -- JJay 01:03, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

From Sherpherd's website[9]

SBC Accreditations:

  1. Florida Department of Education: Commission for Independent Education
  2. WWAC: Worldwide Accreditation Commission
  3. OCCM
If you look at OCCM's website it "Recognize[s] competent and credentialed" groups.[10] The poorly worded page is confusing at the very least and deceitful at the very most. Accreditation is to set standards relating to schools. The OCCM claims to do such and as such should be listed as "unrecognized accreditation associations." Just because it doesn't use the word "accreditation" does not mean that's not its purpose. Arbusto 01:13, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I have followed OCCM for quite a while and i believe that the initial idea was to endorse his friends ministries with a long term goal of accrediting schools like SBC (for the origins of SBC check this thread) gastrich was always careful to use the term certified. Gastrich got a lot of criticism since I believe SBC did use the term accreditation on their web site. I actually do believe this was deceit on behalf of SBC and not Gastrich. However, this is hard to really know. I consider there was a working relationship between Dennis Tio (SBC) and Gastrich which explains why Tio briefly moved to gastriches neighborhood in the San Diego area (from florida). They have since split and since then i have seen that gastrich has quite harsh comments for SBC. One can only imagine why their relationship soured. Actually, i am surprised they are still in the OCCM fold...... OK ,I just checked and in fact OCCM do not certify them any more. i could dig for more stuff if you want.
Anyway, to sum up I actually think OCCM should be removed from the list. i am not aware that Gastrich or OCCM have ever used terminology other than certified, Warrior Scribe has touched on this too. I do think it was set up to look like an accrediting agency but i don't think that is the same as actually being one. David D. (Talk) 03:57, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your input, David D. I agree with you. --Particulate Matters 05:11, 6 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
  • Look, you can interpret the wording found on these websites any way you want. The bottom line is that they are not really valid in proving anything. To settle the issue, just add a footnote from a news (Time Magazine, USA today, NY Times, etc) or academic source (book from reputable publisher, etc.) that states that OCCM is an accreditor. I think that would go a long way to settling the issue. -- JJay 01:18, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
    • Here is a diploma mill that claimed such.[11] Arbusto 01:29, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
  • See my comment directly above where we discussed this exact link. The website does not claim accreditation from OCCM. And even if it did, it would not be proof. I could start a diploma mill and claim accreditation from Wikipedia on my website. That would not make wikipedia an accreditor. Please review the comments on this page and provide a valid source for OCCM. -- JJay 01:40, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Using that analogy doesn't work because, as you know since you took the time to read the link I posted at the top, the operator of OCCM received a "doctorate" from Shepherd and in fact the operator of OCCM lived at the same address as Shepherd was listed. Your hypothetical analogy deals with unconnected groups. That is not the case. Arbusto 02:46, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I believe the analogy does work and I believe you are wrong in calling OCCM an accreditor. I'm removing them from the list.
By the way, your last statement was nothing but gossip, referencing a gossip-filled personal page. You'll need to do better than that to prove OCCM is an accreditation assocation. You're throwing dirt when you should be giving supporting evidence for your claim. Hypothetically, let's say the personal home page is correct. Who cares? Who cares if the guy did get a doctorate from Shepherd and he runs OCCM? Does that make OCCM an accreditor? Or course not. And you have yet to prove otherwise. You have the burden of proof. When it is met, with consensus acknowledging it, you can put OCCM back on the list. Right now, you don't have consensus and you're wrong, throwing dirt and posting gossip site links that do nothing for your case. You've been proven wrong and you just can't see it. --Particulate Matters 03:45, 6 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
It should be left off per David's recent post. Mr. Jason Gastrich, your sock puppeting isn't winning minds or sympathy. Arbusto 04:13, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
This is an understatement. The rolling ban will be forever since it is reset everytime a new sock arrives. Why can't you just play by the rules Jason? Is it really so hard? Your job as an editor was not to tell the majority that they are wrong but to persuade that majority that you are right. Here you have been successful and on other pages you will have to accept compromises and, God forbid, failure. This is what consensus building is all about. It seems you want everything in life to go your way and have no patience, or will, to work with others to reach reasonable compromises. This attitude will never work here. David D. (Talk) 04:25, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Attributing countless users to J. Gastrich's socks will certainly get his account banned forever. Not sure he cares though, since he apparently isn't here anyway and those socks, many (or all) of which probably aren't even him, apparently have no intent on leaving Wikipedia alone. That's not our problem, though. --Particulate Matters 05:11, 6 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
Is that you Gollum? David D. (Talk) 05:13, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, definitely. - WarriorScribe 15:07, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
You will note that the last few to be added were supported by CheckUser evidence. So that's that little theory shot down in flames. Just zis Guy you know? 07:53, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Arbusto, I've got to disagree with you this time. Yes, OCCM did in the past give accreditation, but they dropped that practice quickly. They do not currently claim to accredit anyone, nor does anyone claim current accreditation.. Harvestdancer 19:06, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Besides, do we want an article on OCCM? Harvestdancer 19:07, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Let me echo Harvestdancer and, now that I have a few minutes to get back to this, point out that, in fact, OCCM never directly claimed to engage in the accrediting of colleges, universities, trade schools, or anything of that sort. While some of us suspect that Gastrich might have had that in mind in the long run, the fact is that a suspicion is not good enough to justify inclusion on a list of this sort. It may very well be that Tio assumed that "certified" and "accredited" either meant the same thing or he deliberately and deceptively wanted to conflate the two. Your mileage may vary, but it's probably best to end the argument and remove and keep OCCM off the list. - WarriorScribe 21:04, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
How ironic is it that most of the users supporting Gastrich on this page are the same ones he described in his RfC as "those that oppose, hate, and troll me"? David D. (Talk) 21:51, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, I suppose it's less "supporting Gastrich," which I don't, and more being persuaded by what is the right thing to do, which is something someone like Gastrich will never understand. - WarriorScribe 01:53, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Ditto what WS said. In this case, he is not as guilty as people say he is, so in this case I defend him. Harvestdancer 17:30, 13 April 2006 (UTC)'s pages on Shepherd Bible College[edit]

Here are about 10 pages that all state, in bold letters, that Online Christ Centered Ministries does not provide accreditation. To list the one link that is ambiguous on the matter, is disingenuous. Therefore, it has been removed as a reference and OCCM has been removed from the list as well. They do not offer accreditation.

