From its very beginning in 1906, Abilene Christian University has emphasized the liberal arts in a Christian environment. The ensuing years provided the rich heritage that gave birth to the current mission of educating students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. The university has always been closely affiliated with the Church of Christ. Since Church of Christ congregations are autonomous and no central organization exists, the university receives no denominational funding. There are, however, important ties to the Church of Christ; these are included in the university charter. A clear example of these ties is the requirement that all members of the Board of Trustees must be active members of a congregation of the Church of Christ.
The mission of ACU is reflected in the quality and diversity of the students. The student body literally reflects a global perspective because there are 50 states and 63 foreign countries represented in the current enrollment. ACU is working diligently to meet its diversity goals. Currently the ethnic groups represented at ACU include Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic Americans.
Students are viewed as individuals at ACU; programs are in place to address individual academic needs. The university has an active Honors Program designed to enrich the program of study for qualified undergraduates in any major. Under prepared students are required to pass preparatory courses before proceeding with their chosen programs of study. These students receive help from a variety of student support services, including Alpha Academic Services, Student Success Program, and the Learning Enhancement Center.
Students are encouraged to participate in the university’s Study Abroad Program. Opportunities for foreign study include Oxford, England; Montevideo, Uruguay; Torreon, Mexico; and sites sponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
The academic programs at ACU are delivered through three colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Biblical Studies, and the College of Business Administration. The Abilene Intercollegiate School of Nursing is a joint effort of Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University. The dean of the Graduate School provides overall coordination for ACU’s graduate programs. The library, student services, administrative and financial services, and institutional advancement all support the academic programs and their students to fulfill the ACU mission.
Abilene Christian University has sufficient resources to support its programs, and its financial stability has continued to strengthen in recent years. The financial history shows a trend in the growth of both total new assets and permanent endowment.
The “facts” that follow provide a qualitative picture of a university fulfilling its mission: "To educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.”