Are We Accredited?

Compliance With State Requirements

As a ministry of Calvary Chapel San Clemente, Calvary Chapel School Of Discipleship is an independent, religious-exempt institution under CEC Section 94302(w)(5), qualifying it to grant degrees in Theology and Biblical Studies. CCSOD confers degrees and awards diplomas and certificates by exemption as a religious institution in the State of California, and operates under the Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009, Education Code (CEC) Section 94874(e)(1-5) of the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).


A school is accredited when it has been investigated and found worthy of approval by an accrediting agency. Accreditation alone (or the lack of it) does not determine whether or not a school is legitimate or credible, since not all accreditation is equal. Some accrediting agencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, but others are not. Also, some schools are based outside of the U.S. and are accredited by standards which differ from those of the recognized agencies in the United States. Prospective students should be aware of these important distinctions.

Calvary Chapel School Of Discipleship is NOT ACCREDITED for three main reasons. First, we are a school of discipleship.  Our primary goal is to disciple students in the Word of God and Practical Christian Ministry.  Second, we wish to have local pastors teach Bible classes. Some of these pastors – although called by God, gifted, and experienced in teaching – do not have formal academic degrees, which accrediting agencies might require but they do have spiritual wisdom to impart. Third, since accreditation can be quite expensive, we want to keep the cost of our education affordable so that more students have the opportunity to study and remain free from school debt. But though we have chosen to remain unaccredited, we seek to demonstrate the credibility of our college through compliance with generally accepted accreditation standards, through articulation agreements with other accredited colleges, and especially through the spiritually fruitful lives of our students.

Many opportunities are available for students who are called to pursue education beyond CCSOD, even though academic degrees are not the main goal of our program. Although we are not accredited by a government-recognized accrediting agency, we do have agreements with Horizon University, Calvary Chapel Golden Springs Bible College, Calvary Chapel University and Calvary Chapel Chino Valley School Of Discipleship.  Horizon University and Calvary Chapel University are accredited institutions and our agreement with them allows our classes to be applied towards a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. If you have specific questions about transferability of credits, please contact the Registrar at Horizon University at (800) 533-4674 or Calvary Chapel University at (954) 453-9228.