Welcome to ACSI Higher Education
Institutions of Christian higher education have a crucial role in training future leaders, educators, and workers for service worldwide. They commendably fill this role and continue to meet the critical need for well-trained, biblically sound teachers, administrators, leaders, and others.
As colleges and universities seek to be effective in preparing young hearts and minds for their vocations, ACSI desires to assist in that process and partner with higher education institutions worldwide. ACSI membership offers Christian colleges and universities
the opportunity to engage their EE–12 colleagues in a variety of settings. ACSI member colleges cooperate in the Distinguished Christian High School Student Program and the Higher Education Accreditation Program.
Higher Education Accreditation Program (HEAP)
The Higher Education Accreditation Program (HEAP) is offered to currently accredited ACSI member Christian liberal arts colleges, universities, and Bible colleges. Colleges and universities seeking to participate in the program must give evidence of a commitment to preparing teachers and administrators to serve in Christian schools and must show they are encouraging their graduates to prayerfully consider serving in Christian schools around the world.
ACSI Leaders, Administrators Engage in Advocacy Opportunities in Nation’s Capital
The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) welcomed more than 30 Christian school administrators from 14 states to its annual National Legislative Conference that took place Sept. 13-15, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
The event, organized by ACSI Director for Government Affairs P. George Tryfiates, provides insight into current legislative issues and trains Christian administrators to engage in advocacy with their elected leaders through sessions led by expert speakers. The conference culminates with opportunities for administrators to meet with their congressional leaders to discuss these issues.
School leaders joined with the ACSI Legal Legislative team to hear from speakers including Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Jim Neill, Policy Advisor in the Office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Mike Farris, President of Alliance Defending Freedom.
ACSI Vice President of Public Policy and General Counsel Stephen Novotny, who oversees ACSI’s Legal & Legislative Issues Department, believes that training Christian school leaders on public policy issues— especially those affecting religious liberties and education— is imperative.
“Our administrators now more than ever can only benefit from joining together in representing and advocating on behalf of Christian education,” he said.
ACSI President Dr. Larry Taylor also spoke at the conference and met with the board of directors of the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) and other D.C.- based advocacy organizations while in the nation’s capital.
ACSI VP of Public Policy and General Counsel Stephen Novotny, ACSI President Dr. Larry Taylor, Jennifer Marshall Patterson, Director of the Institute of Theology and Public Life at Reformed Theological Seminary, and ACSI Director for Government Affairs P. George Tryfiates.
“It’s inspiring to see how ACSI is strengthening and serving our school leaders in the areas of advocacy and public policy,” Taylor shared. “We have prioritized equipping these leaders with the knowledge and understanding they need to be effective in representing Christian education.”
ACSI Board Chair Dr. Jay Ferguson also traveled to Washington and participated on a panel at the Heritage Foundation, discussing issues regarding religious liberties and education. The panel discussion focused on the book, “Religious Liberty and Education: A Case Study of Yeshivas v. New York,” which Ferguson contributed to and ACSI Director of Research Dr. Matthew Lee edited.
“The discussion at the Heritage Foundation was mainly about parents' rights to choose their childrens' education, and religious liberties of individuals and institutions in the K-12 educational context,” Ferguson said. “It’s an important discussion—one that I look forward to continuing in the coming months.”
Other speakers at the National Legislative Conference included Jennifer Marshall Patterson, Director of the Institute of Theology and Public Life at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and Greg Baylor, Senior Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom.
While the next ACSI National Legislative Conference is scheduled to take place in September 2022, the ACSI Legal & Legislative Issues Department will continue to advocate on behalf of Christian education and provide ongoing support to member schools. More conference details will be posted on the ACSI website.