Graduate School

Carley Dodd, Dean   
ACU BOX 29140
Abilene, Texas 79699-9140
Hardin Administration Building, Room 216
Phone: 325-674-2223 (in Abilene) or
800-395-4723 (outside Abilene)
Fax: 325-674-6717

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.

Educational Outcomes    

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 university 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 professional education;
  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 things;
  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 resources.

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 perspective; and
  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.

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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 learning technology 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 (COAMFTE)

          • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

          • Council of Social Work Education (CSWE)

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)

          • Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

ACU is also a member of the Council of Graduate Schools, the Council of Southern Graduate Schools and the Texas Association of Graduate Schools.

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Degrees Offered

Some degrees have various tracks available.

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Master of Accountancy (MAcc)

Master of Arts (MA)
     Communication, Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation, English, 
     Global Service,Theology, New Testament, Old Testament, Ancient and Oriental Christianity, and Modern and American Christianity    

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM)

Master of Divinity (MDiv)
     Ministry, Missions

Master of Education (MEd)
     Curriculum and Instruction, Leadership of Learning, 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, Organizational and Human 
     Resource Development, Psychology

Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW)

Specialist in School Psychology (SSP)

Graduate Certificates
Biblical Studies
Conflict Resolution 
   Enrollment Management
    Heritage Development
    Leadership of Digital Learning
    School Superintendent 
    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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Vision in Action

Watch the video above to witness the future of Abilene Christian University taking shape.

Learn more 

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