Chancellor Jerry Falwell announced on Wednesday that Liberty University has received Level VI accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). This is the highest classification from SACS and is reserved for colleges and universities that offer four or more doctoral degrees.
“Our accreditation is now at the same level as Harvard’s and Yale’s,” he said.
Liberty University was first accredited by SACS in 1980. The university currently offers a Doctor of Education, a Ph.D. in Counseling and two doctoral degrees through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary: the Doctor of Ministry and the new Ph.D. in Theology and Apologetics, the latter of which underwent a review in March by a committee appointed by the Commission on Colleges of SACS.
Dr. Boyd Rist, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said during the on-campus review in the spring, the team examined all aspects of the new Ph.D. program and also reviewed assessment and research components of other university graduate programs. He said SACS representatives “complimented Liberty University on establishing the program, and for the quality of the Ph.D. faculty.” The university in turn responded to a small number of recommendations SACS officials made and awaited word of the Level VI classification, which came following SACS’ annual meeting in Atlanta earlier this week.