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Association for Biblical Higher Education Grants Accreditation to Orange Park-based Graduate School

by Staff
March 15, 2010
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ORANGE PARK, Fla., ( -- The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies (IWS) here has been granted Accredited Status by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). IWS is the only higher education school in North America focused exclusively on training church leaders through graduate level worship education.

Accreditation is a process by which an institution evaluates its educational activities and seeks an independent judgment to confirm that it achieves its mission and goals and is generally equal in quality to comparable institutions.

"This is a significant and critical threshold for the Institute," says IWS President James R. Hart, DWS. "It represents an independent organization's affirmation of the quality of an IWS education, and its integrity in carrying out its mission and goals."

Well-known theologian Robert Webber founded the Institute in 1999 with the purpose of training leaders in the biblical, theological and historical foundations of Christian worship. The Institute began its accreditation process in 2005. Full accreditation was granted by ABHE on February 17.

"Achieving this step was a high priority for Robert Webber," said Hart of the Institute's late founder. "From the beginning days of IWS it was his dream for this school to be accredited. ABHE has provided a supportive and focused accreditation process that helps IWS maximize its educational impact."

The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies offers the Doctor of Worship Studies and the Masters of Worship Studies degree programs, using a unique mix of in-class instruction on its Florida campus near Jacksonville and distance learning. More than 400 students from over 40 denominations in the U.S., Canada and eleven other countries have matriculated at IWS since its founding in 1999.

ABHE is an agency comprised of approximately 200 postsecondary institutions throughout North America specializing in biblical ministry formation and professional leadership education. It is an officially recognized national accrediting association by the U.S. Department of Education and is an officially recognized faith-based accrediting agency by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. ABHE is also part of a global network that relates to regional or continental higher educational agencies through the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education.

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