Links that clearly say, from Shepherd Bible College's mouth, that OCCM does not accredit:

JohnDoe5 00:13, 13 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet

Two things are not obvious here. Are we supposed to link to the accreditation page in each case? Did you mean to only give the home page since you say above "10 pages that all state, in bold letters, that Online Christ Centered Ministries does not provide accreditation". Second what are the dates for these links? It is not clear. David D. (Talk) 04:55, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry that I linked to the main page, instead of the Accreditation/Affiliation page. Here are better links:
The dates are between 2004-2005. It's also noteworthy to mention that Shepherd is not currently listed as an OCCM member on OCCM's site [12]. Putting OCCM on this Wikipedia list is absurd. --JohnDoe5 19:42, 14 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet

Gastrich, OCCM and accredidation as archived and on usenet[edit]

From way back machine archives it is clear that the Shepherd Bible college (SBC) changed their web site between 14th Feb 2004 and 16th April 2004. From:

3. OCCM:
Shepherd Bible College is a member of the (OCCM) On-line Christ Centered Ministries that is a professional association for individuals and ministries proclaiming the true gospel of Jesus Christ (on and off the internet) Web Archive 14th Feb 2004


3. OCCM: Affiliation
Shepherd Bible College is a member of the (OCCM) On-line Christ Centered Ministries that is a professional association only, not an accrediting organization for individuals and ministries proclaiming the true gospel of Jesus Christ (on and off the internet) Web Archive 16th Apr 2004

Although they did not change all their web sites as can be seen by the following archive history of the following web site;

Shepherd Bible College is a member of the (OCCM) On-line Christ Centered Ministries that is a professional association for individuals and ministries proclaiming the true gospel of Jesus Christ (on and off the internet) Web Archive 5th Jun 2004

This change is consistent with the accreditation issue and SBC's alleged misrepresentation of OCCM being discussed on usenet for the first time. Gastrich defended OCCM by saying:

OCCM's accreditation begins and ends with the gospel. Our Board of Directors gives a membership to an applicant that proclaims the biblical doctrine of salvation. We don't give any kind of academic accreditations. Usenet Feb 20 2004

It is possible that he then contact Dennis Tio (a founder of SBC) to ensure that OCCM was not misrepresented on the SBC web site. Apparently he was well connected with Tio which explains how this could happen quite rapidly as evidenced by the following usenet post from Gastrich (founder of OCCM).

Do you know anything about the President of Shepherd Bible College? His name is Dr. Dennis Tio. He is a magnificent man with a giant list of accomplishments. His integrity in Christ and in the world community is part of the reason why I'm thankful for an honorary degree from his school. Usenet Feb 16 2004

Finally the issue comes up again about a year later when it is clear that another bible college is claiming accreditation from OCCM. (See Usenet post Jan 4 2005) Quotes from that post include the following:

Gastrich: "I'm legally able to use the title Doctor. Your accusation of "fraud" is false. "
A Poster: "When the title is awarded by an instituion of which your name is on the accreditation document."
Gastrich: "This is untrue. I've said time and time again that OCCM DOES NOT accredit anyone."
A Poster: "I note that the phrase " that is a professional association only, not an accrediting organization" has been added to SBC's web site. The accreditation now appears to be by the "Worldwide Accreditation Commission of Christian Educational Institutions". A search for this organisation leads to sites which can best be described as 'degree mills' and no reputable academic institution, Christian or otherwise.
However, a web search for "On-line Christ Centered Ministries" leads back only to SBC. Changing the spelling to "Online Christ Centered Ministries" leads to sites mainly run by Jason Gastrich or link pages. An exception is the link to "The Illinois Theological Seminary Online" which, according to their web site ( " has been certified by the Online Christ Centered Ministries (OCCM), a Christian credentialing organization that recognizes and credentiates online ministries with worthy, theological, ethical and evangelical standards."
You may argue that "credentiates online ministries" does not mean the same as accreditation, but to do so is twisting on a semantic nuance."
Gastrich: "Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I already approached Rev. Jose about this on 11-26-04.
Hi Rev. Jose,
I pray that you are well. I've noticed that you have OCCM's banner on your site. It looks very good. We are happy to have your school as a member. However, I also noticed that you have a link called "Accreditation" on This link goes to where it talks a little about OCCM.
OCCM is not an accrediting body as far as academics are concerned. We are a professional membership association for those that are proclaiming the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot confuse people by calling anything we do "accreditation." Also, the use of the words "credential" and "credentialize" are confusing.
Please amend your site and let it reflect what we actually do. I write you this letter because someone approached me today and brought this to our attention. It really doesn't matter who approached me because this is a valid issue, but when they said not to mention them, I thought I should mention them. All I know about this person is their Yahoo Messenger ID is drsearevalojr.
Please use words like "authenticated, member, membership, member in good standing, certified member, and approved" and avoid using accreditation and credential or credentialize.
May God richly bless you and your ministry. Sincerely, Jason Gastrich"

In summary, there is obviously shenanigans going on here but it does seem clear that Gastrich (the founder of OCCM) has ben consistent in denying that OCCM is an accrediting agency despite the fact that it was used that way by its members. David D. (Talk) 06:51, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Once again we see evidence that Dr Day is a fair minded person, who, although he is on the other side from us, is able to give credit where it is due. I would like to express my appreciation for that. Uncle Davey (Talk) 07:52, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

A philosophical question[edit]

It seems to me that the debate above is really about the nature of this list: is it a list of bodies which themselves claim to be acreditaiton agencies, or is it a list of bodies which apparent degree mills claim as accreditors? This is not entirely clear and we should call it one way or the other and make the header unambiguous. Just zis Guy you know? 11:42, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

All groups, whether intentional or not, that offer membership relating to higher education standards should be included. Also the title of the page should remain the same because while some legally don't want to get in trouble for offering "accreditation," the appearance is made that they offer some form of oversight, ie accreditation.
For example, Association of Christian Colleges and Theological Schools is an accreditation mill in Louisiana (a state that has few requirements which attracts many diploma mills). However, this group offers "approval" done in a fashion where if a reader does not pay close attention to the wording they get the impression that it offers accreditation. They give you approval in weeks for $300.00, which at that rate it doesn't even sound like they visit the "schools" they "approve."
These types of groups are what the list is about. Those with no or low standards relating to accreditation without any academic recognition. Arbusto 00:43, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
This list is called the List of unrecognized accreditation associations of higher learning, so anyone on the list must offer accreditation. --Particulate Matters 21:26, 5 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
No, the list is currently ambiguous in intent. It needs to be clarified and settled. Just zis Guy you know? 21:42, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
So you say. But Arbustoo has an edit history. Just zis Guy you know? 07:54, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
No it isn't ambiguous at all. Although Arbusto's intent is very clear. --Particulate Matters 21:47, 5 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
Whatever intent Arbusto may have pales when compared to the intent of Jason Gastrich whom, through the use of "countless socks," intends to disrupt Wikipedia and thumb his nose at site and domain administration. It's all part of a very long temper tantrum. - WarriorScribe 21:07, 6 April 2006 (UTC)


As a result of the continued battles surrounding the presence of Online Christ Centered Ministries on this list I'm adding the NPOV tag to the page. The evidence that OCCM acts or has acted as an accreditor is sketchy at best. I've asked for a reputable source that makes the claim and the best we have so far is an expired web page that uses the word "association" arther than accreditation. The fact that editors want to maintain OCCM on the list at all costs indicates a serious NPOV problem to me. The lack of footnoting for list components is also extremely troubling. This is a serious subject that needs to be treated within encyclopedic standards. This page needs to be beyond reproach. Any component that can not be sourced to a government list or reputable source per WP:RS should be removed, as authorized by WP:V. I think WP:OR may be a real problem as well, but I will leave that for a later post -- JJay 18:20, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

