The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities: What It Is and Why It Matters

by Stephen Mark

In researching your options for a Christian higher education, you may have run across references to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) at some point.

Maybe your eyes skimmed across the words without a second thought, or perhaps you were left wondering exactly what the CCCU is and what it does. Wonder no more! Choosing a college or university that’s affiliated with the CCCU can unlock exciting benefits and ensure that you get the most out of your education.

The History and Mission of the CCCU

Founded in 1976 as a broad association of Christian colleges, the CCCU’s mission today is “to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform the lives of students by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.” To achieve this goal on behalf of its member institutions, the CCCU leans on three main pillars: public advocacy, professional development, and experiential education.

The Benefits of a CCCU Membership

A university’s partnership with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities benefits students (and their families) in several specific ways. Here’s how choosing a CCCU-affiliated school can benefit you.

Provides peace of mind. The CCCU clearly defines “Christian higher education” for its members, making three main educational commitments to integrate biblical truth throughout the academic enterprise, to form students morally and spiritually, and to graduate students who will make a difference in the world. Public advocacy is central to the CCCU’s mission, so each university community can continue to practice its Christian values openly and without fear. This means that when you choose to pursue an education at a CCCU member institution, you can rest assured you’re choosing a school that cares deeply for students’ spiritual lives.

Nurtures top-tier Christian academics. By bringing faith into the classroom, students can learn at the highest academic level—and through a Christian lens. The CCCU is committed to professional development, offering faculty and administration members many opportunities to better integrate faith in their disciplines through training, leadership institutes, and academic grants.

Offers Christ-centered off-campus adventures. Through the BestSemester program—which was founded alongside the CCCU more than 40 years ago—students can access the world through 10 exciting, off-campus opportunities. For example, you can immerse yourself in the U.S. government through the American Studies Program in Washington, DC, or experience different cultures during visits to Uganda, Australia, Costa Rica, Jordan, or Northern Ireland. It’s also possible to dive into the business of music in Nashville or the film industry in Los Angeles, and learn to love God with “all your mind” while studying in Oxford, England. It’s not hard to see why these experiences remain quite popular among students at CCCU member schools!

Better outcomes: According to a recent study, alumni from CCCU institutions pay back their college loans at a higher rate than the national average, are more likely to participate in community service, and often choose careers in human services. Additionally, the student body is very diverse—one in three graduates is a first-generation college student and half come from families earning less than $50,000 per year—helping provide a well-rounded experience.

The APU and CCCU Difference

Christian higher education has always been important for American families, and still is today. Since its founding in 1899, Azusa Pacific University has been committed to integrating biblical truth with outstanding academics, and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities has been a partner in the school’s endeavor for decades.

APU students, faculty, and staff benefit both spiritually and academically from APU’s affiliation with the CCCU, making it an important consideration in your college search. Are you interested in taking advantage of all that APU and the CCCU have to offer? Find out how you can be part of this faith and learning community.

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