How to Start a Religiously Exempt Institution   

To start a religiously exempt college or university usually requires two equally important elements, first, the school must be owned by a religious organization of some kind and second, it should be incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Each state is authorized to oversee the schools that advertise that they are offering degrees or programs that lead toward degrees, within their state. Each state has its own regulations. Please review the approval agencies page on this site for the entity in your state that governs degree granting religiously exempt institutions.Generally, each state requires that institutions may not use words like “college, university, seminary, credit and degree”. You cannot use these words in print without permission from your state education department’s approval agency, or an exemption from it, which affirms you are exempt from licensure because you only offer religious degrees. Even then, they will have restrictions as to what you can offer and what you can say. You should take the time to visit my approval agencies page and find your state’s approval agency and then take the time to familiarize yourself with your state’s laws concerning religious exemption degrees.


As a Rule
As a rule a religious exempt application is fairly short and you should have no problem handling it yourself. If you require any assistance however please free feel to contact me or call me at 818-349-3645 and I will be happy to assist you in any way I can.


Religious Exemptions in the United States

The 30 jurisdictions below have no significant exemption for approval of unaccredited religious degree-granting institutions and programs. Some may have minor exemptions for certain aspects of programs. In these jurisdictions, degree programs undergo an evaluation and approval process identical or nearly identical to the process used for secular colleges

Alabama Alaska Arkansas Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Kansas Kentucky Idaho Illinois Maine Massachusetts Michigan Mississippi Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New York North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Pennsylvania Rhode Island Tennessee Texas Vermont West Virginia Wyoming.

The 21 jurisdictions below exempt unaccredited religious degree-granting schools from government oversight. Most of these allow restricted-use degrees for religious purposes only.

Arizona Iowa New Mexico Utah California Louisiana North Carolina Virginia Florida Maryland Oregon Washington Georgia Minnesota Puerto Rico Wisconsin Hawaii Missouri South Dakota Indiana Montana South Carolina.