Philosophy of ACU Student Life

The mission of Abilene Christian University is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. This mission is achieved through:

  • Exemplary teaching, offered by a faculty of Christian scholars, that inspires a commitment to learning;
  • Significant research, grounded in the university's disciplines of study, that informs issues of importance to the academy, church, and society;
  • Meaningful service to society, the academic disciplines, the university, and the church, expressed in various ways, by all segments of the Abilene Christian University community.

The mission of Student Life is to work in partnership with Academic Affairs to integrate living, learning, and faith, whereby students are educated for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. This collaboration of curriculum and co-curriculum, formal and informal learning, is essential to the development of a campus environment in which students live, learn, and grow in faith. The goal is to teach students how to live, as well as to prepare them for life. Educating the whole student is the primary objective of Student Life. We do this best by living in community with one another in an environment that addresses the developmental needs of our students.

Community life encompasses every aspect of university life. By definition, a community is a group of people living together who share a common purpose. This purpose is identified by common values, principles, goals, and responsibilities. ACU is a Christian community identified with the traditions of Churches of Christ, and conforming to the teachings of Jesus Christ. The ACU mission statement reflects the conviction expressed in the two greatest commandments given by Jesus in Matthew 22: 37-40, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind . . . And love your neighbor as yourself.”

Community life at ACU is a spiritual life. Since 1906, when Childers Classical Institute was founded, Chapel has served a vital role in the Christian liberal arts curriculum of ACU. Every school day the faculty, staff, and student body gather in Moody Coliseum Auditorium to glorify God, the source of our strength, purpose, and hope. This is the natural response of people whose mission is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Chapel serves to focus the hearts and minds of community members on ultimate truth and the freedom that comes from trusting God and leaning not on human understanding.

Community life at ACU is also a disciplined life. Community standards reflect Biblical principles and serve to call the ACU community and its members to holiness, honor, propriety, and civility. Community life at ACU is also redemptive: cooperation, compassion, and correction are all essential to growth and development within the ACU community. The disciplinary process is therefore both corrective and restorative. The goal is to redeem individuals and restore relationships. Such loving discipline is a compromised balance between justice and mercy.

Community life at ACU is committed to emotional and physical health. The ACU Medical Clinic and the University Counseling Center are confidential settings, staffed by Christian professionals (physician, nurse practitioner, nurses, and licensed counselors) whose lives are dedicated to helping students reach their greatest potential in Jesus Christ. Students are encouraged to address physical and emotional issues which may hinder their development as whole persons. In addition to this important intervention, the Peer Health Education program actively engages students in helping one another achieve healthy lifestyles from a Christian worldview.

Community life at ACU is lived in residence. At ACU, we believe in a holistic vision for Residence Life Education and Housing. ACU students work together in smaller communities to assure the best possible environments for living and learning. All first and second year full-time students live in on-campus residence halls. Professional residence hall staff are available 24 hours a day/seven days a week to provide our students with assistance and support. Our first year students have an 11:30 p.m. curfew Sunday through Thursday nights and a 1:00 a.m. curfew on Friday and Saturday nights. Curfew assists students in their transition from a home environment to a residence hall environment, and from high school to university. Returning to the halls each night further enables students to connect with others in their hall, where lifelong relationships are formed through unique opportunities for interaction and community. Third and fourth year students may choose to live on campus in University Park Apartments, or off campus in nearby neighborhoods.

Community life at ACU is enriched by the diversity of our student body. Many faith traditions, backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities are represented at ACU. Students from every State and more than 60 foreign nations live and learn together at ACU. This global community creates an opportunity for students to expand their worldview and to understand the global nature of their lives as Christians and as future leaders. The Office for Student Multicultural Enrichment is in partnership with the university to provide students with many opportunities to engage one another in rich experiences where various cultures and traditions bring new meaning to learning.

Community life at ACU is energized by a variety of campus activities born out of rich university tradition. Intramural Sports and Recreation, Student Government and Leadership Development, Freshman Follies and Sing Song, Welcome Week and Homecoming, Weekend and Spring Break Campaigns, Volunteer and Service Learning, Wildcat Kids and Habitat for Humanity, Social Clubs and Student Organizations, and Summer Leadership Camps all provide significant opportunities for further education and development of leadership skills. Faculty and staff serve as mentors to students in all university sponsored programs. Our students are intimately involved in ministry, budgeting and planning, marketing and public relations, organization and resource management, and programming and assessment. Students are challenged to integrate their classroom learning in these unique settings. Through their reflective experiences, students are given the rare gift of connecting their maturing beliefs with their behavior. Such continuity affirms developing minds and motivates students to pursue a lifetime of congruent and connected living.

Community life at ACU is experienced in a safe environment. The ACU Police Department is a professional and certified staff of committed officers whose primary objective is the safety of our students and campus. In addition to the continuous 24hr patrol, officers provide students with safety education, vehicle unlocks, motorist assists, and safety escorts after hours.

Abilene Christian University is a community of learners. Living, learning, and growing in faith is the goal of our life together. Our aim is to promote an integrated life, where knowledge and wisdom, open inquiry and faith, living and learning are connected in profound and meaningful ways.