Article VI – CRITERIA OF MEMBERSHIP STANDARDS REQUIRED FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BIBLE COLLEGES AND SEMINARIES
The main purpose of an association is for the purpose of setting up and maintaining acceptable academic standards and securing
recognition of those standards. Therefore, standards in curricula, faculty, and administration, as well as doctrine, must be considered.
Standards for membership shall be subject to revision and change as process warrants.
Section 1. Legal Constitution
All institutes must be legally established as non-profit institutions and be so operated.
Section 2. The Objectives
- The institutions should have clearly defined objectives and purposes for the institution as a whole and for each educational
department or program. It is only by this means that an institution can be correctly evaluated. These objectives should be consistently carried out in its program.
- Some institutional objectives should be as follows
- To develop a vital Christian experience and a mature, wholesome personality.
- To give each student a comprehensive knowledge of the Bible and an understanding of the Christian faith.
- To broaden the general education of the student as a Christian citizen and Christian worker.
- To arouse a keen realization of his responsibility to present Christ to a lost world.
- To prepare students to serve in some sphere of Christian service.
- To develop the abilities of the student to express the message of God by word and life.
- To foster Christian culture in terms of refinement and social attitudes and skills.
Section 3. Doctrine Standards
- All institutions holding membership in this association shall officially subscribe in writing annually to the Doctrinal Statement set forth in the Constitution of this association.
Section 4. Standards-based Program of Education
- A common course numbering system should exist
- 100 – 400 undergraduate courses
- 500 – 800 graduate/post-graduate courses (includes M.Div. & D. Min. programs)
- 900 – 1000 advanced post-graduate courses
- Two basic types of programs would be represented in the Association:
- Church-based programs
- Independent (not connected to a church’s ministry)
- Degrees should not include Arts or Science nomenclature without the general education component, the approval of the institution’s State Department of Education or its equivalent and a religious modifier; consider the following examples:
- Without “Arts” or “Science”: “Bachelor of Biblical Studies”
- With approval for “Arts” and “Science”: “Bachelor of Religious Arts” or “Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies.”
- Specific program outlines need to be developed based on structure (the following are only examples); suggested program hours with courses consisting of either general education, core, or elective dependent on level:
1. One-year program:
- 30 semester hours
- 48 quarter hours (1.6 quarter hours = 1 semester hour)
2. Two-year program: Associate of…..
- 60 semester hours
- 96 quarter hours
3. Third-year program: Diploma of…..
- 90 semester hours
- 144 quarter hours
4. Fourth-year program: Bachelor of…..
- 120 semester hours
- 182 quarter hours
5. Graduate Level programs have some flexibility:
- MCC, MTS, M.Min. = 36 semester hours
- Theology (Th.M.) = 48 – 60 semester hours
- M.Div. = 90 semester hours (one exception is military chaplaincy which approves 72 semester hours)
6. Suggested post-graduate program hours (continued):
A) With M.Div. or Th.M. = 36 semester hours
B) Without = 60 semester hours
- Th.D. = 60 semester hours
- Ph.D. with D.Min. or Th.D. = 30 semester hours
Section 5. Entrance Requirements
The institution should have clear statements as to its requirements for admission. For undergraduate admissions there should be the requirement of a high school diploma, or its equivalent. For graduate admissions there should be the requirement of a baccalaureate degree.
For post-graduate admissions there should be the requirement of a master’s degree.
Section 6. Transfer of Credits
The prescribed policy is:
- From regionally or nationally accredited institutions recognized by the United States department of Education and from certified
members of IABCS. Credits may be accepted for relevant subjects or on the basis of equivalency for work of “C” grade or higher at the
undergraduate level and work of “B” grade or higher at the graduate and post-graduate levels.
- From candidates and associate members of IABCS or non-accredited institutions. Credits should be accepted on the basis of
validation. Credits should be accepted on the basis of validated by examinations or a period of probationary study.
Section 7. Graduation Awards
- Institutions offering a two-year course of study shall award an associate degree.
- Institutions offering a three-year course of study shall award a diploma.
- Institutions offering a four-year course of study above high school may award the baccalaureate degree, when so authorized by law or provided for in their charter.
