Azusa Pacific University began in 1899 as the Training School for Christian Workers. A gathering of spiritual leaders assembled to establish the first Bible college on the West Coast, geared toward training students for ministry and service endeavors. After moving several times and merging with other colleges throughout the century, APU now resides in Azusa, a Southern California location about 26 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Rapid growth in the past 20 years has both established the university and affirmed the vision of the past. APU achieved university status in the ’80s and subsequent developments include seven off-site regional centers, which allow students to receive a degree without actually attending classes in Azusa, and the addition of numerous master’s and doctoral degree programs. Under the presidency of Richard E. Felix, Ph.D., the Cornerstones of the university were reframed to Christ, Scholarship, Community, and Service. His tenure included a doubling of student enrollment, the construction of seven new buildings, and the quadrupling of graduate programs.
Currently, under the leadership of President Jon R. Wallace, DBA, APU upholds the mission of service, now with an emphasis on the campus, the surrounding community, and the world. Various programs, such as the Oxford Study Abroad Program, provide students with the opportunity to attend schools in many different countries. Multiple missionary sites throughout the world are also readily available for student involvement.
Spurred by a vision to be known first as a Christ-centered institution, Azusa Pacific seeks to offer transformational scholarship opportunities within the context of life-giving community, dedicated to the practice of sacrificial service. This understanding of the four Cornerstones guides the university in all its programs and actions.