Partnerships for Unaccredited Ministry Training

Enable Your Participants to Get Credit and Complete their Degree Online

Prior Learning Assessment of up to 30 Credits for Existing Ministry Training through an Articulation Agreement.
Partnering to Provide Your Training Courses Offered through City Vision for Credit
We provide assistance to your ministry in developing a sustainable revenue model for your training.

Get College Credit for Your Ministry Participants

Call 617.282.9798 x116 or Complete the Form Above

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City Vision can provide Prior Learning Assessment Evaluation of up to 30 credits for past ministry training or experience through a portfolio course. Interested ministry should complete the form above to be considered for an articulation agreement. Students develop a portfolio where they must show that they have achieved learning outcomes comparable to courses subjects offered by a regionally accredited schools. Some past course topics we have evaluated have included: Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Acts, Romans, Church History, Teaching Methodology, Child Evangelism, Evangelism, Introduction to Missions, Hermeneutics, Psalms, Pastoral Ministry and Theology Survey.

City Vision follows the prior learning assessment standards of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).Some key aspects of these standards are that credit is granted for demonstrating learning, not just having experience. Credit can be granted both for experience and for training in unaccredited programs. Credit is not guaranteed as student must demonstrate competency according to our assessment process based on CAEL standards.

Option 1: Prior Learning Assessment for Existing Ministry Training

Option 2: Provide Your Training Courses through City Vision for Credit

This is for ministries that have existing training programs that are as rigorous as college courses, but are not accredited. These ministries can partner with City Vision where we can work with your ministry to submit your courses to our accreditors for review so your training becomes a City Vision course and is accredited. Many partners will continue to conduct their non-credit live training as they have in the past, but training participants may choose to get credit for the training through the online course. The way this works is as follows:

  1. Your ministry must assign one of your staff to serve as adjunct faculty with City Vision. This person must have at least a Master’s degree from an accredited institution. This person will do the grading and interaction with students online.
  2. You will work with City Vision to develop a syllabus using our syllabus template. Typically most courses will involve reading 1 to 3 books.
  3. Record your teachings on your computer. We typically using to do the recordings. When possible, it can be helpful to both have a webcam and to have materials in PowerPoint format to serve as vision aids for teachings. You can also supplement your training with additional videos from YouTube or other websites.
  4. City Vision will work with you to develop online discussion forum questions based on any live discussion questions you might do in person.
  5. We typically recommend that you develop a final project using our final project template included in the syllabus.
  6. You continue to teach your course, but students can take the online City Vision version of the course to receive credit.

Many sites prefer to do deliver their training live to students and offer that as an alternative to students rather than viewing the online lectures. In most cases this can be accommodated, but we require that partners also have a separate version of the training recorded online. This allows us to both meet accreditation requirements and benefits the ministry in being able to provide a resource to students that want to rewatch, share trainings or watch a training that was missed. In some cases, there may be state regulations that do not allow City Vision to have live training for accredited courses in some states.We will work with you to ensure that your training meets accreditation requirements. Typically the key aspects of that are to:

  1. Find a title and subject matter for the course that is used in other schools when possible.
  2. Demonstrate that it would take the students 135 hours to complete the course. This typically involves formulas of 25 pages of reading per hour as well as significant amount of time given to complete assignments.

Adjunct Partnership for Existing Ministry Training Example: City Vision has partnered with a ministry that places over 10,000 high school students in one-week short-term missions trips each year. We worked with them to convert their existing training into a syllabus and an online course in Introduction to Missions that is being reviewed by our accreditor. They anticipate that about 500 students will want to participate in the program to get college credit. These students will start an 8 week online course several weeks before their mission trip, then have one week of intensive training and serving on their trip, and then complete several more weeks of their online course after their trip.

Existing Partnerships

Bible Schools. City Vision has partnered with the New York Divinity School, and The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI). These programs provide 10+ intensive Bible and ministry courses. Their students can take a Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio course through City Vision, where they develop portfolios for up to 10 courses. They are then able to complete their Bachelor’s degree in City Vision starting with an average of 30 credits from prior learning and 3 credits from the portfolio course. Their students also get a $1,500/year scholarship making tuition only $4,500/year.

Missions Programs. City Vision has partnered with Mission Year to provide up to 12 college credits to Mission Year graduates through prior learning portfolios. We are exploring offering their training directly as four 3 credit City Vision courses.

