Vision, Mission, History

Home > About CCU > Vision, Mission, History


Calvary Chapel University desires to be a premier, Christian higher education community loving God, loving others, and making disciples of Jesus Christ.

Mission Statement

“Go ye therefore and MAKE DISCIPLES. of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Calvary Chapel University prepares lifelong learners to serve the church by offering rigorous academic programs in the context of a Christ-centered community.


CALVARY CHAPEL UNIVERSITY was birthed from prayer, a call from God and a very specific desire to be a helper of people’s joy.   In 2000, God placed on the hearts of a few people the need to develop both an online and onsite discipleship platform to help people in San Diego and around the world grow in “wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man.”  The core of what was to become CCU, is the Great Commission, to MAKE DISCIPLES, Matthew 28:19

The history of CCU is as varied as the travels and ministry of Jesus in his time here on earth. 

2000 – Formed as Rock University-designed to be an online and onsite discipleship program for a church of now 15,000 plus people. 

2005 – Incorporated by Calvary Chapel San Diego June, 2005-A passion for remote Christian school educators led to the transfer of the Rock University curriculum and vision to an exclusively online program at CCSD serving Christian educators world-wide. The new entity was known as Calvary Chapel Teachers College

2009 – CCTC changed their name to Calvary Chapel University. As the years went by and the educational program grew, CC pastors asked if CCTC had anything to offer them.  As a result, the College of Biblical Studies was launched to serve the pastors of Calvary Chapel.  In doing so, the Lord released a much larger vision of being the ‘home town University” for the Calvary Chapel movement.  In that same year, CCU was assumed as a DBA of Calvary Chapel Educators Association (CCEA) at CC Downey and we merged under them.  Again, CCU was significantly strengthened in this relationship.

2011 – Next, the Lord moved CCU under the leadership of Chuck Smith the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement. 

2012 – CCU was turned back over to the founding team as Pastor Chuck’s passing led to other transitions. In May, CCU was incorporated in San Diego under the founding team.

2013  – In November, CCU was incorporated in Florida and generously funded by CC Ft. Lauderdale for a season.

2015 -As the founding team answered a call back to CCSD, CCU followed.  Back to our founding roots.  Restated Articles of Incorporation back to founding CCU team in May, 2015.

2017 -In a move to strengthen CCU for accreditation, CCU was incorporated in Virginia under Youth Development, International. The partnership with CCU and YDI has been significantly beneficial. 

2019- CCU received Candidacy status for accreditation with TRACS

2020 – CCU awarded Accredited Status as a Category III with TRACS

2021 – The CCU office relocated to Arizona to centralize the business operations.

Statement of Diversity

Calvary Chapel University believes that an individual’s first responsibility is to the God of the Bible and that a person’s whole life should reflect His framework in a context of peace and selfless love. The University asserts that a genuine love for and interaction with diverse peoples is a biblical mandate. Moreover, Calvary Chapel University recognizes that current definitions of diversity differ widely. Our standard for diversity is found in the Bible. Individual differences in lifestyle that deny, ignore or reject biblical standards represent diversity in rebellion to God’s standards and hence, are unacceptable to the University. Recognizing the diverse nature of the body of Christ and its shared commitment to intellectual values, and our Lord’s commission to make disciples of all peoples, we are committed to diversity in the following ways:

  • By building a community of trust among the different ethnic and cultural groups represented in our students and faculty, predicated upon respect for differences, with the purpose of focusing on the culturally-transcendent scriptural admonitions laid out by Paul in Colossians 3:11-15.
  • By extending the resources of the University to Christians from various backgrounds for the work spelled out in Ephesians 4:12.
  • By assuming a leadership role in extending knowledge accessibility to the multiethnic Christian community throughout the United States and around the world;  by fostering comprehension and acceptance of people of differing viewpoints.
  • By including contributions coming from members of diverse populations within the educational process.

Philosophy of Education

Education at Calvary Chapel University is based upon a distinctly biblical view of reality, truth, and values. Ultimate reality is found in God, who created the universe with purpose and sustains it’s existence with His power. Truth originates from God; it is embodied in Christ and revealed inthe Scriptures. Ethics and morals are grounded in scriptural absolutes, and the appreciation of art, worship, and literature is based upon biblical principles.

Education at Calvary Chapel University has desired goals. Education is not merely the acquisition of knowledge or the accumulation of skills for financial success. The pursuit of higher education at Calvary Chapel University is the pursuit of a higher calling. Thus, the environment is one that prioritizes a personal and vibrant relationship with Christ for every student. Then, upon this foundation, a biblical worldview is developed, where individual gifts and talents are molded around a proper understanding of the Scriptures, self, and society. The definitive goal is to produce graduates who combine outstanding general, biblical and professional education and who have the practical experiences necessary to effectively teach and defend the Gospel with exemplary lives of service to God, the local church, and others.

