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Academic Vision 2016

“We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all
wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ”
Colossians 1:28 (NIV)

As a leading Christian institution, Azusa Pacific University claims scholarship as core to its mission and one of its Four Cornerstones. The process of engaging students in studies requires an immersion of both faculty and students in a vital institutional culture that values, supports, and fosters the ongoing processes of scholarship and teaching in an environment of academic freedom. With students as our first priority, we seek the development of the highest quality academic programs that honor God.

Azusa Pacific University envisions the growth of this cornerstone of scholarship through four main avenues over the course of the next decade: transformational scholarship, faith integration, God-honoring diversity, and intentional internationalization. The university's ambitious academic vision focuses efforts on these four interrelated initiatives. Transformational scholarship, faith integration, God-honoring diversity, and intentional internationalization remain essential components of this Christian institution as we pursue our mission of developing disciples and scholars who seek to advance the work of God in the world.

Academic Vision Process

In response to APU's last WASC visit, a doctoral task force was formed to respond to the perceived lack of rigorous research at the doctoral level. Note that more than 90% of the goals in the Doctoral Task Force Final Report (PDF) has been acheived. This research led to the Academic Vision process. Four task forces were formed (based on the four themes) to make recommendations for the Provost. The recommendations (PDF) were used to develop the Academic Vision.

Transformational Scholarship

Engagement in scholarship that integrates one’s faith develops discernment, enlivens the mind, and transforms the heart. It is the foundation for bringing about change in the world — the impetus for transformative scholarship. Transformational scholarship remains the application of research and scholarship to the social issues and needs of the world, rooted in and critically informed by the faith.

The scholarly process at Azusa Pacific University should be an ongoing endeavor that involves students, contributes to the quality of our teaching, and has a direct and lasting impact on learning. The products of our scholarly activities will be diverse, reflecting the strengths of each of our disciplines as well as the individual gifts and strengths of our faculty. Across all disciplines, scholarship among faculty has these ongoing essential elements:

Faith Integration

Developing an academic culture of faith integration recognizes a breadth of the faith that must be based on unity in essentials, diversity, freedom in non-essentials, and in all things charity. It is only oneness in Christ Jesus that enables us to realize authentic community out of our diversity. This culture will be marked by excellence in theologically informed reflection on integrating faith within the context of academic disciplines, professional programs, and lived practice in order to advance the understanding of Christian higher education and to develop moral leaders who will impact the world.

God-honoring Diversity

Azusa Pacific University scholars see creation in all its God-honoring diversity and richness, and draw upon the full spectrum of human knowledge and methods of inquiry developed across centuries. A commitment to sustained scholarly dialogue around difficult issues, marked by respect, openness, civility, active listening and support for academic freedom, are the hallmark of a diverse, scholarly community.

In order to be a place of diverse people, ideas, thoughts, experiences, and gifts, the university celebrates the diversity of God’s creation. This is a value of our Wesleyan heritage; it includes an embrace of the broader community and the application of scholarship to service to address the woundedness of the world.

Intentional Internationalization

The academic vision includes the strategic priorities of God-honoring diversity and intentional internationalization. These are viewed as reciprocating initiatives that join the pursuit of outreach, intercultural and ethnic understanding both within the university and the surrounding communities, and the exploration of events, institutions, peoples, problems, and issues outside of our nation’s borders. The overarching purpose of intercultural activities both locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, is to promote the peace, joy, and love of God and to help form culturally competent faculty and students.

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