Azusa Pacific University: Wikis


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Azusa Pacific University
Motto "God First"
Established 1899 (1899)
Type Private
Religious affiliation Inter-denominational
President Jon R. Wallace, DBA
Provost Michael M. Whyte, Ph.D.
Faculty 1,131
Staff 617
Undergraduates 4,722
Postgraduates 3,406
Location Azusa, California, United States
Campus Suburban, 105 acres (0.4 km2) on two campuses
Sports Baseball
Cross country
Swimming & Diving
Track & Field
Colors Brick, White, and Black
Nickname APU
Mascot Cougars
Athletics NAIA
Affiliations GSAC

Azusa Pacific University is a private, inter-denominational, evangelical Christian university located near Los Angeles in suburban Azusa, California. It was founded in 1899, with classes opening on March 3, 1900 in Whittier, California. It began offering degrees in 1939. APU holds regional accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

While officially inter-denominational,[citation needed] the university has ties with several evangelical denominations. The university's seminary, Haggard School of Theology, holds to a Wesleyan, Arminian doctrinal theology.[1] With nearly 5,000 students, APU's undergraduate student body is the largest in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (although Indiana Wesleyan University has a larger total student body) and the second largest evangelical undergraduate student body in the United States, behind only Liberty University[2].


Campus locations

Azusa Pacific University’s Azusa campus is situated in the San Gabriel Valley, located 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Los Angeles.

The university also maintains seven off-site regional centers in Southern California:

San Diego Regional Center


History at a glance
Training School for Christian Workers Established 1899
Pacific Bible College Renamed 1939
Azusa College Renamed 1956
Azusa College and
Los Angeles Pacific College
Merged 1965
Azusa Pacific College and
Arlington College
Merged 1968
Azusa Pacific University Renamed 1981

What is known today as Azusa Pacific University is the product of the merger of three Southern California-area Christian institutions: Azusa College, an independent Bible School; Los Angeles Pacific College, a Free Methodist liberal arts college; and Arlington College, a Church of God school.

Azusa Pacific University was established as the Training School for Christian Workers in 1889 in Whittier, California, the first Bible college on the West Coast.[citation needed]

In 1939 the Training School became Pacific Bible College, and four-year degrees were offered. In 1956, the name was changed to Azusa College. Azusa College merged first in 1965 with Los Angeles Pacific College and became Azusa Pacific College, and three years later, APC merged with Arlington College.

Upon its achievement of university status in 1981, the college changed its name to Azusa Pacific University. During that decade, off-site educational regional centers throughout Southern California were instated and master’s degree programs were first approved.

During the 1990s, Azusa Pacific began offering not only undergraduate, but also graduate degrees, and during that decade the university’s first three doctoral programs were awarded. Student enrollment doubled, and graduate programs quadrupled throughout the decade.[citation needed]

In November 2000, then-Executive Vice President Jon R. Wallace, DBA, became president.[3] Under Wallace’s leadership, Azusa Pacific University continued to grow. The university now offers more than 60 areas of undergraduate study, 26 master’s degree programs, and 7 doctorates to a total student population of more than 8,100.

Accreditation and recognition

Specialized accreditation

(School of Business and Management)


Azusa Pacific University is organized into one college and six schools. The academics programs are available from College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and specifically the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, School of Business and Management, School of Education, School of Music, School of Nursing, and School of Theology.

University libraries

APU offers three libraries on its main campus, with an additional six off-campus libraries supporting academic programs at the APU Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Murrieta, and Ventura Regional Centers. The main campus libraries are the William V. Marshburn Library, Hugh and Hazel Darling Library, and Stamps Theological Library, and contain a print collection of more than 215,000 books and media, 1,800 periodical titles, and 630,000 microforms. The university network also provides access to more than 100 online databases, which include more than 12,000 full-text periodical titles and 23,000 electronic books.[5] Special Collections of Azusa Pacific University are housed in the Thomas F. Andrews Room of the Hugh and Hazel Darling Library, located on APU’s west campus.

In the Fall of 2009, Azusa Pacific University acquired a significant collection of rare antiquities, including 5 fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls and 5 first-edition prints of the King James Bible. These new acquisitions will be publicly displayed in the special collections section of the library beginning in the Spring of 2010.[6] [7]

Academic resources

Azusa Pacific University offers students and faculty various academic resources. These include career services, the Center for Academic Service Learning and Research, the Center for Global Learning and Engagement, the Center for Research in Ethics in Values, the Center for Research in Science, an Honors Program, the Institute of Faith Integration, the Noel Academy for Strengths-Based Leadership and Education, and the Writing Center.


More than 300 Azusa Pacific University student-athletes compete in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in 17 intercollegiate sports:

  • Baseball (Men)
  • Basketball (Men and women)
  • Cheerleading (Women)
  • Cross country (Men and women)
  • Football (Men)
  • Softball (Women)
  • Soccer (Men and women)
  • Swimming & Diving (Women)
  • Tennis (Men and women)
  • Track & Field (Men and women)
  • Volleyball (Women)
  • Waterpolo (Women)

Azusa Pacific Athletics achieved five consecutive wins of the Directors’ Cup in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, with a total of 101 GSAC Championships and 32 NAIA National Championships.[citation needed][8]

The football team plays as an independent within the NAIA as of the 2009 football season.