Free Online Courses. City Vision has partnered with Saylor Academy, which offers many free college-quality online courses. Their students can take a Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio course through City Vision, where they develop portfolios for up to 10 courses. Similar to the example above, after completing the portfolio course, their student can have up to 33 credits and have a $1,500 scholarship. 

Options for Granting Credit

To Apply, Organizations Must:

How It Works


How are you able to do this without violating accreditation standards?
City Vision’s President, Andrew Sears, completed his doctoral dissertation on Disruptive Innovation in Christian Higher Education where he gained expertise on the latest innovations in higher education like prior learning assessment. City Vision has gone through extensive effort to ensure high quality standards and following the standards of CAEL and our accreditor DEAC. The key factor is that we effectively assess and document the learning.

Can students get credit only for experience?
No. Credit is granted by demonstrating learning. This distinction is critical in following the CAEL standards. In many cases, people may have had an experience, but not have gained the learning necessary comparable to an accredited course.

Once one student is granted credit for our non-accredited training, does that mean all future students would be granted credit?
No. Only an accrediting body can do that and neither CAEL or City Vision is an accrediting body. City Vision does not evaluate institutions, degree program, or courses for credit. City Vision evaluates the learning of each individual student through a portfolio process. In developing the documentation portion of their portfolio, students that come from the same institution may have a simplified process because parts of the documentation needed may be streamlined such as syllabi, certificates of completion, etc. Each student from an institution must demonstrate on their own that they gained the learning outcomes needed. Two students may both receive passing scores in an unaccredited course, and one may receive credit through prior learning assessment and another may not depending on their ability to demonstrate learning.

Does offering prior learning assessment “dumb down” the requirements for a degree?

No. City Vision goes through great effort to follow CAEL’s standards that ensure that students learning from experience or other training is comparable to the learning in accredited regional courses. In the the field of ministry, it is very common for those with the greatest learning and expertise to not be the same as those with the most academic learning. The CAEL standards provide a methodology for how to document and assess learning in a rigorous way that can withstand the scrutiny of outside experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Steps to Partner

  1. Complete the request for information form above OR call Nykeah at 617-282-9798 x116 expressing your interest in partnering.
  2. We will set up a conference call to discuss partnership possibilities.
  3. If we decide to partner, we will work together to sign a Articulation Agreement on the partnership.
  4. Your ministry or school will refer students to City Vision where they can receive a 25% discount and have their training reviewed for credit.

Existing Partnerships

Four Partnership Options for Organizations


Need: Full-time interns through a Christian Counterpart to AmeriCorps.
Solution: City Vision Internships provides full-time intern for $3,500/year to 50+ ministries.
Need: To outsource ministry staff training.
Solution: Employer Paid Tuition Discount is only $3,500/year and $350/course.
Need: For program participants get college credit for unaccredited ministry training.
Solution: Credit Partnerships to grant credit for your ministry training.
Need: For program participants to have an affordable alternative to community college.
Solution: Mentoring Program Discount is only $3,500/year and $350/course for all partner progam participants.




Partners may choose one or more of the above partnership options and receive a tuition discount of $3,500/year or $350/course.

Partnership Examples

  1. City Vision Internships and its parent organization TechMission have placed over 500 full-time interns in over 100 ministries in the past 10 years. The program is intended to be a Christian counterpart to AmeriCorps after we left AmeriCorps after 9 years.  Watch video testimonials.
  2. Employer Paid TuitionMany ministries, nonprofits and rescue missions have paid for their staff at a discounted tuition rate of $3,500/year to help them get their degree or $350/course for specific skills like nonprofit accounting.  Watch video testimonials
  3. Credit Partnerships.  City Vision provides up to12 college credits to Mission Year graduates. We provide up to 30 credits from Bible institutes through our partnerships with the New York Divinity School and The Urban Ministry Insitute.  We also provide up to 30 credits from the Saylor Academy which is a free Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) that serves over 1 million students. 
  4. Discipleship Study Group. An example of this would be a church or ministry runs an intensive program for at-risk young adults that includes discipleship, job readiness skills and life skills. They partner with City Vision so students can get credit for their existing ministry training provided by the ministry.  Students pay the ministry $2,275 each (a total of $45,500/year for 20 students) to cover the costs of the discipleship program.
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