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About Accreditation

Meeting member schools’ accreditation needs for more than two decades

Designed as a voluntary method of quality assurance and improvement, CSI accreditation is a continuous cycle of review and reflection based on established standards of excellence.

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CSI accreditation

  • Verifies your school is adhering to its Christian mission and vision
  • Ensures parents, students, and other stakeholders that you are committed to high academic standards
  • Thoroughly assesses strengths and weaknesses
  • Helps you meet and exceed local, state, and national standards needed for government funding
  • Informs colleges, states, and donors of your commitment to excellence

How it works

  • Apply for standard or affiliate CSI membership
  • Apply to become a candidate for accreditation
  • Become assigned to your CSI regional coordinator
  • Take one to three years to complete your self-study
  • Host site team visit
  • Receive accreditation report with recommendation to the CSI Accreditation Commission
  • Await final accreditation approval by the Commission, either in January or July
  • Receive formal approval and certificate of accreditation
  • Submit reporting documents to CSI for annual renewal of accreditation for a five-year cycle

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Progressive improvement

Designed as a voluntary method of quality assurance and improvement, accreditation is a continuous cycle of review and reflection based on established standards of excellence.

The CSI transformational Christian worldview informs every aspect of the accreditation process. Each step your school takes toward accreditation is assurance that you are being true to your mission, thoroughly integrating Biblical principles into school life.

Our process

Our protocols

CSI uses two highly regarded, proven, and well-researched protocols to guide schools through their accreditation process. Our team will help you determine which protocol is the best fit for your school. CSI’s Vision to Action is typically used for newer schools who have not been through an accreditation process before. Our more frequently used Measuring the Mission protocol is used for schools who are a bit more established and have been through a CSI or other agency’s accreditation previously.

Our standards and indicators

Both Vision to Action and Measuring the Mission include comprehensive standards and indicators which serve as the parameters for the accreditation process. The standards and indicators detailed in Measuring the Mission are organized under four strands: Leading with Purpose, Teaching for Learning, Leading for Learning, and Learning in Community while Vision to Action is organized into the categories of Community, Staff, Students, and Curriculum.

The self study

A school’s self-study process is the groundwork for accreditation. The self-study process allows groups of school staff and stakeholders to thoroughly investigate, evaluate, and analyze all your school does in light of its unique mission. The results of this self study become the basis for your school’s improvement plan and provide the context for the site team accreditation visit.


Evidence is critical for the accreditation process. In addition to observations and interviews done by the site visit team, schools are required to gather and present data to support the ratings assigned to each indicator in its self-study.

Site visit team

Brought together by your school and CSI, a team of educators makes a two- or three- day visit to your school to verify your self-study. The team assesses compliance with standards, identifies school community strengths, and makes recommendations for improvement. The team writes the school's accreditation report and makes a recommendation to the CSI Accreditation Commission for approval of accreditation.

School improvement plan

Based on the self-study and the recommendations from the accreditation report and CSI, the school develops a five-year school improvement plan. For accreditation renewal purposes, schools annually document their progress on the goals outlined in the plan.


Worth the cost

Pay a $500 one-time candidacy application fee plus a $600 annual accreditation services fee. A site visit fee (dependent on school enrollment) is paid once every five years:

  • Fewer than 500 students: $1,000
  • 500 to 1,000 students: $1,500
  • More than 1,000 students: $2,000
  • Travel, lodging, and meal costs for regional coordinators and site visit team members

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Apply today

Are you ready to take the first step? Download the application form to get started. 

Apply Now

"I am thoroughly impressed with the CSI Accreditation process, and I wish we had initiated this process years ago. Praise God for such awesome leaders who helped to affirm our strengths and give focus to our key issues."

Pella Christian Grade School

Pella, IA