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Accreditation Defined

Accreditation is the act of certifying that an educational institution maintains suitable standards; the granting of approval to an institution of learning by an official review board after the school has met certain requirements. Specifically, accreditation is the review of a school's course offerings and procedures by a group of its peers to certify that that school is meeting its own stated objectives and offering its students the education it promises them.

CLU's Accreditation

Christian Leadership University is accredited by Christian Accreditation International.

Christian Leadership University was also certified by the Apostolic Council for Educational Accountability (ACEA) for the entire 11 years of ACEA’s existence (1998–2009). Dr. C. Peter Wagner, head of the Wagner Institute for Practical Ministry, formed this group as an alternative to traditional accreditation for the new apostolic churches that are emerging. They have now changed the acronym ACEA to the name of their new entity, “Association of Christian Educators and Administrators.”

Both CAI and ACEA provide evaluation and accountability without distorting the purpose and vision of Christian Leadership University.

In addition, CLU believes that the Spirit-empowered ministries that develop in your life accredit its discipling experience.

“You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:2,3).

As you become effective in the release of divine power through your life, people will take notice and naturally give place for you and your ministry (Prov. 22:29). This is exactly what happened with Jesus. He had no accredited degrees, but the power that flowed through His hands caused multitudes to come to Him. Your Spirit-anointed ministry is what accredits our program and opens the doors before you for a continually expanding impact on His world.

See the stories of Bill Dupley, Georgia Risenhoover and Salvatore Cerniglia for real-life examples of this phenomenon.

Government Accreditation

Christian Accreditation International and the Apostolic Council for Educational Accountability are not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Accreditation is “a review by your peers” that ensures that you are offering a quality program. CLU has received that. CLU's peers are other Spirit-filled Christian educators, such as C. Peter Wagner's Apostolic Council for Educational Accountability and Christian Accreditation International. The U.S. Department of Education is not a peer of Christian Leadership University.

Government-recognized accreditation is not necessary for the religious vocations we are training people in, which include: Biblical Studies, Christian Arts, Christian Counseling, Christian Entrepreneurship, Christian Leadership, Divine Healing, Divinity, Intercession, Ministry, Missions and Evangelism, Prophetic Ministry, Theology, Worship Ministry, and Youth Ministry. People can function and hold jobs in all of these areas without government-recognized accreditation.

Individuals seeking employment in government-licensed positions such as public school teachers, state-licensed psychologists or psychiatrists, and non-church-related counselors definitely need government-recognized accredited degrees.
Generally, people working in ministry positions do not need a government-accredited degree. In fact, a number of churches take a stand against the Church voluntarily placing itself under government regulations.

We believe that our standards exceed those of the government, for we require of our teachers:

  1. That they have high moral qualities.
  2. That they be able to bring about life-transformation in their students.
  3. That they be proven leaders in their fields.
  4. That they be able to hear God's voice and see His vision.
  5. That they be able to teach with divine anointing.
  6. That they have a love and passion for their subject.


CLU's Distinctive: Lamad Education

CLU is distinctive in that we are number one in Lamad Education.

LamadReal Life, Biblically-grounded, Revelation-based Learning

Real Life – Birthed from real life issues and taught from real life experiences.
– You see your life's experiences in the light of Scripture.
– God speaks to you in each and every learning experience.

Because of CLU's emphasis on Lamad Education, you will discover a style of courses that brings about greater life-transformation than anything you would have dreamed possible in an educational process. Order our first course, “Communion With God,” and see if you don't agree.


Following are some testimonies of those who have experienced CLU's Lamad Education.

Vanessa Tinsley-Stone: “I enrolled in CLU in October. The classes have been beyond anything I had hoped for. This has been more like an adventure than school.”

Dr. Harold Reents, Academic Dean, Christ for the Nations: “I was introduced to a course of study called Communion With God containing a real anointed teaching on drawing closer to God. It is the favorite of all our students and I don't think I will ever have a school without it.”