Core Values

We foster an environment characterized by:

1. Simply Jesus

  • a. We acknowledge that God is the origin of all things and the source of the values made known to us in His creation, in human experience, and finally and fully, in Jesus Christ.
  • b. We confess Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives, our university, our world, and as the final authority for our faith and life.
  • c. We recognize that redemption by Jesus Christ and personal acceptance of His forgiveness are necessary for human wholeness.
  • d. Authority of the Bible: We hold the Bible as the Word of God, the basis of our faith, and the primary record by which these values are made known.
  • e. The Leading of the Holy Spirit: We rely on the Holy Spirit to help us discover these values. Thereby we call into question the values of the world.

2. Superior Academics

  • a. We believe all truth is of God. Therefore, we recognize the importance of each field of study both for its own significance and for its interrelationship with other areas of knowledge.
  • b. We believe that God desires that we pursue excellence according to the standard of His will for us.
  • c. Knowledge: We value a thorough command of the primary resources, methodology, and major issues in academic fields of study.
  • d. Understanding: We value intellectual curiosity, flexibility, and critical open-mindedness in learning. We value the ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity, and to consider evidence in godly decision-making. We value a Christian understanding of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. We are students of their roles in biblical Creation, Fall, and Redemption.
  • e. Skills: We value the acquisition and development of skills related to academic fields of study, and an understanding how field-specific skills may be adapted to other fields.
  • f. Practical Application: We value the practical application of academic content to expand the Kingdom of God and for the edification of the body of Christ.

3.  Servant Leadership

  • a. We show love toward God and love toward each other.
  • b. We engage in community as members of one body of Christ and maintain a nonsectarian openness toward all Christians.
  • c. We honor our commitments and take responsibility for our personal behavior, decisions, and continuing growth.
  • d. We know from experience that self-discipline, struggle, risk, and confrontation
  • are necessary for growth, and recognize that because of the grace of God, we grow even through our failures.
  • e. We have experiences in self-assessment in every dimension of our lives, including  values clarification based on biblical truths. We plan for continuous individual growth and renewal.
  • f. We understand the capabilities of our physical bodies and are committed to the lifelong nurturing of our physical selves so that we can be of service to the Lord and others.
  • g. We are servants who:
  •      i. Are able to joyfully follow Jesus’ example of service in the world and to pour out our individual and corporate lives for others because of God’s love in Christ for us.
  •      ii. Share our faith unashamedly, disciple other Christians, participate in missionary endeavors, and minister to the needs of all persons, regardless of their agreement with our beliefs. We affirm the unique worth of every individual. We regard each individual as having God-given gifts and talents to be discovered, developed, and directed toward service.
  •      iii. Are faithful stewards of our time, talents, and resources. We welcome and seek opportunities for service as a means to clarify and practice our faith and knowledge.
  • h. We value truth and humility.
  • i. We value a spiritually surrendered life in both our work and our walk with the Lord.
  • j. We value infectious, optimistic, and enthusiastic attitudes that have the best interests of the team at heart.
  • k. We value a teachable heart and growth in our lives and ministries.
  • l. We are committed to personal sacrifice in meeting the spiritual and practical needs of students and one another.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-13

Institutional Learning Objectives

To achieve the above-mentioned purpose, CCU seeks to accomplish the following Expected Learning Outcomes.

Calvary Chapel University graduates:

Spiritual Objective: Students will grow in their knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and develop a relationship with God that motivates them to serve God and love others.

Institutional Learning Outcomes (Spiritual)

  • Biblical Knowledge
    • Students will demonstrate biblical proficiency by reading, interpreting, analyzing, and applying the principles of God’s Word to their lives as they fulfill assignments, participate in discussions, and reflect through personal journal responses.
  • Christian Character
    • Students will identify godly character through the study of God’s Word and apply the principles to their lives as they share the love of Christ with others.

Academic Objective: Students will study to show themselves approved through successfully meeting the academic requirements established by the university.

Institutional Learning Outcomes (Academic)

  • Think Critically
    • Throughout the curriculum, students will develop critical thinking skills by constructing knowledge and applying concepts to real-life while analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of content learned.
  • Communicate Effectively
    • Students will innovate, collaborate, and communicate by:
      • Formulating critical thinking and writing skills
      • Demonstrating technology proficiency
      • Implementing other media without regard for national boundaries or cultural differences
  • Utilizing information literacy skills