That's a misuse of the NPOV tag and sounds like sour grapes to me. You added the fact template to OCCM asking for a cite. Then Gastrich's probable sock removes OCCM from the list, improperly I'll add as OCCM is one of Gastrich's own endevours. Now when OCCM is returned to the article with the cite you sought you cry foul. Sorry, but the NPOV tag is both unwarranted and being misused here. Calling for every listed item to be cited sounds like obstructionism as well. FeloniousMonk 18:27, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
First, I would suggest you review the posts to this page. I asked for a source above and none has been provided that proves that OCCM is an accreditor. What you are giving me- an expired web page from one school that does not really use the word accreditation with OCCM- is WP:OR pure and simple. Just footnote it from a government site or news or academic source and let's move on. Otherwise, my objections are not at all "sour grapes". I don't know what you believe I am sour over. I firmly believe that every item on this list should be footnoted. The same goes for every other list at wikipedia. We absolutely need to demonstrate that "accreditors" are not being added to this list based on no evidence, scanty evidence or OR. The integrity of all editors is at stake here-- JJay 18:42, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I read the page already, thank you. I've been following it since it was created. OCCM claims their purpose is to provide accountibility and recognition. [13] [14] In providing certification for accountibility and recognition by definition OCCM are providing a form of accreditation from an unrecognized source. Hence, their place in the list is justified. FeloniousMonk 18:43, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I think everyone here needs to review WP:V. In particular, the line that states: One of the keys to writing good encyclopedia articles is to understand that they should refer only to facts, assertions, theories, ideas, claims, opinions, and arguments that have already been published by reputable publishers and the whole discussion of "verifiability not truth". While I value your interpretation of OCCM's statements, we need a reputable source that makes the same claims you are making. If the group is notable enough to deserve inclusion here, there should be no shortage of sources that discuss OCCM's accreditation activities. Please provide one of those sources. Otherwise, I fail to see how creating an association of "ministries" equates with accrediting institutions/diploma mills etc. that award degrees. -- JJay 18:54, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
OCCM's own statements as to its purpose are both unambiguous and sufficient here. As if Christian schools never refer to themselves as "ministries." Right. That's called "hairplitting" where I come from. And nevermind that Shepard Bible College lists OCCM in its list of accreditations.[15]
By certifying schools like Shepard Bible College for accountibility and in providing recognition for same,[16] OCCM satisfies all common understandings of what constitutes an unrecognized accreditation association of higher learning. FeloniousMonk 19:06, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

OCCM is a reputable publisher with regards to what OCCM claims to be. SBC is a reputable publisher about what SBC claims to be. So, unless someone is making a (reputable) claim that either SBC's server was hacked to display this information, or or that web.archive has been fooled with, it counts as a reliable source. Ditto for OCCM. Simple enough. Guettarda 19:24, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Concur with Guettarda - when the organization's website claims their purpose is A, there is no need to confirm they state their purpose is A. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:33, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

They do not claim to accredit as far as I can tell. SBC does not directly claim the accreditation. Why is is so difficult to prove this with an outside source? I also fail to see what motivated the rush to remove the NPOV tag. This dispute is real and is not resolved. I'm replacing the tag until we resolve this. this list needs real direction and standards. While we make some strides towards developing standards for inclusion the tag should remain. -- JJay 19:46, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Concur with Guettarda, FM and KC -- your use of the tag is incorrect. First, I see very little attempt to talk through the issue on your part. Second, the NPOV tag is to be used only when discussion has been exhausted. •Jim62sch• 21:35, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

The NPOV tag indicates that there is a dispute. If you read through the comments on this page, it is pretty clear that there is a dispute currently involving OCCM. I don't care if OCCM is on this list as long as there is a valid source. The websites that are being used as sources look extremely inadequate to me and some other editors on this page (and no, they are not all puppets). I placed a fact tag in the article, asked that a valid source be provided and stated my objections. The fact tag was removed and replaced by a link to the website that is already disputed. Hence, my placing of the NPOV tag with an explanation of my reasoning. This was rapidly removed without in any way addressing my objections. If OCCM is really an accreditation mill that is granting accreditation to diploma mills, why is only one institution being cited and based on an old web page where the language is unclear? Shouldn't they be on a government list, or on one of the websites that tracks these organizations? It really looks to me like OCCM is being included based on the personal interpretation and motivations of some of the editors here. But their parsing of the language on these old websites is not valid and qualifies as OR. Perhaps you would prefer that tag? -- JJay 22:07, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

NPOV Pt.2[edit]

  • All I can say is given the absolute desire shown here to not discuss sourcing for the list, or possible standards, to include OCCM at all costs and to remove the NPOV tag as quickly as possible, even by some editors who are not participating in the discussion, I am more convinced than ever that there are serious POV issues and motivations underlying this list. What I've seen seems to me to be a gang of editors that have made up their minds and are more interested in making puppet accusations and edit warring than in really documenting what these institutions are and why they are here. I think that is very sad for our credibility. -- JJay 20:37, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

As the owner of the site ,one of the thirty members of OCCM, I can say that I have never seen any idea of "accreditation" of an academic institution. Membership of the organisation implies that you have assented to the statement of faith which is given as a condition of membership. Membership means that you are allying your organisation or service in some way with others who have the same statement of faith. The main thing that a college gains by being affiliated is that they show that their organisation contains a statement of faith compatible with this statement of faith, or that the goals of the organisation are compatible with the statement of faith, and they are displayed with other like-minded institutions. Uncle Davey (Talk) 13:08, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, as I've pointed out, they currently don't give accreditation. There's an important word in the middle of that sentence. Harvestdancer 16:46, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
That is implying that either they did at one time or that they plan to in the future. Please make your accusation plainer. Uncle Davey (Talk) 13:22, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
As I've noted before, and elsewhere said on this page, where anyone can read it, it is something that they no longer do. Harvestdancer 02:56, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
That implies that they used to, and I think that is misleading, as I am not aware that they ever did, and I am not aware that you provided evidence to support the assertion that they ever did. Uncle Davey (Talk) 14:03, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Implies? It states it out right. It's only misleading if you don't look at the links provided by Arbustoo. Did you look at the links? Harvestdancer 02:28, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Maybe I am blind, Harvestdancer, but in all my reading on this matter in here and on the talk pages I could only find some people saying that they remembered that someone (maybe Durango Bill, but I'm not putting my head on the block) had had some evidence that at the outset OCCM had used the term accreditation. I didn't see any firm evidence. But let's say that sometime before I was looking at OCCM and before I joined it the word was used for a while - in that case, if it is true, and I am not conceding that it is, I'm only conceding that I may not know everything about the history of this service - then the fact that it was withdrawn shows that only reflection the management must have felt that it was a misnomer, and wished to withdraw the term. I see no sense in hammering on three years later about the alledged inappropriate use of a phrase that was already history three years ago. If this were not about Jason Gastrich, it would be seen by all to be a ridiculous storm in a teacup. Uncle Davey (Talk) 11:55, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I wonder if anyone believes that you don't know what I'm talking about. Harvestdancer 19:51, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Would it not be easier for you to provide a linked answer rather than keeping up the rhetoric and mystification and implying dishonesty or disingenuousness on my part? Uncle Davey (Talk) 07:54, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
If everybody must reinvent the wheel every time they talk to you, nobody would ever get anywhere. Others have already provided the proof you asked me for. Look at it. I think you have looked at it, but since you're writing to me you want me to do the work all over again. It is dishonest and disingenuous. Since I must provide what has already been provided, try clicking HERE. Harvestdancer 17:25, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
No, it's called the burden of proof. You have it. Deal with it. --JohnDoe5 19:37, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Adding accreditation associations of higher learning to the list[edit]

