Classical Christian Core

The Leader in Classical Christian Accreditation



Regents School of Austin, TX

Promoting Standards of

We combine traditional method-neutral accreditation with classical academic standards. This results in both accreditation and diploma authorization.

Preserving the Classical

We accredit all four generations of classical Christian schools, and certify teachers, with standards flexible enough to encompass all classical Christian principles.

Pursuing Christ and
His Kingdom

We help schools remain steadfast, uncompromising, and Christ centered.

Why Should My School Seek ACCS Accreditation?

The ACCS offers the only widely recognized and accepted accreditation specifically designed for classical Christian schools.

Different Schools, Foundational Standards

We emphasize the foundational principles of classical Christian education. Our standards refer to classical methods, Christian commitment, and organizational stability. We recognize schools that serve k-6, k-8, 7-12, 9-12, and of course, k-12, and we help schools from all four generations of classical Christian education to improve.

Qualified Diplomas for Graduates

ACCS Accreditation, for k-12 schools, comes with ACCS Diploma Authorization.

Stamp of Approval for Parents and Colleges

Knowing that their child’s school has met outside standards is an encouragement to parents.  Many parents and colleges seek ACCS accreditation. Some colleges offer exclusive scholarships to ACCS alumni.

Teacher Certification

Open a path of growth for your teachers through teacher certification.

Find Out More

Learn from headmasters of accredited schools why they chose ACCS, and how it has improved their schools.

Listen to a headmaster whose school recently received recognition as an ACCS-accredited school.

Accreditation Process

Through a process of self-study and onsite visits, we verify the classical nature of the school’s teaching so that it meets a foundational set of requirements.

If you are an ACCS member school, you may submit an application for candidacy status for ACCS accreditation. The application, application instructions, and accreditation details are contained in the Accreditation Handbook.

☩ Some of the benefits of the accreditation process are the improvements schools make during the initial stage as they prepare documentation to demonstrate compliance.

☩ If you would like more detail about accreditation, see the ACCS Accreditation Standards or contact Tom Spencer, the Director of Accreditation.

Students take Test at Classical Christian School

Candidacy is a Partnership

When your school is accepted to Candidate status you gain a partner who is committed to helping your school improve. We will work together to ensure you are prepared for each step of the accreditation process.

Step 1: Apply to Become an Accreditation Candidate

Prerequisite: Active ACCS Membership

To start the application process, request the Accreditation Handbook.

Here you’ll find the application and the details you need to know to successfully complete the process.

Step 2: Host a Previsit

Prerequisite: Approved Candidate for Accreditation

Once approved as a candidate for ACCS accreditation, schools schedule a one-day site visit with the ACCS director of accreditation.

Step 3: Complete Your Self Study

Prerequisite: Approved Candidate for Accreditation

Candidate schools receive instruction helpful to complete their self-study. Schools have up to one year to complete the self-study.

Step 4: Host an Accreditation Committee Visit

Prerequisite: Self-study has been reviewed and approved

This two-day, on-site review by three experienced Heads of School includes classroom visits and interviews with students, faculty, administration and board.

Step 5: Decision on Accreditation

Prerequisite: Draft accreditation report reviewed by school

An ad-hoc committee will review the draft accreditation report and school’s response to the report. Initial accreditation may be awarded for up to two years.

Accreditation Standards

ACCS accreditation measures the consistent implementation of a classical Christian philosophy of education throughout the entire school organization, including:

  • Student participation, conduct, and development.
  • Staff training.
  • Parent-teacher relations.
  • Operational and financial policies.
  • Community support.
  • The overall spiritual demeanor in the school classrooms.
  • The integration of Scripture throughout their school’s curricula.
  • Conformity with classical Christian methods in their classrooms.
  • School board oversight to classroom pedagogy.

The Standards for the ACCS accreditation program are available to all. The Accreditation Handbook, which contains all of the information necessary for schools deciding whether or not to seek accreditation, is available by request.

Note: This standards document is excerpted from the complete Accreditation Handbook. Page numbers in the standards document reflect the pages excerpted from the complete handbook. The standards document contains only the standards for accreditation. It does not contain the application for school accreditation or other materials required for ACCS school accreditation. Request the complete Accreditation Handbook for these materials.

Diploma Authorization

ACCS Accreditation for k-12 schools comes with ACCS Diploma Authorization.

Conventional accreditors look only at operational conformance to the school’s documented form. They do not specify a program of study. The ACCS is one of a few accreditors that also specify an educational form– classical Christian education.

When parents choose an ACCS Accredited school, they are assured that the school meets certain standards of excellence for their operational practices and that the school graduates students who have completed a classical Christian course of study.

As with other schools that practice a particular academic form–International Baccalaureate, Accelerated Christian Education, Waldorf, or Montessori schools for example–another qualification is necessary. In the case of the ACCS, we use diploma authorization to help parents and colleges know that we have reviewed the school’s classical Christian program and classrooms and we found them to meet classical Christian standards. Once accredited, ACCS schools offer diplomas that are authorized to bear the seal “The ACCS authorizes this diploma under our standards for a Classical Christian course of study.”

Note: We also refer to accredited schools to collect data and research for studies like The Good Soil.

Teacher Certification

Available only for ACCS-accredited schools

Teacher certification should verify the presence of demonstrable philosophical understanding and competent teaching skills in the one certified. ACCS Teacher Certification is established to enable teachers to attain the highest level of classical Christian instruction under the supervision of their school’s administrator, while providing a long-term independent record of that accomplishment with ACCS, as well as a certificate of achievement for each level of proficiency attained.

Schools can add certified teachers to the database and receive certificates on the Member Resource Center (MRC).

For more information about ACCS Accreditation, contact the
Director of Accreditation.

A Path Forward for All Generations of Classical Christian Schools

Several years ago, David Goodwin, President of the ACCS, chronicled four “generations” of classical Christian schools in the article “A Short History of Classical Christian Education’s Recovery.” This brief history was later included in the forward of the popular book, “The Liberal Arts Tradition.”

The classical Christian movement is unique from other schools. As an accreditor of those schools, it is important that we understand this history, and have a plan and vision to work with schools where they are–whether schools have chosen a particular type of classical Christian model by choice and design, or whether they would like to make changes but have obstacles to overcome.

The ACCS was there to help build a path forward for our first schools, and we are committed to building as many pathways as necessary to enable Christian parents to join us in the renewal of classical Christian education.

Read “A Short History of Classical Christian Education’s Recovery.”

Established Associations

For 2015-2016, the National Center for Education Statistics published the the “Number of private schools, students and teachers (headcount), by school membership in private school associations.” We find this list valuable for showing which organizations have stood the test of time.

See the original PDF.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does the accreditation process take?

The length is somewhat dependent on the school. Typically, the entire process requires 18 months. On average, schools need one calendar year to complete the self-study. However, if the school can complete the self-study in less than one year, it is possible to complete the entire accreditation process in one academic year.

Q: What is the cost of accreditation?

We encourage the schools to budget $7,000, which should cover all costs during the accreditation process. This includes the first half and second half of the accreditation fee, along with the expenses of a previsit and committee visit.

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:16-17