Current Status on Accreditation
Madina Institute has met the requirements for exemption from applicable Georgia law as a religious institution.
On February 29, 2016, Madina Institute, Inc. received Religious Exemption status with the state of Georgia. This status grants Madina Institute with the permission to offer unaccredited Associates, Baccalaureate, and Masters of Divinity degrees in Islamic Studies. We received an extremely positive response from the administration at the Georgia Nonpublic Post-Secondary Education Commission (GNPEC). Currently the Madina Institute USA is not accredited, but as it becomes eligible for accreditation, we will be seeking it with the appropriate accrediting agencies.
The Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC) was created in 1990. The primary purpose for NPEC is to ensure that each authorized Seminary or school is educationally sound and financially stable. Specifically, NPEC works to 1) assure prospective and enrolled students that the program of study and supporting elements of, the institutions meet minimum standards, 2) assure prospective employers that graduates have acquired appropriate job skills, 3) assure the general public, federal agencies, and other state agencies that programs meet minimum standards.
The Commission administers the Nonpublic Postsecondary Educational Institutions Act of 1990 by providing standards, procedures, and evaluation for the oversight of postsecondary institutions. The staff reviews and authorizes each Seminary or school annually, provides consumer information and protection, resolves student complaints, manages institution closures and resulting student records, prepares required publications and grants exemptions as applicable. The staff also develops new and/or revised standards, procedures, regulations and schedules in response to changing laws, needs and circumstances.
Degree Granting Status
Madina Institute is currently pursuing affiliate status with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
Madina Institute has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Islamic University of Sudan, which states that students graduating with an Associates, Baccalaureate, or Masters of Divinity degree in Islamic Studies from Madina Institute will have the degree recognized by the Islamic University of Sudan.
Madina Institute is working on a similar Memorandum of Understanding with Al-Qarawiyyin University in Morocco.
Additionally, a degree from Madina Institute USA is recognized by all other Madina Institute organizations worldwide, including but not limited to, Canada, South Africa, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Sweden, and Sudan.
Frequently Asked Questions about Accreditation
Is Madina Institute Accredited?
No, Madina Institute is not currently accredited. We have hired a consultant and are working toward accreditation. To reach full accreditation could take between 3-8 years, depending on a number of factors.
Where is Madina Institute in the accreditation process?
Madina Institute is currently seeking affiliate status with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Affiliate status does not, however, constitute, imply, or presume ATS accredited status at present or in the future.
As a student in an unaccredited seminary, what matters are of most concern for me?
The three biggest concerns to overcome are future admission into Graduate School, transferring credits, and receiving state or Federal financial aid. We have answered each of these concerns below.
Will I be able to attend graduate school with a Bachelor's degree from Madina Institute?
When it comes to decisions made by other schools (such as admission), it is important to recognize that these types of decisions are completely up to the staff of the prospective school, so no school can promise anything (including admission and transfer of credits). As we work toward accreditation, we will create relationships with many schools with the hope they will see the quality of student we are producing and allow those students to continue their education at their institution.
If I take some classes at Madina, then decide to transfer to another college or seminary, will my credits transfer?
In most cases, schools are more reluctant to accept transfer units from an unaccredited institution than they are to accept a graduate of an unaccredited institution into a graduate program. This is understandable because they are actually exempting students from part of their program. We will work toward creating credit transfer agreements with various institutions as the need arises.
Does Madina Institute accept financial aid through FAFSA, student loans or a GI Bill?
Not at this time. However, Madina Institute does offer a limited number of full and partial scholarships for those who are zakat-eligible.
If I graduate from Madina Institute, and the school later reaches accreditation, will my degree be affected (or “grandfathered”)?
The concept of “grandfathering” a degree does not apply since accreditation applies to the school and not to a degree. If a student graduates from Madina Institute prior to accreditation, they will have graduated from an unaccredited institution. If they graduate after accreditation they will have graduated from an accredited institution.
What happens if Madina Institute gets accredited while I am still in school?
If a student is applying for another school, the registrar will ask or look to see if the school is accredited. If it is accredited at that time, then the conversation will usually end there. Sometimes they may look further to see the actual date of accreditation and compare that date to when the student was taking classes. However, since accreditation is a long process that requires continual improvement rather than just meeting a set of requirements, they should realize that the education offered in the years prior to receiving accredited status was comparable to that received after.
When will Madina Institute be accredited?
We are unable to make any predictions or guarantees regarding future accreditation.