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Azusa Pacific University

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Title: Azusa Pacific University  
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Subject: Azusa, California, Azusa Pacific Cougars, 2005 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, 2010 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, Kari Virding
Collection: 1899 Establishments in California, Azusa Pacific University, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Council of Independent Colleges, Educational Institutions Established in 1899, Evangelicalism in California, Nondenominational Christian Universities and Colleges, San Gabriel Valley, Schools Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Seminaries and Theological Colleges in California, Universities and Colleges Affiliated with the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), Universities and Colleges Affiliated with the Wesleyan Church, Universities and Colleges in Los Angeles County, California
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Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University
Former names
Training School for Christian Workers
Pacific Bible College (1939)
Motto "God First"
Established 1899 (1899)
Type Private
Affiliation Christian
President Jon R. Wallace
Provost Mark Stanton
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 10,755
Undergraduates 6,543
Postgraduates 4,212
Location Azusa, California, U.S.
Campus Suburban, 105 acres (42 ha) on two campuses
Colors Brick, White, and Black
Athletics NCAA Division IIPacWest
GNAC (football), GCC
Sports 16 varsity teams
Nickname Cougars
Mascot Cougar
Affiliations CCCU
Website .edu.apuwww

Azusa Pacific University (APU) is a private, Free Methodist, evangelical Christian university located near Los Angeles in suburban Azusa, California, United States. With over 6,500 students, APU's undergraduate student body is the largest in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the second largest evangelical undergraduate student body in the United States.[1] APU holds regional accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

The university was founded in 1899, with classes opening on March 3, 1900, in Whittier, California. It began offering degrees in 1939. While officially inter-denominational, APU has ties with several evangelical denominations.[2] The university's seminary, the Graduate School of Theology, holds to a Wesleyan-Arminian doctrinal theology.[3]


  • Campus location 1
  • History 2
    • University presidents 2.1
  • Accreditation and recognition 3
    • Specialized accreditation 3.1
  • Academics 4
    • University libraries 4.1
    • Academic resources 4.2
  • Athletics 5
  • Student life 6
    • Community involvement 6.1
    • Diversity 6.2
    • Global engagement 6.3
  • Notable alumni 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Campus location

Azusa Pacific University’s Azusa campus is situated in the San Gabriel Valley, located 23 miles (37 km) [near Pasadena] northeast of Los Angeles.

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


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

Azusa Pacific University was established on March 3, 1899, in Whittier, California, by a small group of Quakers and a Methodist evangelist.[4] Under the name Training School for Christian Workers, it was the first Bible college on the West Coast. Led by president Mary A. Hill, the school initially had a total enrollment of 12 students.[5]

Though its Friends connections remain today, Quaker influence on the school diminished by the 1930s. As faculty members began to embrace Evangelicalism and reject a growing liberal trend in the California Yearly Meeting of Friends, a separate campus church was established in 1933. This move changed the "school church" from the local Huntington Park Friends Church to a campus meeting which gave rise to the small Evangelistic Tabernacles denomination.[4] A series of mergers and campus re-locations helped to solidify the school's identity as an Evangelical institution.

Years following, the school merged with three Evangelical colleges in Southern California, and ultimately relocated to Azusa in 1949 where it resides today. 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.[5]

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 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.[5]

In November 2000, then-Executive Vice President Jon R. Wallace, DBA, became president.[6] Under Wallace’s leadership, Azusa Pacific University continued to grow. The university now offers 61 bachelor’s degrees, 40 master’s degrees, 17 certificates, 11 credentials, 8 doctoral programs, and 2 associate degrees to a total student population of nearly 11,500.[7]

University presidents

The university has had a total of 16 presidents since its founding.[5]

Term President
1900–01 Mary A. Hill
1901–03 Anna Draper
1903–04 Bertha Pinkham Dixon
1904–09 Matilda Atkinson
1909–19 WIlliam P. Pinkham
1919–23 Eli Reece
1923–24 Lowell H. Coate
1924–27 George A. McLaughlin
1927–31 Ray L. Carter
1931–36 David H. Scott
1936–37 B.C. Johnson
1937–39 William Kirby
1939–75 Cornelius P. Haggard
1976–89 Paul E. Sago
1990-2000 Richard E. Felix
2000–present Jon R. Wallace

Accreditation and recognition

Specialized accreditation

(School of Business and Management)


University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[10] 173
Washington Monthly[11] 143[12]

Azusa Pacific University is organized into three colleges and seven schools. The academics programs are available from the Honors College, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Music and the Arts, Leung School of Accounting, School of Adult and Professional Studies, School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, School of Business and Management, School of Education, School of Nursing, and School of Theology.

University libraries

APU offers three libraries on its main campus and six off-campus libraries supporting academic programs at the APU Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Murrieta 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 100 online databases, which include 12,000 full-text periodical titles and 23,000 electronic books.[13] APU's Special Collections, including historical documents, are housed in the Thomas F. Andrews Room of the Hugh and Hazel Darling Library.

