Credits and Accreditation – Hartland College

Certification and Accreditation Statement

Hartland Institute is committed to educate, equip, and train missionaries to transform the world through Christ. We are training missionaries to touch people’s lives with God’s love through a biblically based educational program that combines academics with practical service and outreach. It has always been Hartland’s purpose to provide high-quality education that is biblically based and mission focused, an education that is committed to the principles of true education as found in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.

The Spirit of Prophecy exhorts us “to make provision to give [our] students the education essential for evangelists and Christian businessmen. The youth and those more advanced in years who feel it their duty to fit themselves for work requiring the passing of certain legal tests should be able to secure at our training schools all that is essential.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 489.

This counsel was given because of certain laws of the land that were framed in order to safeguard people from presumptuous pretenders. Ellen G. White further counseled: “Whenever we can comply with the law of the land without putting ourselves in a false position, we should do so.” Medical Ministry, p. 84.

The Commonwealth of Virginia, where we are located, requires that any post-secondary school that offers training which leads to the passing of legal tests and licensure be certified and accredited.

Certification is offered through the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). The primary objectives of the state agency that certifies private post-secondary educational institutions are to “Protect the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia from fraudulent or substandard educational institutions and to ensure that institutions certified to operate in Virginia meet minimal academic and administrative capability standards.”1

Certification and accreditation are similar processes. They are both quality assurance processes under which services and operations of educational institutions are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. After careful review of the standards and requirements for certification/accreditation, we were able to ascertain that these do not conflict with or jeopardize our philosophy, principles, and standards for true education. This step will not lead to changes in our curriculum that will weaken our unique biblically based program with its emphasis on thorough training in the three angels’ messages, medical missionary outreach, and practical work. This step will not lead us to hire faculty who are not God-fearing or committed to present truth. If it were so, we would never pursue such a course! “We cannot submit to regulations if the sacrifice of principle is involved; for this would imperil the soul’s salvation.” Medical Ministry, p. 84.

Based on these inspired counsels and after careful research regarding legal requirements and quality standards, Hartland Institute’s board of directors prayerfully and unanimously voted to seek for institutional certification and accreditation. This will enable us to continue to offer our midwifery, health, and education degrees, allowing our students, who so choose, to take certain required legal tests at the end of their thorough preparation at Hartland.

We are taking this step in order to comply with legal regulations that we were not facing previously. We are aware of the pressures that may emerge as a result of accreditation. But our confidence is in God who has promised to honor those who are faithful to Him and committed to uphold His principles under any circumstance. We know that very soon we will no longer be able to comply with legal regulations because these will require trampling upon God’s commandments. However, under the current circumstances we can meet these legal requirements in order to further our God-given mission without having to compromise any of our God-given principles.

Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to seek to glorify God in everything we do and equip missionaries to take the everlasting gospel of the three angels’ messages to the world.

Thank you for your prayerful continued support of Hartland!

In His service,

Norbert Restrepo

President of Hartland Institute

PS. Please feel free to contact us if you desire more specific information. We would like to receive your questions and will respond to them in a future document.


Questions and Responses

We don’t believe so. When Loma Linda College of Medical Evangelists was being founded, Ellen White, writing to Elder Burden, made it clear that while we should not be tied to “worldly men,” we should still be actively working toward achieving the qualifications necessary to completely train our young people using our own distinct curriculum—without resorting to sending them off to worldly universities to finish their training. At Hartland College, we are confidently developing our own holistic curriculum, based on our unique interpretation of Ellen White’s educational writings. Accreditation grants us the freedom to develop a fully-qualified curriculum that reflects our distinct values—not someone else’s.

Regional accreditation focuses on ensuring that a school has the financial, infrastructure, curricular, and faculty resources to achieve basic competency in the degree programs a school chooses to emphasize. Accreditation requirements do not define what religious standards or beliefs a school should focus on. Perceived compromise in a school usually reflects changing opinions on campus as to what standards are still relevant and worth preserving. Such compromise can happen just as easily in either an accredited or unaccredited school and can be attributable to a loss of conviction and vision from those leading the educational institution. There is no guarantee under any earthly circumstance that compromise won’t eventually creep in, unless the leadership of the school is itself under the day-by-day conscious guidance of the Spirit of God. Compromise of basic philosophical principles within a school is often a side effect of an institution losing sight of its reason for existence and its unique direction and focus. At Hartland College we are very clear on who we are, whom we seek to serve, and what constitutes our distinct curricular emphasis—factors that encourage us to keep our standards high.
No. We will never intentionally hire those who are not in love with biblical truth or who do not believe wholeheartedly in what we are trying to accomplish at Hartland College. Nevertheless, we do need to be able to objectively demonstrate that whoever we hire possesses the competency, preparation, and training necessary to mentor students in a particular subject. Selecting high quality faculty who are supportive of Hartland’s standards remains one of the most important components to the success of our college. That is why faculty selection will always be conducted with much prayer, study, and thoughtful discussion by Hartland’s administration and board.
The accreditation process asks us to assess, evaluate, strengthen, and refine our existing curriculum by developing a process of continuous improvement for every department and program our college offers. We see this as an excellent opportunity for us to reflect, sharpen, and refine Hartland College’s distinct curriculum to make it even better and more useful to students than it already is. Part of this process involves contacting our previous graduates and receiving feedback on what aspects of our curriculum were especially helpful and what areas could use more improvement. Through this process, we expect our work-study program, outreach opportunities, and classes to become even more relevant, thought-provoking, and helpful to students as they seek to serve God wherever He might call.

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