Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary Achieves Preaccreditation
On February 19, 2019, the Commission on Accreditation advanced the Seminary to Candidate for Accreditation, the equivalent, in the terminology of the US Department of Education, of preaccreditation.
On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education advanced the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary from Applicant for Accreditation to Candidate for Accreditation, the equivalent, in the terminology of the United States Department of Education, of preaccreditation. This occurred in the context of the Association for Biblical Higher Education’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. The Commission on Accreditation appointed a five-member evaluation team, accompanied by a staff representative of the Commission on Accreditation and an independent observer from the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, to visit the Seminary for three days in September of last year, and it was based on the findings of this evaluation team that the Commission on Accreditation made its decision. Both the Most Reverend Bishop Dr. Auxentios of Etna and Portland, the Rector of the Seminary, and the Very Reverend Archimandrite Father Dr. Patapios, the Dean of the Seminary, were originally scheduled to be present at the Annual Meeting, but the sudden repose of the Most Reverend Metropolitan Dr. Chrysostomos of Etna on February 16 prevented Bishop Auxentios from attending as planned; Father Patapios therefore acted as the Seminary’s sole representative.
Dr. Kevin Hester, Vice-Chair of the Commission on Accreditation, announced the decision of the Commission to “grant candidate status to Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary (CA) until 2024 in light of the Commission on Accreditation’s judgment that the institution adequately complies with ABHE’s Institutional Accreditation Standards, including documentation of the appropriateness, rigor, and achievement of its stated student learning outcomes and all other Title IV eligibility requirements, and demonstrates sufficient progress to achieve initial accreditation within a maximum of five years.” We note, with reverent awe at the unfathomable Providence of God, that the very day the Seminary achieved preaccreditation was, according to the Church Calendar, the Feast Day of Saint Photios the Great, the Patron of the Seminary, and that the decision itself was communicated to Father Patapios at the very hour during which Bishop Auxentios was conducting the funeral of Metropolitan Chrysostomos, the spiritual Father of the Seminary, at the Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery in Etna, California.