In the fall of 2009, Azusa Pacific University acquired a collection of antiquities, including five fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls and five first-edition prints of the King James Bible.[14] These new acquisitions were displayed in an exhibit, Treasures of the Bible: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Beyond, in summer 2010.[15][16]

Academic resources

Azusa Pacific University academic resources 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 Pacific West Conference (PacWest) in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 17 intercollegiate sports:

  • Acrobatics and tumbling (women)
  • Baseball (men)
  • Basketball (men and women)
  • Cross country (men and women)
  • Football (men)
  • Softball (women)
  • Soccer (men and women)
  • Swimming and diving (women)
  • Tennis (men and women)
  • Track and field (men and women)
  • Volleyball (women)
  • Water polo (women)

Student life

Community involvement

Azusa Pacific University was one of 115 U.S. institutions named to the Carnegie Foundation's 2010 Community Engagement Classification, recognizing commitment to community service and service-learning.[17]

Community service

In 2012, Azusa Pacific University was recognized for the fifth time by Learn and Serve America on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. APU is 1 of 29 California schools recognized.[18]

Ministry and Service

APU sponsors 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 link between the classroom and the community. 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 2011, 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 11 categories, including 6th for awarding Hispanic master's degrees in the education category, and 65th for total minority master's degrees awarded across all disciplines.[19] More than 70 countries and all fifty states are represented in the student population.

The Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity provides support and sponsors activities that increase awareness of ethnic diversity, and seeks to cultivate an on campus culture that values ethnic diversity.[20] APU 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, missions and global awareness opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Focus International sends about 200 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 South Africa campus program,[21] based in Kwazulu-Natal Province, provides more than 30 students each semester with an opportunity to learn about the culture 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

Name Class year Notability References
Christopher Asher M.Ed. in Physical Education NCAA Track and Field Coach
Dan Barker 1970 Renowned American atheist
Doug Barnett 1982 NFL player
Bryan Clay 2002 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist, Decathlon; 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist [22]
Vivian Chukwuemeka 2006 2008 Olympian, Nigeria, Shot Put and Discus [23]
Kevin Daley Harlem Globetrotter [24]
Hailemariam Desalegn 2000 MA in Organizational Leadership Prime Minister of Ethiopia [25]
Marcie Dodd 2001 Actress: Wicked LA and Broadway cast member
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 [23]
Jim Eyen 1984, M.Ed. 22-year veteran NBA assistant coach, Los Angeles Lakers Assistant Coach
Osmond Ezinwa 1994 Olympic runner
Davidson Ezinwa 1994 Olympic runner
Stephen Vogt 2008 MLB Catcher for the Oakland Athletics
Jack W. Hayford 1970 Founder, The Church on the Way
Steve Hindalong 1981 Songwriter, producer: co-writer God of Wonders
James "The Sandman" Irvin 2001 MMA Fighter
David A. Johnson 1986 and 2003
M.A. Ed.: Special Education
Decathlon; 2002 Olympic Bronze Medalist
Steven Lenhart 2008 Forward for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer
John F. MacArthur, Jr. 1961 Senior Pastor of Grace Community Church, President of The Master's College Santa Clarita, CA [26]
John C. Maxwell 1989
Leadership coach and writer
Chip McAllister 1995 Actor and winner of "The Amazing Race" [27]
Miles McPherson 1991
Senior Pastor of The Rock Church, San Diego [28]
Pilipo Miriye 1982 First Evangelical Missionary from Papua New Guinea to Nigeria, W. Africa
Kirk Nieuwenhuis 2008 Major League Baseball Player [29]
Austin O’Brien 2004 Actor [30]
Christian Okoye 1987 Former NFL player (1987-1992)
Jackie Slater 2013
M.A. in Organizational Leadership
NFL Hall of Fame Offensive Lineman [31]
Regina Zernay 1993 Bass player in Cowboy Mouth
Garrett Russell M. A. in Clinical Psychology Lead vocalist and lyricist of hardcore band Silent Planet [32]
Decathlete Bryan Clay during the long jump part of the World Athletics Championships 2007 decathlon in Osaka, Japan


  1. ^ CCCU: About Us - Members
  2. ^
  3. ^ "About HGST". 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b c d
  6. ^ "About the President". Azusa Pacific University. 
  7. ^ "About APU". 
  8. ^ "National Association of Schools of Music Grants APU Full Membership". 2007-12-11. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  9. ^ "Azusa Pacific’s Department of Art Receives National Accreditation". 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  10. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  11. ^ "2015 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ "2014 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Libraries and Collections". 
  14. ^ "Culture Monster". Los Angeles Times. 2009-09-09. 
  15. ^ "Azusa Pacific University Acquires Five Dead Sea Scroll Fragments and Rare Biblical Artifacts". September 3, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Azusa Pacific Acquires fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls". Los Angeles Times. September 9, 2009. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "APU Among Top 100 Schools Awarding Degrees to Minority Students". 
  20. ^ "Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity". 
  21. ^ "South Africa Semester". 
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b
  24. ^ "Family Entertainment - From here, they'll trot the globe -". Archived from the original on 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  25. ^ "Ethiopia's Hailemariam Desalegn sworn in as prime minister". BBC News. 2012-09-21. 
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Austin O'Brien at the Internet Movie Database
  31. ^
  32. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • Azusa Pacific Athletics website

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