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About Us

The CPCA as a voluntary membership organization has its historical roots in the work done by founder Dr. Earle E. Lee, and others in the early 1980s. Their efforts were a response to leaders of degree granting faith-based institutions in the USA seeking an association to fulfill the need for a certification agency as an alternative to traditional accreditation. The Council of Private Colleges of America is officially incorporated as a Florida non-profit corporation. The CPCA growth continues from an original base of eight members to its current level of over fifty private faith-based institutions.

The CPCA is currently the only academic association with a certification process of educational standards comparable to recognized accrediting agencies, but with no emphasis on institutional preparation for the receipt of US Title IV Funding. CPCA certification simplifies the peer review process without weakening historically honored educational standards. The CPCA process recognizes faith based principles of operation which includes faith based economic principles.

The CPCA and its member institutions understand that faith-based institutions receiving the Federal Government Title IV, or individual State government funding in the USA are subject to the demands tied to such funding. Logically, “Whoever pays the piper has a right to call the tune.” The CPCA certification process provides a standard for academic quality that proudly distinguishes its members from the accreditation mills, not recognized by the USDE, that mislead the education consumer. This is especially important for faith-based institutions that do not wish to take government funding (excluding VA benefits which are considered earned benefits by the veteran). Faith-based institutions having already attained USDE recognized accreditation are encouraged to consider the additional benefits of seeking CPCA certification which requires CPCA membership fees but CPCA certification is awarded concurrent with USDE recognized accreditation with no CPCA certification fees.


The purpose of the Council of Private Colleges of America is summed up in the following statement: “Preventive and Proactive Protection of Today’s Private Colleges for Tomorrow’s Students.” The CPCA accomplishes this by serving private degree granting faith-based institutions that provide quality faith-based education, in all 50 states and territories of the USA. This may, where feasible, include similar institutions in other countries as well. The CPCA has a proven track record. We believe that “United We Stand, Divided Individually We Can Be Conquered.”

How We Define Private Faith-based Education

Private – meaning that it is not public. That is, not designed, organized, or controlled by local, state or federal governments (such as community/state junior or senior colleges and universities).

Faith-based – meaning Christus Primum (Christ First), and that the foundation of the institution rests upon the Scripture with full confidence in its inerrancy and infallibility. It means that such a foundation rests not an antiquated and outmoded relic of a less enlightened age, but the wise and intelligent embrace of the true wisdom of the ages.


To promote quality, degree granting, faith-based education that “Keeps the Lord’s testimony above reproach.” This includes the USA and, where it is feasible to do so, internationally in other countries.

To provide certification of members, through quality peer review comparable to recognized USDE approved accrediting agency standards, but without the massive regulations associated with US Title IV Funding compliance.

CPCA standards equal or exceed the minimum standards of many State Departments of Education.

To provide experienced, educational, quality peer review of the following: faculty, academic curriculum, course development, web site, distance learning processes, campus operations, catalogs, brochures, advertisements, application forms, financial information, and student records and transcripts.

To protect the historic constitutional right of member faith-based institutions to grant degrees without government interference.

To represent member faith-based educational institutions before any government and/or educational agency.

To require affirmation of compliance with the academic excellence standards of the CPCA patterned after America's early historical educational institutions of higher learning.

To provide member institutions with joint legal representation for religious freedom issues that support the mission and purpose of the CPCA.

To provide for an annual CPCA Christian Education Conference for its members and similar CPCA approved organizations such as the Florida Council of Private Colleges.

To provide direction with CPCA Facilitators: through knowledge of support services and resources for member institutions to accomplish their individual purpose and mission.

To provide support and leadership, that develops other independent self-supporting, organizations such as the Florida Council of Private Colleges.

Doctrinal Statement

  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God and that He has preserved it.
  • We believe that there is one God, the source, support, and end of all things, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His Virgin Birth; in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death, in His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the Father's right hand, and in His personal return for His saints and with His saints at the Revelation.
  • 4. We believe that man is totally depraved, a sinner (lost) by nature and by divine decree, therefore in need of the convicting and regenerating ministry of the Holy Spirit.
  • 5. We believe in the personality of Satan, in his power and kingdom, in his wiles, in his judgment at the cross, and his eternal destruction in Hell.
  • 6. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, that He convicts the sinner, regenerates the one who believes, indwells, seals, instructs, reproves, and guides the believer, that He fills and controls every life that is wholly yielded to Him, however, the manifestation of any particular filling is not required as evidence of salvation.
  • We believe that salvation is the gift of God offered to man by His grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • We believe in the bodily resurrection of the saved unto life and the unsaved unto judgment and everlasting damnation.
  • We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, not in the organized unity sought by the ecumenical movement.
  • We believe in the special creation of the existing space-time universe and all its basic systems and kinds of organisms in the six literal days of the creation week and in the full historicity and perspicuity of the biblical record of primeval history, including the literal existence of Adam and Eve as the progenitors of all people, the literal fall and resultant divine curse on the creation, the worldwide cataclysmic deluge, and the origin of nations and languages at the tower of Babel.


  • The Council of Private Colleges of America, Inc. holds that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees citizens the freedom to practice their faith in daily living.
  • The Council of Private Colleges of America, Inc. uses solely the wording of the Authorized King James Bible 1611 to conduct its affairs, and to mediate any differences of opinion which may arise with member private faith-based institutions to provide for consistency, and to avoid possible confusion. This does not mean that we do not recognize the right of our members to value and use other translations of the Bible.
  • The Council of Private Colleges of America, Inc. recognizes and acknowledges that their doctrinal statement does not represent the total doctrinal statement or position of its member institutions.

Biblical Ethics Policy

“And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matthew 18:15, 16).

You are CPCA Members by choice because you have chosen to mutually serve and protect the freedom to provide quality Christian education pursuant to God’s leading and direction for your respective ministries. You recognize that all members have the common God given-purpose and mission to practice the pursuit of educating men and women in the Word of God to impact the world in accordance with their own doctrinal persuasion. You have acknowledged that the Authorized Version 1611 King James Bible shall be the standard for all truth and justice establishing ethics principles for life and practice among our CPCA Members (See Doctrinal Statement Notes).

Step 1: As a Member of the CPCA you will uphold biblical ethics in life and practice when difficulties arise between our respective institutions by applying these Scripture verses as follows:

A. “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother” (Matthew 18:15).
B. A true Christian will hear and admit their offence in the spirit of meekness and seek forgiveness and resolution which shall cause the trespassed party to gain their brother.

Step 2: If the CPCA member does not admit their offence the offended member may ask the CPCA to select a neutral party that will go with them the second time they approach the CPCA member that trespassed against them.

Step 3: The CPCA neutral party shall seek to use Biblical principles to bring the matter to a biblical resolution. The CPCA is not the church and therefore does not have church authority to resolve the matter.

Step 4: All affected CPCA Members shall follow the Biblical admonitions stated above.

Step 5: The CPCA may upon consultation with appointed neutral party in egregious situations have to suspend CPCA Member’s status until the matter is biblically resolved.

Step 6: Any CPCA Member may appeal a decision made under Step 5. to the Executive Board of the CPCA. An Executive Board member shall reuse himself or herself if his/her institution is involved in either side of the dispute. Recognizing that there may be a humanly irreconcilable situation we would have to regretfully agree that the decision of the Executive Board will be final.

NOTE: The CPCA Biblical ethics policy shall not be construed in any way to mandate that CPCA Member institutions will be required to accept academic credits from each other. The CPCA will always support the sovereign right of each institution to determine credits they will or will not accept for transfer.