EAGLE Accreditation United Methodist Association

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What is Eagle?

Educational Assessment Guidelines Leading toward Excellence (EAGLE) is the only faith-based accrediting body in the United States, and we focus on ministry with older adults and children. We challenge organizations not just to compete in a challenging human services environment, but to soar above the competition while living their faith values!

Why Eagle?

  • EAGLE is an approved, accreditation under the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and works congruently with other accrediting bodies
  • Looks holistically at the entire organization
  • Assures organization is operating in manner that is representative of their faith foundation
  • Establishes responsible stewardship over physical and financial assets
  • Focuses on long-term sustainability of the organization
  • Affirms not-for-profit status by reinforcing community benefit and spiritual values
  • Assists in cultivating culture of organization
  • Curbs public perception as faith-based organizations are held to a higher standard
  • Targets risk management
  • Provides external accountability
  • Improves performance, results, and outcomes in key areas of care
  • Contains built-in methods to help organizations constantly improve
  • Ultimately, calls organizations to be better with a passionate pursuit of perfection.


The Methodist Church first established minimum operating standards for its related institutional ministries in the mid 1950s. Originally, the Board of Hospitals and Homes (later renamed the Division of Health and Welfare Ministries), worked with the National Association of Health and Welfare Ministries to establish minimal standards for the operation of ministries related to a unit of the denomination.

Determining and continually upgrading these certification standards established precedent that has since been emulated many times by numerous secular bodies and public organizations, which share similar concerns for quality care.

In August 1984 the United Methodist Association’s Board of Directors formed a task force to revitalize the original Certification Program of the Church. Representatives from a variety of ministries interested in the development of a program involving self-study and peer review were selected to constitute this task force.

Through its developmental stages the task force debated how the program should be organized and operated. The outcome of these re-vitalization debates was the development of the Educational Assessment Guidelines Leading toward Excellence, or EAGLE, Accreditation.


“Provide a voluntary program utilizing principles and goals that promotes, pursues and recognizes excellence in the holistic, Christian mission and ministry of an organization.”



Every mission site is important, regardless of size. Each organization is equally important to the work of The Church, as it serves God’s people.

Every mission site is unique in terms of the environment in which it operates, the services it provides, the clients it serves, and the styles by which it is governed and led

Every mission site is empowered by the faith/works concept, predicated upon the outward expression of Christian love through quality care, charitable compassion and responsible stewardship

Every Christian organization not only CAN improve, but has a DUTY to improve, whether in terms of its existing processes and procedures or in expanding the services it provides or in how it responds to emerging issues.