At its regularly scheduled meeting Dec. 2, 2011, the Bob Jones University Board of Trustees unanimously granted approval for the University to pursue the process of applying for regional accreditation.BJU says in this statement that regional accreditation (a more secular form of accreditation, as distinct from other options available to distinctly religious institutions) is now feasible due to changes in the Southern Association's (SACSCOC) approach to accreditation:
BJU believes these recent changes significantly address past concerns we’ve held about regional accreditation.These do appear to be helpful changes, apparently similar to the approach the North Central Association has practiced for some time. Back in 1993, Maranatha Baptist Bible College achieved regional accreditation with North Central under Arno Weniger's leadership. Weniger came under fire both within the MBBC community and from outside, particularly from the leaders of "sister" institutions. A forum at a 1995 conference brought together Weniger, another president of a regionally accredited institution, and two presidents of institutions that, at the time, resisted all forms of accreditation. (None of these men still fill the roles they did at the time, though some are still on staff at their institutions.)
Here's a bit of what one of those latter two said:
I've decided not to surrender the authority of the Scriptures in that regard. We're going to stay a Bible college; we're going to stay functioning in. That's what we're going to be. Not a half Bible college or maybe a Bible college, but that's what we're going to stay.What's most interesting is that the line of argumentation offered here isn't that the particular approach to accreditation taken by SACSCOC makes regional accreditation objectionable, but that regional accreditation itself constitutes compromise. (This school doesn't even fall under SACSCOC's geographic jurisdiction.) The quotations in part two should make even more clear the perceived compromise in the very essence of regional accreditation.
I think a signed agreement joins me officially in an unequal yoke in that aspect. That is a concern to me. This generation? Maybe not. Those leaders in position now may be no problem at all. "Hey, we're not going to touch you." But what I've done is I've given permission by that joining to perhaps cause some real difficulties later.