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Brewton-Parker College’s accreditation reaffirmed

MOUNT VERNON Ga. (BP) — The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has reaffirmed the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College, reversing an earlier decision.

The Dec. 9 announcement means the Georgia Baptist college, which had been on probation and then lost its academic ranking on June 19, will remain fully accredited without any blemish on its record. The governing group announced its decision earlier today at the conclusion of its annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

BPC President Ergun Caner and members of his executive cabinet met for an hour on Dec. 6 in Nashville with the SACSCOC Committee on Compliance and Reports to present new verified material evidence demonstrating the college’s compliance with the Principles of Accreditation.

The evidence submitted and reviewed by SACSCOC shows Brewton-Parker College has sufficient financial resources to meet its obligations and its mission, is financially stable, is in control of its finances, and complies with its Title IV program responsibilities to the United States
Department of Education.

“This is a great day for Brewton-Parker College,” Caner said in a prepared statement. “We are thankful that after reviewing all the evidence SACSCOC removed us from probation and reaffirmed our accreditation. The process that Brewton-Parker College has endured over the past four years shows that the system works.

“Brewton-Parker College is a better and much stronger institution today,” he said. “Brewton-Parker College has proved that it is financially stable, fiscally accountable, and academically rigorous. We give thanks to God for this decision for it was by His guidance we were able to achieve this result.”

Caner added, “Thanks to the efforts of our entire team, our CFO, Dr. Nicole Shepard, our President Emeritus, Dr. Mike Simoneaux, the outgoing chair of our Board of Trustees, Rev. Bucky Kennedy, the incoming chair of our Board of Trustees Gary Campbell, our auditor, Billy Minch, and our entire legal team, and the thousands of hours these individuals dedicated to this effort, we achieved our goal.

“The work and dedication of these individuals were exceptional. I also want to thank the many people that have supported Brewton-Parker College throughout this journey — the members of our Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, and the entire community of dedicated friends around us. The people of Mount Vernon, Ailey, Montgomery County, and the entire region stood by us. Today, once again, that trust was validated.

“We share this victory with all of you. Brewton-Parker College is 110 years old. Today we take the next steps to lead Brewton-Parker College to even greater heights for the next 110 years.”

Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college founded in 1904 and affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, operates a satellite campus in Newnan. It remains the only accredited four-year Christian college in the southern half of Georgia (south of Macon and north of Jacksonville, Fla.)

The college originally was informed it had lost its accreditation on June 19 but after launching an appeals process, administrators were told on Sept. 29 that it would remain an accredited member on probation as additional information was being prepared for reconsideration.

At that time Peter Lumpkins, vice president of communications, said the college presented new material that “warranted a remand and the continuation of its accreditation.”

Current fall 2014 enrollment is 602 for both campuses. Georgia Baptists’ other educational institutions include Shorter University in Rome and Truett-McConnell in Cleveland.

Caner, 49, celebrated his first anniversary as president on Dec. 2.

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  • Joe Westbury/The Christian Index