Dr. Richard Watson, Oral Roberts University: “Communion With God by Mark and Patti Virkler has dramatically changed my prayer life. I have found I can will to dialogue with Christ on a daily basis, and I do. I believe this inspired approach to be absolutely essential to the growth of every serious Christian. I further believe Communion With God is an excellent example of the uniquely powerful way God is reaching out to His people today.”

Dr. Carter McKeague, Korea: “The course Communion With God was helpful in various respects. It was practical, which seems too often a rare thing in doing assignments for Bible College or Seminary. I have found this course helping me to know Jesus, rather than just knowing about Jesus. From applying the insights that God has given Mark Virkler there is a sharper sensitivity in my heart to hearing the Lord speak to me. I have been finding a new sensitivity and expectancy to hear God speaking through everyday circumstances.

“From this course, the reality of hearing God's voice on a regular basis has been rekindled in my heart. The reason I say this is because while serving as a missionary in Spain from 1981 to 1988, visions and hearing God speak were very regular. Often the Lord allowed me to see angels; one saved my life in 1981.

“But when I went back to Canada in 1988 to go to Bible College, the frequency of hearing His voice was greatly reduced. It seemed rationalism was like a dark blanket that choked out God's voice to His people. So this course was encouraging me to come back to a sensitivity to God and how He speaks. Such teaching is very helpful for dear Christian people living in North America and anywhere else where rationalism is a stronghold.

“When I first started the course, my attitude was to just do it and get it over with as soon as possible. I think this was because of doing theological courses in the past that were rather dry and seemed to undermine my faith rather than deepen it. The Lord gently corrected my attitude that this course was to help bring transformation and not just information. Praise God.

“I have sensed the Holy Spirit changing my attitudes. A major area is my relationship to my wife. The Lord is helping me to be more sensitive to her. An example is to buy her roses more after beginning this course, so I am sure she is thrilled at what God has changed in my attitudes through this course! I have been doing more repenting lately since starting this course, and I thank the Lord for showing me where I need changing.

“The Lord spoke to me and said, ‘Knowing Me is more important than making Me known.’ I've noticed my behavior is changing in respect to being much calmer, with an awareness of the Lord's presence.”

Tess Martone: “Dear Mr. Virkler, I just wanted to send you a note thanking you for this course. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It has revolutionized my relationship with Jesus. I cannot even find the words how to express this. So, I thought I would let you read from my journaling this morning and I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me. So, thank you so much for being obedient to what God wanted you to do so that millions of others may learn to hear from Him. (I don't know how sound theologically this is, but it did bless my heart so.)

“Me: ‘Lord, I love You so much. You are so good to me and for me. I thank You that I can sense Your presence and Your desire to be with me. It amazes me that the King of the Universe is my friend. I have nothing I can give You to say thank You. Only myself, which isn't the greatest gift for I am a sinner, and the only reason I can even offer myself to You is because of Your kindness and the gift that You first gave me. So all I can really do is say thank You. Do You have anything You would like to share with me?’

“Jesus: ‘Thankfulness is a rare commodity these days, My child. I accept it and I am pleased with it. I love you much, My child. You are My chosen vessel and I, too, long to be with you, but for now you have a work to do for Me on earth. There are souls to win and people that are hurting. You are My ambassador. Represent Me well and there will be a great reward for you in the end of these days.’

“Me: ‘O Lord, any reward I could earn I will only give back to You when I see You face to face, for I deserve nothing because I am nothing without You. All I am You have created. Therefore I lay my reward at Your feet and ask that You just be my friend.’

“Jesus: ‘O Tessie, I am your friend! And as such, friends give each other gifts. I have already given you spiritual gifts and you have accepted them readily enough. Allow Me to bless you and shower you with gifts, for it delights My heart to bless My children, My dear. My dearest one, I love you.’

