Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary
Trinity COTBATS seal.png
MottoAnd the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses; the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (II Timothy 2:2, KJV)
TypeUnaccredited Private, Seminary
PresidentBraxton Hunter
Location, ,
37°58′23″N 87°23′38″W / 37.973094°N 87.393933°W / 37.973094; -87.393933Coordinates: 37°58′23″N 87°23′38″W / 37.973094°N 87.393933°W / 37.973094; -87.393933
CoursesIndependent Study, Online Course, Webinar/Seminar
ColorsRoyal Blue and Silver Gray
Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary logo.JPG

Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary, also known as Trinity College of the Bible, is a conservative evangelical Bible college and seminary located near Evansville, Indiana. Trinity offers distance education programs at undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree levels for self-directed adult learners. Programs include Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate (D.Min., D.R.S., and Ph.D.) studies.[1] In 2006, Trinity claimed more than 7,000 active students worldwide.[2]


In April 1969, John D. Brooke founded Trinity College and Theological Seminary and in mid-1978, Trinity moved to metropolitan Evansville, Indiana, and changed its focus from offering traditional on-campus degree programs to its current emphasis on distance education, providing undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate courses for self-directed adult learners. Trinity offers various distance education learning formats and delivery systems, such as self-paced independent study courses, online courses, webinars, and face-to-face seminars on-campus and at other locations in the United States.[3] In 1981, the school relocated to Newburgh and currently has a nine-building campus.

As of 2013, Trinity also lists about 70 faculty.[4]


Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary is authorized and approved to grant degrees in the State of Indiana under Article I, Sections 2, 3, and 4, of the Indiana State Constitution and is recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization as stated in the Internal Revenue Service letter of determination dated February 24, 1970.

In January 1992, Trinity achieved accreditation with the National Association of Private Nontraditional Schools and Colleges,[5] a now defunct organization that is not recognized as an accreditor by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.[6] As such, its degrees and credits might not be acceptable to employers or other institutions, and use of degree titles may be restricted or illegal in some jurisdictions.[7] Students who attend institutions of higher education that are accredited through associations not recognized by the US Department of Education do not qualify for Title IV funding (Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, etc.).[8]

Prior to 2002, Trinity pursued endorsement of its courses with the University of Liverpool.[9] The university did endorse theological courses, and students paid an additional fee for the inclusion. Also, theological programs like counseling were placed in the Faculty of the Arts Program, and it was noted on the University of Liverpool's website at that time. In 2002, Liverpool decided to “transfer the accreditation role to a theologically orientated institution” after consultation with the QAA. The QAA oversees the Academic Infrastructure of institutions, which includes frameworks for higher education qualifications, code of practice, subject benchmark statements, and program specifications.[9][10] When they did decide to transfer the candidacy, students who enrolled prior to 2002 were allowed to finish under the University of Liverpool's "accreditation" logo. In time, the language changed from "accreditation" to endorsement".

In 2004, Trinity was granted candidacy status with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The institution provided a self-study report, hosted a team of North Central Association evaluators for a site visit, and expected a second campus visit in autumn 2006.[2] However, Trinity resigned from candidacy status effective October 20, 2006.[11] This choice was made after the HLC continually went back and forth on Trinity, costing multiple thousands of dollars each year. Initially, the reason for being denied accreditation was for course work that was "too challenging", but ultimately Trinity did not have enough "financial stability reserve."

From 2002 to 2007, Canterbury Christ Church University, whose Chancellor is the Archbishop of Canterbury,[12] endorsed courses and programmes offered by Trinity.[9] The endorsed courses and programmes were subject to the university’s "academic and quality-assurance processes"[13] Students did not receive its degrees or awards, however degrees earned during this time and in this program displayed the seals of both schools on them.[9]

In August 2007, Trinity received support for set courses and programs by the University of Wales. Validation with the university is awarded to an institution developing and delivering a programme of study equivalent to the quality and standard followed by the university.[14] The validation made it possible for Trinity to offer degrees from the University of Wales—rather than from Trinity itself—up to the graduate level. To be awarded validation, Trinity was required to document and satisfy all quality assurance standards as outlined by the university, which includes QAA national standards related to the framework for higher education qualifications, program specifications, subject benchmark statements, and code of practice. A validation site visit of Trinity by a panel of assessors appointed by the university was also required for Trinity to demonstrate evidence of the attainment of said standards.[15]

At the time of validation in 2007, there was no requirement for the university to work only with accredited institutions.[16] However, in July 2008 the QAA advised U.K. institutions they should not form collaborative relationships with institutions not accredited in their home country.[9] This prompted the university to begin to question their collaborative relationship with Trinity. Although Trinity successfully completed the validation process in order to achieve validation, in November 2008 the university cut ties with Trinity.[16]

In 2008, Trinity applied for accreditation with the Distance Education Training Council (DETC), which is recognized by the CHEA and the USDE. On October 7, 2011, DETC denied initial accreditation to Trinity citing Trinity's "failure to demonstrate compliance with Standard IX (Financial Responsibility)" as the reason for DETC's denial.[17] Trinity did not appeal DETC's decision, but Trinity disagreed with the DETC commissioners' decision, noting the demonstrated confidence of Trinity's banking institution. Trinity's comments also noted that Trinity had complied with all other requirements, including all academic standards, for DETC accreditation and that Trinity would continue seeking accreditation.[17]

Though Trinity is not affiliated (accredited) with any regional or national accrediting agency they have operated, successfully, as a school of ministry for over 50 years with students graduating and serving in a variety of areas including teaching, preaching, missions, and counseling. Trinity clearly understands the purpose of accreditation. However, as noted by the US Department of Education, and all US DOE recognized accreditors, accreditation is a voluntary process.

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Trinity Degree Programs
  2. ^ a b Susan Orr, Raising its sights: Newburgh's Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary aiming higher, Evansville Courier & Press, July 1, 2006.
  3. ^ Trinity Delivery Systems Archived 2010-02-05 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Trinity Faculty
  5. ^ "Creationist speaker 'loose about the facts'". National Association of Private Nontraditional Schools and Colleges. November 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  6. ^ Bear, John; Bear, Mariah P. (2002). Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning (15th (revised) ed.). p. 57. ISBN 978-1580084314.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  7. ^ Accrediting Agencies Recognized by the US Department of Education
  8. ^ College Accreditation in the United States - TOC
  9. ^ a b c d e Wales Spurns QAA Advice
  10. ^ QAA Academic Standards and Quality Archived 2010-02-18 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Higher Learning Commission Institution Directory - Trinity
  12. ^ Canterbury Christ Church University
  13. ^ Canterbury Collaborative Provision Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Information About Validation Archived 2010-01-20 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Validation Unit Quality Handbook - Contents
  16. ^ a b BBC News | UK | Wales Uni’s US College Link Damaging 21 November 2008
  17. ^ a b DETC Web Site: accessed November 9, 2011

External links[edit]