- Institutions offering graduate programs may award masters or doctorate degrees, when so authorized by law or provided for in their charter.
- Faculty The faculty should be persons of mature Christian character who have professional skill in teaching and thorough preparation in their teaching fields.
- Each faculty member should be in accord with the institution’s doctrinal standards, its moral standards, and its academic principles.
- Each faculty member teaching in a Bible college should have at least a baccalaureate degree. Those teaching in the seminary should have at least a Master’s degree for teaching the major required subjects. It would be to the credit of the institution for their teachers to have or at least be working toward a doctorate in their major field.
- A faculty member should be selected in agreement with sound ethical practices. Before selection, it should be made clear to the person being appointed the institution’s religious beliefs and practices, its ethical standards and rules, so that the faculty can be in full accord with and enthusiastic about the purpose of the institution.
- Information Resource Center (IRC) All institutions, members of this Association, shall maintain an adequate IRC, properly cataloged, adapted to the needs of the students pursuing the regular course taught. These information resources should be in a separate room from classrooms, with accessible chairs and tables for quiet and study.
- The IRC should be included in the budget and all money collected as fees and allocated to the IRC should be spent in the maintenance and improvement of the IRC. A number of periodicals related to the fields of study should be received regularly and made available to the students through the IRC.
- A qualified director should be responsible for maintaining the IRC.
Section 10. Administrative Control
Administrative lines of authority and areas of responsibility should be defined.
- Board of Control
- All member institutions should operate under management of responsible trustees, directors, or board members in accordance approved administrative and business practices. All such members should be of approved Christian character and with sound business judgment.
- he main purpose of the Board of Directors, or Trustees, should be to carry out, as representatives, the purposes of the institution as indicated by its founders, benefactors, alumni, and in the case of a denominational institution, that of the sponsoring denomination.
- Its relation to the President should be to exercise its control through the President, who is the executive officer of the institution. It is
the duty of the board to select and, when necessary, replace a President. Then it is their duty to support, encourage, and work through him.
- Its financial function is to conserve and develop financial resources. They are the legal custodians of the property and are responsible for the maintenance of the plant. They manage investment, authorize budgets, and raise funds, individually and collectively. However, members of the board have no power as individuals to make decisions affecting the institution, except as that right has been assigned to them.
- Administrative Officers might include:
- President, who has overall supervision and gives leadership and executive direction to the institution as a whole.
- Academic Dean, who gives leadership to the educational program as a whole, including the curriculum, the faculty and the students.
- Registrar, who registers students, maintains scholastic reports, issues transcripts, analyzes and reports registrations to proper officials, complies grade distributions, certifies students for graduation, makes semester annual reports, and files and preserves
records of all former students.
- A Business Manager may be appointed and be under the general supervision of the President, whose duties may be purchasing,
collecting, payment of bills and accounts, preparation of financial reports, bookkeeping, and supervision of financial student activities. However, the functions of handling cash receipts, control of the ledger, bank reconciliation, purchasing and procurement and disbursement should be distributed among individuals, so that such functions may be subject to review and checked by another person. This is only fair to the person on whom this responsibility rests.
- Records and Report
Sound administration requires careful keeping of records and reporting of operations. There should be:
- Minutes of all board and faculty meetings.
- Careful preservation of all records, reports and minutes.
- All institutions must provide secure fireproof protection for all scholastic records.
Section 11. Finances and Resources
This Association shall not seek to enforce any standards, plans, or practices in the matters of finance and resources, except to the end that true Christian stewardship should be followed, which we believe will include the following:
- That a sound financial plan suitable to the particular institution be followed.
- That all business of the institution be in harmony with the highest standards of Christian ethics.
- Proper receipting for all contributions should be issued and complete record kept of all business transactions.
- That obligations be met as promptly as humanly possible.
- That funds be used for the purposes for which they were raised or contributed, and that no unwholesome methods of fund-raising are used.
- A clear definition of refund procedures should be published by the institution in its official documents.
Section 12. Stability
A diploma or degree is as good, and only as good as the institution by which it is granted; therefore, all member institutions shall give
evidence of stability, by continuing operation and ability to follow its regular advertised courses and curricula.