Graduate School - Mission, Outcomes and Accreditation
Philosophy and Mission
The mission of Abilene Christian University is to educate its students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. The mission of the Graduate School is to encourage advanced learning by providing high-quality graduate education in select areas. Graduate programs are designed to promote leadership, service, intellectual growth, self-motivation and integrity within a context of Christian values.
An education for Christian service and leadership differs from other types of education primarily in its unifying emphasis on Christian values. Faculty and students at ACU work together toward spiritual, social, intellectual and professional goals in undergraduate and graduate programs in both liberal and professional studies.
Ideally, graduates of baccalaureate programs who have gone through the core curriculum and spent four or more years on campus should:
1. Speak and write effectively in English as a result of clear thinking and extensive
reading, writing and observation;
2. Be proficient in planning, calculating, organizing ideas and solving problems;
3. Engage in meaningful and productive careers and/or pursue additional graduate or
4. Conduct their daily lives in a way that fosters mental and physical health and well-being;
5. Possess a sensitivity to people, an appreciation of the arts and sciences, a sense of
history, an international perspective and an understanding of the interrelatedness of
6. Function effectively as citizens, workers and educated members of society, providing
service and leadership in the activities of home, occupation or profession, church,
community, country and the world; and
7. Base their lives on a carefully thought-out philosophy that emphasizes Christian faith
and commitment, personal integrity, open-mindedness, respect and concern for all
human beings, and a desire to be responsible stewards of personal and natural
Graduate programs at ACU build on these seven undergraduate outcomes in discipline-specific ways. In addition, those who graduate from master’s programs at ACU should:
1. Be able to review and critically analyze original research and, in disciplines where
appropriate, be able to conduct research projects;
2. Demonstrate expertise in a specialized area at the level to achieve professional
certification or licensure, to be admitted to a doctoral program or to perform successfully
in a chosen career field;
3. Be able to articulate, critically analyze and synthesize foundational theories and
philosophies undergirding his or her academic discipline;
4. Analyze axiological assumptions and philosophies of the field from a Christian
5. Form contacts with appropriate communities and organizations.
We believe that individuals who possess the above competencies will have a love of learning and will pursue truth and significance in every experience throughout their lives.
Faculty and Learning Resources
The university has assembled a competent and outstanding group of scholars and experts on our faculty. To be a member of the graduate faculty, a faculty member must demonstrate competence in teaching and dedication to scholarship in the field. He or she must also hold a terminal degree or document exceptional qualifications to teach at the graduate level. Students will get to know the faculty, who are highly visible in their professional organizations and are recognized internationally, nationally and regionally for their research, teaching and creative presentations. Beyond their professional expertise, ACU faculty are committed to mentoring graduate students through individual contact and personal example.
To create a community of learners, ACU encourages small interactive graduate classes and supports learning opportunities in and out of the classroom. ACU graduate students have access to nationally-known experts through our state-of-the-art distance education classrooms and computer laboratories. ACU encourages interaction across disciplines through graduate student activities and symposia. Students also have opportunities for applied learning activities throughout the community and region.
Abilene Christian University enjoys a strong national reputation as one of the leading private Christian universities in the west and southwest, indicated by various ratings (such as U.S. News and World Report and other reports). In addition to the university’s accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, individual graduate programs are accredited by the following agencies:
• Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
• American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA)
• Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
• Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) - Candidacy
In addition, some ACU Programs hold approval by state or national associations:
• Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas
• National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
ACU is also a member of the Council of Graduate Schools, the Council of Southern Graduate Schools and the Texas Association of Graduate Schools.
Some degrees have various tracks available.
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Master of Accountancy (MAcc)
Master of Arts (MA)
New Testament, Old Testament, English, History and Theology,
Communication, Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation
Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM)
Master of Arts in Missions (MAMI)
Master of Divinity (MDiv)
Master of Education (MEd)
Educational Diagnostician, Leadership of Learning,
Reading Specialist, Higher Education
Master of Liberal Arts (MLA)
Interdisciplinary Studies, Liberal Arts
Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT)
Master of Science (MS)
Clinical Psychology, Communication Sciences and Disorders,
Counseling Psychology, Gerontology, Organizational and Human
Resource Development, Psychology, School Psychology
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Education and Administration, Family Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)
Conflict Resolution, Gerontology, Missions,
Social Services Administration
Graduate courses are also available in several supporting fields. Anyone interested in more information should contact the Graduate School.
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