November 13, 2002

PHC Receives Preaccreditation

Patrick Henry College was informed today that it has received preaccreditation by the American Academy for Liberal Education. The board of AALE granted the College this status at its November 2nd meeting. This status is the required first step on the standard path of official sanction for new institutions.

AALE had rejected PHC’s application because of its views on creationism last April. That denial led to an administrative appeal before an outside panel of college administrators selected by AALE.

The appellate panel reversed the initial denial and remanded the decision to the AALE Board for reconsideration. The panel rejected the view that a college that teaches creationism fails to adequately teach the sciences. But the appellate panel left open the question of whether Patrick Henry allows full discussion of alternative views of origins.

PHC has contended from the beginning that it allows and welcomes full discussion of opposing views while ultimately teaching that six-day creationism is the truth.

The PHC Board of Trustees amended its Statement of Biblical Worldview to clarify that the college truly intends for all viewpoints to be discussed adequately. PHC did not amend its statements regarding its affirmation of the truth of six-day creationism.

The AALE Board of Trustees cited this clarification in granting preaccreditation.

"We are thankful that we were able to work this out with AALE. We have always believed that it is possible to be strongly committed to the truth of God's Word and yet be open for discussion in the tradition of classical liberal education," Michael Farris, President of Patrick Henry College, said today.

"We are very heartened by the action of AALE and look forward to working with them in the future," Farris added.