It seems User: JJay believes adding accreditation associations of higher learning to the list is WP:OR. This is a misunderstanding of the list and WP:OR. Anyone can add any school to the list of unaccredited or this list providing it meets the criteria of "unrecognized." Arbusto 03:02, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm pointing out that OCCM is not mentioned by any of the current sources we have for this list. Those sources are lists of unrecognized accreditation agencies set up by the DOE [17] or other watchdogs [18]. If we add names and they are not on those lists and no other reference is provided, then yes, that does qualify as WP:OR. -- JJay 03:09, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
From OR: "An edit counts as original research if it proposes ideas or arguments." Adding a group that a diploma mill once claimed gave them accreditation is not an "idea" nor an "argument." Arbusto 03:13, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I know what OR is. Here is the first paragraph- "Original research is a term used on Wikipedia to refer to material added to articles by Wikipedia editors that has not been published already by a reputable source. In this context it means unpublished theories, data, statements, concepts, arguments, and ideas; or any new interpretation, analysis, or synthesis of published data, statements, concepts, or arguments that appears to advance a position..."
Nothing, would make me happier than to see a reputable source that states that OCCM accredits schools. Please find that reputable source and add it to the article. Let's stop the OR cancer before it spreads. Furthermore, I notice in your statement that you use the past tense- i.e. "a diploma mill once claimed". If a diploma mill once claimed something, then claimed something else, where is the truth? The first claim or the second claim? And shouldn't we have the simple decency and basic integrity as a research work to make it clear that our listing of OCCM is based on the past claim from a diploma mill? Something we have taken pains to obscure. Which makes me wonder why you keep removing the factual precision, supported by our references, that OCCM is not currently present on any official list of unrecognized accreditors. Why are you afraid of the truth?-- JJay 03:27, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Where is the statement making it OR? Shepherd's diploma mill claimed OCCM accredited it then later it retracted. Either way it is not an accreditor. Either way its not an "idea" or an "argument." Fact: diploma mill claimed it accredited the degrees. Fact: it is not an accreditor. Arbusto 03:34, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not convinced they ever made the clear statement you claim. I also believe that our interpretation very much qualifies as both an idea and an argument. However, since you are convinced that it should stay on the list, we must therefore also reflect the "retraction" as well as the fact that no one else in the world claims that OCCM is an accreditor. Since those are both also facts, I must again ask you to stop removing factual statements from the list. -- JJay 03:44, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
From Sherpherd's website[19]

SBC Accreditations:

  1. Florida Department of Education: Commission for Independent Education
  2. WWAC: Worldwide Accreditation Commission
  3. OCCM
  • Is that past, present, or future? And again, why are you removing factual statements from the list? -- JJay 04:44, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this link [20] isn't the future, but it does show proof that at least one diploma mill has claimed "that OCCM is an accreditor." Arbusto 09:06, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I still think that the problem here is an inconsistency in how the list is viewed by different editors. I understand it (as does Arbustoo, I believe) as being a list of groups by which unaccredited institutions claim to be accredited, or which claim to offer some kind of approval or oversight, but which lack formal authority to act as accrediting bodies. As such it would appear to me to serve an important function.
I respect JJay's concerns re original research, and I acknowledge that this apparently requires proof of a negative in some of these cases. But the particular group in question does appear to be pretty much the only one one backed by a genuine citation. There may be debate over whether it fits the definition - which as I say is probably due to an inconsistency in different editors' interpretation of the criteria, which should be fixed by agreeing a more explicit definition - but according to the definition as understood by at least three editors (me, Arbustoo, FeloniousMonk), two of whom are admins so might reaosnably be expected to have a reasonable grasp of policy, OCCM should be included, backed by the current references.
There is also the small matter of the owner of OCCM (and the contents of his sock drawer) having spent much time and effort attempting to whitewash unaccredited schools, which seems to me to be a fair indication that there is at least some intent to bolster the reputations of unaccredited schools.
I am sure that nobody, JJay included, has any intention of misrepresenting unaccredited schools as having any degree of academic legitimacy, and I am sure we are all united in a desire to ensure that readers are presented with an accurate assessment of those schools. Just zis Guy you know? 07:11, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I support JJay's qualification. First, OCCM shouldn't be listed. However, as long as it is, his qualification should be here, too. --JohnDoe5 08:56, 15 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
JzG makes an interesting statement, but does not address the immediate issue. Namely, if we are going to get into this type of OR, why don't we have the intellectual honesty to state that OCCM is not on currently on any list of unrecognized accreditors- except ours? We have references for this list. They include the DOE list of unrecognized accreditors [21], the list on John Bear's website [22], and the credentialwatch list [23]. OCCM is not found on any of these lists. Our support for including OCCM is based on a three-year old webpage found in Even Arbustoo above has recognized that the page was retracted. Why is this not made clear for OCCM in the list? Why are editors taking great pains to make sure that our reference for OCCM remains as unclear as possible? For whatever its worth, I don't care who is on this list as long as we have solid references to back it up. Arbustoo has stated on many occasions that if a school is not listed in a database of accredited institutions then it is not accredited. Now while some would see the act of querying the database as OR, I nevertheless wonder why the flipside is not true. Why if an "accreditor" is not found on lists of unrecognized accreditors, do we still feel justified to claim that it is unrecognized? Particularly in view of the slim evidence, retractions and denials that the group in question ever acted as an accreditor (all of which needs to be included with our listing of OCCM). Considering the evidence we are using, we ignore the retractions and denials at the peril of our own integrity. Who exactly is doing the whitewashing of the truth here? -- JJay 12:53, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
JJay, the point is this: if the list is of groups which are claimed as accreditors, and which are not recognised accreditors, then the twin sources of the school making the claim, and the absence from the comprehensive lists cited, means it is not OR. Or so it seems to me. If on the other hand the list is groups which claim to be accreditors and which are not recognised, then the sources would be the organisation and the cited lists; the places claiming to be accredited would not be a source. In the case of OCCM it seems to be skirting the boundaries, and we do know from objective evidence that Gastrich has an agenda to boost the reputation of unaccredited schools, but that is certainly not the same as sayiong that OCCM claims to be an accreditor (it merely appears to allude to it). So if we take the latter, more restrictive interpretation of what this list is, I would say the balance is agaisnt OCCM being included. But I take it as the former interpretation, which to my mind has OCCM in. Having said that, it is still reasonable to question it even then, and a better approach would be to have a well-referenced article on unaccredited Christian schools, describing the various groups to which they belong and the ways in which they qualify their own and each other's faculty - it's an intriguing example of a real-world walled garden. Just zis Guy you know? 19:37, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
JzG, while I appreciate your points, you seem to be refusing to give any clear answer to the question at hand. I have been looking for some way of ending the edit war that has been going on here. The page has been reverted something like 14 times in the last day or so. The conflict concerns OCCM. There is no reason if OCCM remains on this list not to spell our clearly that it is not included in our references. That is also true for all the other accreditors. According to numerous editors including Arbustoo, the basis for including OCCM seems to be an expired webpage that has been retracted. As you are aware, we are linking to a page at That is fairly pathetic in terms of sourcing given that numerous articles can be found that cite or mention unrecognized accreditation agencies. Apparently no reference exists for OCCM. If we continue to maintain OCCM on this list, based on the personal interpretation of an expired webpage by a handful of editors, we are making a statement that OCCM has and is acting as an accreditor. I believe that is OR, but even if it is not OR, it is still a serious business that should be backed up by a serious reference. If regardless we leave it up on the list, without a serious third-party reference to cover our backs, we need to spell out what we are doing by annotating the entry on the list as I have started to do. -- JJay 20:04, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Deletion of red links[edit]

