Accreditation & Certification

Association of Christian Schools International / ACSI / Accreditation & Certification

Accreditation with ACSI engages schools in a vigorous, holistic process of organizational appraisal and improvement that engages every school constituent. Our program is a highly regarded Christian program for member schools. We have partnerships with all of the U.S. regional accreditation agencies and offer joint accreditation with numerous accrediting organizations.

Every step in our accreditation process is designed to be useful for driving improvement in private schools. If you are striving for excellence based on a solid Christian philosophy of education, consider exploring our program.



The purpose of ACSI Certification is to strengthen Christian schools by credentialing educators who meet established professional and biblical requirements. ACSI Certification promotes continued professional learning and increased effectiveness. Establishing and maintaining the certification of staff and administration is an essential step toward professional credibility and growth. Education is a process. Just as we encourage our students to grow and become life–long learners, we want to set the same example as their teachers and leaders.

ACSI certification establishes a framework for professional growth to occur over time, just like continuous school improvement.

ACSI Grants Exemplary Accreditation to Four Christian Schools for 2023–2024

May 21, 2024, 11:50 AM by Brittany Steward

The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) is honored to renew the Exemplary Accreditation status of four Christian schools in the U.S. for the 2023–24 academic year. 

The four schools include: Delaware County Christian School (PA); First Presbyterian Day School (GA); Southside Christian School (SC); and The First Academy (FL). 

ACSI Exemplary Accreditation was designed for top-performing schools that are seeking to maintain higher standards for all programs and operations.  

In addition to simply meeting the indicators at an effective or highly effective level, these schools have a demonstrable history of exemplary programs and practices in governance, executive leadership, school viability, student learning, spiritual formation, and overall school culture (a vibrant, Christ-centered ethos among students, faculty, and leadership).  

Dr. John Patterson, Head of School at First Presbyterian Day School, shared how honored he feels to be recognized as one of the 19 ACSI Exemplary Accredited schools.  

“This accomplishment is a testament to the incredible faculty and staff who live out our mission to ‘educate and equip students to change the world for God's glory,” he said. 

ACSI President & CEO, Dr. Larry Taylor, believes these schools are truly paving the way for Christian education to thrive. 

“I am so proud of and impressed by our Exemplary Accredited schools,” he said. “Their commitment to homing in on the areas of their schools that can be pruned to produce even more fruit as they disciple ambassadors for Christ is inspiring. I am looking forward to seeing how these schools and the many more like them who will pursue ACSI Accreditation raise the standards in defining Christ-centered education.” 

Superintendent of Southside Christian School Dr. Sam Barfell shared, “We are thrilled once again to achieve Exemplary Accreditation from ACSI. We consider it a humbling honor to partner with ACSI in seeking excellence as a Christian school in all regards. Although a rigorous process, accreditation is well worth the effort as we seek effectiveness in pursuit of our mission of seeking to partner with Christian parents to educate and disciple students to live a gospel-centered life.”  

ACSI Senior Director of Accreditation and Credentialing Stephen Deck shared why accreditation is meaningful for schools. 

“Accreditation documents that a school is true to its stated mission and helps schools determine their own effectiveness in fulfilling the accreditation standards through a peer-review process that culminates in an action plan for continued improvement,” he said. “Similar to the picture in Jeremiah 17:7-8 of a tree planted by the water sending its roots by the stream, ACSI Accreditation provides a structured process for a school to strengthen its roots, helping the school to flourish.” 

To learn more about Exemplary Accreditation, feel free to review the Exemplary Addendum or reach out to  

About ACSI:   

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, ACSI exists to strengthen Christian schools and equip Christian educators worldwide as they prepare students academically and inspire them to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ. ACSI advances excellence in Christian schools by enhancing the professional and personal development of Christian educators and providing vital support functions for Christian schools through multiple services including teacher and administrator certification, school accreditation, legal/legislative assistance, and curriculum publishing. Serving more than 25,000 schools in 108 countries, ACSI helps more than 5.5 million students worldwide connect to Christian education.