Azusa Pacific University

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Azusa Pacific University
Azusa Pacific University (logo).png
Former names
Training School for Christian Workers
Pacific Bible College (1939)
Motto "God First"
Type Private
Established 1899 (1899)
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
Nickname Cougars
Affiliations CCCU
Sports 19 varsity teams
Mascot Freddie the Cougar

Azusa Pacific University (APU) is a private, Wesleyan-Holiness, 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][4]

Campus location[edit]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[6]

In November 2000, then-Executive Vice President Jon R. Wallace, DBA, became president.[7] 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, eight doctoral programs, and two associate degrees to a total student population of nearly 11,500.[8]

University presidents[edit]

The university has had a total of 16 presidents since its founding.[6]

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[edit]

Specialized accreditation[edit]

(School of Business and Management)


University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[12] 173
Washington Monthly[13] 143[11]

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[edit]

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.[14] 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.[15] These new acquisitions were displayed in an exhibit, Treasures of the Bible: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Beyond, in summer 2010.[16][17]

Academic resources[edit]

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.


Azusa Pacific University competes in the Pacific West Conference (PacWest) in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 17 intercollegiate sports. The Azusa Pacific University football team participates in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. More than 300 student-athletes participate in the following sports:


  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field


  • Acrobatics and tumbling
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Softball
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo

Student life[edit]

Community involvement[edit]

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.[18]

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 one of 29 California schools recognized.[19]


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.[20] 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.[21] 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.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Council for Christian Colleges & Universities - 404 - Page Not Found". Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions - Orange County Regional Campus - Azusa Pacific University". Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "FAQs on Biblical Authority". 
  4. ^ "About HGST". 
  5. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 31, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d
  7. ^ "About the President". Azusa Pacific University. 
  8. ^ "About APU". 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ "Azusa Pacific's Department of Art Receives National Accreditation". 2008-10-23. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  11. ^ "2014 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Archived from the original on August 28, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Best Colleges 2017: National Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2016. 
  13. ^ "2016 Rankings - National Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Libraries and Collections". Archived from the original on 2007-08-31. 
  15. ^ "Culture Monster". Los Angeles Times. 2009-09-09. 
  16. ^ "Azusa Pacific University Acquires Five Dead Sea Scroll Fragments and Rare Biblical Artifacts". September 3, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Azusa Pacific Acquires fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls". Los Angeles Times. September 9, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Azusa Pacific Receives Prestigious Carnegie Community Engagement Classification - Media Relations - Azusa Pacific University". Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  19. ^ "APU Recognized on Community Service Honor Roll - Media Relations - Azusa Pacific University". Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  20. ^ "APU Among Top 100 Schools Awarding Degrees to Minority Students". 
  21. ^ "Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity". 

External links[edit]

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