CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati Christian University is withdrawing its accreditation, according to a letter released Monday.
Founded in 1924, the university will close at the end of this semester, reports the Enquirer.
In the same letter, CCU announced a new ‘collaboration’ with Central Christian College of the Bible to provide ‘accredited ministerial degrees.’
The announcement comes just a few months after news broke that CCU was in danger of losing its Higher Learning Commission accreditation due to several financial and academic issues.
The HCL is a regional agency that accredits colleges and universities in 19 states.
Students said they never expected it would happen this quickly.
“I only had four classes left and student teaching. I was almost done," Rikki Morris said. “I mean they gave us a list of schools we can possibly go to and get into it, but the future’s kind of blurry.”
A July 11 show-cause order from the agency found conflicts of interest by CCU President Ron Heineman, a lack of documentation surrounding those interests, and a lack of transparency on the part of the Board of Trustees, among other issues.
The university had until Dec. 1 to submit evidence it had improved each area of concern.
It had been accredited by HLC since 1989.
CCU has faced plenty of challenges in recent years, according to the show-cause order, operating on a monthly deficit and facing more than a decade of declining enrollment.
Morris said this announcement means CCU faculty members are losing their jobs.
“They’re losing their career. They’re losing what a lot of them thought was their calling and was a passion for them," Morris said.
In response, the university explains, it explored mergers, adding programs and expanding athletic programming to attract more students.
“These strategies have allowed the school to serve new populations,” the letter released Monday said, “but have not overcome the financial challenges that face many private, residential colleges today.”
Central Christian College of the Bible is located in Moberly, Miss. It is affiliated with the Christian Church movement and is accredited nationally by the Association for Biblical Higher Education to offer on-site and online degrees.
“This uniting of forces to gain ground for the future of the church does my heart good,” CCU Chairman of Trustees Chris Hahn said. “I’m excited for our current and future students.”