By Gregg Miles
Below is a brief timeline of the foundation of Heritage Seminary from inception to present-day:
In Dec 2013, Rev. Ryan Ralston, Rev. Ed Ralston and Gregg Miles met to discuss the vision of Heritage Seminary. Although an accredited college in the South had been prayerfully considered for years and discussed informally, this was the first official step to make the vision a reality.
Subsequent meetings followed and we were soon in touch with Dr. David Agron of Agron and Associates (http://www.accreditation101.com).
Under his guidance, we began the process of making our Seminary a “College” by working through the 33 pages of standards required by the state of Georgia to receive “Full Authorization” status through the Ga NonPublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC).
Along the way, we applied for and received “Religious Exemption” status in August. This designation allows us to operate in the state of Georgia as an institution of higher learning, but with certain restrictions dealing with types of degrees offered, type of institution, etc.
In the Summer of 2014, plans to achieve “full authorization” status were put on hold as we made the decision to go ahead with the opening of Heritage Seminary. Dr. Agron feels we are 80% or so completed with the full authorization process and plans are to resume the process soon.
Separate from the “full authorization” status by the state is the accreditation of the institution through the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Accreditation guarantees third-party verification of Heritage Seminary’s quality of education.
Although many of the requirements and standards from GNPEC and ABHE overlap, the more significant of the two for us is the ABHE accreditation.
On February 18, 2015 Heritage Seminary filed the application to become an “Affiliated Member” with ABHE. The status of that application is pending.
We are in the process of purchasing a Student Information System through ABHE that will allow us to become more streamlined in all aspects of running the Seminary.
The official start date for Heritage Seminary was Fall of 2014 with a small number of students. We will conduct our first graduation of 2 of those students on May 17th, 2015.
We have had support from all over the nation but none more important than our local church, Savannah Holy Church of God. Whether you wrote a syllabus, donated your time or money or offered up prayers on our behalf we THANK YOU. Please don’t stop!
We are currently accepting applications through our website, www.heritageseminary.org
We will be accepting students for the Fall 2015 session. We will offer a 1-year certificate and 4 year Bachelor degree for students.
We will soon start back up the process toward accreditation with ABHE.