About AACU

The Association of Adventist Colleges and Universities (AACU) exists to improve Adventist higher education and to help make the benefits known to students seeking a degree at a faith-based institution. Below you’ll learn more about AACU and the benefits it offers for students.


What is AACU?

In 2001 and 2002, the presidents of the accredited Adventist colleges and universities in North America faced a pivotal choice to raise the bar in Adventist education. With much thought and prayer, they replaced competition with the spirit of collaboration through the creation of the Association of Adventist Colleges and Universities (AACU).

Each of the 13 colleges and universities continues its independent leadership and most recruitment efforts. The key focus of AACU is drawing the colleges together to improve Adventist higher education and to reach more students with the benefits of its holistic approach.


Serving Prospective Students and Parents

Through nationwide focus groups and survey research, AACU discovered that families whose children did not attend an Adventist high school had very little awareness of what Adventist colleges had to offer. AACU set out to better communicate and raise awareness for the benefits of studying at an Adventist college or university—for students from public high schools, private high schools, home schools or even other colleges.

AACU established this central web site (AdventistColleges.org) offering students and parents:

Resources for starting the college process.
You’ll find a college prep checklist, ideas on how to pay for college, tips for getting value out of your campus visits and more.

Details from Adventist colleges and universities.
This site includes college-specific admissions requirements, undergraduate and graduate programs offered, links to school scholarships, lists of athletic programs and much more making college research easier.

An easier way to apply.
Complete one online application for as many Adventist colleges and universities as you want. Start your application today and save your progress. Your first 3 submissions are free!

“AACU’s efforts have made it easier for thousands of families to learn about and connect with Adventist higher education,” said Rob Weaver, AACU’s vice president for marketing. “With nearly 500 different programs of study, Adventist colleges and universities have options for young people seeking a Christ-centered education.”


Benefits of an Adventist Education

AACU also launched another research initiative to more clearly understand the differences between a holistic Adventist education compared to a public university. The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist educational system is to prepare young people for success in the 21st century and beyond. Adventists value every individual as a unique person created in the image of God with distinctive gifts, talents and abilities. With this in mind, the Adventist educational system is based on the development of the whole person.

Therefore, a faith-based education at an Adventist college or university should demonstrate measurable benefits in areas like spiritual experience, personal connections, campus participation and life preparation. To find out, AACU commissioned the CollegeImpact Study. Alumni from all AACU member schools participated in comparing experiences and outcomes of Adventist graduates from both Adventist and public institutions.

The research shows Adventist colleges have distinct values and opportunities that aren’t typically found at a public college or large university. Here is a brief summary of what you can expect from an Adventist college or university (learn more and find the full results here):

Sustainable Spirituality
Adventist colleges offer students the faith factor—the chance to share their spiritual journey with friends, peers and mentors who believe and reinforce a common Christian faith every day of the week.

Forever Friendships
Students who attend an Adventist college will make lifelong friends, not only with fellow classmates, but also with professors, making strong recommendations and ongoing support for years to come.

Participation and Leadership
Students at Adventist colleges show more campus involvement and leadership among their peers while in college, giving a rich college experience that also boosts their resumes and their confidence.

Life Preparation
Adventist colleges offer students an excellent way to prepare for life as a life-long learner ready to handle real-world situations with professional confidence, healthy rhythms and answers to the big questions.

Caring Professors
The personal attention offered by professors shows through prayer, Bible studies, classroom worship and many other ways that professors encourage students in spiritual well-being, academic success and career competence.

According to Weaver, “Some families think smaller class sizes and personal interaction with a professor, instead of a graduate assistant, means the class might be dumbed down. On the contrary! It means the professor will get to know the student and understand his potential and be able to challenge, encourage and mentor him to grow and develop in ways that are unusual in a large public university setting.”


Uniting Adventist Colleges and Universities

In addition to helping families learn more about Christ-centered Adventist higher education, AACU has helped Adventist colleges become less competitive and more cooperative.

“AACU has helped the colleges build stronger relationships with each other and to recognize that not every Adventist campus is a perfect fit for each student,” Weaver said. “As a result, there is less pitting of the schools against each other than 10 years ago and more awareness of the strengths and unique personality of each college.”

13 accredited colleges and universities make up the association. They collectively enroll nearly 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year throughout the United States and Canada.

The colleges belonging to AACU are as follows:
Adventist University of Health Sciences (Orlando, Fla.)
Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Mich.)
Burman University, formerly Canadian University College (Lacombe, AB, Canada)
Kettering College (Kettering, Ohio)
La Sierra University (Riverside, Calif.)
Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, Calif.)
Oakwood University (Huntsville, Ala.)
Pacific Union College (Napa Valley, Calif.)
Southern Adventist University (Collegedale, Tenn.)
Southwestern Adventist University (Keene, Texas)
Union College (Lincoln, Neb.)
Walla Walla University (College Place, Wash.)
Washington Adventist University (Takoma Park, Md.)

Explore the Adventist colleges and universities with the campus map.


Learn more about the benefits of Adventist higher education, or discover how to get started with a Christ-centered college education with information specific to high school students, home school students or parents.