Pacific Islands University
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Located in Mangilao, Guam, USA, Pacific Islands University is the only nationally accredited Christian College, Bible College, and Graduate Level Seminary in Micronesia, offering AA & BA degrees in Biblical Studies, Liberal Studies, and an MA in Religion.
PIU was founded in 1976 as the Micronesian Institute of Biblical Studies (MIBS) on one of the tiny islands in the middle of Micronesia by Liebenzell Mission and the evangelical churches it planted there to prepare Micronesian citizens for leadership in the church. It soon became apparent that this goal was too narrow and accessibility to its programs by the average Micronesian too difficult. While Micronesians valued the biblical training MIBS provided, they also wanted to know how to apply biblical knowledge for living successfully and for leading and influencing all areas of their society towards permanent solutions, and not just in the church.
Therefore, in 1991, led by its first president Dr. Roland Rauchholz, the school added a new campus on the island of Guam, a more western and accessible location, and MIBS became Pacific Islands Bible College (PIBC). The campus formerly called MIBS on the island of Tol became a branch campus. PIBC began offering certificate and diploma programs in Biblical Studies and thereafter the Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees.
Under the leadership of PIBC’s second president Dr. William Wood (1995-2002) the Guam campus moved from rented facilities onto its present campus in Mangilao, which was purchased in 1997, and began operations there in the spring of 1999. Current president, Dr. David Owen, assumed the leadership of the school in January 2003.
In 2004 PIBC received accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), which is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).
This opened up US financial aid opportunities for Micronesian students and set established quality benchmarks for its degree programs. PIBC opened Teaching Facilities on three other islands in Micronesia: Chuuk, Palau, and Yap. Some minors, including Teaching English as a Second Language and Elementary Education were added to the Biblical Studies program.
In February 2009, the Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the school to Pacific Islands University (PIU) to better reflect the growing emphasis on Christian liberal arts education and to acknowledge the graduate level seminary program which was launched in the fall of 2008. Since then there has been the addition of the Certification of Basic English, new practical ministry minors, including Bible Translation, AA & BA programs in Liberal Studies, as well as a certificate in Dive Instruction.
PIU students come from many different countries and many different religious denominations. Though most of its students are from the Pacific islands, it also welcomes students from other countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America.
The board of directors for Pacific Islands Bible College represents the Liebenzell Mission International, Palau Evangelical Church, and Yap Evangelical Church. The faculty and staff consists of islanders, as well as missionaries from Ecuador, Germany, the Philippines, and the United States.