There is no need to have a link farm of 50 red links. They need to be removed. Otherwise, let's just nominate this entry for deletion. --Downey D 09:28, 17 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet

If you don't like the red links then you can delink. There is no reason to remove them from the list. Also this whole paragraph is POV:

Even though the secular academic community values secular accreditation, the Christian academic community often doesn't. For one reason or another, many Christian colleges and universities do not seek recognition from accredited associations of higher learning. In some cases, the institutions lack credibility, but not in all cases. [citation needed] In fact, some unaccredited Christian universities are on par with regionally accredited ones.[24][citation needed]

I have bolded the POV and italicised the unsubstatiated parts. David D. (Talk) 14:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Downey D is Jason Gastrich (a banned user) who has a well-documented distaste for academic institutions. His white washing has been reverted and a sock puppet tag put on his user page. Jason, grow up. Also citing a diploma mill (Louisiana Bapitst University) as an valid institution isn't going to cut it. Arbusto 18:55, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Doesn't the citation cover it? What else is needed? An example of a univ. that lacks credibility? That shouldn't be too hard for anyone to provide. The simple fact is that while an editor or two may feel his pet project is to label every unaccredited Christian university as such, it means little to many Christians. Furthermore, according to academic officials associated with Louisiana Baptist University, their curriculum is on par with regionally accredited universities. So, this should be mentioned somewhere. --Downey D 20:21, 17 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
Well in that case, why don't LBU get themselves accredited? Seriously, why wouldn't they do this, like the hundreds (even thousands?) of other theological schools that are accredited in the US. Have they ever applied for accreditation? The endorsement of some professors from accreditated universities pulls no weight in this issue. Sorry. By the way, it may be true that on paper "their curriculum is on par with regionally accredited universities", but that says nothing about the quality. Accredidation is more about the quality the stated curriclum and much less about the title of the lectures. David D. (Talk) 20:32, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Downey_D (talkcontribspage movesblock userblock log) now indef-blocked as a sockpuppet. Just zis Guy you know? 21:43, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with David. I don't care what Louisiana Baptist University (a diploma mill) claims or that it considers itself a real school. Especially when you consider the Louisiana Baptist faculty and staff themselves have unaccredited degrees from diploma mills. If "Downey" (aka Jason Gastrich) wants to put in BS claims by Louisiana Baptist Mill then he must get an expert on accreditation and institutions to make the connection between Harvard and Louisiana Baptist Diploma Mill. Until then Neal Weaver's (who holds 4 unaccredited degrees one including the school is president of) opinion is meaningless to the real world. Arbusto 23:18, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Downey is right. The paragraph and citations from the academic officials should remain. --Head Like A Hole 05:38, 18 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
hearsay from stooges is not appropriate in wikipedia. Testimonials are biased and these come very close to that. David D. (Talk) 05:40, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Head Like A Hole (aka User:Jason Gastrich) means unaccredited, vanity published people who sell unaccredited "degrees." Those are not "academic officials" not matter how much they wish to be or what they claim. Arbusto 06:35, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
You couldn't be more wrong. Dr. Harold Ledford is the Director of Development and Continuing Education at Louisiana State University. Dr. John Steffens is the Vice Provost of the University of Oklahoma. They have said that Louisiana Baptist University, an unaccredited school, is just as rigorous as its regionally accredited counterparts. [25] So, please don't white wash. Deal with the truth, even if it makes you sad. --Head Like A Hole This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet

09:27, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Those names matter the day they approve accreditation. Until then personal opinions mean nothing without accreditation. Arbusto 09:31, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Open mouth, insert foot. I guess we should delete all of your opinions. Is that what you're getting at? Certainly, these men who are employed at secular universities have a more informed, a more accurate, a more trustworthy opinion than yours. So, let's start deleting your contributions and opinions and start inserting theirs. K? Or better yet, let's just start calling this encyclopedia the joke that it really is. --Head Like A Hole 09:35, 18 April 2006 (UTC) This user now indefinitely blocked as a sockpuppet
Some of the best schools in the US are religious and they have accreditation. Secularism has nothing to do with it. Arbusto 09:53, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I found a good news link involving the issue of educational standards. Kenneth Hemphill, then president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, told the Associated Press, "We are a conservative, confessional institution, and we have not found that our accreditation has caused us to compromise our biblical convictions. We have found accreditation valuable in that it provides accountability for the institution and credibility for those looking for graduate theological work. It is important to have standards of quality."[26] Arbusto 08:09, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Quality is important!!! Oh my God, and to think i thought it was just about the title of the lectures in the curriculum. To Gastrich, who cares what Dr. John Steffens and Dr. Harold Ledford think? This is just an appeal to authority and it is silly. How can we possibly verify they are an independent voice? How do we know they have actually assessed the overall quality of education at LBU? If LBU is not accredited, they are not accredited. You can bring hundreds of testimonials here and it will matter little. It is possible to prove anything with testimonials and they are inherently POV. David D. (Talk) 15:12, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

State Bar of California?[edit]

Why the addition of State Bar of California. Is that a joke? Piercetp 04:25, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

I removed it. Arbusto 03:16, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

National Distance Learning Accreditation Council[edit]

Someone removed this link, and its webpage notes "The NDLAC is not an accrediting agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Such approval is a voluntary process, and in fact, the U.S. Department of Education states that accreditation itself is a voluntary process."[27] There should be no doubt NDLAC belongs on the list. Arbusto 02:52, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Association of Christian Schools International[edit]

I removed ACSI from this list because they do not accredit Colleges. They should not be listed with "bogus" organizations. "ACSI's primary school and secondary school accreditation programs are officially recognized by the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA) [2] which has worked with the US Department of Education for approval of private school accreditation."

