ACSI School Accreditation

NEW Training Videos! Inspire accreditation protocol training is available for schools, chairs, and teams

Association of Christian Schools International / ACSI School Accreditation


ACSI School Accreditation

Early Education through Grade 12




ACSI Inspire Accreditation Overview from ACSI on Vimeo.

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.


Key Benefits of ACSI School Accreditation:

  • Parents seeking the best Christian education for their children know your school is committed to excellence.
  • The ACSI accreditation process employs both a self-study and a peer review to help you evaluate whether your school is fulfilling its mission and meeting standards that are aligned with research.
  • The self-study component provides an opportunity to create a path of continuous improvement for your school.
  • Accredited Christian schools may receive state funding (state laws vary).
  • Students graduating from accredited Christian schools qualify for admission to most colleges and universities, and credits transfer between schools nationally and internationally.

The ACSI Accreditation Process & Timeline

Inspire Accreditation


The Accreditation Process

The ACSI School Accreditation process engages schools in a comprehensive organization-wide appraisal process and outlines areas of improvement. We designed our accreditation process to be a catalyst, driving improvement in private Christian schools so they can truly flourish. Our new and improved ACSI Inspire accreditation protocol is the result of a revision process that took several years and included research, drafting and revision, multiple stages of feedback, and pilot school visits. The new protocol aligns with ACSI's Flourishing Schools research. With Inspire, we are moving away from a 'compliance-based' protocol into a more reflective and collaborative process for schools and visiting teams.

Accreditation Timeline
Recognition & Joint Accreditation


Accreditation by ACSI's internationally recognized program provides Christian schools with access to diverse resources and opportunities. These include professional development programs for staff, eligibility for government funding and grants, enhanced community visibility and credibility, collaboration opportunities with other institutions, and improved recognition of graduates by colleges and employers. Overall, accreditation opens doors to a wide array of benefits that support the growth and success of schools and their students:
  • Approval by the U.S. Department of Education for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), I-20 and I-17 forms
  • Various U.S. state and several national recognitions for credits/athletics
  • Endorsement to administer College Board/ACT exams on the school site
  • Recognition of early education accreditation status in several states, allowing the program to receive higher reimbursement rates for subsidized children

Joint Accreditation

Joint accreditation demonstrates an unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional academic standards, offering wider recognition on a national and international scale. It also facilitates seamless credit transfer, program eligibility and fosters collaborative partnerships with other institutions. 

Regional Agencies


Other Joint Accreditations

ACSI also offers joint accreditation with various other accrediting agencies. Contact your Divisional Accreditation Director to learn more.

National Recognition

ACSI has received full recognition status with NCPSA.


State Agency Recognition

ACSI Accreditation is Recognized by the Following State Agencies:



Various Additional State Recognitions
Exemplary Accreditation

ACSI Exemplary Accredited


Exemplary Accreditation

ACSI Exemplary Accreditation was designed for high-performing schools seeking to be held to higher standards for all programs and operations. To meet the Inspire standards and indicators, schools are expected to effectively demonstrate their adherence to these criteria, including the modified and additional indicators contained within the Exemplary Addendum.

Inspire Exemplary Addendum

In addition to simply meeting the indicators at an effective or highly effective level, Exemplary schools must have a demonstrable history of exemplary programs and practices in governance, executive leadership, school viability, academic instruction, student learning, spiritual formation, and overall school culture defined by a vibrant, Christ-centered ethos among students, faculty, and leadership. Exemplary schools must demonstrate a commitment to ongoing school improvement, evidenced by stakeholder feedback, multiple forms of data, and past accreditation reports to drive successful school improvement initiatives. Schools that are approved for Exemplary status will have an additional annual fee in conjunction with the regular accreditation annual fee. For any additional questions, please contact Jamie Canterbury (Director of Accreditation, USA).

View Exemplary Accredited Schools

Exemplary Accreditation Process

Schools desiring to use the Exemplary Addendum in conjunction with the Inspire process to attain Exemplary Accreditation must first be approved by the Office of Accreditation and Credentialing (this does not apply to schools renewing Exemplary Accreditation). Approval requires:
  1. Submission of the Exemplary accreditation application and fee (which includes the school’s preliminary self-assessment with the addendum components as well as the school’s most recent accreditation visiting team report(s))
  2. Recommendation by the divisional accreditation director for the school to pursue Exemplary accreditation (the Office of Accreditation and Credentialing will obtain this recommendation upon receipt of the application)
  3. A meeting with the Office of Accreditation and Credentialing to review and approve the school’s application

Inspiring Christian Values & Academic Excellence


New Accreditation Inspire Protocol Pilot Visits a Success

The Accreditation team, headed by Stephen Deck, recently completed a revision of their accreditation protocol called Inspire. According to Deck, after several years of working on the standards, indicators, and the ...

Dr. Ruiz reads to students
Defining Success Through Discipleship

Dr. Ruiz has been involved in all points of the school review process and resulting efforts to strengthen a God-focused and Bible-anchored educational journey for the students at Heritage. Throughout her own journey to this role, she has seen God’s hand and provision over the years. “I am blessed to have [been] in many different school settings that would allow me to be equipped for such a time as this,” she shared.