“Many thought that this feat was impossible, but due to our strong faith in God, our hardworking and wonderful faculty and staff, the support of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, our dedicated alumni, and our resilient spirit, we were able to achieve full accreditation,” college President Kevin James said in a statement.
“This was truly The Hard Reset. This is just the beginning!” James said.
The college was rewarded its accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a Virginia-based accreditation agency.
CNN has reached out to TRACS for comment, but has not heard back.
Reaccreditation means the school is once again eligible to apply for federal education funding that could go toward student financial aid and Pell Grants or on-campus housing, so long as the college remains compliant with federal conditions and standards.
School was holding on by a thread
The college never officially closed, but it was holding on by a thread.
Faced with mounting debt and a crumbling infrastructure, the school’s board of trustees offered the administration an option: shutter their doors for good. The grounds could theoretically be converted into a museum or a site for private development, but its days as an active college appeared to be ended.
James, the college’s president, disagreed. He believed there was still a chance to regain accreditation, and evolve as an operational campus.
James was named interim president in early 2019 and officially made president in May 2020. He immediately focused on what he has labeled “the hard reset” for the college.
In April 2021, Morris Brown officially received accreditation candidacy by TRACS. This meant an institution is in basic compliance with the standards and criteria of TRACS and has been evaluated by an on-site peer team that found the institution provides sound instruction and student services.
Fast forward a year later and the school is celebrating its reaccreditation.
It was founded in 1881 by formerly enslaved religious leaders at Big Bethel AME Church, according to the school’s release.
CNN’s Skylar Mitchell contributed to this report.