The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) is an international association of Christian institutions of higher education working to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and "to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth." Founded in 1976 with 38 member colleges or universities, the Council has grown to 121 members in North America and 60 affiliate institutions in 19 countries.
The CCCU is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization headquartered in the historic district of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.. The Council also owns facilities in Oxford, England, for its Oxford student programmes and San Jose, Costa Rica, for its Latin American Studies Program. The CCCU leases spaces for the remaining Best Semester student programs around the world (see below). In 1989, the Council purchased the townhouse adjacent to The Dellenback Center for guest housing in its Capitol Hill location. In 1999, the Council purchased and renovated an existing townhouse to use as its main headquarters. The original two-story townhouse was constructed in the 1850s and is one of the few remaining wooden clapboard structures on Capitol Hill. It is within walking distance to Union Station, the Capitol and the Washington Mall.
In September 2014, Shirley V. Hoogstra, J.D., was named the Council's seventh president. Before that, she was the vice president for student life at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after having served for four years on Calvin’s Board of Trustees. While at Calvin, Hoogstra also served as a cabinet member who became familiar with team building, campus-wide planning and communications. She was also the co-host of Inner Compass, a nationally televised show on PBS. She has served in a variety of volunteer leadership roles for CCCU institutes and commissions, and is the Council's first female president. The previous president, Edward O. Blews Jr., served from January 1, 2013, to October 22, 2013. William P. Robinson, former president of Whitworth University, was named the interim president before Hoogstra was appointed. The Council's 14-member board of directors is composed of current member presidents, past presidents, friends of the CCCU mission, and senior counsel from the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is currently Gregory S. Baylor. The current chair is Dr. Charles "Chip" W. Pollard, president of John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
With a $13 million budget, 65 employees and hundreds of volunteer leaders, the CCCU provides more than 100 programs and services to fulfill the Council's mission and to meet the needs of Christ-centered colleges and universities. These include student global education opportunities, and many professional development opportunities for its members throughout the year, such as annual gatherings for its college and university presidents, and annual conferences for member Chief Institutional Development Officers; Communication, Marketing and Media Officers; Chief Enrollment Officers; Chief Financial Officers; Campus Ministry Directions, and other leadership development programs. Other member services include webinars, grant-making opportunities for scholarship and research, discipline specific forums, networking communities, a tuition waver exchange program, and an online career center. Members also receive access to the Council's biannual magazine called CCCU ADVANCE, as well as regular news updates, website resources on scholarship, and information related to Christian higher education policy and issues.
The CCCU administers a number of student study programs around the world through its Best Semester programs. More than 700 students take part in these Council-approved, academic programs each year. Students of CCCU member institutions have the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs that include course work, field experiences, cross cultural events and internships in Australia, China, Latin America, the Middle East, Oxford, England, Russia, and Uganda. There is also a public affairs program and a journalism program in Washington, D.C., a contemporary music program in Nashville, and a film studies program in Los Angeles. Alumni of global education programs gain valuable personal and professional experience in shaping the future.
"Conduct fund raising activities in a manner consistent with the standards of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability."
In 2015 some member schools withdrew or announced their intention to withdraw from membership in the CCCU because of a policy change by some member institutions to hire same-sex couples. A potential split within the CCCU was avoided with the announcement on September 21, 2015 by the CCCU president that both Goshen College and Eastern Mennonite University, the two colleges that changed their policies to hire same-sex couples, had withdrawn from the Council. The Council issued a statement affirming the traditional Christian view of marriage as between a man and a woman. A task force has been appointed to examine the rationale for the existing associational categories plus address how to remain rooted in traditional Christianity.
By the end of 2014, the CCCU's 60 affiliates in 19 countries included: "institutions which do not fully meet member curriculum or hiring criteria," "institutions which are not primarily four-year undergraduate colleges," and "institutions outside North America."
^J.C. Derrick (31 August 2015). "Second school leaves the CCCU". WORLD Magazine. Retrieved 2015-09-06. “We believe in missional clarity and view the defense of the biblical definition of marriage as an issue of critical importance,” said Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.