They do allow colleges to be member schools and have "standards." Thus, confusion arises if they are a accreditor or not. They are not a recognized accreditor, which is what the lists states. CaliEd 01:58, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Deleted articles[edit]

Here is a list of articles that were deleted. Arbusto 06:01, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Since there seems to exist a faction that wants some of these entities removed from the list, too, posterity may find this deleted-article text useful:
The Accreditation Governing Commission of the United States of America, also called Accreditation Governing Commission-USA identifies itself as a United States-based 501(c)3 nonprofit agency for accreditation of higher education institutions.[1]
The organization is not recognized as an accreditation agency by either the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Both the Michigan state government and the California Postsecondary Education Commission list it as an unapproved or unrecognized accrediting body. [2] [3]
1. ^ Accreditation Governing Commission-USA website (accessed March 30, 2007)
2. ^ State of Michigan Lists of Nonaccredited Colleges and Universities and Unapproved Accrediting Bodies
3. ^ California Postsecondary Education Commission List of Unrecognized Accreditation Agencies
--orlady 02:23, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Higher Education does exist outside the USA[edit]

I noted that the page has been reverted to it's former cryptic "it's not US, it's bogus!" state, so I removed EQIS from the list, because listing it along with accreditation mills is simply unacceptable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Moobidoo (talkcontribs)

Sources for article[edit]

In accordance with the following guidance from WP:CITE#HOW, the main sources for this list article are listed at the end under the heading "Sources". A reader who clicks on the listed links links could easily tell where the article content comes from. Here's the guidance:

How to cite sources
Articles can be supported with references in two ways: the provision of general references – books or other sources that support a significant amount of the material in the article – and inline citations, that is, references within the text, which provide source information for specific statements. Inline citations are needed for statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, including contentious material about living persons, and for all quotations.

--orlady 13:44, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

I do challenge the statement that this list is "per" CHEA and other agencies. 13:07, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
The citation needed tags were removed. A source from CHEA showing which accreditation organizations are recognized by CHEA and/or USDE was attached. This is a list of recognized organizations, therefore organizations not on this list are "unrecognized" by CHEA or USDE.
Since it's unknown which "equivalent organizations in other countries" exist, no sources can be provided for them at this time.ndyguy (talk) 16:49, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
In response to's edit summary on 12:07, 8 March 2008 that "Non-mention in CHEA does not automatically mean non-recognized. Incrimination cannot be based on silence or lack of evidence"...
  • The citation given [28] is a list of accrediting organizations recognized by CHEA and/or USDE
  • It is reasonable to assume CHEA did not publish a partial list
  • If this list is a list of all accrediting organizations recognized by CHEA or USDE, then any organization not on this list is not recognized by either
  • According to Wiktionary, not recognized is the meaning of unrecognized, hence this is a List of unrecognized accreditation associations of higher learning
ndyguy (talk) 22:06, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
In response to The Hermes' edit summary on 22:58, 10 March 2008 that "Both the references given by you are only "dummy" references in the matter of "unaccredited" institutions. Kindly remain NPOV and kindly furnish accurate citation"...
Since your edit was after mine I assume this message was addressed to me. I did not provide both references, only the following one [29]. Orlady provided the other. Please explain what you mean by "dummy" references. Do you feel they are inaccurate or illegitimate in some way? If so, please explain how or why you feel that way. I believe I have maintained a NPOV, and I invite you to do so as well. If you can provide examples of how I have not exhibited a NPOV, please post examples here or on my talk page.
To any editors interested in participating in this discussion, I ask that you post your comments on the talk page instead of or in addition to in your edit summaries, so that all editors can view your comments as the discussion progresses. Thanks.
ndyguy (talk) 21:28, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Earlier today I extensively revised the intro to clarify (among other points) that the USDE and CHEA links are not actually the sources for the article, but rather are authoritative sources for recognized accreditors in the United States. (In fact, this article has several sources which are cited in-line and listed under External links.) Here's the current version of the intro (sans wikification):
This is a list of entities that have been identified as accreditors of higher education institutions, but that lack necessary legal authority or government recognition to provide such educational accreditation.
Rules for educational accreditation vary from country to country. In most countries, the function of accreditation for educational institutions is conducted by a government ministry of education. In the United States educational accreditation is performed by private nonprofit membership associations. In the United States, accredited institutions of higher education must be accredited by agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Often a school claiming accreditation from an unrecognized accreditor will not be viewed as legitimate in the academic community.[1] Institutional accreditation is required for institutions to receive U.S. government funds. Also, students who attend institutions of higher education that are accredited through accreditation associations not recognized by the USDE or CHEA do not qualify for U.S. government financial aid.[2] Recognized accreditors in the United States are listed in databases maintained by the USDE [3] and CHEA [4]
The following is a partial list of unrecognized accreditation associations of higher learning, as identified by the organizations themselves, government authorities in their respective countries, or other independent authorities. Included are some organizations that do not offer educational accreditation but have been misidentified as accreditors by organizations that offer educational services.
--Orlady (talk) 22:18, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Notes on Other Changes[edit]

I have removed Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (also known as American Association of Bible Colleges) from this list. That organization is now know as the Association for Biblical Higher Education and is on the list of recognized accrediting bodies. Justme222 (talk) 20:01, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


Some of the agencies listed here are generally allowed by the governments of their jurisdictions to confer accreditation, either by means of specific exemptions or legal empowerment. A good case in point would be the Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College which does have recognition from the University Grants Commission (India) (see List of UGC recognised colleges and UGC and Serampore College). The main reason why there are specific bodies within the recognised colleges that accredit religious education and theological degrees would be because the UGC does not accredit such qualifications. Even bodies like the International Council For Alternate And Theological Studies would be considered a recognised accreditation body, especially since the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act was passed in 2004 to regularise such bodies (see Minority Education and the text of the Act [30]).

Such difficulties are bound to arise as far as minority education is concerned. In Malaysia, the Education Act 1996 specifically exempts institutions that provide teaching "confined exclusively to the teaching of any religion" as educational institutions (see text of the Act [31]) for the purpose of the Act and as such, most minority education providers like seminaries generally self-accredit or are accredited by regional bodies like the World Council of Churches affiliated Association for Theological Education in South East Asia or the World Evangelical Alliance affiliated Asia Theological Association. Despite that, Malaysian accredited institutions of higher learning have accepted qualifications issued by such institutions as entry requirements.

I would suggest that a good compromise would be to list only accreditation bodies that are specifically not recognised by the countries in which the bodies are registered in. The other option is to exempt religious education accreditors registered in countries where no official accreditors exist (ie. since the US has TRACS, ATS and ABHE which are nationally recognised accreditors, I would have no objection to other Christian religious education in the US being listed here). - Bob K 01:41, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

American Association for Higher Education and Accreditation[edit]

A new user has shown up and removed an entry (for American Association for Higher Education and Accreditation) (an organization with which the user is affiliated) without providing an edit summary or engaging in discussion here. Investigation reveals that there was some discussion at Wikipedia:Editor assistance/Requests#Incorrect Listing, and this user was advised that since the entry was unsourced, it probably would be OK to remove it. However, regular editors here were unaware of this discussion.

