Why Become Accredited?

Schools and early childhood centers pursue accreditation for a wide variety of reasons. Some use accreditation as a way of assuring parents, the community, and the congregation that the school is of high quality. As a result, it becomes a powerful tool for student recruitment. Other schools choose to begin the process as a way of addressing nagging concerns. For such schools, accreditation provides a systematic framework for school improvement. Generally, schools and centers pursue accreditation for:

  • Improvement of student learning
  • A sharpened focus on your school’s ministry
  • Self-evaluation based on your Lutheran school’s unique purposes and on national standards
  • Public recognition of schools that complete the process successfully
  • Increased accountability to your community, constituents, and congregation
  • Development of a school improvement plan
  • Demonstration of quality as assessed by objective educational professionals not personally involved in the school. This is often a requirement of eligibility for numerous external grants.

How To Begin

Getting Started

The process can be initiated by contacting Gayle Denny, Executive Director of ELEA, by calling 800-500-7644 or emailing gayle@eleanational.org or Cory Newman, Associate Director at elcaschools@gmail.com.

Accreditation FAQs


Early Childhood Center Accreditation

Accreditation of an early childhood center is an important benchmark in its history. ELEA
provides a state-of-the-art instrument that has been used successfully by early childhood
centers since 2006.

Accreditation is a self-study process, culminating in an on-site visit by a team of early childhood
educational professionals. Upon completion of the site visit, a recommendation will be made by
the visiting team to the Early Childhood Committee of the ELEA National Board, for full
accreditation for a seven-year period if they deem all standards have been sufficiently met.

  • Ministry of the Congregation Recognition Program ELEA Accreditation Prerequisite
  • Download the brochure
  • Power Point Presentation

Elementary School Accreditation

Accreditation of an elementary school is an important benchmark in its history. ELEA offers a
self study process which is based on national curriculum, leadership and teaching standards.
This process focuses on outcomes, rather than inputs, and is designed to best help your school
be the best it can be.

Accreditation is a self-study process, culminating in an on-site visit by a team of elementary
educational professionals. Upon completion of the site visit, a recommendation will be made by
the visiting team to the Elementary Committee of the ELEA National Board, for full accreditation
for a seven-year period if they deem all standards have been sufficiently met.

  • Ministry of the Congregation Recognition Program ELEA Accreditation Prerequisite
  • Download the brochure
  • Power Point Presentation

NEW - ELEA's "Wrap-Around" Early Childhood Accreditation

Early Childhood Centers who have completed NAEYC (National Association for the Education
of Young Children) Accreditation can now ALSO achieve ELEA Accreditation by doing a
shortened process related to faith curriculum. You will address:

  • Christian Mission and Educational Philosophy Statements
  • Professional Personnel
  • Religion Curriculum
  • Governance & Resources
  • You will NOT have to re-address any standards related to other curriculum and physical
    environment, nor will staff need to complete full ELEA professional portfolios.

Wrap Around early childhood brochure

Power Point Presentation coming soon!