“Me: (Tears have welled up in my eyes as I think about the Father's love for me and His desire to give me and all of us good gifts.) ‘O Lord, Your graciousness overwhelms me. Your love for me surrounds me like a whirlpool, ever swirling about me. Your gentleness to me is as a soft breeze. It is like when my grandmother used to stroke my hair when I was a little girl. It felt so good. Your voice to me is more beautiful than the songs of the birds. And Your face, oh Your face is so lovely to me!

“‘I long to be with You forever. My heart aches to be with You, Jesus. Lord, I want to cling to You and never let You go. Yet I fear that my love for You may dwindle. O Lord, never allow this to happen! Somehow in Your graciousness if You could give me the gift of always loving You, I would be so happy.’

“Jesus: (I see Him laughing in joy, really laughing. He lifts me off my feet and twirls me around. He loves me much! And I have pleased Him with the longings of my heart.) ‘Tessie, I love you! What you have asked for will be done.’ (He looks at me seriously and blows on me and says) ‘Receive My gift, daughter. Share this love with many. For when they see and experience this love between us, they too will crave it.’

“Thank you so much, Mr. Virkler, for doing what God told you to do!!!!!!!”

Robert John Cericola: “Greetings in the Name above all Names. I thought it appropriate to give you a course update. Let me start from the beginning. I found your website while searching the web for Christian educational material to be used in children's church. I read through the information on the site and sent you an email to obtain more information. When you replied I thanked you for the information and responded by telling you I had to seek the Lord for permission to enter the university.

“When I was called into the ministry some 20 years ago the Lord would not allow me to go to Bible school, but He did tell me He would teach me. So for the last twenty years I have been attending the Holy Spirit's University and He has taught me many things. I was really surprised when I received His release to take the course; as a matter of fact, I was shocked. Little did I know that He was about to take me into a deeper relationship with Him through a branch of His university.

“The year 2001 began with the Lord speaking to us concerning developing a relationship with Him through prayer, and on New Year's Eve this year He spoke to our hearts stating, ‘This is the year for His manifest presence.’ Both messages had the undertone of the Lord realigning the church to once again focus on Jesus. Your course Communion With God will help the church reach His objective.

“I find it absolutely wonderful. The material is put together well and addresses all the concerns of pursuing the inward journey. I believe this course will change the Body of Christ in many ways and prepare it for the coming of the Lord.

“I am praising God for blessing you and your wife in allowing you to write such a powerful book and develop such a powerful course. What more can one say except praise Him, He is worthy, and thank you, your wife and your family for allowing the Lord to use you.”

Andrew Steck: “I'm taking Communion With God. I am so blessed so far. My life is already completely transformed. I went from hearing God speak to me once in a while to hearing Him not just in my journaling times but even throughout the rest of the day. What a difference this has made.”

Stacie Horne: “Becoming a part of CLU has changed my life. I have always been a student at heart and enjoyed learning and always will. Something that is so fascinating to me in studying with the courses of CLU is how each time I study, the presence of the Holy Spirit is right there and is sooo strong. It grows more intense at times. I am amazed at His presence, wisdom, and what He reveals while studying. Each course has its own aspect of communing with God. When I speak to people around me about this, they don't quite understand, and that is okay. I am thankful that God is feeding me. CLU is a true University, put together by God and ordained by HIM. Thank you for catching the vision and running with it.”

Rev. Robert Butler: “To be honest, when I started the course, I was focused on the excitement of being so close to getting my degrees that I was eager to simply plough into the lessons and just get them done. But God had another plan. The way that the course is written and presented does not allow one to simply study and regurgitate knowledge. From the very outset I found myself forced to focus on the spiritual dynamics of the truths being presented and was immediately confronted by the Holy Spirit telling me, 'Now I have your attention, you're not getting away!' I was going to get what I desired (my degrees), but God was going to get what He wanted first, which was ‘me.’”

