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State Authorization for Distance Education

State Authorization

State authorization is a regulation of the Department of Education that requires institutions offering online or distance learning programs to be authorized by each state in which the institution enrolls students (if such authorization is required by the state).   

The Berkeley School of Theology is in a continuous process to comply with regulations pursuant to state authorization, including applying for and maintaining approval or exemption status for our online offerings in other states. While BST would like to make our online programs available to all students across the country, some states have enacted regulations that make it prohibitive for us to do so.  

States in which BST IS in compliance

Below is the list of states in which BST may enroll online students: 

  • Alabama 
  • Connecticut** 
  • Florida 
  • Georgia 
  • Illinois 
  • Maryland 
  • New Mexico 
  • Texas* 

States in which BST is NOT in compliance

Below is the list of states in which BST may not enroll online students: 

  • Connecticut 
  • Kansas 
  • Massachusetts 
  • New York 
  • New Jersey 
  • Pennsylvania 
  • Michigan 
  • Wisconsin 
  • Puerto Rico 
  • Virginia 

Interested prospective students from other states should
check with the Director of Admissions prior to applying.

*BST does not offer in-person classes within the state of Texas but does offer online classes to all residents. 

**Prospective students from Connecticut should contact the CT Office of Higher Education. 

Emily Bjornberg – Senior Consultant, Academic Affairs 
Connecticut Office of Higher Education 
450 Columbus Blvd, Suite 707, Hartford, CT 06103 
860-947-1824 (office) Emily.Bjornberg@ct.gov 

California’s Relationship to SARA

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) were established in 2013 by higher education stakeholders including state regulators and education leaders, accreditors, the U.S. Department of Education, and institutions. SARA is intended to streamline regulations around distance education programs.

However, California is not a member of SARA, which means that California-based institutions are not eligible to participate in the reciprocity agreements and instead must comply with individual applicable state laws in which they would like to enroll students.

Notice to Students Who Relocate

If, while enrolled in an online program with the Berkeley School of Theology, you relocate to a state in which we are not in compliance, you may lose eligibility to remain enrolled in your course of study.

Please speak with your program coordinator if you anticipate relocating while you are completing your degree. Prospective students who have not yet enrolled should consider this regulation prior to applying, especially if there is a possibility of relocating to a restricted state prior to program completion.

State of California Complaint Procedure

If you believe the GTU’s administrative processes or educational programs are compromised and not up to the required minimum standards, you may notify the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. An individual may contact the Bureau to file or review a complaint. 

The Bureau may be contacted at: 
Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education 
Suite 400 
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive 
Sacramento, CA 95833 
Telephone: (916) 431-6924 
Fax: (916) 263-1897 
Website: http://www.bppe.ca.gov