Spring Arbor University
|Motto||Fides, Vivens, Discens (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Faith, Living, Learning|
|Free Methodist Church|
|Endowment||$13.3 million (American)|
|Athletics||NAIA – Crossroads League|
Spring Arbor University (SAU) is a private Free Methodist affiliated university in Spring Arbor, Michigan. Developing from an earlier academy and junior college, in 1963 it established a four-year curriculum. Attaining university status in 1994, it is the second-largest evangelical Christian university in Michigan. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Spring Arbor University has developed in the late 20th century from a seminary founded in 1873 by leaders of the Free Methodist Church, particularly Edward Payson Hart. First Spring Arbor Seminary was established as a private academy for elementary and secondary grades. Located near the site of a former Potawatomi Indian village, the academy was built on property that formerly belonged to Central Michigan College (later renamed as Hillsdale College after moving to that city).
In 1923, the board of trustees voted to add a junior college to the academy. In 1929, the school was renamed as Spring Arbor Seminary and Junior College. Primary and intermediate classes were discontinued in 1930.
In 1960, the school gained accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the trustees changed the name of the institution to Spring Arbor College. The high school program was dropped, and Spring Arbor launched its four-year program in 1963.
In 1981, Spring Arbor began offering the first of its degree completion programs for adult learners in nearby Jackson. The college later developed degrees in health-related fields and opened sites in Lansing and Flint, Michigan. Graduate education classes were begun at Spring Arbor in 1994. In 2001, the school changed its name to Spring Arbor University.
SAU offers over 70 majors and programs at the undergraduate level at its main campus in Spring Arbor, Michigan. Teacher certification at the elementary level is offered in a 2+2 format at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, Michigan, Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing, Michigan and Jackson Community College.
The School of Graduate and Professional Studies operates offers degree options including Associate of Arts and Associate of Science in Business, Bachelor of Science in Business, Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management, Bachelor of Arts in Family Life Education, Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry Leadership, Bachelor of Social Work, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
In regards to graduate programs, SAU offers the Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Family Studies, Master of Arts in Education, Master of Science in Management and Master of Arts in Counseling degrees through some of its regional off-site campuses. SAUonline also offers the Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Communication, Master of Arts in Education, Master of Science in Management, Master of Arts in Reading, Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership, and Master of Science in Nursing.
The university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and is affiliated with the Free Methodist Church. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. SAU also holds accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
In the late 1980s, Michael A. O'Donnell, Ph.D. and Nick Stinnett, Ph.D. (professor with the University of Alabama) co-founded The International Family Life Institute, Inc., Montgomery, Alabama, which was hired by SAU to help them pioneer the first B.S. degree completion program in Family Life Education on the campus of Spring Arbor University leading to certification for professionals as Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE)
As of Fall 2010, there were 1,775 undergraduates, 1,291 graduate students and 1,165 off-campus degree completion students. There are roughly 42 denominations represented on the campus. About 84 percent of students are from Michigan, 15 percent are from 22 other states, and 1 percent are international.
Spring Arbor University has two radio stations: 106.9 HOME.fm and 89.3 The Message. 89.3 The Message has been previously known as 89.3 The Vibe. Publications include The Pulse, a bi-weekly student-run news magazine. An annual student film festival, Lumenocular, is held every April.
Spring Arbor University requires that all students attend a chapel service on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:05 am. Aside from Chapel, there are campus groups and events designed to grow the spiritual life of students including Spiritual Life Retreat, small groups, and the COL program. SAU also hosts a one-day event annually called The Focus Series. During this day, classes are canceled and various workshops and seminars are held on campus. Speakers have included emergent church spokesperson and author Brian McLaren.
Spring Arbor teams are known as the Cougars. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I (Division II for basketball), primarily competing in the Crossroads League, formerly known as the Mid-Central College Conference (MCCC). The Cougars also compete as a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Prior joining the Crossroads League in the 2004-05 season, they were a member of the Wolverine–Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track, and field and volleyball. The Women's soccer team won the 2015 & 2017 NAIA National Championship. After a 42-game unbeaten streak, the women were the 2016 NAIA National Champion runners-up. The 2019 Men’s basketball team was the NAIA Division 2 National Champions. 
In addition to the main campus in Spring Arbor, there are extension sites throughout Michigan in Battle Creek, Flint, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Metro Detroit (Southfield), Metro Metro Toledo (Temerance, MI), Petoskey, Traverse City. SAU also has one site in Ohio: Toledo (Owens Community College).
- As of Fall 2015. "U.S. News & World Report, Best College Rankings: Spring Arbor University". U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- (PDF) http://2yskz12ufu7l2va2ns2tirdn75i-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Athletic-Program-Participation-and-Program-Support-2018.pdf. Missing or empty
- "History of Spring Arbor University - Spring Arbor University". Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Traditional Undergraduate Majors and Programs - Spring Arbor University". Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Learning Sites - Spring Arbor University". Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Education with a higher standard - Spring Arbor University Online". Spring Arbor University Online. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Accreditations and memberships - Spring Arbor University". Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Raising Teens (published by Better Homes and Gardens), "Seven Secrets to Raising Great Kids," December 1999.
- The International Family Life Institute, Inc. was responsible for funding the Center for Fathering for $10,000 on the campus of Abilene Christian University and funding the National Adolescent Wellness Research project with the University of Alabama for an additional $15,000.
- "Spring Arbor University - NCFR". Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- O’Donnell, M.A. (1991) Human Life Cycle I: Instructor’s Manual. Spring Arbor, MI: Spring Arbor University.
- O’Donnell, M.A. (1991) Human Life Cycle II: Instructor’s Manual. Spring Arbor, MI: Spring Arbor University.
- O’Donnell, M.A. (1991) The Professional Family Life Educator: Instructor’s Manual. Spring Arbor, MI: Spring Arbor University.
- O’Donnell, M.A. (1990) Grief Management I: Instructor’s Manual. Spring Arbor, MI: Spring Arbor University.
- O’Donnell, M.A. (1990) Grief Management II: Instructor’s Manual. Spring Arbor, MI: Spring Arbor University.
- O’Donnell, M.A., editor. (1989) Parenting and Family Skills: Instructor’s Manual. Spring Arbor, MI: Spring Arbor University.
- O’Donnell, M.A., editor. (1989) Family Theory: Instructor’s Manual. Spring Arbor, MI: Spring Arbor University.
- "About SAU: Fast Facts". Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Sau Pulse". www.saupulse.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Spring Arbor University". www.saucougars.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Learning Sites - Spring Arbor University". Retrieved 6 October 2017.