Amy: “Oh my, I am speechless...I have completed only the first several lessons in Communion With God and my life has been totally, totally transformed. He is such a wonderful, wonderful God. A few months ago I told Him I was desperate for more of Him...I had no idea His answer to my prayer would be so exceedingly abundantly above anything I could ever have imagined. My days and nights are now filled with His presence. Thank you for your service to Him, Mr. Virkler.  I will be in touch as I progress through the course....”

Denise Balasa: “I cannot tell you how much these courses have touched my life and ministry. My prayer life has become anointed and I have been receiving more visions than ever. God is moving in a mighty way! Praise God. I praise Him for leading me to this University. I had such a burning in my spirit to take courses and I thank Him for that also.”

Joy Miller: “I am TOTALLY enjoying the coursework. I honestly believe that EVERY Christian needs to have this information.”

Dr. Stan DeKoven, President, Vision Christian College: “A wonderful program that will be a great blessing to many.”

Rev. Walter Goodlette, Jr.: “The curriculum offering is inspiring and compels me to want to increase learning. As soon as I can, I will enroll to pursue a Master's degree and Doctoral studies. I appreciate also that courses are offered on the internet, and bring the school into the 21st century, ahead of many schools.”

Many additional testimonies are available at cluonline.com/testimonies.

An interesting article entitled History of Seminaries and Accreditation can be found at cwgministries.org/freebooks.

Licensing and Certification

There are many career fields in which, if you know the information needed to be competent and have developed the personality attributes to be effective, you do not need either certification or a license. Many careers within church and parachurch ministries fall into this category.

Vocations outside church and parachurch ministries that usually do not require either certification or licensing number in the thousands. A sampling follows: CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of a business, politician, businessman or businesswoman, manager, administrator, builder, developer, reformer, artist, poet, musician, novelist, printer, inventor, entrepreneur, worker in construction, marketer, salesperson, advertising specialist, motivational speaker, personnel manager, Christian counselor, secretary, administrative assistant, public relations manager, welfare worker, researcher, technician, investigative reporter, property manager, fitness center manager, nutritional counselor, computer programmer, computer technician, designer, editor, dispatcher, entertainer, information clerk, photographer, receptionist, recreation worker, reporter, retail sales worker. A more complete list of over 12,000 vocations can be found in the Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes, available by calling the publisher at 1-800-331-TEST.

There are other careers that do usually require either certification or licensing. Such certification or license generally demands that you have earned a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in a certain content area, with certain specific courses in your degree. They may also require that your degree be from a college or university with a certain kind of accreditation (there are various levels of accreditation).

Before beginning your program of study, we encourage you to take the time necessary to clearly identify the career you believe God has in mind for you. Then interview three or four people who are doing the kind of work you want to eventually do. You should interview people in the state in which you want to work, since certification or licensing requirements vary from state to state. Make sure to enroll in a program, and include the proper courses in your studies, that will enable you to do the work you feel called to when you have completed it. The Dean of Students at Christian Leadership University may be contacted for assistance in helping you determine your career objectives. He has several vocational testing tools at his disposal, as well as great experience in career counseling. Christian Leadership University offers a complete course entitled “Gifted to Succeed” which takes you through several personality profiles to help you clarify your gifts, aptitudes and interests. You may select this as one of your first college courses.

CLU Graduates – Destined to Lead

"Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men." (Proverbs 22:29)

Leaders, by definition, do not maintain the status quo. They step into the unknown, beckoning others to follow, creating the structures of the world of tomorrow.

Previous: Degree Programs Available

Free streaming audio 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice
4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice
ISOM Students: Graduation Guidelines
Complete Online Catalog:


Student Testimonies


A Welcome from the President

Section I

Mission Statement and Philosophy of Education

Section II

Degrees and Certificates Available

Section III

Overview of Majors

Section IV

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Section V

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Section VI

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Section VII

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“When I heard Mark’s material in the early 80’s, it quadrupled my ability to hear God’s voice, taking a lot of the guess work out.”
— Rev. Dale Bolton,
Senior Pastor of Thornhill Vineyard, Ontario, Canada

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