Life University

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Coordinates: 33°55′57″N 84°30′52″W / 33.9325°N 84.5145°W / 33.9325; -84.5145

Life University
Life university logo.png
Former names
Life Chiropractic College
Type Private
Established 1974 (1974)
Chancellor Dr. Guy Riekeman
President Dr. Robert Scott
Academic staff
Students 2,629
Undergraduates 718
Postgraduates 1,974
Location Marietta, Georgia, United States
33°55′57″N 84°30′52″W / 33.9325°N 84.5145°W / 33.9325; -84.5145

Life University is a private university in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, Georgia, United States, that offers undergraduate, masters, and a doctoral degree. Besides undergraduate and graduate programs in health and wellness-oriented fields, Life University is best known for its Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. It is the largest single campus chiropractic college in the world.

The guiding philosophy of Life University is vitalism.[1] Life University centers their philosophy, including clinical training, around the vertebral subluxation complex.


Life University was founded in 1974 by Dr. Sid E. Williams as Life Chiropractic College. The school was established on the site of a placer gold mine, next to Southern Technical Institute (formerly Southern Polytechnic State University and now Kennesaw State University - Marietta Campus). 22 students attended the first classes in January 1975.[2]

Life University Summer 2011 Graduation
Life University summer 2011 graduation

In 1989 the name of the school was shortened to Life College, as the school recently had opened an undergraduate program and was no longer purely chiropractic. This undergraduate program allowed Life to establish an intercollegiate athletic program By 1990, the school had grown to become the largest college of chiropractic in the world. In March 2004 Dr. Guy Riekeman, former Chancellor of the Palmer Chiropractic University System, was appointed as the President of Life University.[2] In 2017 Dr. Rob Scott took over as President of the university and Dr. Riekeman became Chancellor.[3]

Education programs[edit]

Life University is divided into two colleges: the College of Chiropractic (D.C. Doctor of Chiropractic) and the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies (A.S. Computer Information Management and Coaching Psychology; B.A. Positive Human Development and Social Change; B.S. Biology, Biopsychology, Psychology, Business Administration, Computer Information Management, Culinary Nutrition, Dietetics, Exercise Science, General Studies, Health Coaching and Nutrition; and M.S. Sport Health Science, Clinical Nutrition and Positive Psychology and M.A.T. Athletic Training).

Life University offers a curriculum for pre-chiropractic that is not a degree program but may lead to an undergraduate degree.[citation needed]


The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) to award Associates, Bachelors, Masters and Doctor of Chiropractic degrees.[4]

The Doctor of Chiropractic degree program of Life University College of Chiropractic is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE).[5]

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and Dietetic Internship (DI) Program are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).[6][7]

Temporary loss of chiropractic accreditation in 2002–2003[edit]

CCE revoked Life's chiropractic accreditation in June 2002. The actions by CCE had no bearing on the university's overall accreditation by SACS, its official regional accrediting agency. SACS accredits the university as a whole, while CCE governs eligibility for chiropractic licensure.

The CCE did not disclose the precise grounds for which they based their decision, but indicated noncompliance with instructional requirements and failure to maintain a suitable educational environment among their findings.[8]

Life University challenged the legitimacy of the CCE's revocation in federal court in January 2003.[9] In February 2003, after the court reviewed evidence that suggested the CCE's decision was politically motivated, the university accreditation was retroactively restored by a temporary injunction while the case went to trial.[10] In June 2003, both parties reached an agreement whereby the university maintained its accreditation while completing a special accreditation process over the following 19 months.[11]


The campus is located in Marietta, Georgia on 110 wooded acres. The campus features five miles of walking and jogging trails, an outdoor amphitheater, outdoor seating and study areas, and reflection pools. LEED-certified green housing includes the Village Retreat, apartment-style living on campus. LIFE has restored a 19th-century village and gristmill, located on campus along Rottenwood Creek.

The Ian Grassam Treehouse is set amongst the trees and the lake, and serves as a student retreat and a peaceful setting to study during the week or to hang out on weekends.

The main dining area on campus is Socrates Cafe, which opened to students, staff, faculty, and visitors in January 2010. The 28,000 square foot facility and outside patio focuses on sustainability initiatives, capable of zero-waste through recycling,biodegrading and composting serving locally and serving organically grown food when possible.


Life University teams, known as the Running Eagles, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I level, primarily competing in the Mid-South Conference, effectively in the 2014–15 season. They formerly competed in the defunct TranSouth Athletic Conference (TSAC) during its only season in 2012–13 before competing as an Independent in the 2013–14 season. Men's intercollegiate sports include basketball, rugby, and wrestling; while women's intercollegiate sports include swimming, cross country, wrestling and rugby.

