College of Graduate and Professional Studies

Guided by ACU’s 21st Century Vision, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies is committed to the development of every student’s faith, vocation, and learning. Programs within our Christian graduate school help students develop a deeper understanding of their identity, formation, and calling as they journey to become whole persons engaged in meaningful work within God's mission and longing for a flourishing world. Embedded within Christ-centered communities, students of ACU Graduate and Professional Studies programs will grow in their discipline through a commitment to the Christian virtues of intellectual curiosity and rigor, hospitality, humility, integrity, authenticity, and perseverance.

We’re passionate about our students. So, we’re passionate about our graduate and professional studies online programs!

The mission of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies is to prepare students for Christian service and leadership by providing them with the knowledge and skills to advance their careers, thereby placing them in positions of influence for the expansion of God’s purposes in the world.

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Meet the Dean

Joe L. "Joey" Cope, J.D.

Joey Cope is a licensed Texas attorney and currently serves as the Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Abilene Christian University. He also serves as Associate Vice President for Academics and as the Associate General Counsel for the ACU Dallas Campus. He joined the university in 1989 and has held a number of administrative positions, including executive assistant to the president and executive director of the ACU Foundation. In 2000, he became the founding executive director of the Duncum Center for Conflict Resolution.

Joey has has occupied many leadership roles in the conflict management field within the State of Texas. He is a past chair of the State Bar of Texas Section of Alternative Dispute, a past convener of the Texas Mediation Trainers Roundtable, and a credential holder and past director in the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association. Joey is the 2017 recipient of the Justice Frank Evans Award from the State Bar of Texas Section of Alternative Dispute Resolution for his service to the field of conflict resolution. He is also the co-author of West Publishing's Texas Practice Guide - Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Joey received his Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications from Texas Tech University and his Juris Doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law. He earned a Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution from the Pepperdine University School of Law.

Joey and Nancy, his wife, have two sons, a wonderful granddaughter, and Togo, the dog.

ACU Dean - Joe