Patrick Henry College denied accreditation because of creationism
The American Academy of Liberal Education has denied accreditation to Patrick Henry College, a two-year-old college in Purcellville, Virginia, designed for home-schooled students. In a letter to the school, AALE President Jeffrey D. Wallin took issue with the school's Statement of Biblical Worldview, especially its mandate that "any biology, Bible or other courses at PHC dealing with creation will teach creationism from the understanding of Scripture that God's creative work, as described in Genesis 1:2-31, was completed in six 24-hour days." (All faculty must adhere to the statement.) The order "appears to restrict curriculum content and teaching to a degree that inhibits the acquisition of basic knowledge," Wallin said, and AALE accreditation depends on assurances that "liberty of thought and freedom of speech are supported and protected, bound only by such rules of civility and order as to facilitate intellectual inquiry and the search for truth."
"AALE's decision was shocking in several respects," college president Michael Farris said in a press release. "They claim we violate their standards on freedom of thought, yet … they are denying PHC its freedom to think, believe, and speak differently from the norm of academia. … AALE has engaged in blatant viewpoint discrimination."
The school will both appeal the decision and pursue accreditation with another group, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Meanwhile, the debate over academic freedom continues. "Voluntary groups [such as the academy] can make up guidelines however they want," Wheaton College's Mark Noll told The Washington Post. "But the question about academic freedom is a tricky one. ...1
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