Women's sports[edit]

Life University women's competitive sports include basketball, bowling, track, soccer, cross country, rugby, swimming, volleyball, and wrestling.

In cross country, the Running Eagles compete in 5-kilometer races, with top times of 25:02. The Running Eagles have a winning track record, including the Southeastern Regional Playoffs in 2015.

Undergraduate men's rugby[edit]

Life U's most notable sport is rugby. Life U's rugby program began in 1980. In 1982, Life U reached the finals of the collegiate national championships, losing to the University of California Golden Bears. Life U's undergraduate rugby program was reintroduced as a varsity sport and began play during the 2010–2011 season.

The Running Eagles have been led since 2009 by Dan Payne, who has both played for and been an assistant coach for the U.S. national rugby team. In 2014, Life U added a varsity women's rugby program. The Running Eagles reached the national quarterfinals in 2011 in its first season. Life U reached the national semifinals in the 2011-12 season, and finished the season ranked #2 in the country.[12] Life U won the USA Rugby national championship in 2013, beating St. Mary's with a come-from-behind win in the final.

  • National champion: 2013, 2016
  • Runner-up: 1982, 2014, 2015
  • Semi-finalist: 2012
  • Quarter finalist: 2011

Life University has been successful in rugby sevens. Life U won the 2011 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships.[13] Life U won the spring 2012 Las Vegas Invitational, earning a berth at the June 2012 Collegiate Rugby Championship,[14] where Life U went undefeated in pool play and reached the semifinals. The CRC tournament, played at PPL Park in Philadelphia, is the highest profile college rugby tournament in the US and is broadcast live every year on NBC.[15] Life U won the fall 2012 South Independent 7s tournament.[16] This victory earned Life an automatic berth and a chance to defend its title at the fall 2012 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships, where Life U went 5–1 and finished second in the tournament, losing in the Cup Championship match to rival Arkansas State. In 2013, Life U went 5–1 at the USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships to finish 5th.[17]

  • USA Rugby 7s
    • Champion: 2011
    • Runner-up: 2012
    • Fifth: 2013
  • CRC 7s
    • Semi-finalist: 2012, 2014
    • Runner-up: 2013

Men's senior rugby[edit]

Since 1986, Life U has played at a senior level, including a stint in the Rugby Super League from 1997 to 2002. Life U rejoined the RSL in 2009.[18] In 2000, Life U won the Rugby Super League National Championship, and in 2007, Life University's rugby team was ranked number one of the Division 1 clubs in the nation.[19] It played the 2013 USA Rugby Elite Cup and later joined the American Rugby Premiership.

  • Men's Super League Champions: 2000
  • Runners-up: 2009, 2010, 2013
  • Men's D1 Club Champions: 2008, 2013, 2014

Other sports[edit]

Other intercollegiate sports and club sports include basketball, volleyball, hockey, wrestling. Life won the NAIA Men's Basketball Championships in 1997, 1999 and 2000, and were runner-up in 1994 and 2017. In 2012, the university announced the addition of collegiate wrestling to their athletic program.[20]


  1. ^ "Vitalism - Life University". Life University. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  2. ^ a b Scott, Thomas Allan (2003). Cobb County, Georgia and the Origins of the Suburban South: A Twentieth Century History. Marietta, Georgia: Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society. pp. 565–566. ISBN 0-9743646-0-6. 
  3. ^ "Executive Office". Life University. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  4. ^ SACS-COC accreditation of Life University Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ CCE accreditation of Life University
  6. ^ CADE accreditation of Life University DPD
  7. ^ CADE accreditation of Life University DI Program
  8. ^ ""
  9. ^ "Life files suit against CCE", Dynamic Chiropractic, February 10, 2003
  10. ^ "Judge Charles Moye Jr. Ruling Against CCE",, March 6, 2003
  11. ^ "Life University Reaches Agreement With Council on Chiropractic Education", Dynamic Chiropractic, July 28, 2003
  12. ^ Rugby Mag, Final 2012 D1-A College Rankings, May 20, 2012,
  13. ^ Paki's Corner, College 7s National Championship – Life Takes Overtime Thriller, Dec. 22, 2011,
  14. ^ Deseret News, Utes finish second in Las Vegas 7's, Feb. 12, 2012,
  15. ^ USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship,
  16. ^ Rugby Mag, Life Wins Berth in College 7s Championships, Sep. 29, 2012,
  17. ^ Rugby Mag, Men's 7s Final Brackets, Standings, Scores, 25 November 2013,
  18. ^
  19. ^ ERugbyNews, Division I Clubs Get Ranked, April 13th, 2007. available online Archived 2007-04-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^

External links[edit]