Student life

Campus activities

  • Chapel Programs
  • Student Government Association
  • Communiversity
  • The Arts: Music, Theater
  • Health and Wellness: the University Counseling Center, Health Center, and Fitness Center.

Community involvement

Ministry and Service

APU sponsors numerous local and global programs, including: tutoring local children, sponsoring sports camps, and cleaning up local mountain trails. Farther from campus, students build on 35 years of cooperation with Mexican churches painting schools, erecting churches, and leading Vacation Bible schools in neighborhoods throughout Mexicali and Ensenada. Through Focus International, students serve in India, Kenya, Thailand, and other ministry sites around the globe.

Center for Academic Service Learning and Research

The Center for Academic Service Learning and Research supports programs that provide a vital link between the classroom and the community. Notable programs include the C.H.A.M.P. (College Headed and Mighty Proud) program and a collaboration with NavPress Publications in the production of devotionals for youth (7 Minutes with God, 7 Minutes with Jesus, and 7 Minutes with the Holy Spirit).

The center serves as a bridge between academics and the community, working to organize programs that can be integrated into course curriculum. Service learning courses are offered in an average of 45 to 50 classes per semester in disciplines from education to social work and biochemistry.


In 2007, APU was recognized by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of the nation’s top schools in awarding degrees to minority students. The university ranked among the top 100 in 13 categories, including 6th for awarding Hispanic master's degrees in the education category, and 60th for total minority master's degrees awarded across all disciplines, up from 10th and 81st in 2006.[9] More than 70 countries and all fifty states are represented in the student population.

The Office of Multi-Ethnic Programs provides support and sponsors activities that increase awareness and appreciation for ethnic diversity. APU also has an International Center to assist international scholars with admissions, immigration, and cultural understanding, and also promotes community through programs and activities including the American International Mentoring Program, International Chapel, Global Fest, and the International Student Association.

Global engagement

APU students are offered, through several campus offices, a variety of missions and global awareness opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Focus International creates opportunities for sending 185 students to serve in 20 countries, including India, Kenya, Thailand, and more. Through the Center for Global Learning and Engagement, students may choose from more than 40 study abroad opportunities, including programs in Oxford, China, Lithuania, Italy, and Australia.

APU’s new South Africa campus program, based in Kwazulu-Natal Province, provides more than 30 students each semester with an opportunity to learn about the rich culture and society of South Africa, receive theoretical and practical training on community building and inter-cultural ministry, conduct service and research projects in local communities, and develop relationships with South African students, academics, and community members.

Notable alumni

Dan Barker playing music at an atheist convention in Reykjavík
Jean-Robert Bellande at the final table of the World Series of Poker Circuit Event in 2005
Decathlete Bryan Clay during the long jump part of the World Athletics Championships 2007 decathlon in Osaka, Japan
Name Class year Notability Reference
Colleen Ballinger 2008
BA in Theatre
Singer/comedienne as "Miranda Sings"
Dan Barker 1975
BA in Religion
Minister turned atheist author/speaker [10]
Doug Barnett 1982 NFL player
Jean-Robert Bellande
B.S. in Marketing
Poker player; contestant on Survivor China
Bryan Clay 2002 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist, Decathlon; 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist [11]
Vivian Chukwuemeka 2006 2008 Olympian, Nigeria, Shot Put and Discus [12]
Kevin Daley Harlem Globetrotter [13]
Innocent Egbunike 1986 Olympic runner; 2008 Track & Field Coach, Nigeria Olympic Team
Julie Ertel 1999, M.Ed. in Physical Education 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist, Water Polo; 2008 Olympic Triathlete [12]
Davidson Ezinwa 1994 Olympic runner
James "The Sandman" Irvin 2001 MMA Fighter
Osmond Ezinwa 1994 Olympic runner
Jack W. Hayford 1970 Founder, The Church on the Way
David A. Johnson 1986 and 2003
M.A. Ed.: Special Education
Olympic decathlete
Steven Lenhart 2008 Forward for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer
Miles McPherson 1991
Senior Pastor of The Rock Church, San Diego
John C. Maxwell 1989
Leadership coach and writer
Miles McPherson 1991
Senior Pastor of The Rock Church, San Diego
John F. MacArthur, Jr. 1961 Senior Pastor of Grace Community Church, President of The Master's College Santa Clarita, CA
Austin O’Brien 2004 Actor [14]
Steve Hindalong 1981 Songwriter, producer: co-writer "God of Wonders"
Christian Okoye 1987 Former NFL player (1987-1992)
Marcie Dodd 2001 Actress: Wicked LA and Broadway cast member
Regina Zernay 1993 bass player in Cowboy Mouth
Dennis Downs Fire Chief for the Pasadena Fire Department (Pasadena, California


External links

Coordinates: 34°07′47″N 117°53′20″W / 34.12971°N 117.88888°W / 34.12971; -117.88888

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