ACU, a private institution of higher education, is independently governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of members in good standing of congregations of Churches of Christ.
As a nationally recognized Christian university, our mission is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. We integrate faith and learning throughout the curriculum, reflecting the theological perspective of the broad mainstream of Churches of Christ.
Abilene Christian University was established in 1906 by members of Churches of Christ and has been closely affiliated with this body for nearly a century. The university is committed to biblical principles. Historically we believe these principles were reaffirmed through the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement begun in early 19th-century America and expressed today through Churches of Christ. Defining ourselves as a "movement," we are constantly in the process of articulating the basic elements of our biblically-based faith for our times - all without the involvement of denominational hierarchy.
As an institution of Christian higher education within the movement, we are called to examine how our theological perspectives shape our educational philosophy. We also recognize that the church-related colleges in the Restoration Movement (and ACU in particular in the 20th century) have played a major role in forging our identity as Churches of Christ.
ACU is an institution of higher learning, and the education we provide is grounded in core Christian values. We affirm God as the Father and the Creator, and Jesus as His Son. We affirm the Lordship of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which comes to the believer through baptism for remission of sins. We affirm the central authority of the Bible, which we believe to be the fully inspired Word of God and our only creed. We affirm the weekly observance of communion, a cappella singing in the worship assemblies of the church, local self-governance of each congregation, the priesthood of all believers, a vibrant personal faith, godly living, and a commitment to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
These affirmations are not intended to be comprehensive but to illustrate certain distinctive beliefs found among Churches of Christ and reflected by the university. In all we do, we aspire to be non-sectarian in character. Deep within our early heritage as a religious movement is a quest for the unity of all believers, which we hope to rekindle.
Relationships are at the heart of our Christ-centered faith. We seek to be Christians only and to be guided in our relationships by gentleness and respect. We believe God loves all people equally, and He seeks for His creation to live in a peaceable and benevolent manner.
A majority of our students are drawn from Churches of Christ, and our links to members and leaders in this heritage are strong. We want to nurture and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships with Churches of Christ as we foster a revitalization of Christ-centered faith. One of our goals is to encourage more Christian students to receive the exceptional education ACU offers so they can be bright lights anywhere in the world.
We welcome all students of character and ability who share our Christian values. Throughout the decades of its existence, ACU has made an increasing effort to create a friendly and inclusive environment for students from a variety of religious, ethnic, social, cultural and geographical backgrounds.
ACU feels a great responsibility to leverage the God-given gifts and knowledge of all our students, faculty, staff and alumni as we seek to show Christ to the world. We will support growth, stability and spiritual health of the body of Christ on earth as we prepare Christian servant-leaders to honor God and serve Christ through a wide variety of professions.
This statement was unanimously approved by the ACU Board of Trustees on Feb. 16, 2001.