Also, there were some related edits that removed format, wikification, sources and text, while adding different text.

The article has been reverted to its last stable version. Let's discuss the AAHEA and this user's concerns here before engaging in any additional reverting, explained or otherwise. --Orlady (talk) 00:25, 15 January 2009 (UTC)


I have not yet found any third-party sources of information regarding AAHEA. It clearly is a U.S. entity, it is engaged in higher education accreditation (according to its website), and it is not listed as a recognized accreditor by either CHEA or the U.S. Dept. of Education, which are the entities authorized to recognize accreditors in its country (the United States). Accordingly, it appears to me that it belongs on this list. --Orlady (talk) 01:44, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree. ndyguy (talk) 03:00, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I too agree. I couldn't find a list anywhere on the AAHEA website of the institutions accredited which seems strange and suspicious to me. I found the history page interesting though. The organization claims to have been founded in 1870. Although it appears from their own history page that they are claiming an organizational ancestory that is not really historically connected past just a couple of years ago. In other words, I could create an organization today and claim the same heritage going back to 1870 with the same apparent veracity. TallMagic (talk) 00:17, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the lineage: This organization states that it is the current incarnation of the American Association for Higher Education. I searched for that organization on Google. My Googling turned up references to that organization, none of them current. I did not do an exhaustive search, but I did not find any indication (other than the AAHEA website) that the American Association for Higher Education had either shut down or transformed itself into the AAHEA. --Orlady (talk) 00:26, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

See "Inquiry Into Higher-Education Group Reveals Odd Connections," Thomas Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education, Monday, August 25, 2008. The URL for the article (may require a subscription) is . From the article:

The American Association for Higher Education and Accreditation began in 1870. Or so says its Web site.

But that claim, along with a number of others, falls apart on close inspection. For example, though it lists a Washington, D.C., location, that address turns out to be a UPS mailbox. Its actual headquarters are in Central Florida.

Most significantly, AAHEA has assumed the identity of a now-defunct organization with a similar name—the American Association for Higher Education. It has even acquired AAHE's old phone number. That comes as an unpleasant surprise to AAHE's former leadership, including Michael B. Goldstein, a higher-education lawyer with the Washington law firm Dow Lohnes, and a former member of AAHE's board. "Some of their activities appear, on their face, to be clearly unacceptable," he said.

What are those activities? AAHEA's Web site says the group is "dedicated to the advancement of higher education." However, its only stated goal for 2008 is dealing with "the problem of bullying in school." Under the heading "Sponsored Programs," a collage of photographs features the twin towers of the World Trade Center in flames, and what appear to be bloody footprints. Beneath it are the words "To be announced."

A Chronicle investigation has raised questions about AAHEA, which advertises itself as both a scholarly research organization and a college accreditor. It has also led to the resignation of Charles Grant, the group's chief executive, after just a week in office.

The apparent operator of AAHEA is D.A. (Doc) Brady. While his name is nowhere to be found on AAHEA's Web site, he is listed in the corporate records for AAHEA, filed with the State of Florida in 2007.

In several interviews and e-mail exchanges, Mr. Brady defended his organization against critics he contends are biased against him. He said he and his colleagues were motivated solely by the personal satisfaction of running AAHEA, not by any monetary considerations. "Not a single person has benefited a nickel out of this thing," said Mr. Brady.

It's not for lack of trying. The association offers annual memberships for $99, and its Web site includes a page for visitors to make donations, ranging from $10 to $1-million (those who give the top amount become honorary presidents of AAHEA). Among the programs in the works, which the money will support, according to the Web site, are safari trips to Africa, online art shows, and a "Learning Course of the month contest."...

Along with its other problems, AAHEA appears to have borrowed material on its Web site without attribution. In June a law firm working for the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training—an accreditor recognized by the Education Department—sent the association a letter demanding that it remove documents it had copied directly from ACCET's Web site. In some cases, the documents still had the continuing education and training group's name in the text.

AAHEA did not respond, according to Roger J. Williams, executive director of ACCET, until this week, when the documents were taken down. In an e-mail message, Mr. Brady wrote that the documents had not been copyrighted and that the material was not taken verbatim.

When informed that Mr. Brady had accused him of unfairly attacking AAHEA, Mr. Williams was unable to suppress his laughter. "I find their indignation surprising, to say the least," he said.

There is considerably more information in the article that I have not quoted.

G-gollin (talk) 00:47, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for supplying that, G-gollin. The Chronicle of Higher Ed does indeed require a subscription.
Meanwhile, I found the archived version of the website of the AAHE, which shut down in mid-2005. This is their FAQ about the closure, archived in March 2005. It is clear from that FAQ that they intended to shut down, not morph into another entity.
AAHEA's website says they are moving to Florida but continuing to use AAHE's mailing address (on Dupont Circle in Washington, DC). Consistent with what the Chronicle article said, they are still advertising the old phone number, too. I ran several reverse directory searches on the phone number. Most services had no listing, but lists four different individual people (all women) with that phone number at a total of 5 different addresses, including the Dupont Circle address as well as other addresses in DC; Arlington, VA; New York City; and Ohio. I found a bunch of directories of education orgs on university and NGO websites that still include AAHE at its old address, and I found one NGO directory that lists AAHEA.[32] I imagine that Mr. Brady (who apparently is the person who removed the AAHEA entry from this Wikipedia list article) is working to get other organizations to accept his claim of being the inheritor of AAHE.
I think the Chronicle article is a good source to cite as substantiation for the list entry, and there may be enough WP:RS information to form a basis for an article about AAHEA (including at least a note about the demise of the AAHE). --Orlady (talk) 01:14, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Just for fun, I also looked up the old AAHE fax number. It belongs to a man on M Street NW in D.C., so apparently AAHEA did not see fit to acquire it. Also, it looks like someone formerly associated with AAHE still controls the AAHE domain name. --Orlady (talk) 01:27, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

Merge Accreditation mill and Category:Unrecognized accreditation associations into this article, as this is just saying the same controversial thing three ways, and review of all three indicates no objective criterion for inclusion that would permit the category to be maintained with WP:NPOV. Proposing discussion only, not inserting templates at this time. There are two problems leading me to propose merge. First, pages on "what it is", "list of examples", and "category of examples" each have their place but are recognized as redundant; this is more so, when most are redlinks or frequent deletion nominees (vitiating the use of category), and when the topic article is shorter than the list intro. Second, the inclusion criteria are very mystifying to me, someone new to this field, and they are potentially POV. Perhaps the editors who watchlist these articles can clear up the criteria for me sufficiently that one could hold that a separate category could be maintained without the long sourcing wars evident on this talk. If clear criteria were established it would help argue in favor of the category's continued existence (though probably not the brief topic article using the potentially derogatory name "accreditation mill"). Here are the criteria as of today, and my reasons for suspecting WP:WEASEL words:

Topic: an educational accreditation organization with low standards and without recognition from government and mainstream academia. Who decides low standards? Who decides mainstream? What form of recognition?
List: have been identified as accreditors of higher education institutions, but that lack necessary legal authority or government recognition to provide such educational accreditation. Who identified? What legal authority or government recognition is necessary? Why is it necessary?
Category: not recognized by a legitimate accreditation body of a sovereign state or a subnational entity with legitimate powers to accredit educational institutions. Who decides legitimacy? Why does this category include institution(s) which allege legitimate accreditation by union-state powers? If they are counted as accreditors, why must they also be accredited by another? Who accredits the accreditors?

