ACU’s mission is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.
ACU is a vibrant, innovative, Christ-centered community that engages students in authentic spiritual and intellectual growth, equipping them to make a real difference in the world.
For Such a Time As This
The university’s Board of Trustees prepared this document in October 2012 to articulate what it means for ACU to be a Christ-centered institution of higher education within the Christian heritage of the Stone-Campbell faith tradition, particularly as expressed in Churches of Christ. We strongly affirm the finest values of that heritage and pursue a Christ-centered focus using the inspired Word of God to guide our decisions as an institution.
Rooted in these values, ACU will pursue sound and innovative educational principles so our students will be fully prepared to live lives of Christian service and leadership. This document provides guidance in meeting the challenges and opportunities of the future.
There is a growing need for a Christian university focused on challenging academics and leadership preparation for talented students who desire to become “salt and light” in the world. ACU’s 21st-Century Vision, published in 2010, calls for the university by 2020 to become the premier university for the education of Christ-centered, global leaders. Its objectives:
- Produce leaders who think critically, globally and missionally.
- Build distinctive and innovative programs
- Deliver a unique, Christ-centered experience that draws students into community.
- Expand its Christian influence and educational reach nationally and internationally.
Our Enduring Core Values
A special statement from the university’s Board of Trustees in 2007 serves as a reminder of the many foundational aspects influencing all we do. These core values describe who we are – and will remain – as a university. At ACU, we will:
- Anchor to our faith.
- Engage in learning.
- Challenge to excel.
- Equip to serve and lead.
- Connect for life.
- Commit to stewardship.
Every person is created in God’s image and we welcome all students at ACU, regardless of how they identify themselves sexually. Their orientation does not preclude them from any role in the breadth of student activities. We endeavor to create an environment in which they grow in mind, body and spirit while participating in a vibrant educational, faith and community experience. While some will not agree with the university’s traditional view on biblical principles and interpretations of Scripture, our first instinct is not exclusion but to love and include all our students.
While we are committing to be more open and inclusive, we also are holding to established behavioral standards consistent with our faith:
- All members of the ACU community are expected to follow the biblical model of refraining from sexual activity outside the marriage between a man and a woman.
- We ask all faculty, staff and students in certain roles to refrain from sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. We also ask employees – faculty, staff and students – to refrain from same-sex dating relationships that are inconsistent with this biblical model. In some instances, such as those involved in spiritual formation, student employees will be held to the same standard as full-time campus employees. Because they are asked to exemplify and support the university’s mission, they would be restricted from engaging in same-sex dating relationships. For a number of other student employment roles – especially those influenced by external regulatory and accrediting agencies, such as in academics and athletics – the employee standard will not be applicable.
The Board of Trustees has invested time in prayer, research and discussion on sexual stewardship and provided the following guidance for our administration in recent years and continue to support it as we move forward.
- We believe Scripture teaches that God intends for sexual relations to be reserved for marriage between a man and a woman. We recognize this belief may conflict with the practice or vision of the larger culture. Yet we hold to the historic Christian position on this issue while being respectful of those who disagree with us.
- We affirm the dignity and worth of every person as created in God’s image. ACU affirms the full humanity and dignity of all human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We recognize there are individuals who identify as LGBTQ or who experience same-sex attraction within our community. We strive to love and welcome all individuals.
- We call for civility and respect. As a university, we encourage the vigorous pursuit of truth. As a Christian university, we believe the Bible is true and reliable. We recognize that Christians inside and outside the ACU community have different interpretations of Scripture on same-sex relationships. Regardless of one’s perspective, we encourage all of our community members to engage this issue with Christian care and compassion. We condemn language and behaviors that communicate disrespect toward any member of the ACU community.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Stewardship
What does ACU believe about sexual stewardship?
ACU affirms the biblical model, in which sexual relations are only experienced within the marriage bond between a man and a woman.
How does ACU provide a safe and respectful community for LGBTQ students?
- Although we believe Scripture teaches that God intends for sexual relations to be reserved for marriage between a man and a woman, we strive to welcome and show Christ’s love to all individuals.
- We call for civility and respect, recognizing that Christians inside and outside the ACU community have different interpretations of Scripture on same-sex relationships.
- ACU’s Senior Leadership Team has formally recognized a campus peer-support and education group named Voice, which provides a space for students to articulate and discuss their beliefs while showing respect for others. The group understands and honors the university’s policies and values, including its affirmation of the traditional Christian view of marriage. Voice is guided by a faculty member and the dean of students.
- We strive to comply with all applicable legal requirements prohibiting, preventing and responding to unlawful harassment against any member of the university community. Moreover, as a Christian community, ACU has committed itself, unequivocally, to ensuring a working and learning environment in which the dignity of every individual is respected.
If you have additional questions: