AACS Reevaluated


Evaluating the AACS in 2002 Compared to the 1997 Findings 

The Keystone Christian Education Association (KCEA) (and all affiliating schools) was a part of the American Association of Christian Schools (AACS) beginning in 1974. The KCEA separated from the AACS in 1992 after numerous meetings and discussions with the AACS leadership. Leaders of the AACS subsequently claimed that the AACS had changed. The document, Special Report to the AACS Boards – KCEA’s Evaluation of KCEA and AACS – Should KCEA Reaffiliate with the AACS?, tells of the extensive work the KCEA Board undertook to evaluate itself and the AACS in 1996-97. The Report cited and documented seven major areas of difference between the associations.

In April, 2002, with Dr. Norman C. Marks at the gavel, the KCEA found it appropriate to undertake a review of the status of the AACS. This was deemed prudent because: (1) friends across the nation have commented on several occasions that leaders of the AACS said that the problems identified by the KCEA in 1997 had been fixed; and (2) five years have passed since the detailed evaluation, and it appears prudent to update ourselves and our pastors/principals as to where and how the AACS stands. The procedure was to review the findings of 1997 and compare them with the most germane elements of the present AACS.

In June Dr. Carl Herbster of the AACS contacted Dr. Thomas C. Coleman, the President-elect of KCEA effective September. Dr. Coleman corresponded to Dr. Herbster that as President he would not attempt to unilaterally change KCEA’s position on the AACS, that the Board as a group of men did the research, developed the report, and made all decisions (past – present – future). He also identified to Dr. Herbster that the Board as a group was undertaking a review of the AACS. He invited Dr. Herbster to send written information about the AACS for the group to review.

In its meeting of December 16, 2002, with Dr. Coleman at the gavel, the KCEA Board culminated its review. In ecclesiastical matters we find no change in the AACS patterns that we amply documented in 1997. In matters of philosophy and practice, similarly, no change or modification can be detected. The 1997 report provided to the AACS could also be dated 2002 (apart from some specific names of pastors or schools). The same patterns still prevail. The gap between KCEA’s and AACS’s positions has not narrowed. The conclusion is unanimously held among the Board and staff. As KCEA Board members we are unanimous that we do not have, and do not wish to have, our ministries identified with the AACS. KCEA and AACS continue on separate paths in Christian education.

We reaffirm the position taken by the KCEA Board in 1992 and 1997.

By the Board, 12/16/02.