And this is just the first sentence of each. The running narrative continues in the same establishment cant in such a way as to bemuse totally anyone who tries to discern the inclusion criteria. As near as possible, the criteria seem to me to be "the institution got on one or another list made by diploma mill watchers, presumably for cause"; and I am uncertain about the neutrality of all involved here (watchers, government, academia, and unaffiliated accreditors). In short, even the titles of these pages are suspect, and have similarly been questioned above by such users as JzG and JJay. Sympathetic editor Orlady even said on Talk:Accreditation mill that "article focus is not sufficiently clear". Since this situation seems akin to sovereigns disputing over gray areas without any agreement on jurisdiction (i.e. tribal/patriotic edit wars), I really suspect that a suggestion of Orlady's might be more objective, namely, limiting inclusion criteria to objective data like accreditors accrediting only one organization, or accreditors charging a low flat fee (with the maximum for "low" being somewhat arbitrary, but clearly stated and sourced). Without going into all the other data I discovered over the last 24 hours, can anyone tell me unequivocally how this could possibly be an NPOV list with objective inclusion criteria as it stands, and why such redundancy is manifestly appropriate? JJB 18:51, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Seeing no objection all this time, I'm going ahead with merging. There was only one talk section at Talk:Accreditation mill besides the merger proposal, as follows: JJB 04:20, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
OK, so now UNESCO is on a list that one gets to by typing in accreditation mill, there has be a better way to get an article on this subject. For a sufficiently high amount of money, there is no reason why an accreditation mill can't also be in the list of recognized higher education accreditation organizations for a particular country. JamaUtil (talk) 12:29, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

I have removed the speedy deletion tag from the category and am implacably opposed to that aspect of the merge. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 12:35, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

And I have restored the article Accreditation mill and its talk page. The user who proposed the merger never so much as placed a merge template on that article or this one, which pretty well explains why no one ever bothered to comment on the proposal. Additionally, although the user described his action as a merger, in fact he deleted the article by replacing the content with a redirect. At best, this was disingenuous. --Orlady (talk) 20:01, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
And about 60 other undos, thank you. Since you edited this page repeatedly and didn't comment on the proposal, I hardly think lack of template was the reason. Your other false statement was your implying this was a deletion; rather, I merged every sourced statement in the other article, in perfect accord with WP:V (the diff is left as an exercise to the reader). There are several ways to handle your aggressive actions. I have taken the route of choosing to be offended, not one I travel down very often. Orlady's one route to addressing my offense is to answer the question I pose here. Since Orlady does not appear to understand the meaning of WP:SILENCE, I must add that, when I return, silence on this sourcing question will be taken as an indication there are no real sources or links to answer the question and the list has no real inclusion criteria, as I stated in my above suspicions last year. Such an indication will leave me free to organize the topic area around the sources I can bring to the discussion. Thank you for your attention, I am done in this thread. JJB 23:44, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I did make several edits to this talk page since you posted your merge proposal there. You posted the merge proposal on 24 March 2009; the very next comment on this talk page (in a thread that I responded to a few days later) was 18 monthsl later, on 5 October 2010. If I noticed your "merge proposal" comment back in October, I probably assumed it was long since abandoned -- if it had been a serious proposal, I would have expected to see merge templates on the affected pages. The resounding opposition that your category deletion proposal has received at CFD should indicate that you do not now have consensus for that particular proposal, regardless of the fact that no one ever responded to your talk page message. As for my 60 undos, most of them are related to reverting your out-of-process deletion of Accreditation mill, which was the kind of action that many Wikipedians would have taken to WP:ANI; I simply reverted the changes, but if you want to accuse me of some sort of malfeasance, I'm fully prepared to document what you have done wrong here. --Orlady (talk) 00:38, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Now it's on to your "sourcing" issue. As near as I can determine, you don't trust sources that are associated with U.S. federal and state government because you question the validity of a government role in oversight of higher education, you don't trust anything written by Messrs. Bear and Levicoff (regardless of who published it) because you believe they have self-serving motives, and you don't trust anyone (other than possibly yourself) who has ever contributed to these articles because you assume we have ulterior motives. Suffice it to say that I cannot expect to engage in a productive discussion with you if those are your starting premises. Your 24 March 2009 comment indicates that you had discovered a lot of "data" in the last 24 hours, but since you haven't shared your "data," I can't begin to discuss it with you. --Orlady (talk) 00:38, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
WP:SILENCE being an essay, other editors are free to reject it as entirely irrelevant. Editing on this and related pages can now proceed according to the actual policy of WP:CONSENSUS. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 08:40, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Article focus is not sufficiently clear[edit]

[Content copied here from Talk:Accreditation mill -- This content was NOT about this article]

KatiaRoma's recent edit summaries caused me to say "DOH!!! This article is supposed to be about fraudulent 'accreditors,' but as written it's mostly about 'unrecognized' accreditors, which are totally different." We need to find some good sources that will provide a basis for talking about proven or alleged accreditation mills and bogus accreditors (such as International Accreditation Agency for Online Universities, Association of Distance Learning Programs, Distance Learning Council of Europe, and World Association of Universities and Colleges) without sweeping into the same net (1) accreditors that are merely unrecognized, such as National Association of Private Nontraditional Schools and Colleges, and (2) "accreditors" that provide certification of religious doctrinal purity, but not of educational quality or effectiveness.

One attribute of some "accreditation mills" that can be discussed (with cited sources) is that they accredit just one institution and are located at the same mailing address as that institution. Another accreditation mill attribute that could be discussed in the article is that agencies that charge a small flat fee for accreditation (such as Association of Christian Colleges and Theological Schools) cannot possibly be performing the type of thorough review conducted by the recognized accreditors. What else should be in this article? --Orlady 23:43, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, good points you make. Another one that charges a flat fee is the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions (AATI) (in Rocky Mount, North Carolina). They would gladly accredit the institution I currently direct, but we have not taken them up on the offer. Hee hee. If we did, we'd suddenly be "accredited" and that would mean you'd have to take us off the list of unaccredit institutions, eh? That comes back around to the many differences between "recognized" accrediting agencies, unrecognized (who decides what "recognition" means? And recognition by whom constitutes "recognition"?) known accrediting mills, self-created accrediting agencies, and other manifestations of accrediting agencies. A whole 'nother kettle of fish -- just like religious schools vs. academic. Don't get me started. But here we go now with the difference between religious accreditors and those claiming to be academic accreditors, the immense difference between the religious educational community and academia. Yikes. --KatiaRoma 09:38, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I agree with Orlady that the focus is unclear! See below and discuss there. JJB 18:52, 24 March 2009 (UTC)